Ditch the Plastic
Swap out plastic water bottles for reusable bottles. You don’t need a water dispenser built into your refrigerator to make this happen. If you’re not a fan of the tap water in your area, there are affordable changes you can make, like a filter adapter that fits snugly onto your sink, or a pitcher in the sink with a filter in the top.
Cloth Beats Paper
Sure, paper towels are great for the goopy, icky, sticky, and slimy messes you sometimes encounter in the kitchen, but let’s face it: they’re super wasteful. A course, damp rag will do the trick. One pass through the washing machine (hang dry, of course) and it’ll be fresh and ready to reuse.
But what about the water I use to wash the rag? Isn’t that wasteful?
Great question. You can always cut down on water usage, but it’s so essential to every part of life as we know it, there’s a very good chance you’re already going to be using it for something. Unless of course, you’ve developed your own waterless dishwasher, washing machine, and septic system. If you have, go get that patented ASAP!
Into the words, scientists are innovating new ways to cut down on water usage and minimize pollution at a higher level. For a quick and easy Earth Day-friendly change, we will focus on these simple household swaps.
BYOB (Bring Your Own Bags)
I know its hard to remember, especially if you’re stopping at the store for just “one quick thing”. We suggest keeping some reusable bags in your trunk (or passenger seat if you need to see it to remember you have it) so that you’re always prepared for a spontaneous shopping trip.
Lot’s of stores offer discounts and other rewards for bringing your own bag. Trader Joe’s enters you into a raffle for each reusable bag you bring! Some areas have started charging customers for each paper bag they use. Parsippany, the town our headquarters is in, charges a dollar bag. Bringing your own or asking the cashier to hold the bag is the best way to go to avoid unnecessary waste while shopping.
How many Earth Days does it take to change a lightbulb?
Hopefully, just one. Though this requires a little bit of a financial investment, it pays out big in the long run. Change your lightbulbs to LEDs. You’ll notice a brighter light immediately, and you’ll start to see lower electric bills as well. These bulbs are designed to create more light with less energy usage. Win-win!
The Laundry List
You’ve probably heard these before, but they’re important! Wash your clothes in cold water. They won’t know the difference, we swear. If anything, it’s an advantage because it won’t cause the colors to run. That means you can load up all your colors together.
Next, do a bigger load. The machines use very similar amounts of water even if you select “mini” load, and they use the same amount of energy either way. Load up!
When you shop, opt for the detergents that last longer. Compare liquid ounces and how many loads each brand is estimated to wash. Some detergents may surprise you with how many loads they can handle with such a small amount of soap.
Hang dry as much as you can. Especially as it gets warmer out, it’s worth it to take advantage of a spring breeze to save all that energy used on heating a dryer.
There you have it: five ways to reuse and reduce your waste output that you can manage all year round. Have any sustainable habits that we missed? Comment below! We’d love to hear how you do your part to keep the planet healthy in your own home.