As a Mom of two toddlers, I know how difficult it can be to reduce waste in the typical ways often advertised. I personally cannot imagine trying to use cloth diapers or ditch baby wipes despite my desire to have a positive impact on the environment. For years I felt intimidated by the notion of “living sustainably.” I had a very all-or-nothing approach that held me back from making small, lasting changes. So if you’re unsure where to start or if you can even make sustainability a part of your daily life then this blog is for you! There are several EASY and inexpensive ways (That will actually SAVE money) to make a dent in your carbon footprint:
Buy in Bulk
Many of you probably already buy some of your products in bulk. It saves money and reduces the amount of packaging you bring into your home. There are often refill options as well for items such as soap, detergents, coffee, etc. In general, I try to avoid products with plastic packaging which I will explain more in the next step.
Replace plastic packaged products as they run out with plastic-free options
Throwing out everything in my house made of plastic would completely defeat the purpose. Instead, I replace items as they run out with a plastic-free option when available. The latest item I changed was my deodorant. There are so many options out there for eco-friendly deodorants. I just saw an ad the other day for a Dove refill option. The refills are usually cheaper than purchasing a new one every time. I use Native because they have a subscription that sends me a refill automatically (which I need because “Mom brain”)
I also swapped the cotton rounds I use to remove makeup with a reusable option. Pro mom tip: Reuse the Nursing pads you still have stashed in your drawer!
Ditch plastic shopping bags
This one is one of the easiest changes to make. I started keeping reusable shopping bags in my car so I never forget but most shops have paper bags as an option if you do find yourself without one. I’m obviously biased but I love using the Bags by Bento Market Bag for my shopping trips.
Be careful when purchasing reusable shopping bags. Many of the ones found at the checkout of major retailers are cheap and made of plastic. Look for something made of natural fibers like jute, burlap, or even organic cotton. It will save you money in the long run if you purchase bags that will hold up when carting heavy groceries and supplies.
Not gonna lie, I’ve been buying secondhand since I got my first job at Chick-fil-a in high school. You can find some amazing stuff for a lot less! It wasn’t until recently that I considered how buying secondhand is great for reducing waste. I’ve made it a habit to check if I can find something secondhand before I buy brand new and I feel great about the fact that it saves me money and it’s good for the environment. My go-to places to check for vintage looks are Etsy, Depop, or ThredUp. Facebook Marketplace is FULL of gems for children, home, garden, etc. Facebook is also great for finding local swap/buy groups in your area. I’m a big fan of antique shops and my local thrift store. The possibilities are endless for secondhand options. And, you can make money by selling stuff you don’t need anymore!
I’m far from an expert on eco-friendly living. I’m just a person willing to share my struggles and triumphs with reducing my family’s waste. I’m also not paid to advertise any of the products I have linked(excluding the Market Bag). I’m just sharing what works for me and my family. Every little change makes a difference. You got this!
Xoxo, Taylor Bento