One of my New Year’s resolutions was to be “greener” and support more eco-friendly companies. While I am no expert and I am definitely not perfect yet, I do feel better knowing that I am actively making better choices for the environment.
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Here are the changes that I have made in my kitchen so far!
Recycling is easier than you think and it’s one of the biggest steps towards a greener life. While I do not believe recycling will fix everything, I believe that making one small change at a time is better than nothing!
Let me just say, we were taking the trash out at least 3 to 4 times a week. Now, we need to empty it every 10 days or so, most of it being biodegradable food items.
Please check your town’s recycling rules and regulations. Residents near Idaho Falls can view this map.
Where I live does not have a recycling program. Instead, I clean, dry, and store empty recyclables until I’m headed to town where there are large recycling drop-off bins.
Cardboard: Empty, clean (if necessary), and break down flat. I usually store these in a bigger cardboard box until it’s time to recycle.
Paper: Keep in a separate bin than cardboard. (Idaho Falls categorizes them as news, office, magazines, and phone books.)
Aluminum Cans: I rinse, crush, and store them in a bin. Crushing them isn’t necessary, it just saves a little space. (Idaho Falls does recycle aluminum cans.) You may also be able to find companies that will pay for aluminum cans. You can store them in clean trash bins in your garage or shed until full.
Glass: Some areas do not accept glass, others you have to pay. (Luckily enough, Idaho Falls does accept glass.) Rinse, dry, and store until recycling.
Plastic: Be mindful of your local regulations for plastic. Some areas accept certain types. (Idaho Falls accepts plastics #1-7 in their bins.) Many places require that certain types be separated (like grocery bags). Most plastics show their number on the bottom in the triangle-shaped recycling logo. Rinse, dry, and store until recycling.
Pro-tip: learn to read labels so you know how to recycle your items. When shopping, try to avoid purchasing items that you cannot recycle. For example, these ranch mixes aren’t recyclable but this bulk version by the same brand is!
Show support for recycling by grabbing this PopSocket!
I’m slowly swapping out all of my cleaning products for greener alternatives. I had built up quite the stockpile, but there’s no need to just toss them. I’m simply replacing them with greener options when I run out. Here are some of my new favorite cleaning products:
- To reduce plastic use, you can use a concentrate with a 16 oz. glass spray bottle. I love the Orange & Rosemary scent and concentrates need far less plastic for packaging! Grove also has spray bottles available.
- You could also use this Method Glass & Surface spray. Method’s company uses recycled materials, is cruelty-free, and is naturally derived.
- For Anti-Bacterial purposes, you can use this Disinfecting set by Seventh Generation.
- For a safe, multi-surface cleaner, use Mrs. Meyer’s.
- Grove also has an all-purpose concentrate that you can mix into a 16 oz. bottle.
- This one is simple, white vinegar can deep clean most surfaces and appliances and make them look new!
- Method has a great Squirt and Mop option.
- For less plastic, Grove has another concentrate.
- Aunt Fannie’s has a vinegar wash if you don’t mind the scent of vinegar.
- You can use this handwash, I love the honeysuckle scent.
- Grove has a concentrate and glass bottle for this too!
Plastic Bags / Styrofoam
Try using these reusable sandwich bags for snacks and other foods. These are labeled as top-rack dishwasher safe, easy peasy.
Don’t forget reusable shopping bags like these when you go to the grocery store.
If you buy a lot of produce, think about getting some reusable produce bags.
If you still want a classic paper towel, try these Tree-Free paper towels! They are made from bamboo – which is ready to harvest much faster than trees.
If you are willing to do some laundry, use Microfiber Cloths. I designate different colors for different areas which helps me feel a little more sanitary.
Most of the items I linked to are available on Amazon. A handful are only available on Grove, but you can find similar ones online or in person (hello, Target!). If ordering from Amazon, I encourage you to buy in bulk, to reduce the number of times you’ll need to order items.
If you are considering trying out Grove, follow this link for a free 5-piece gift from them! I love to support Grove because I love to shop online, they have all of my favorite products, and they carbon offset every shipment. How green!
What are your tips for greener living?