In honor of Earth Day, I’ve compiled a list of ways to reduce less waste in your life! Not only can you reduce your plastic consumption, but also the amount of single-use items! Here are some ways you can be more eco-friendly.
Note: Some links in the post are affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you, but I get a small commission from your purchase!
Reducing the amount of waste you produce requires you to take an inventory of your everyday life and see areas that need improvement. The reality is, we ALL waste so much and it’s important we become more mindful about how we are contributing to landfill! This list isn’t meant to be what you NEED to do to be eco-friendly, but rather suggestions on things that I’ve changed in my daily life over the course of a few years that you may find helpful.
Out and About
1. Reusable Bags
Let’s start with a basic one – reuseable bags! Most states in the US charge now for paper bags and have banned plastic bags altogether. Keeping a stash of reusable bags in the car is the best way to make sure you remember to take your bags to the store!
Tip: When I’m running errands or just roaming a neighborhood with shops, I throw a compact bag in my purse in case I make any purchases!
2. Produce Bags
Want to stop getting those single-use plastic baggies they have in the produce section? Get ahold of some reusable produce bags! I keep them with my reusable bags for when I go grocery shopping.
Things like onions, potatoes, or any durable produce I just skip the bag altogether.
3. Water bottle
This one seems basic, but I seriously bring my water bottle with me everywhere. From running errands to flying, my water bottle comes with me. This ensures I will not need to buy a plastic water bottle if I find myself thirsty.
Even if I go to eat at places like Chipotle where they do not offer reusable cups, I will bring my water bottle with me and fill it there. That is one less paper cup that I am using!
4. Coffee Cup
If I’m running to my local coffee shop, I bring my travel mug! Most places even offer a small discount for bringing your own mug (kudos to Starbucks!)
5. Reusable Cutlery
This might be a little much for people, but bring a set of cutlery if you are eating somewhere that only offers plastic cutlery.
This set is also great for camping or keeping at the office.
In the Kitchen
6. Microfiber Cloths
Do you go through rolls and rolls of paper towels? Save paper towels for big messes and use a microfiber cloth in the kitchen. I swap mine out every day but microfiber cloths are perfect for wiping down the counter and cleaning up everyday spills
7. Sponge Cloths
I’ve always been grossed out by sponges and the germs that live in them. I was so happy to discover sponge cloths! They totally replace a sponge and last WAY longer. When they get dirty, you can throw them in the washing machine and let them air dry! Best of all, when they are spent, they are totally compostable!
8. Skoy Scrubber
I use these scrubbers for hard to clean dishes. They last. a really long time (I’ve had mine for over a year) and they can be put in the dishwasher to clean!
9. Reuseable Straws
10. Silicone Bags
I love these bags for storing produce in my fridge, or taking snacks with me when I travel. They are sturdy and reusable!
11. Bees Wax Wraps
I’ve had these wax wraps the past and while they aren’t my personal favorite, they are great for wrapping up produce instead of plastic wrap.
I found them kind of a pain to clean and they didn’t keep their wax coating very long. I’m definitely not opposed to giving them another shot!
Around the House
Grove is a great website for natural cleaning supplies, and they even have concentrated cleaners! I use a reusable spray bottle and mix the concentrate with some water. Voila! All-purpose cleaner with a fraction of the packaging.
13. Dryer Balls
Say goodbye to dryer sheets! These dryer balls last so long and they totally eliminate the need for dryer sheets
14. Bar soap
You may not have thought about this before, but bar soap is way better for the environment! Less packaging (sometimes none!) and it lasts longer than body wash
15. Buy Big
For products you know you love, buy it in a big size if they offer it. Pump shampoos, lotions, etc. last much longer and reduce the amount of packaging
16. Reusable cotton pads
I use these pads for removing makeup and applying toner. It’s reduced the number of cotton balls I use
17. Menstrual cup
This one is for the ladies but I swear by my Lena cup! I haven’t used or purchased tampons in years. That’s so much waste I’ve eliminated during that time of the month.
Other eco-friendly tips
18. Reduce water consumption!
No, not how much you drink, but how much you use!
- Don’t let the shower run and do a bunch of things waiting for the water to warm up. I wait by the shower and hop in once it’s the right temp!
- Shut the water off when you’re brushing your teeth (I hope your mom taught you that one!)
- But on the brushing your teeth note, don’t brush your teeth in the shower! It seriously uses so much unnecessary water.
- Don’t let the water run when doing the dishes. I rinse my dishes, shut the water off, clean them, then rinse them off!
19. Walk or bike to nearby places
Or try to run errands next to each other. Instead of making multiple trips, try to do everything at once (if you can). This not only helps the environment but saves you time and gas money!
20. Choose to eat more plant-based!
The number one thing that can help the environment is eating more plant-based. Period. You can do all the things mentioned above, but if you are consuming meat and dairy on a regular basis, you’re actually doing far more harm to the environment than you are helping it! Even if you can’t commit to 100% plant-based, try incorporating Meatless Monday into your routine or thinking of other ways to reduce your meat and dairy intake.
Get some inspiration for plant-based recipes and start eating healthier today!
What ways can you be more eco-friendly today?
Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear!