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I consider myself very much a beginner when it comes to sustainable living. But the few steps I’ve taken I’ll share with you.
Please note that this is a long term goal for me. To make the transformation to sustainable living for most would be a complete overhaul, and could get quite pricey! It’s recommended that you replace items as needed with sustainable, eco-friendly, or nontoxic products.
In the Kitchen
Dish soap. I switched to 7th Generation dish soap. I’m going to be switching to bar soap and a bamboo scrub next time I need to replenish my sponge.
Storage containers. I finally replaced all my old plastic Tupperware with glass. It stacks nicely and does not take up any more room than the plastic did. It keeps things really fresh in the fridge, and it’s great to reheat meals in! The next switch is to reusable silicone bags! And sometimes I switched to years ago… stainless steel tumblers. Or any plastic-free travel mug.
Cookware. I ditched all my Teflon for stainless steel and copper. Copper has a lot of health benefits, and my longterm goal is to switch all baking, cookware, and utensils to copper, wood, or silicone (like reusable baking sheets and reusable storage bags!)
Compost and Trash. Use a compost bin to minimize the amount of trash you take out, and it can be used to help grow your own garden! And the trash you still have to take out, use a biodegradable trash bag, like the ones from 7th Generation.
Paper products. Ditch paper plates, styrofoam, plastic utensils, and paper products. I keep paper towels in the closet, but use a wash cloth or dish towel to wipe up messes. And invest in cloth napkins!
In the Laundry Room
Laundry detergent. I currently use Ecos. It’s affordable and nontoxic, but it comes in a huge plastic container. I’ll be making the switch to 7th Generation’s powdered detergent that comes in a cardboard box. Throw some vinegar into your towel wash to freshen them up from time to time, and add some lavender essential oils to your sheet wash, and tea tree oil to your washes during cold season.
Dryer balls. Use wool dryer balls in place of dryer sheets.
In the Bathroom
Soap, body wash. I try to buy local goats milk soap with no dye and essential oils for fragrance. They usually don’t come packaged, and if they do it’s in paper or cardboard. Use a soap dish to avoid waste.
Shampoo and Conditioner. I just got a bottle of customized shampoo from Function of Beauty. Absolutely love it, but it still comes in a plastic bottle. I’ll be experimenting with shampoo bars and glass bottles of natural shampoo. Also, a good vinegar rinse does wonders for your hair. And a coconut oil soak replenishes moisture to dry, split ends.
Deodorant. I use Every Man Jack because it works the best for me and I love the scent. If you don’t get as sweaty and stinky as I do, Schmidt makes a great deodorant. And many local soap or skin care businesses offer natural deodorant. You’re primarily trying to avoid the aluminum in deodorants or antiperspirants.
Oral hygiene. I use a bamboo tooth brush and a clay-based tooth powder from Primal Life’s Organics. I use their essential oil blend in my oil pulling routine, and also use their sun block. I use Tom’s toothpaste sparingly because it makes my teeth sensitive. My main goal is to ditch the fluoride.
Cleaning products. As with all the other cleaning products in the house, I use all natural and nontoxic cleaners from Mrs Myers and 7th Generation.
Cloth shower liner. They’re easy to find at Walmart, and they last forever! I throw mine in the wash when I notice mildew starting to form at the bottom.
The rest of the home
Some final things I’ll be implementing…
Organic cotton or hemp clothing and fabric products. I’m blessed to live near a family-owned business that designs and sews clothing from organic materials.
An organic, nontoxic matress! Matresses now are so full of toxins and harmful chemicals that are bad for us and the environment. Nectar makes an affordable nontoxic matress. They recently had a sale for one matress at $799 with $399 worth of free accessories (pillows, bedding, matress topper).
Low VOC paints. We recently repainted to house. We washed the walls and put two coats of a nontoxic, low VOC paint. (Some recommend adding essential oils, but I skipped that step).
Buy new furniture with caution. Most furniture has a high toxin and chemical load. Buy second hand or look for all-natural brands.
Use house plants to naturally decorate and purify the air Soy or beeswax candles to boost air purification, skip the dyes and fragrances. And i have two hymalayan salt lamps in the house to further boost the air quality.
Bring home groceries in reusable bags. And shop at stores that use paper bags or cardboard boxes (we have a lots of shops around us). And look into some creative DIY produce bags for the farmers market.
Leave a comment with your beginner tips for sustainable living.