Happy Earth Day!
I’m probably the only one in my family who’s like this and I think that’s kind of interesting. I spent 6 years in Portland Oregon from the age of ten to sixteen and think this may have something to do with it. It’s being more eco-friendly. Something my tree-loving friends in Oregon learned from a young age from their also tree loving parents. I say this in the most endearing way because I think it’s amazing. Tree huggers, granola folks, whatever you want to call them, they care about the earth and I love that. I want to do better and I’ve tried to make some major changes in my home over the years and I’m at a place that I can safely say, my house is pretty eco-friendly!
There are a few things I do from my day to day to help reduce my impact and carbon footprint on the world.
I don’t think we’ll ever know if my not using K-Cup pods is really making a difference, but regardless, I feel better about how I’m treating the eco-system. And regardless if you believe the scientists or not about climate change (but they are SCIENTISTS and they STUDY THIS SHIT and I think we need to open our ears and listen to what they have to say) collectively I think we can all agree we want to respect the earth and Mother Nature.
It should be a common thread in all politics, left or right, because we only have one earth and respecting it is just common human decency. Even if said scientists retracted their statements and said nevermind climate change isn’t happening, I’d still want to treat Mother Nature with the utmost respect. Why? Because she was here first and will be here long after I’m gone. That alone should be a good reason to R-E-S-P-E-C-T it.
Lastly, why would I want harsh chemicals in my home or around my dog? That’s a whole other conversation too on how these things may be affecting us in terms of what we’re putting on our bodies, or near us. So let’s chat, here’s how I’m making changes and you can too.
Here’s How I’m Making Eco-Friendly Changes In My Home
I switched to Seventh Generation laundry detergent about 2 years ago and have never looked back. I walk past the LONG ass aisle of toxic and chemical detergents, to get to the very small section of eco-friendly products. It amazes me this section isn’t getting larger but I’ll do my best and continue to buy this detergent. Plus, it smells AMAZING. Once I finish my dryer sheets up, I’m investing in a few of these dryer balls to reduce my waste.
In addition to detergent, I try to air dry as much of my laundry as possible to reduce the use of electricity. I usually end up saving almost an entire load between my workout clothes, lingerie, jeans and any handwash items. I also recommend using cold water whenever possible. Heating water takes about 75% of the energy to do a single load of laundry. By doing these two things you’ll see a decrease in your water and power bill.
2. Cleaning Supplies
This was a change I made years and years ago. I think it was thanks to Oprah for talking about cleaning supplies on her show that I started to buy them for my home. From glass cleaner to surface cleaner, dish detergent and even bathroom cleaners, I’m at about 90% eco-friendly products. A few brands I like to shop from are Seventh Generation and Method. I also invested in these sponges (guys they’re amazing) that literally last a lifetime. I throw them in the dishwasher once a week and they come out good as new.
PS. They also made my list of the 7 home products I can not live without.
3. Recycling + Proper Disposal
As an influencer, we receive packages upon packages. I’m so thankful my building has a recycling program because I visit it at least twice a week with a big bag of cans, cartons and broken down shipping boxes. While grocery shopping I also always try to get paper bags so I can use them as my “bin” for recycling. If I have plastic bags, I collect those and bring them to Target or Publix, they recycle them!
Recycling doesn’t just stop at bags and boxes. From electronics, to lightbulbs and wires, there’s a ton of things you shouldn’t be throwing in the garbage. I bring any and all old electronics, wires and such to Best Buy to recycle. Lightbulbs can be tougher to find a recycling center for, I believe Ikea does these. But I do use LED lightbulbs to extend the life and I swear, I think I’ve only bought lightbulbs once in my adult life.
4. Reduce Waste
Everyone’s household might be different here so I’ll share tips that I do in my own home. I was a big sparkling water drinker and was going through cans and cans and cans at a time. Even though I’m recycling them, it’s still wasteful to add to the system. Instead, I invested in a SodaStream so I can make my own sparkling water at home. Reducing my waste over time.
Another idea is to opt for product that isn’t in plastic bags. The extra minute it takes to rinse and cut up lettuce will reduce more plastic going into the environment. And sadly, the bags that most product come in aren’t recyclable even though it is “plastic”. A few other tips are just to turn off lights, don’t run water longer than you need to and also plan your meals. The latter can really save you money over time too!
5. Morning Coffee
Every morning I used to use a K-Cup. It was just the norm and we all did it. When the product came out it was like the best thing since sliced bread. Well did you know the creator of K-Cup says it’s his biggest regret? Why? Because it’s so much trash! These aren’t recyclable and have not yet been created to be composted (I heard it’s coming though!). So instead I use this reusable K-cup (it came with my Keurig) and fill with my favorite coffee. It’s not only better for the environment, but it’s also cheaper.
PS. If you’re looking for a whole new coffee maker, I recently got the Ninja Kitchen coffee maker station and it’s SO great.
6. Reuse, Reuse, Reuse
There are quite a few things in and around your home that can easily be replaced with reusable versions. For example, my daily pink smoothie. I now use these reusable straws that wash easily in the dishwasher. They also come with a cleaning brush to get in there for a squeaky clean. I also recently invested in a few Stasher Bags. They’re reusable plastic bags that you can freeze, store and even boil in! My goal is to never buy a plastic bag again! And lastly, reusable water bottles and coffee mugs. There’s no need for buying plastic bottles EVER. Invest in a few quality water bottles (I love s’Well bottles) and reuse them for your water or beverage of choice.
Photography Hannah Michelle