Are you looking to switch up some things in your life to leave the world a bit greener? Here are some things you can consider to help create less waste
1. Cloth Diapers
This is the Cotton Babies blog, so, of course, we have to mention cloth diapers! Using cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers can prevent 1 ton of trash going to the landfill per baby!
Remember, cloth diapers don’t have to be all or nothing. Even using cloth diapers half time or part-time prevents a lot of trash that would otherwise end up sitting in a landfill for 500 years.
For more information on solid waste going into landfills, check out this data from the EPA.
2. Shampoo Bars
I kept hearing about shampoo bars and how great they were. Travelers love them because they won’t leak in their luggage and, since they aren’t liquid, they can stay in carry-on bags.
I was organizing my hair and body products and was truly overwhelmed by just how many plastic bottles had accumulated. So, the next time my shampoo bottle was running low, I made the switch to a shampoo bar and a conditioner bar. I happened to get them from Lush because I love their products and dedication to reducing waste. I fell in love! I asked my stylist how my hair was doing in her professional opinion, and she said it was just as healthy as ever. No build-up! Since I made the switch, I’ve seen shampoo bars popping up in more places, including Trader Joe’s!
I either keep mine on a draining soap dish or in a secure tin to keep moisture out between uses.
Similar to shampoo bars, bars of soap are also a great alternative to plastic bottles of body wash.
3. Reusable Containers
Early in the pandemic, we were limiting our grocery runs to the bare essentials. Having young kids in the house, we did need to keep some fresh milk in the house. Our local dairy was offering a special on contactless home delivery, so I made the switch. Now, we get our milk delivered in glass bottles that are sent back and reused. It is a bit pricier than milk from the grocery store, but I have come to really appreciate this service. Our grocery store also has a glass bottle program for milk bottles.
Shopping the bulk section at grocery stores is another way to get some great food without the packaging. If you can bring your own fruit/vegetable bags, that’s even better!
Of course, reusable tote bags are a great alternative to plastic bags. It is a challenge since some stores are restricting them right now. If you go to a warehouse store or ALDI, you can reuse a cardboard box instead of a bag.
4. Conserve Energy
I’m in the process of getting a quote for having solar panels installed on my home.
If installing your own energy source isn’t an option, see if your utility company offers any alternative programs. Even installing a programmable thermostat can help conserve your energy. See if you can adjust to the thermostat being a touch higher in the summer and lower in the winter. A few degrees can make a big difference.
On sunny days, try line-drying your clothes instead of using the dryer. Or, you can run the dryer in the evening or after dark so that your home’s air conditioner is not competing with the heat of the day and running the dryer. Wool dryer balls also cut down on dry time and eliminate the need for dryer sheets.
When shopping for a vehicle, take miles per gallon(MPG) into account when comparing models. Your best option would be an electric car, but hybrid or fuel-efficient vehicles would be great choices, too.
6. Shop Preowned
Fast fashion is a major contributor to landfill waste. When you are ready to let go of clothing, try to pass it to a friend, sell it, or donate it.
When you’re ready to get some new stuff, check thrift stores or buy/sell/trade groups. It’s amazing how many cool things you can find that are new or like-new at great prices.
7. Hygiene Products
Like disposable diapers, disposable hygiene products have an impact on the environment. Check out options for a reusable product like a menstrual cup or pads.
8. Rain Barrel
Rain barrels are a great way to collect rainwater that can be used to water your garden. Simply hook it up to your gutter’s downspout and collect water to use it. They even make decorative rain barrels that have planters on top. Or, you can repurpose a wine barrel or some other large plastic tub. Look up some DIY tricks on Pinterest to help get you started.
9. Reusable Breast Pads
For breastfeeding moms, ditch the disposable breast pads for a reusable option. Check out our selection of reusable breast pads here.
Of course, you can always prevent waste with recycling. Reduce, reuse, recycle!
For more ideas on switching from disposable products, check out this post.