Everyone talks about leaving planet Earth better than they found it with sustainable living. But what are we doing in our daily lives to make this happen? If you’ve been considering living more sustainably, we’ve got a list of products you can start using today. This blog is filled with terrific links to get you started on the train to more sustainable living. Especially while spring cleaning. But the good news is you don’t have to begin living a zero waste lifestyle on the first day. You can kick it off by implementing a number of small steps in your daily life to cut down on trash while you are doing your spring cleaning. Then you can take it from there.
Please pass this blog on to family and friends. Ask them to order a couple of items or to start small by not using plastic straws. We can’t change everything overnight, but we can start by changing something we do to save Mother Earth.
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”
— Jane Goodall
Spring Cleaning Products
Cleaning products seem to be the easiest ones to start with to begin a zero waste lifestyle. Buy baking soda and distilled white vinegar in bulk. This duo cleans everything and is the perfect combintation when spring cleaning on a budget. You can find both at a local hardware or grocery store.
If you order the cleaning products on Amazon Prime, sign up for Subscribe and Save to restock. You can save up to 15% and they’ll deliver automatically every month, 2 months, 3 months – whatever you decide (saving you time and packaging). HOT TIP: You don’t have to belong to Amazon to use Subscribe and Save.
- Soap. We love Dr. Bronner’s soap: 18 uses in 1! Subscribe to the newsletter and they give you 15% off your first purchase (their chocolate bars are delish too!)
- Multi-purpose Cleaner. Force of Nature Cleaner is a unique spray that uses electricity to convert tap water plus a capsule of salt, water & vinegar to make a terrific disinfectant and sanitizer. Use on virtually any surface including showers, toilets, countertops, mirrors, sinks, bathtubs, windows, doors, tile, porcelain, wood, plastic, vinyl, pet gear, baby gear, sports equipment and more.
- Toilet Bowl Cleaner. Nature Clean Non-Toxic Plastic Free Toilet Bowl Cleaner Strips. There are 36 in each package. The strips remove stains and odors. They don’t contain bleach or Chlorine. In addition, they are septic safe and biodegradable.
Laundry Room Products for Sustainable Living
The laundry room is another place you can shine in terms of sustainable living. We’ve included one for the washer and one for the dryer.
Laundry Sheets. Julie’s sister Nancy swears by the Earth Breeze Laundry Detergent Sheets. They come in a recyclable cardboard pouch. HOT TIP: NO PLASTIC JUG to overflow up the landfill! There are 60 sheets in each package, equating to 180 loads.
Wool Dryer Balls. Replace the dryer sheets with these dryer balls from Handy Laundry. They will change your life! (ok maybe not, but). They are made of 100% New Zealand premium wool and rolled into tight, extra-large balls and felted for a natural, long lasting product. First, they reduce appliance usage and electricity bills by shortening drying time up to 25%. Second, if you like a little fragrance, put a drop of essential oil on the balls when you throw in your towels or sheets.
Everyday Sustainable Living
There are also some really good products for everyday living too. In other words, when your spring cleaning is done – live like this everyday too.
- Reusable Make Up Removers. The Greenzla make-up remover pads are machine washable and made of bamboo. They come with a handy laundry bag and a tote for storage.
- Compostable Storage Bags. Stop buying the Ziploc bags and embrace these. We like Earth Natural’s Alternative bags. They are resealable and heavy duty. And even better, they are reusable. They come in snack, quart and gallon sizes. We like to use these for the kiddos lunches.
- Bamboo Toothbrushes. Dump those plastic-handled toothbrushes and grab these toothbrushes made from Bamboo. Make brushing fun for the kids too with these made of colored bristles and handles for each kid.
In the Kitchen
This is where you’ll jump to the head of the class in terms of sustainable living. If you haven’t already – ditch all those plastic containers and pick up a set or three of these Snapware glass containers from Costco. They make a perfect hostess or teacher’s gift too.
If soap containers and spray bottles are out on your counter, make them cute (and reusable). Here are a couple of handy kitchen items:
- Sponges. These sponges are made from a Natural Hemp / Sisal Blend. They are 100% biodegradable and reusable.
- Compostable Utensils. These utensils from Earth Natural’s Alternative are perfect for kiddos lunches or when traveling. In addition to utensils, they also have straws and napkins.
Swap traditional trash bags for biodegradable bags. Find these at local stores.
When Packing Lunches or at the Dinnertable
Please eat less meat. Pick a meal or a day and cut it out. This might be the most impactful. It really is better for your health and for the planet.
- Over half of all the water used in the U.S. goes to raising animals for food.
- DYK: you save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you do by not showering for six months.
Swap plastic for glass. Vow to stop buying plastic salsa containers and buy only glass salsa jars. This is Julie’s sister Tracy’s favorite salsa ever (Safeway carries it).
There are also diapers made for sustainable living. If you’re in this season of life:
- Try these Bamboo diapers.
- If you live in the Bay Area: Earth baby diaper service was started by two Bay Area dads. When used, it turns your diapers into dirt.
So many textiles go into landfills so try out second hand stores. There are some terrific ones in the Bay Area.
- Cut back on the consumption and consider a clothes rental system like Nuuly.
- In addition, support stores that support the planet like Patagonia.
Sustainability Plans or Spring Cleaning Ideas of Your Own?
If you have sustainability plans of your own or ways to make spring cleaning more fun – please leave them in the comments or on our social media. Or even better – reach out to us. We honestly would love to connect and hear your ideas on living a zero waste lifestyle.
Remember: it’ll take all of us to make Earth a better place. Good luck on achieving a zero waste lifestyle!
“It’s only one straw,” said 8 billion people. – Unknown