This Monday I feel refreshed. We had a beautiful Easter weekend filled with fun times making memories laughing with family. I was blessed to enjoy the experience of being baptized at my church and celebrating Easter all on the same day. We hunted eggs and enjoyed a filling meal together and for one day out of the past week, I didn’t have anxiety! It’s hard to focus on reducing waste over holidays, but all we can continue doing is trying to improve upon our old self and one day it will become second nature.
This week I have a few suggestions that may or may not apply to you and your life, but I hope it helps just one person begin making a change in their typical waste-practices. Remember that change takes time! It’s ok to go slow, as long as you’re going. If only some of us attempt to reduce waste, we can be the ones who make the difference and others will follow.
Here are my five tips this week:
1.) Doing DIY cleaning supplies for easy clean-up jobs (and even some hard ones) can not only save you money in the long run, but it can also reduce waste and remove harmful chemicals from your household. I use a simple recipe of distilled white vinegar, distilled water, and essential oils for cleaning my counter tops and I keep it in a stainless steel spray bottle that I can keep refilling over and over. You can also get Castille soap to make your own hand soap to use by your sink, as well as typical cleaning products like window cleaner, toilet cleaner, and room freshener.
2.) If you’re a woman, you can choose a reusable menstrual product to replace pads/tampons. Cloth pads, menstrual cups, and “period proof” underwear are a few reusable options to replace the monthly waste produced by pads and tampons. They also lack the chemicals so they’re likely better for your body in the long run.
3. ) Save the twist ties that are used on produce (the ones with the metal in the center) for securing plants in the garden or outdoor decorations, or anything that needs securing! It may not be beautiful but with the rate we eat produce in our household, and the fact that they aren’t going to stop using them, I need to think of more ways to utilize these tiny fasteners more often.
4.) Cloth handkerchief/napkins in the car for when out and about. I don’t eat fast food but I do go to coffee stands and occasionally get a treat and when I do it would be great to not need a napkin from them, but instead have my own ready to go. It’s also necessary for the impromptu sneeze or messy kids face. It may take a moment of planning more than usual, but think if everyone did this!
5.) Instead of tossing stained clothes, tie dye clothes and keep them! If tie dye isn’t your style, you can at least use them for pajamas or working outside/messy clothes. For parents, tie dye onesies with stains and you won’t have the ugly stain anymore! Here is a link to natural items that you can “dye” aka stain clothes intentionally with, and here’s a link for how to make tie dye designs. I’m excited to try this out myself because we have so many onesies stained with blueberries or avocados.
I’d like to add one bonus idea: It’s always great to look for ways to also contribute to the environment to offset the negative impacts of waste, one way of doing that is to plant trees. If you live in an apartment or don’t have a place to plant a tree you can join a tree planting group in your community. An example in my home state of Washington is a tree recovery program which has planted 13,000 trees in 40 years reducing carbon dioxide by 15,600 tons and air pollution by 210 tons! If we all work together it makes substantial positive impacts on our environment. Let’s beautify our world while improving the quality of our air! Check out Plant a Billion for a more in-depth look at how trees matter and what we can do about it.
Let me know if you do any of the above tips regularly or if you try them out! I love hearing more suggestions on ways to reduce my waste. Have a happy Monday 😀