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Its not hard to be eco-friendly nor will it break your budget. In fact, there are so many product swap choices that can actually save you money over the course of time.
My family isn’t the best at it, but we are making huge steps towards using more eco-friendly products in our home. It’s so easy to get busy and forget the impact each of us has. Every single change can make a difference no matter if it’s a small change or a big change.
Glass Storage instead of Plastic
My absolute favorite product swap is changing out plastic products with glass. I know this sounds scary, especially if you have small kids because all you can think of right now as you are reading this is “sure, Shannon…tell me to change out all the things that can’t break to things that can shatter into a million pieces all over my floor”.
And yes, you are right, but let me tell you one thing right now that has made me change right on out of those plastic food containers…RED TOMATO SAUCE!! Yes, I said it…that dreaded red stain in our plastic food containers that NEVER goes away!
Well, guess what…Glass doesn’t stain!!
I also like drinking from glasses. it hasn’t been as easy for me to let my kids do this but what we have done in our house is limit the plastic cups.
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Dryer Balls instead of Dryer Sheets
Another of my favorite product swap ideas is dryer balls.
I made this switch years ago and haven’t looked back since. We originally did this because I had noticed grease spots on my clothes and after researching, I discovered it was from the dryer sheets.
I love my dryer balls. If you are worried about smelly laundry…just put a few drops of essential oil on them and rock on. The dryer balls also help fluff my laundry as it dries…this reduces dry time and in turn uses less energy.
They are cheap to buy so think of all the money you will save from not buying dryer sheets.
By the Way, they do help reduce static and they soften the clothes.
Silicone Re-useable Bags
These are a great way to cut out plastic. We throw away thousands of plastic bags a day. These can be washed and reused!
Cotton produce bags are perfect for bringing home produce from the store but also for storing fruit and vegetables when you get them home.
Cotton bags are breathable and can be dampened to keep veg crisp, so produce is likely to last longer than when it’s wrapped in unbreathable plastic. When cotton bags are produced it uses less water, energy, and oil and has much less of an impact on air pollution.
Interesting fact…The average life span of a plastic bag is 12 minutes but it takes on average 500 years for it to degrade in the landfill.
Reuseable Metal Bottles
My family has been doing this for a while now. We have well water anyway so we stopped using plastic disposable water bottles altogether. It saves us a ton of money because let’s face it…whoever decided to bottle water is making a killing! Yes, I understand that some people’s tap water doesn’t taste good or has chlorine in it. You can always filter it first.
But it is much cheaper and a whole lot better for the environment if we take our reusable water bottles instead.
Reuseable Shopping Bags
I started shopping at Aldi and we all know, you have to bring your own bags there. So I keep my bags in the trunk of my car. Using reusable shopping bags helps keep me from having 500 of those plastic grocery bags in my pantry.
It is a hassle at first but once you get used to it, it’s no big deal.
Bar Soap instead of Plastic Bottles of Soap
Using bar soap in the shower and to wash your hands, keeps you from buying plastic bottles.
It’s actually more sanitary because bacteria can lurk around the pump of hand soaps! Yuck!
I haven’t tried it yet but they actually have hair shampoo bars instead of the bottle!
Cloth Napkins instead of Paper Towels
They are multi-use! Instead of throwing away kleenex and paper towels, you can just wash handkerchiefs and cloth towels. If you are like me and do laundry regularly (because of having me and 4 boys), just toss them in and wash!
Natural Cleaners instead of Chemicals
Switch out your harsh chemicals for natural cleaners! See The Wellness Mama’s post here to find DIY recipes for all different kinds of cleaners. One of my favorites is Dawn, Baking Soda, and Vinegar.
Silicone Baking Mats instead of Parchment Paper
Did you know that parchment paper is bleached and has a chemical called Dioxin in it? Gross!
Wax paper contains paraffin and is made from petroleum which is not good to digest!
Using Silicone Baking Mats as a product swap instead of parchment paper or wax paper is a much better choice. Silicone is contained when it is heated and cooled so it’s much safer to use and you are reducing waste. They also don’t need to be greased or oiled so that can make for some healthier cooking.
No, I am not talking about those horrible cardboard straws which I despise!! I’m talking about metal or silicone straws which can easily be washed out and reused!
We generally throw out 500 million straws a day which puts a whole lot of plastic into the landfill!
Create less Trash
The old saying that we heard as kids…”reduce, reuse and recycle”. If we can create less trash, the world can be more sustainable.
Use up what you have before you replace it.
Buy in bulk.
It is super easy to make a difference in your home!
You can also see my post about The Easiest Money Mindset Makeover to help you get ready to think about your money in a different way.