A collection of my favorite sustainable swaps to inspire small intentional changes that are better for you and the planet. Happy Earth Day!
Earth Day feels a little like Valentine’s Day– like, shouldn’t *every* day be Earth Day?
Still, I wanted to share something for the occasion.
I’m the first to admit that I’ve made many decisions out of convenience and habit rather than a conscious commitment to the betterment of the planet.
Having M around has made me even more conscious of my choices.
He’s always the first to grab a silicone bag instead of plastic, eat the sad-looking vegetables in the fridge, or open a window instead of turning on the AC.
Earth Day can feel a bit overwhelming to me; anyone else?
It’s annual check in where I’m reminded of the size of my personal carbon footprint.
But instead of shaming ourselves for everything we *aren’t* doing, let’s focus on the little changes we *are* doing and the positive impact they promote.
In this post I’m sharing the small sustainable swaps that I’m currently loving.
Check them out and see if they might fit into your lifestyle and bring you joy, too.
Happy Earth Day!
- Weck Jars: These are my favorite glass jars for food storage! They come in a range of depths, widths, and sizes to meet all of your food storage needs. I love using mine for shakes, overnights oats, chia pudding, and trail mix. Bonus: they also photograph beautifully, too!
- If You Care Parchment Paper: This unbleached, chlorine-free paper is *always* on my kitchen counter for roasting, baking, and anytime I need to line m pans for minimal clean up. It’s 100% compostable and is made from trees certified to be responsibly managed in compliance with the rigorous environmental and social standards of the Forest Stewardship Council.
- Swedish Dishcloths: Coming from a self-proclaimed paper towel offender, this is *big* swap for me. My parents gifted me a set of these reusable dish clothes last Christmas, promising that the were the next big thing. They weren’t wrong. These eco-friendly clothes are made from biodegradable cellulose. I love them because they’re dishwasher and washing machine safe for repeated use and less waste. BONUS: They’re way more absorbent than a traditional cotton dishcloth and last far longer!
- Bicycling: My idea of bicycling used to be riding in circles aimlessly around the neighborhood for fun. M doesn’t own a car, so hanging with him normalized the idea of a bicycle as transportation, an attractive alternative to driving. While we can’t cycle *everywhere*, we opt to complete small select errands on our bikes instead of taking the car. It’s a fun excursion we take together and is a great way to be productive and active while reducing fuel emissions.
- Glass Tupperware: The most common question that I get asked is, “What do you do with all of your leftovers?” Well, mostly, I eat them, but first, I stash them in the the fridge. These are my favorite plastic-free storage containers, made from glass with an airtight silicone lid. I like to keep a range of sizes on hand for all sorts of leftovers. They wash well in the refrigerator and can be stacked in the refrigerator!
- Stainless Steel Coffee Filter: This might be more favorite purchase of 2020. This stainless steel coffee filter eliminates the need for single-serve paper coffee filters. It rinses clean under running water and is also dishwasher safe! I use it every morning to make my half-caff cup of coffee.
- Feelgoodz Flip Flops: This is my favorite brand of flip flops! Founded in Thailand, their pillow-soft footwear is crafted by artisans around the globe. Each pair supports our rural rubber farmers and weaving partners. These are shoes that feel good to wear and I feel good about purchasing.
- Open the Windows: Probably the first disagreement M and I ever had was about the thermostat. I’ve always kept the range at a comfortable 68- 72 degrees regardless of the weather outside. M challenged this learned belief, encouraging me to develop a wider degree range to give my AC unit and heater a rest. Lately, I open windows when it’s cool outside and put on more layers in the winter to try to conserve energy when possible. A nice side effect that it makes me feel more connected to the changing seasons.
- Reusable Grocery Bags: This is an easy swap, so long as you remember to take the grocery bags to the store with you! I like to keep an extra set in the backseat so I’m never without them for spontaneous shopping trips. Reusable grocery bags eliminate the use of both plastic and paper bags at the store. If they get dirty, you can easily wash them in the washing machine!
- Avocado Mattress: This is a bigger swap but *totally* worth it. I’m obsessed with my Avocado Green Mattress that is made naturally non-toxic with organic materials. Avocado’s mission is to help safeguard your health and the health of our planet while giving you a great night’s sleep! Read this post to learn more about my experience with Avocado Mattress and why the brand and products are amazing. I also love their natural wood bed frame!
- Natracare Organic Tampons: I love these plastic-free tampons that are 100% organic cotton with a cardboard applicator and paper wrapper. Their products 100% biodegradable and compostable. Go one step further and try their applicator-free tampons– I haven’t mastered using these yet but it’s on my list!
- Endangered Species Chocolate: Sustainable chocolate is a thing, and ES Chocolate does it so well! They use real, responsibly sourced, health-conscious ingredients and no mysterious sweeteners or additives. By choosing Endangered Species Chocolate, you’re making a true impact for wildlife and habitats around the globe. 10% of their annual net profits are donated to organizations supporting wildlife conservation.
- Life Factory Water Bottle: I’ve always been good about drinking my water. What I *haven’t* always been good about is what I’m drinking it out of. I used to grab a plastic bottle on the way out the door to the gym. That was before I got my life factory water bottle! I love this chic glass bottle wrapped with a colorful silicone protectant. It’s so easy to sip, refill, commute, clean and repeat!
- Simply Straws Reusable Straws: I don’t use straws very often, but when I do, I use these reusable glass straws to slurp stuff up. These super durable straws are so functional– use them in hot or cold beverages and throw them in the dishwasher when you’re done. Join the #pledgeagainstplasticstraws!
- Grab Green Natural Dishwashing Detergent Pods: Being a food blogger, I have a *lot* of dirty dishes. These natural detergent pods are my favorite! They’re made from plant and mineral based ingredients that ensure a safe and effective cleaning without harsh chemicals. These concentrated non-toxic pods are eco-responsible and promise a cleaning performance that competes with conventional products. Also, their packaging uses 98% less plastic than conventional cleaning products!
- Stasher Bags: These silicone-based bags are *perfect* for food storage. They come in fun colors, shapes, and sizes to meet all sorts of storage needs! They’re dishwasher and freezer safe, too. Using them eliminates the need for generic plastic bags! I always have them ready on meal prep Sunday to store freshly washed and chopped produce and fruit.
If you try any of these 16 Sustainable Swaps for Earth Day or any day, please let me know!
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