This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of cleancult®. All opinions are 100% mine.
Simple Ways to Be More Eco Friendly
I’m sharing some of the small incremental changes were making to be more eco friendly in our house.
I know you come to me for design and color and crafts, BUT… I also know from getting so many DMs when I talk about other things, that you also appreciate hearing about topics that aren’t necessarily design-y. Today’s one of those days. With five kids and running my own business, convenience is no small thing for us. Unfortunately, sometimes the most convenient option isn’t necessarily the best solution for the environment. I promise you I’m not going to dust off my soap box for this post, but I hope we can all concede that things aren’t great when it comes to our planet and that it doesn’t hurt anyone to try and leave a small ecological footprint when possible.
So that’s what I’ve been trying to do. Would it have been great to use cloth diapers and give up disposable? Yes, of course. But that felt overwhelming and not something we tackled. There are countless other examples like composting or driving a Prius or wearing a capsule wardrobe… none of which we’ve embraced. BUT… there are smaller incremental changes I’ve added to our chaotic family that I wanted to talk about today.
1. Cleaning Products
There are so many on the market nowadays, but we’ve just started using cleancult for our dishwashing, surface cleaning, and laundry. Cleancult products derive from coconut oil, come in reusable shatter resistant glass containers and ship carbon neutral. I’m partnering with them today for this post and am really impressed with the cleaners we received (lemongrass surface cleaner, dish soap, hand soap, bar soap and dryer balls). With a lovely lemon scent, I don’t mind even a little bit when one of the kids goes a little overboard. Once you purchase your first handful of items/ starter pack, you are put into a free shipping refill subscription but you always have the option to adjust, pause or cancel deliveries at any time. (You can also just use your own vessel and start with the refill bundle!) Bottom line: they make it VERY easy!
Aside from the low impact on the planet having natural products going down the drain, I also love that these are totally safe for my kids to use. A big part of raising a large family is getting the kids involved with basic chores and cleaning the dishes and wiping down the table are daily tasks for us. Click here to try it yourself!
Also… kids are just dirty so there’s lots of cleaning that goes on in our home.
2. Paper Products
This is really hard for us, but I’m trying to flip the switch a bit when it comes to how we use paper, specifically paper towels. It’s SO easy to grab a paper towel to clean up a spill, wipe a dirty face or dry a dish. I haven’t cut the cord entirely, but I did purchase a pack of reusable surface cloths that we use to wipe down the table and clean up drips and drops around the kitchen.
3. Energy Use
This is nothing all that innovative, but running around the house to turn off lights before we leave, setting our heat a bit lower and being aware of energy consumption is something we all talk about and remind each other of.
As you can imagine, with 5 children there are lots and lots of clothes. I purchase everything used from a consignment store up the road, pass these down through my kids and then donate or give away items when we’ve outgrown them. Google “fashion industry and the environment” and you will see in a glance that the production of clothing is one of the top sources of pollution on our planet. Could we do better? Absolutely, but sometimes I think it can be paralyzing to consider the “best case scenario” so I’ve adopted a “baby steps” approach to all of this with the understanding that small changes are better than nothing.
5. Reusable Containers
Packing 5+ snacks/ lunches every day means the potential for big time garbage. We’re not perfect, but we try to use plastic tupperware containers for snacks (vs. individually packed snack bags). In other words, we’ll buy the large bin of goldfish and the kids will bring smaller portions in reusable snack bags or tupperware rather than buying the ‘lunch’ packs that are prepackaged in single servings. My kids pack their own lunch so it’s one tiny thing for them to manage in the morning, and it’s ultimately a lot cheaper too!
Connecticut has now started charging $.10 for shopping bags. Not a big expense to be sure, but I love that it simply makes you think twice before using a disposable bag. If I’m really on my A-game I’ll remember to pack a reusable shopping bag but half the time I don’t really need a bag to begin with!
Finally, along a similar vein, we never buy plastic drink bottles (aside from the gallon of milk). We don’t drink juice or soda so the kids all have reusable water bottles and they can just grab water from the sink.
6. What we Eat
You do NOT have to agree with this, which is totally cool, but the articles I’ve read and research I’ve done support the idea that animal products aren’t great for the environment and they’re not great for our bodies these days. There are so many chemicals used and so much waste associated with the industry that I’m trying to be more aware of when we eat meat and dairy and when we don’t ‘need’ it. We are a big cereal family so dairy is hard for us to quit quite honestly. Limiting our meat consumption is a little bit easier and it’s been a nice excuse to poke around Pinterest for vegetarian and vegan recipes.
Overall, we have a LONG way to go towards living with a zero footprint, but I’m trying to be more conscious of making better choices when I can. Simple swaps like using cleancult and simply trying to produce less waste is the first step and hopefully one we can improve upon over time!
Leave me a comment and let me know what your approach is to all of this and ways in which you’re trying to ‘clean up your act’! And reminder to head over to cleancult’s site to learn more.