Welcome to 2019! Is this the year you start wasting less? We’ve posted a week of REALLY simple (like stupid simple) environmentally friendly changes you can make that put less in that endless waste stream. (it really does matter…you know, one drop in an ocean, a butterflies wings, etc etc.)
Buy 2nd Hand Clothes Instead of New
This first one could be from necessity or desire. I’ve been wearing 2nd hand clothes for my entire life! It’s all we could afford while growing up but now it’s absolutely by choice. Search your local area for the best 2nd hand shops. Women definitely have the advantage on this one but there are men’s consignment shops as well! My favorite in the Phoenix area is My Sister’s Closet, with a great selection of designer and well-made clothes, with Flo’s on 7th in a close 2nd place.
What’s your favorite 2nd-hand clothing shop in your area?
Switch to Bar Soap
I finally gave up my dependence on bottles of body wash! Bar soap is WAY less expensive than body wash and once they’re done, they literally disappear. Try to find a good one that has a coconut oil as a base so it’s not so drying. I absolutely LOVE Pacha Soap and their Almond Goat’s Milk Soap which is soft, smells great and even looks beautiful.
If you want to go even MORE environmentally friendly, there’s bar soap for dishes, too! Savon de Marseille has been around since 1688 and will literally change your dishwashing game. One block lasts forever and cleans dishes wonderfully.
Turn Off the Light When You Leave a Room
I’m still amazed how so many of us forget this simple rule. Keep it simple: turn on lights when you need them. Turn them off when you don’t. You keep from draining the power grid, and your electric bill, every time you switch off.
Replace Paper Napkins with Cloth Napkins
They’re not just for fancy eating! Or…they ARE and you can be fancy ALL THE TIME. Cloth napkins are nicer to use, look prettier and can be reused over the whole day or thrown in the wash after each use. Wash just like you would your kitchen towels. If you’re crafty, make you’re own from leftover sheets or large kitchen towels. If not, you can find cloth napkins at any kitchen, bed and bath store (including IKEA). Once you get a good stockpile of them, you’ll wonder why you ever bought paper napkins or paper towels!
Bring Your Own To-Go Container
This new years resolution is especially for me! I always forget but it just seems so obvious and I’m always kicking myself I didn’t bring a container when I go out to eat. Instead of bringing food home in those flimsy yet often non-biodegradable containers, now you’ll have your leftovers in your very own, trusty, environmentally friendly container. We all know your purse is big enough to keep one of these in there.
Use Cloth Towels Instead of Paper Towels
This is the year to give up your dependence on those costly paper towels! Nearly everything you use them can be accomplished with a cloth towel. Even if you throw it in the wash after one use, you’ll still waste less than sheets of paper towels you have to constantly replenish. I recommend getting some inexpensive ones (or even 2nd hand) to do dirtier jobs like draining bacon or cleaning up the messiest messes.
Make Your Own Damn Coffee
Save money by making your own coffee at home. You don’t HAVE to buy that $2,800 espresso machine (although I’m jealous if you do). You can just get a well-made Moka Express for under $50 and feel like you’re in a 1950s movie. I’ve also heard there’s this amazing machine that makes foamed milk so you can fancy up your coffee latte or cappuccino style.
I hope this list has given you some great ideas to start your new year. Try one a day for a week or one a week for seven weeks! You may find your life simpler, easier and free of all that clutter. Happy New Year!