At the beginning of last year me and my hubby Keal decided to stop buying paper towels, this was our first ever unconscious eco-friendly home swap. We had noticed how fast we went through paper towel rolls and how much they contributed to our garbage. I just remember thinking about all the trees and deforestation I was unintentionally supporting and thought that I could take the plunge and just get microfiber towels instead. It wasn’t much and I didn’t think anything of it… but this choice set me off on a path to live more minimally and better yet… more consciously.
Everyday I see more and more devastating news about our planet and how much our consumer habits affect our world. I know sometimes it’s easy to turn a blind eye and cave into the convenience of something as small as a plastic straw (or paper towel), but the ramifications of that one choice add up to the thousands of choices us humans make that hurt our planet. Now I’m not here to lecture you (or me) about our daily choices, but instead to propose some super easy eco-friendly home swaps. Because let’s face it, it is a process to fully go zero waste, and while I really want to get there, it does take baby steps. Here are mine…
1. Tote Life
The easiest switch you can make right now is to start carrying your own totes when you go out shopping. There are some states where this is already a thing and has even made it into new laws (hello California!). I remember when we lived in LA and grocery stores and even Target started charging for paper bags unless you brought your own. When we moved to Phoenix we were the only weirdoes that brought our own tote bags because we got so used to it in Cali. There was one time we forgot our totes on a Target run and ended up getting all our stuff in 8 plastic bags… 8! When I got home I was horrified. I never forgot my tote again. So people… keep a bunch of totes in the trunk of your car! This small swap makes a hell of a difference!
2. Reusable Cups, Mugs +Straws
How many times do you do coffee runs? Go to your local Starbucks? It’s a whole lotta plastic! Take it from someone who does 3 coffee runs a day (on a busy day!), it adds up. Single use plastic is really the worst thing that is plaguing our environment and oceans right now (more on that here). So why not instead invest in a cute mug, water bottle + straws? Don’t tell me you don’t swoon over Corkcicle’s and Rifle Paper Co.’s gorgeous bottles? So why not do your part and just invest in reusable to-go cups that are both great eco-friendly home swaps and it’s Instagram worthy?
3. Kitchen Swaps
There’s a lot of paper + plastic that goes on in our kitchens. From plastic bags for sandwiches, to paper towels and plastic wrap. If you think about it, most of your trash probably comes from the kitchen! All the food scraps, leftover packaging from food, cans, and all empty boxes of Kraft Mac + Cheese. There’s also a lot of paper + plastic that goes on in our kitchens. From plastic bags for sandwiches, to paper towels and plastic wrap, basically our kitchen is one big trash producer, but don’t get overwhelmed! Start small by replacing all the single use plastic + paper. Lucky for us there are now amazing companies that make products for that easy eco-friendly home swap. Try Stashers instead of Ziploc, beeswax paper instead or cling wrap, and microfiber towels instead or paper towels. PLUS, you’re saving money in the long run! Win/win!
4. Meal Plan + Cook at Home!
This one is probably the easiest and hardest! As someone who LOVES eating out, it took me a while to get into the groove and start meal planning. Statistics say that the average American home wastes up to 35% of the food they buy. That means that you are not only wasting money, but contributing to landfills which is harming our environment. If you’re cooking at home you are controlling how much trash you are making as well. Not a meal planner kinda human? No problem! You can read my previous post here, and download the meal planner below to make it easier on you.
5. Eat More Plants!
Last on our list of eco-friendly home swaps is the easiest one… eat more veggies! Now you don’t need to go vegan at all! As a vegetarian myself I find it hard to go full vegan so I get it! But One of the easiest ways to give back to the Earth is to level-up your diet with more plants and less meat. Animal products are one of the leading contributors to environmental damage, so give plants a try! Swap out one meal a week. Try a plant based dinner and get creative in the kitchen! Seriously, one meal goes a long way.
And that’s it! I told you this was going to be easy eco-friendly home swaps! Nothing crazy like buying in bulk to avoid packaging waste (unless you want to!). Take small steps to slowly change your come and elevate your consciousness. The great thing is that you can totally make a change just by doing even one of these 5 swaps. Now tell me in the comments, what are you going to swap out first?