If you don't know, I graduate from college with an undergrad in sustainability. Working towards being sustainable has always been a part of my life and I try to get better every you. Sustainability can be hard. It's hard to know where to start and what will make a difference. When I talk to people about sustainability issues, they usually don't know what they are doing isn't great for the planet. Or they do, but aren't sure on how they can make changes to be more Earth friendly. I'm going to start sharing posts with easy tips and ideas on how you can easily add sustainability into your life.
These three tips are to help you on your household waste and become a little more sustainable! The great thing about all these tips is that your home will also feel more luxurious and comfortable. Win win!
1. Use refillable soap dispensers. I'm noticing that a lot of people, offices, and restaurants are using single use soap dispensers. Especially since foam soap became popular, it's more common to buy one small container of soap at a time. Sure the plastic bottle is recyclable, but the pump is not. They typically have a mix of plastics and metals that can't easily be separated. And while recycling is great, I think not creating waste is even better. My tip is to get a reusable soap dispensers and buy big containers of soap to refill it with. There is less materials being used to create one big bottle versus eight smaller ones. Some of the bulk soap containers are even made with soft plastic that can be recycled with your grocery bags. I think the best thing about this is that the reusable containers look so much better! I love walking into the bathroom and seeing the pretty, matching containers that are free of labels. We starting using Dr. Bronner's soap for just about everything, so we dilute it and create even less waste that way.
2. Using a fabric shower curtain liner. In the past, we were using the $2 plastic shower curtain liners from Target. They were so easy, because when the got gross we could just throw them away! But after doing that twice, I felt really bad about all the waste that was creating. When we needed to pick up a new one, I saw a fabric liner and was so excited! The fabric liner is washable, so when it starts getting dirty I just throw it in the washer with the shower curtain (both are white). Not only is it better for the planet by saving on waste, it feels so much fancier to be in the shower with the pretty fabric liner than the cheap plastic ones. They do cost a little more (about $12-15), but as long as you wash it and keep it looking good, it can last you years! The cheap plastic ones only seemed to last a few months. So it's a little more up front, but you'll be buying less in the years to come.
3. Store food and drink in glass containers. Plastics can be toxic to produce and use. They contain chemicals that aren't good for us or the planet. Instead, switch to glass containers! We use Pyrex container and mason jars for everything. We feel more comfortable heating up our food in the glass and use less dishes buy reheating the food right in the glass containers (I put the glass in before preheating the oven, so it heats up slowly). Pyrex and Ball products are meant to last, so they don't break easy. We take our lunch in them all the time and haven't broken anything yet. The plastic containers were annoying to store and after one leftover pasta dish, they stain forever. In addition to being better for the planet, the glass containers look much fancier. They are all dishwasher safe too (YES!). We have one set of these Pyrex containers (found them cheap at Costco!) and one set of these (similar, we found them cheap at Target!). Between the two, I don't see us needing to buy more food containers for a long time. For drinks on the go, I use Ball jars with Mason Bar Company lids. I have two regular mouth and two wide mouth lids and I love them! The cool part about making drinks in the jars is that they have measurements on the side, so if you need to measure out your ingredients, you can do it without making more dishes.
Spending more money on these products up front may seem more expensive, but since they last so much longer, you're actually saving money. And your house will feel more luxurious too ;)
I hope these tips were helpful! If you have more questions about these products or sustainability, let me know in the comments! xo. Laura