Have you ever thought about how many daily habits are formed based purely on convenience, like grabbing a single-use water bottle instead of something more sustainable? Isn’t it interesting how once formed, these habits can become almost second nature to us? But habits born of convenience can sometimes put a strain our pocketbooks—as well as the planet—without our even realizing it. Today, with so many of us working from home, I see a happy opportunity to break those bad habits and form new ones. And as we put our better habits into practice, in no time at all they will become second nature … and nature is going to thank us.
Did you know that it takes up to 450 years for a plastic water bottle to decompose? Or that roughly 9 million tons of plastic end up in the world’s oceans every year? Plastic has a stranglehold on our planet. It’s a big problem, but by avoiding single-use plastic water bottles, you and I can help loosen its grip. What’s more, replacing the single-use habit isn’t difficult.
Instead of stocking your fridge with earth-choking, single-use water bottles, round up those reusable bottles you probably have tucked away in the back of your cabinets. If not, invest in several for each family member. Be sure they’re BPA free so they don’t leach harmful chemicals. Clean them, fill them and store them in the fridge where the disposables used to be, so they’re ready to grab and go. I suggest investing in a good water-filtering pitcher as well. As you use each bottle, be sure to clean and refill it, so there’s always a cold one waiting for you.
Here’s a thought to ponder: Every day, more than 51,000 trees are sacrificed to supply the paper towel demands of North America alone. That’s a lot of trees, every single day, for something we use once and throw away.
Paper towels are a staple in most kitchens, but the key to breaking your dependency is to put them away. Simply keep them out of reach. Instead, put reusable cloths and napkins where they’re easy for you and your family to grab. Also, have a place to put your used cloths, so you’ll know when a load is ready to be laundered (ensuring a steady supply of clean ones). Have enough on hand so you won’t resort to pulling out the paper towels.
They may smell good, but dryer sheets are full of synthetic fragrances and can leave harmful chemicals in clothing, which then touches your skin.
You can easily replace your dryer sheets by investing in some dryer balls. They can be used over and over and they help reduce drying time, static cling and wrinkles. They don’t scent your laundry, but if you use the kind made from wool, you can add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil onto them to impart a light scent. Mine are made from 100% New Zealand wool, which has high standards for social responsibility and animal welfare.
Even though I don’t love mopping, I do appreciate how microfiber gets my floors super-clean without the need for wasteful single-use mop pads or harmful chemical-laden sprays. When the pads get dirty, I just toss them in the washing machine and then the dryer. No more disposable pads and no more cleaning solutions to have to keep buying. Oh, and no heavy mop bucket to lug around either.
When I know I’m going to be attending a banquet style meal I bring my own table service instead of using Styrofoam plates and plastic utensils. I HATE using plastic utensils so adding a fun reusable bowl is easy. I always have my ‘all day glass’ with me too.
Love it! I have been in clubs 30 yrs ago and was always bring your own cutlery, plate, cup when we had a do! And brought mug to meetings always!
Just like it is a habit to take my reusable bags into the grocery store I also take one into the library with me. My library is happy to provide a bag, but they’re plastic. To help remember I keep my reusable bags in the cab of my vehicle not the trunk or backseat. I also put my library card in the pocket of my library bag.
Great ideas, Kim. Thanks for sharing!
I need to remember bags! Always forget them and now most places wont let you use your own bags due to Covid-19. I need to be more diligent with this! Thank you for sharing how you remember bags!
With all this handwashing, I sure am using a lot of water!
Not to mention switching out the toxic chemicals! Which also saves the plastics too.
I need to do more period
Yeah I have a couple reusable hard plastic bottles that I use everyday for my water, from my refrigerator dispenser. I don’t mop very often but when I do I use an old fashioned cotton mop that u can wash and reuse. I just use water and a little Lysol cleaner. I just like Lysol knowing that it’s killing bacteria.
You should check into Norwex mop! It does the same with water, yes ma’am just water!
Gif you are just adding “a little” is it enough of a concentration to actually be able to kill bacteria? And if it is, read the fine print, does your floor stay wet long enough for the antibacterial properties? Often it’s 5-10 minutes for Lysol products. Because Norwex is using very good microfibres it’s antibacterial by the action across the floor not any chemicals and therefore leaving no residue. Also If you have pets or kids, grand kids ext. there are sometimes directions to wash commercial cleaners off the floor after they have been placed there to make them safe, just so you know.
When buying take out that you’re going to eat at home or ordering in be sure to tell them that you don’t need cutlery, ketchup or mustard etc. You have all that at home so you can use your own. When forgetting your reusable bags at the grocery store or when they don’t allow you to take them in, simply take your groceries in the cart to your car and pack in your bags that you left in your trunk.
Doris, thank you so much for these excellent suggestions!!
As a new Norwex Consultant, I have chosen to have as many orders shipped directly to me in one shipment, reducing the number of boxes being shipped. I have then purchased some reusable bags to sort and deliver individual customer orders in!
Great idea! Thanks for sharing, Stephanie!
I need to stop using the lil bathroom Dixie cups and use a reusable one.. Just received my Norwex utensils, tho, so I’m looking forward to reducing my needs there when I order takeout on the go!
Hey that’s wonderful! Thanks for sharing Angie, and we hope you love your new Eco Utensils. Thanks for doing your part to help reduce single-use plastic!