While I do strive to be an environmentally friendly person, it’s easy to feel guilty about the impact we have on the planet after a holiday or kid’s birthday party. There are days that my house looks like Toys R Us vomited all over it. And who packages these things? You shouldn’t need tools to open a freaking Tonka Truck. All of the stuff is so unnecessary, sends a bad message to our kids and only causes moms more anxiety.
Most of the time, it just comes down to better habits. I have been making an effort to be more eco-friendly and these are some really easy ways to go green. There are so many great products on the market and while they may be an investment at first, they will save you money in the long run.
In the United States alone, 1,500 plastic bottles are discarded every second. Let that sink in. Every. Second. Cities and towns are slowly banning single use plastics but we all have to do our part. I am obsessed with my Swell bottle and bring it to work every day. It keeps water perfectly chilled all day long and doesn’t give off a metallic taste. The stainless steel keeps bacteria at bay. Click here to purchase.
These are by for the BEST re-usable bags on the market. I gift them to everyone. They can hold up to 50 pounds, but scrunch down to nothing when not in use. They are machine washable so if any groceries leak, I can just toss them in the wash. Best of all, I love the animal patterns they come in. I mainly use the standard size but keep a baby size in my purse. The large size is great for Target runs. No lie- someone asks me about them every time I go to the grocery store. Click here to purchase.
Plastic straws are the devil. After watching a Youtube video of someone pulling a plastic straw out of the nose of a sea turtle, I had nightmares. Stainless steel straws are such a great alternative. They are so easy to clean. I just pop them into the dishwasher. They even make a shorter size for kids. Click here to purchase.
By 2050, the oceans could have more plastic than fish.
We need to make a change.
It takes plastic cutlery up to 1,000 years to decompose. Yet people toss them into the trash without a second thought. Bamboo utensils are a game changer. This little set is so compact, it fits right in my purse. It comes with a fork, knife, spoon, chopsticks, and a glass straw. The little case keeps them clean and contained. Click here to purchase.
These are the plates that I use for my kids and they are fantastic. I have real concerns about what happens to plastic in high heats, so I switched to glass more for health reasons. Studies have shown that plastics leach chemicals when heated. That means that you are ingesting toxins if you eat hot soup out of a plastic bowl or drink from a plastic water bottle that has been left to sit in the sun. These Duralex plates are really strong. I have dropped one on the tile floor and it didn’t break. They are made of tempered glass so if they do break, it will be in large pieces. They are cheap enough that I wouldn’t get upset like I would if one of our wedding plates shattered. Click here to purchase.
I know I sound like the biggest Debbie Downer here, but balloons reek havoc on our wildlife and the environment. They end up in the ocean where whales and other marine mammals ingest them because they closely resemble jellyfish. Mylar balloons are not even biodegradable. That means each one made will be here on this earth for eternity. Not worth it. I joke with my husband that if I ever died and my family had a memorial balloon release, I would come back and haunt them. I hate litter and balloon releases should be considered littering. I have seen eagles get wrapped in balloon ribbons, whales bellies filled with latex and an island with no human habitation for thousands of miles still have a beach littered with balloons. For the best info, check out Balloons Blow.
Don’t just look at the toys your purchasing, but the packaging as well. Try to support companies with sustainable practices, such as Green Toys. This gets harder and harder as the kids get into Disney and movie characters. But when they were smaller, I always opted for wooden toys over plastic. I am a huge fan of Hape Toys which are great quality and affordable.
I have also invested in some heirloom toys such as Grimm’s rainbow stacker and nesting dolls. These Waldorf toys inspire learning and creativity. These are the toys that I will keep around for the Grandkids.
Kids grow so fast, it’s hard to even keep up. Why spend loads of money when there are next to new clothes at consignment? They have really high standards of what they accept, so clothes have to be free of stains and tears. I have found some of my kid’s nicest name brand clothes at consignment for a fraction of the price. With online stores like ThredUp, it’s now easier than ever to reuse.
Conventional dryer sheets and liquid fabric softeners contain harmful ingredients that are linked to cancer as well as central nervous system disorders. You can easily eliminate both by replacing them wool dryer balls. These all-natural wool balls soften fabric and reduce static without the toxins. Click here to purchase.
Bee’s Wrap is a natural alternative to plastic wrap for food storage. This old-fashion solution is made of just beeswax, jojoba oil, tree resin, cotton. I love the bees bears print as well as the ocean print. They come in a variety of sizes to make it easy to cover half a lemon, wrap a sandwich or cover a bowl. Click here to purchase.
I hope you found these tips on how to be more environmentally friendly useful. These products can help minimize our environmental footprint while removing toxins from our environment, keep our families healthy and save money. Are there any products that you would recommend? Please let me know.
And as always, love your mother 🌎