TMI WARNING: this post will mention normal, natural female biological functions. If that grosses you out or doesn’t apply to you, you probably want to skip this post.
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Okay guys, here we go: here are 5 eco-friendly swaps that you can make this month to reduce your impact on the environment. I’ve made most of these swaps myself and wouldn’t go back!
Reusable Paper Towels
These are awesome! I’ve reduced my paper towel usage in the home to almost nil since making the change. You can purchase them from places like Etsy (search for “reusable paper towels” or “unpaper towels”) or make your own. Mine are made from 12″x12″ squares of cotton flannel sewn to some terry cloth. Making a set of 6 takes me about 90 minutes including cutting, pinning, and sewing. They’re easy for those learning to sew since it’s a total of six straight lines per towel: one on each side, and two to create an X across the middle to keep the two sides together.
Reusable Feminine Hygiene Products
Yes, it sounds gross at first, but hear me out. This is a real thing, and there are thousands of people using them. I actually wrote a post about it back in February. I’m pretty squeamish around blood, and I have no trouble handling these and washing them. I’m looking forward to making myself a postpartum set so I don’t have to deal with disposables after giving birth this fall. I’m a total convert.
This is one swap I haven’t made yet, but I’m working on it. I plan to make or purchase a few sets of cloth napkins this summer, and I’m looking forward to feeling fancy while eating dinner. Sure, it’s easy to use paper napkins or a paper towel, but those can’t be recycled once they’re soiled. My cloth napkins will be able to be washed a zillion times and will keep more paper products out of the landfill.
Reusable Shopping Bags
My state (California) actually voted to get rid of plastic bags in November to encourage reusable bags, and I couldn’t be happier. Yes, it’s taken some time to get used to bringing a bag into stores, but it’s a minor inconvenience now. Yes, I won’t have plastic store bags to line my bathroom trash cans once my stash runs out, but I’ll figure that out when that comes.
I bought this set of bags on Amazon, and my brother did the same. They hold up extremely well, and I have yet to have any issues carrying what I need to with those bags.
Reusable Water Bottles
I love drinking bottled water, but I know that plastic bottles aren’t doing the environment any good. I’m still working on making this swap because it’s so darn convenient to buy a bottle of water at a store. I love my S’well bottle, and I also love using this similar bottle I found on Amazon. I may need to get a couple more to help make the change permanent, but I’ll get there soon.
Here are some other things I have swapped out or would like to swap out soon:
- Razor and disposable cartridges: I got this safety razor on Amazon and love it. There’s definitely a learning curve (aka I’ve cut myself a few times), but it’s definitely less expensive than the popular brands at the store.
- Cloth diapers: I don’t have a baby in my arms just yet, but I cannot stand the idea of filling the landfill with disposables. If I can deal with cloth feminine products, I can deal with these. I already have my first dozen and plan to stock up on more as we get closer to November. They’re not your grandma’s diapers either–sure, you can get flat pieces of cloth and pin them together, but many modern cloth diapers are just as easy to use as disposables.
- Cleaning products: I’m planning to replace many of my cleaning products in the home with homemade ones. I’m using what I have first, but I’m looking forward to knowing exactly what is in my cleaning products.
- Reusable straw or going straw-less at restaurants: I haven’t made this change yet, but there are cool things like glass or metal straws that you can take with you to restaurants to save a plastic one from ending up in a landfill. Or you can just go straw-less. It may be weird at first to ask for no straw, but I’m sure it’ll become a habit.
- Glass storage containers: Shortly after moving into my house, I swapped out my plastic GladWare-type storage containers for a set of Pyrex ones, and I’m glad I did. My favorite part? You can bake directly in the dishes!
- Family cloth aka reusable toilet paper: I don’t think I can do this one, but if you can, go for it!
What kind of swaps have you made? What kind of swaps do you think you could make happen this month?
- Book Review: This is Your Brain on Sports (B4B) - July 17, 2017
- Succulents…or “Finally, a plant that I can’t kill!” - June 12, 2017
- 5 Eco-Friendly Swaps You Can Make THIS MONTH - June 5, 2017
- On my recent hiatus… - June 3, 2017
- My favorite podcasts - April 10, 2017
- Review: Own It by Sallie Krawcheck (B4B) - April 9, 2017
- My favorite quote - March 1, 2017
- 17 for 2017 - February 22, 2017
- My journey into reusable products - February 15, 2017
- About Blogging for Books - February 12, 2017