We know that our daily habits affect the environment. I’m being more environmentally conscious by reducing plastic use, removing toxic and harmful chemical-based products, and replacing products I use daily with non-synthetic and biodegradable alternatives.
Having grown up in an era where eco-friendly living wasn’t really talked about — I was the kind of child that used what my Mom used. For years, I bought the same sponges, the same dish soap, the same household cleaning products, and washed my face with the same hand towel. I love knowing I’m contributing to a clean and healthy planet by making changes. We know that our daily habits affect the environment. I’m being more environmentally conscious by reducing plastic use, removing toxic and harmful chemical-based products, and replacing products I use daily with non-synthetic and biodegradable alternatives. It’s a journey I’m proud of and makes me feel good, so I wanted to share a few of my favorite products and retailers that have made this lifestyle a breeze.
The first and best change I ever made was throwing out my hand towels that I used to use for my face for biodegradable single-use towels. I buy the Clean Towels XL from Clean Skin Club. There are two important factors here. These are amazing for your face and incredible for the environment. However, since we are talking about sustainability, I will focus on that; but you can read more here if you are interested in learning why these are the best thing for your face. Towels carry a lot of bacteria if you reuse them, which most of us do, so it’s import to throw them in the wash regularly. In short, this takes up a lot of water and energy. So replacing your hand towel(s) that you wash for face with daily with single-use non toxic biodegradable towels is not only better for your skin, but better for the environment. Once these towels hit landfill they will immediately dissolve, in which case you are helping the environment. And it doesn’t hurt, using a clean, bacteria-free, towel on your face every night – this is an easy change.
When we moved to DC, the apartment we chose had an open concept layout. The kitchen and the living room were in the same space. I knew I did not want to see bright blue sponges and several shades of Meyer’s cleaning product bottles on my counter. I had seen that people were beginning to swap out their counter cleaning product containers for reusable glass bottles. It simply looks amazing throughout the home. My kitchen and bathrooms have never looked better, but also strangely it just makes me want to keep them clean. We have glass showers and white marble countertops. I am cleaning surfaces down daily! So having reusable matching glass bottles that I can refill as needed has been a very welcomed change in my home. It’s also allowed me to change the way I buy household cleaning liquids. Grove Collaborative is my go to spot for these bottles specifically, but also for all of my cleaning liquids and supplies. I love their glass bottles not only for their durability but also because they sell them in matching sets. I went with the all-white ones, but they do have warm and cool colors that look great in the kitchen no matter your color scheme. So your countertops will always look so chic.
Like I said above, I really disliked those bright blue scrubbing sponges you get at your local grocery store. Not only did I not love how they looked in the kitchen, but after just a few uses the smell was terrible. Most sponges are made of plastic and full of dyes and chemicals which is how they get that awful smell. It wasn’t long after I changed out my cleaning bottles before I was looking for natural biodegradable sponges. Grove Collaborative has literally become a non-stop shop for me. My two favorite sponges are the Walnut Scrubber Sponge, made with 100% all-natural vegetable cellulose and crushed walnuts, and the Coconut Scrubber Sponge made with 100% all-natural vegetable cellulose. Both are neutral and match any countertop, neither of them smell AT ALL, and they both are incredible at scrubbing… the scrub side never seems to go dull. I probably throw them out every month or two depending.
One of the biggest ways we can reduce landfill is our usage of paper towels. I’m the first to admit I love the cleanup of a paper towel to clean and dry a surface. However, a great eco-friendly alternative that I have switched to using are these Superscandi Biodegradable Sponge Dish Cloths from Amazon. They are available in a 10 pack and 10 colors, and you can guess that I chose white to go with my other neutral cleaning products. They’re reusable and once you’re done with them you just throw them in the trash bin because they are 100% biodegradable. I absolutely love these things for spill clean up and wiping down a wet service. Each one probably lasts about one to two months depending.
Glass is 100% recyclable and reusable. Glass containers are oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe. It doesn’t absorb flavors, color, or smell. You can tell when plastic containers change the taste of your food and even worse stain from the food you put in it. Dumping my Tupperware for glass containers was the best decision ever and again – they just look better. I bought a set from Amazon that I still love and has been so durable. Using them to store leftovers has been a total game changer. I do think it keeps our food much fresher as well. Yes using glass containers is heavier and noisier when storing and removing from your cabinets but to me, it’s worth it.
If you have to use a plastic-like bag for storage, like me, Stasher’s Storage Bags suitable alternative. First, they are not plastic – they are made of silicone. They are reusable, non-toxic, dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe. If using glass containers to store food doesn’t suit your lifestyle because it’s too heavy or you have kids that may break them, this is a great option. While these bags are a little pricey, you can find a sale every once in a while if you keep your eye out. My favorites to use are the half-gallon and quart-size bags. I enjoy using them for marinating, storing cheese, and cut fruits and vegetables. And the fact that I can just throw them in the dishwasher after use is a major plus.
It’s up to us to take care of our environment. Treating the environment well is just one way we can give back the generations that precede us. It’s important to use products that do not harm the environment in their use, production, or disposal. These products help preserve the environment by significantly reducing the pollution they could produce. The simplest changes we can make in our daily lifestyle—no matter the size, do make a difference. Suppliers have made it their mission to become Certified B corporations, and make sure their products comply with these regulations – making it super easy for people like you and me to find sustainable products that fit within our lives. Next time when you are considering making your monthly household items purchase, think about what’s clean, what’s green, what’s biodegradable.