It’s not easy being green. ~Kermit the Frog~
Happy Belated Earth Day! In true too busy to blog fashion I missed my Earth Day deadline (which doesn’t really exist since I gave it to myself). But I figure better late than never and besides my blog would’ve probably been lost in all the great and informative blogs from real authors that are focused enough to post on the actual celebration date of Earth Day. Now mine stands belatedly alone.
We started going green a few years ago and I felt that today would be a good day to share with you some of the products we’ve come to love. I’m sorry, Kermit, but in this case you are pessimistically incorrect, being green IS easy.
Out with Ziploc and in with Re-Pac! We use all sizes of these bags and for everything imaginable. We use them for travel, lunches, food storage, as purse-sized first aid kits and female product kits, for mobile packages of legos to give the kids in the car or at boring appointments. I’ve been washing these sturdy guys in the washer (and drying them too!) for over two years and they still look brand new.
These are by far my favorite reusable bags. They are easy to wash, hold a ton, come in a kazillion fun patterns, and roll up small enough to fit in the smallest of handbags or jacket pocket. No more excuses for using plastic! In fact, many stores now give you a financial incentive to bring in your own bag so why not make the investment?
We ditched paper towels a few years ago and we’ve never looked back. I purchased my favorite cloth wipes from the Etsy shop Nate’s Mommy Made It. These bad boys are used for wiping tables, as our “formal” napkins (guests get a kick out of their monsters or robot wipes), lunchbox napkins, window cleaners, as tissues during cold season, and I hear they’re great for baby butts too. Small enough to throw in any load of laundry and big enough to tackle good sized cleaning jobs.
A great water bottle that gives back! Now that’s a green product I can stand behind. You can custom make your bottle (and in May your Tumbler) or choose from fantastic colors. For each bottle you purchase $1 will go to provide clean drinking water to another human being for an entire year. Feel really good about this purchase.
You’ve rid your home of plastic bottles and plastic bags and now it’s easy to replace your plastic toothbrush with something far healthier for our planet. Another product that not only does great things for the earth but also helps those in needs. For every toothbrush you purchase from Smiles for the People an equivalent brush will be given to a person in need. These brushes are made from 100% biodegradable bamboo and even the packaging and shipping have been considered. Recyclable boxes, limited packaging and carbon neutral shipping. I know that just made my smile brighter!
We love these lunch boxes and they hold up really really well. Perfect for the kid who doesn’t like any of their food to touch. These have a place for all the food groups and they make packing lunches super easy for the little ones. My only complaint is that I wish they offered stainless steel containers. But other than that they are a win/win for moms and kids.
While I know that line drying is the greenest solution I am not willing to make that commitment quite yet, especially as I raise four dirty boys and live in the rainy PNW. In the last year I have been able to stop using fabric softeners, which are full of chemicals, and cut my drying time. These Alpaca balls for the dryer have been awesome for reducing static and for speeding up the amount of time it takes to dry a load. For a family our size (6 of us) we use about 6 balls in each load. Use them over and over and over again. They’ll pay for themselves in no time flat.
If you want your home to smell wonderful without releasing harmful chemicals from plug in scents, pick your favorite essential oil and freshen up your home the green way instead. I use a few drops of lemongrass oil in my toilet paper roll each time I change it and it keeps my bathroom lemony fresh. You can also add a few drops of oil to your alpaca dryer balls to help your laundry smell extra clean. Make a mix and spray in room just before company arrives. Loads of options with these guys. I like to purchase mine from a local store or my favorite online green shop, Vine.
I hate bug repellant. I hate the smell of it. I hate the chemicals. I hate the feel of it. Thus last summer I set out to make my own and I am so sorry I didn’t attempt this sooner. You can find great formulas all over pinterest and find the one that works best for your needs. If money is not an issue and you’d rather just purchase something from the store, I can rave about Badger Anti-Bug Balm. It’s certified organic and while a little greasy it smells wonderful and it’s easy to apply. This also can be purchased at Vine.
For those of us fortunate enough to have curbside compost pickup or who are already composting in a worm bin (I highly recommend doing this!) or in a yard composter this little container and bag combo has made my life simpler. I no longer have to keep worms in my kitchen. The boys scoop their compostable scraps right in to the bin, there’s an easy to remove degradable bag that a child takes straight out to the compost bin, and it’s easy to clean in the sink or dishwasher. It also has a filter, so no foul smells escape. An added bonus is that it looks cute on the kitchen counter too! Buy these at numerous stores but I found amazon to be the least expensive.
I am a sneaker junkie! I love all things sneaker. I’ve had my eyes on these shoes since they were debuted on Shark Tank and while I do not own a pair I swear that the day my husband lands a job the first thing I’m doing is buying each member a pair of these environmentally friendly sneaks. Kick ass designs to choose from and the real kicker (like what i did there?), they are 100% recyclable. Every part of the shoe, recyclable!
While we are talking about shoes let me just give a shout out to Sanuk. Sanuk is by far my favorite sandle maker for the entire family. And their selection of vegan shoes is to die for. I love love love their yoga mat flip flops. Check them out. You’ll love that you clothed your families’ feet in these all around winners.
By now I think most of us coffee drinkers have opted to invest in these wonderful home brewing systems. And while the individual packages of coffee are simple and easy they are quite expensive and wasteful. For your at-home maker invest in the K-Cup. It’s a reusable filter that allows you to use your own ground coffee. Use it for a single cup (or multiple cups depending on how black you like it), rinse it out, and reuse the next day. Zero waste.
Every product I have tried from this company has made me a happy woman. I recommend getting on their website and learning about them. From organic farming to green energy (wind and solar power) to environmentally friendly production (handmade) and packaging this company has covered it all. And their products are the kind of products that make you sing in the morning! Your skin will be super excited that you made the switch! If you happen to live in the Tucson area I can get you in touch with a fabulous aesthetician who carries the Eminence line.
Last but not least I have to mention these fantastic bags. Made from 100% post consumer beverage bottles these bags are durable, stylish, and easy to clean. I’ve owned these bags in numerous options and have used them on outdoor vacations (Costa Rica and Hawaii), family vacations (Disneyland, Grand Canyon), hiked with them, beached with them, stuffed them to the rim and yet they still are my go to bag. The original bag I bought still fetches compliments too! What more is there to say. Grab yourself a bag and get out and go.
There are so many other green products that are probably worth mentioning but these are my top pics right now. Go out and prove to Kermit just how easy being green can be!
Please share what products you love! In fact I’m looking for your favorite cleaning products (especially homemade formulas).