Small Changes You Can Make Now To Live More Eco-friendly

I am not an environmental fanatic.  We buy single-use plastic, use aerosol sprays, and throw away containers that are recyclable to avoid some seriously gross clean up (like the chicken containers after you remove the diaper…heck no).  Still, I want to be better about changing things we do that can harm our planet.

Since we are in a time where there are shortages in supplies & financial impacts occurring daily, I took advantage of the opportunity to implement more environmentally-friendly practices in my house.  

Below are some easy ideas you can start incorporating, one eco-friendly change at a time:

Small Changes You Can Make Now To Live More Eco-friendly1. Recycling 

 

This is a great place to start if you don’t already recycle. We have always been avid recyclers but in the last 6 months, I have gotten really serious about recycling everything we can.  I also put small plastic recycling bins around where we tend to have plastic that we want to throw in a garbage can.  That way I can empty it every few weeks.

2. Ditch the Keurig

Last year I read an article about how the creator of Keurig regrets creating the product due to the environmental implications the K-cups have in our landfills.  I ended up switching from a Keurig to a coffee pot and don’t miss it.  I have an actual coffee pot with reusable filters. I also bought a Nespresso machine where I can send back my coffee pods and they recycle them for me. 

3. Stop using plastic water bottles

Fun Fact: Did you know it takes 450 years for a plastic water bottle to decompose in a landfill!?

Admittedly, we buy plastic water bottles and keep them in the garage fridge.  These are mostly for guests, but we end up using them when mixing drink packets. We rinse them out and reuse a few times before we recycle but I still felt guilty.  I found a reusable 16oz water bottle on Amazon and am planning to buy them for everyone. Small Changes You Can Make Now To Live More Eco-friendly

4. Use reusable towels and napkins 

Anyone else use a ridiculous amount of paper towels?  I mean, we use Costco size bags monthly.  I think about all the trees that we cut down just to wipe something up and throw it away.  It’s going to be weird for a while to figure out how reusable fits into our lives but soon enough it will become a habit.  (Side note: there are places that also have reusable toilet paper, which is just a little too much for me.  Good for you, if you can do that.)

5. Buy eco-friendly laundry detergent

Laundry detergent is heavy, so imagine containers of laundry detergent and how much exhaust is used to ship them all over the world, plus all the plastic waste they create.  I found a product called Dropps that doesn’t come in a huge plastic container, but instead monthly on auto-ship, in a small cardboard box. 

6. Get a reusable hand soap dispenser

A company called Blueland has reusable foaming hand soap containers.  You fill with water and drop in a soap tablet that dissolves on its own.  It’s interesting because hand soaps you buy from the store are mostly water anyway, so you save the plastic & only pay for $2 soap tablet refills.  For my house, we probably go through 10-12 hand soap containers every 2 months.

7. Do your part!

I run by this same spot where there is trash everywhere.  One day I dressed up the girls in rain boots and gloves and we picked up two trash bags of litter.  It took 20 minutes.  And most importantly they kept asking “Why don’t people throw this stuff away?”

Small Changes You Can Make Now To Live More Eco-friendly

With all the shortages in supplies, it made sense to try doing more of this now.  And with the impacts on our economy, eliminating unnecessary costs may be critical to some families.  Eliminating paper towels can save my family over $200 a year.  If I really wanted to prove value to myself (and if I was good at math), I could calculate what all this is doing to our monthly budget.

We are just taking things one thing at a time. 

We started making changes over a year ago, and I feel good about where we are now.  Just maybe this will motivate you to do one thing differently in your house. 

What are some ways you try to be more eco-friendly?

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Katy is a working wife and mother to three. She attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids (Kohawks for life!) and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and English. Married in June 2014 to husband her Nate, Katy brought along her rescue dog, Sadie, and with Nate came two bonus kids. Nate and Katy welcomed their daughter, Zoey, in April 2016 and have happily completed their family. Well, until more dogs are needed. Currently working full time and supporting three active kids, Katy has a hard time squeezing in her own hobbies. But, when she gets a chance, she enjoys spending time with her family, being active, and reading.