Sustainable living can be easier than you think. It takes time, research and baby steps. It doesn’t mean you have to be perfect or go completely zero waste, plastic free, or carbon neutral either. Just making a few changes can make a difference.
Here are a few easy sustainable living swaps I started making around my home about a year or two ago. This list does vary in cost and affordability so that’s why I’ve done it little by little. Sometimes buying reusable products is a big cost up front but when you do the math, over the course of a lifetime of that product, you could save money!
Reusable Straws. There are so many options out there. If you’re not a fan of metal straws against your teeth, try these with the silicone tops. Throw a couple in your bag, in your car, in your desk at work so you won’t be without one at the last minute!
Reusable Cutlery. I’ve been guilty for years of using plastic forks, knives, and spoons when I’m in the office. I bought this pack and keep it in my lunch bag so I’m never without it now.
Reusable Storage Bags. This one is still a work in progress for me. I have a few of the snack size and sandwich size ones. I haven’t replaced the larger size disposable ones yet but I’m working on that!
Reusable Shopping & Produce Bags. It’s easy to get these. So many companies send them to you for free now when you buy from them. If not a lot of grocery stores sell them for like $1. These are the produce bags I use.
Sandwich Containers. These are the perfect size for sandwiches and can be used for so many other things. I love using these for fruit when I go to the beach.
Reusable Cloth Napkins. These hold up great and wash really well. No need for paper napkins anymore!
Wool Dryer Balls. Instead of using dryer sheets try wool dryer balls. You can add a few drops of your own essential oils if you want that fresh laundry scent.
No packaging or concentrate cleaners. I’ve switched the cleaners out in my home to Branch Basics for almost everything except my floors. For the floors I use Aunt Fannie’s Vinegar Floor Cleaner. I buy one concentrate, which lasts me months, and refill the cleaning bottles I have already. Branch Basics has a starter set that comes with the concentrate, three empty spray bottles (All Purpose, Glass, & Bathroom), one Foaming Wash bottle and one Laundry bottle plus the optional Oxygen Boost.
Reusable Menstrual Products. There’s so many options now for menstrual cups and period underwear. A menstrual cup takes some learning and adjustment but Put a Cup In It has tons of advice on finding the right one! I’m not perfect and I don’t claim to ever be perfect.
Organic Cotton Rounds. It’s easy to go through a lot of cotton balls! I use them as part of my skincare routine, to clean cuts or scraps, nail polish removal. It’s easy to swap out one use cotton balls with these reusable ones.
This is always a learning process and I try to do the best I can. Do I mess up sometimes and forget to bring a reusable straw with me to a coffee shop? Yes! Right now because of COVID, can I bring my own reusable coffee mug to coffee shops? No I can’t. It’s not always about perfection but trying the best we can.
I want this to be a growing list so please share the easy sustainable changes you’ve made in your life!