Happy Earth Day 2020! As humans in the 21st century, we often forget that we exist in but a moment of our earth's life. From striking mountain ranges to vast oceans, from unforgiving deserts to brutal tundras, and from vibrant rainforests to silent canyons, our earth is an incredible, diverse wonder that we are so lucky to witness and call our home - along with so many other creatures.
Every thing we do, use, and eat has an impact on our earth, in one way or another. The earth is our collective home, and we need to take care of it! Just by swapping out a few of your everyday household products for those that are reusable, cleaner, and more sustainable, you can significantly reduce your impact on the environment. On top of doing well by the planet, making these changes also helps your wallet. You can save money by choosing better, healthier alternatives!
Join me in celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by making a few small changes that can make a real, positive impact. These are a few examples of product alternatives I've personally implemented and really love!
Cloth Towels instead of Paper Towels or Napkins
The United States spends almost as much on paper towels as every other country in the world combined (The Atlantic). We've built a habit of using paper towels unnecessarily and going through them like it's nothing. But it's not nothing - manufacturing paper towels utilizes water, trees, and fossil fuels, and used paper towels end up being a serious problem in landfills.
We started using cloth towels in place of paper towels just earlier this year, after I received UNpaper Towels by Marley's Monsters from my sister for Christmas. And we haven't used a paper paper towel since! The cloths can be used just the same as paper towels, then washed and reused, eliminating paper waste. We recently purchased this more affordable version from mamamade on etsy to have some extras as paper towels, and to use as napkins as well.
Using cloth towels instead of paper has been helpful during quarantine and while supplies are limited, but it's a sustainable habit that will continue to relieve our impact on the earth.
Reusable Cloth Makeup Pads instead of Cotton Rounds
At the end of last year, I really started to get in a good habit with my face care routine, but I felt so wasteful using the basic cotton rounds from Target and discarding them after each single use. One of my best friends told me about reusable makeup remover pads she was trying, and I decided to give them a shot too!
As with most reusable items, there are several brands and options out there. I chose to purchase from Green Estate Goods, a local Arizona company. Their cloth pads have a dual use - the black side to remove makeup, and the white side to apply toner. 14 pads come in a pack for a week's worth of use, along with a bag to wash them in. They're super soft, extremely effective, it feels so much better to avoid all of that waste - plus save money in the long run.
Bamboo Toothbrush instead of a Plastic Toothbrush
Did you know that every plastic toothbrush produced since the 1930s still exists somewhere on the earth? As they've become trash, they've ended up in waterways and oceans, killing marine life (One Green Planet). Floss packaging contributes to this as well. As an alternative, bamboo will degrade in a matter of months, opposed to hundreds of years. Bamboo is also antimicrobial and grows quickly. When looking for a bamboo toothbrush, be sure to check that it's 100% plastic-free, as some companies may still use some type of plastic in the product.
A great option for purchasing a bamboo toothbrush is ME.Mother Earth - I met the team at the Phoenix Vegan Festival earlier this year and they were so kind! They sell a wide variety of eco-conscious products - and just look at that awesome plastic-free packaging! So far, I love the bamboo toothbrushes and vegan floss.
Dropps instead of standard laundry detergent or pods
Have you ever thought about how much plastic you use just related to laundry products? Every minute, one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans, and many fish that humans consume have at one point ingested some type of plastic (Earth Day).
To reduce single-use plastic in our laundry practice, we've switched to using Dropps! Dropps are laundry pods, but they're not the same as Tide and the other brands. Dropps come in recyclable and compostable cardboard packaging rather than plastic. They are made out of plant-based ingredients and Dropps doesn't test on animals. They also partner with Oceana to educate people about how our choices impact our oceans and marine life. We love a mission-driven company!
Other Earth-Friendly Habits to Try
By now I hope you're mildly fired-up to make a few changes with your products around the house, switching to alternatives that are healthier for you and for the planet! Here are a few more ways to do that:
Our earth is hurting, and we are undeniably the problem. None of us are perfect and we are all using products that are harmful in some way to the environment. But there is great opportunity in choosing items that make as little impact as possible! In celebrating Earth Day, many eco-friendly companies are offering discounts on their products this week, so what better time to try something new?