April 22nd is Earth Day and we are celebrating the Earth by investing in our planet. But what exactly does that mean? Truly this can look like a number of things, reducing shower time to save water, avoiding single use items, trying public transportation, or only washing full loads of laundry. No one lives a perfectly sustainable lifestyle, but continuing to make progress and learning is the perfect place to start. If you’re new to the world of sustainability, then welcome! You will find so many reusable items and eco-friendly tips and tricks on our website, mobile app, and blog. Here are three simple ways that you can begin to invest in the planet, whether you’re an eco-friendly enthusiast or a brand new beginner.
1. Make Laundry Days More Sustainable
Skip the dry cleaners and invest in an energy efficient laundry machine that significantly reduces its electricity usage and water consumption. Try to wear clothes as many times as possible before washing, and always wash a full load. Store your reusable dirties in an organic mesh laundry bag, and toss the whole thing in the washer to keep your items together. Try swapping to a chemical free laundry soap that’s better for skin and the environment. Or, nix the plastic detergent bottles all together and opt for laundry sheets. Also, make the swap to wool dryer balls, that reduce drying time, decrease wrinkles and static, soften clothes naturally, keep harmful chemicals off of your family’s laundry, and dryer sheets out of landfills. Toss 3-6 dryer balls in your dryer depending on the size of your load. You can add a couple drops of essential oil to them to gently scent your laundry. Or, reduce your energy use even more by hang drying your clothes on a clothesline or drying rack! Find even more ways to make laundry days sustainable here.
2. Make Eco-Friendly Swaps
There are almost innumerable sustainable swaps you can make, and they’re all so simple! In fact, there’s swaps you can make in every room of your house. For example, make the swap to a Washable Sponge. Traditional kitchen sponges grow bacteria easily and are full of micro-plastics that will inevitably end up in a landfill. They’re reusable and washable, just add to your dishwasher or next load of laundry! As well, try UNpaper® Towels.They are the perfect sustainable alternative to traditional paper towels that require excess amounts of water to produce and are usually cosmetically bleached. Use them for wiping surfaces, cleaning glass, hands, faces, and noses, and anything else you might need a regular paper towel for! UNpaper® Towels are reusable, absorbent, washable, and come in a variety of fun prints and colors. Download our Mobile App to Build Your Own Pack of UNpaper® Towels, and fully customize your roll to suit your decor.
In the mornings, while you’re rolling your UNpaper® Towels onto a Kraft tube, enjoy a sustainable cup of coffee when you make the swap to Reusable Coffee Filters. These reusable coffee filters are made with 100% Organic Unbleached Linen and offer a solution to disposable filters. Before first use, we recommend boiling filters for 10 minutes to prepare them for your coffee ritual. To brew, place one Reusable Filter inside the drip coffee cone of your choice, and fill with desired amount of ground coffee. Pour boiling water over grounds. Empty grounds from filter after use, rinse and hang dry. You can store your filter(s) in water in the fridge, or freezer for prolonged freshness. Boil filters periodically to clean. If you’re not a coffee drinker, no problem! We also have Reusable Tea Bags, perfect for keeping bleach and glue from traditional tea bags out of your favorite brew.
3. Skip Single Use Items and Reduce Plastic Pollution
In such a fast paced world focused on convenience and consumerism, it’s easy to end up using far more disposables and single use items than we realize. Luckily, there are plenty of sustainable alternatives that you can even take on the go with you! For example, make it easier to say “no, thank you,” to single use plastic straws when you bring your own Reusable Straw in a Straw Pouch! Each pouch comes with a removable interior wet bag to keep your dirty straws separate from the clean ones. The wet bag snaps in and out, making it easy to remove and wash. Ditch plastic wrap and aluminum foil by storing your leftovers with a Pan or Bowl Cover. Our Pan and Bowl Covers feature a waterproof, food safe PUL lining and a toggle cord stop and drawstring to close over your plate or bowl. Unlike elastic, this provides more flexible sizing and a tighter fit for each container size. The grocery store seems like a minefield for single use items and plastic packaging. One of the easiest ways to avoid this is to bring your own bag. Try a Market Triangle Tote, large enough to fit plenty of groceries and sturdy enough to support all your favorite goodies. No need to use plastic grocery bags anymore! Plus, when buying bulk, skip the plastic bags and ties, and use a Japanese style Bento Bag. Complete with a tie closure, they’re the perfect alternative for storing bulk items like beans, flour, or pasta.
When packing lunches for kiddos or the office, skip the plastic bags and try a Sandwich Wrap. Our Sandwich Wraps have a food grade, waterproof PUL lining to protect against leaks, and cotton twill cords for wrapping. Use these for sandwiches, bagels, burritos, pizza or wrap the bottom of a bouquet for a quick gift! And, keep kicking that plastic to the curb by investing in Snack Bags that come in so many fun colors and prints. Each Snack Bag is made from a cotton outer layer that has been backed with a stabilizer for added durability and support. The interior lining is also a washable, waterproof PUL, BPA-free lining that is perfect for keeping snacks fresh.
With implementing a few of these sustainable ideas, you’re well on your way to living your best eco-friendly life. Of course, there are always more ways to incorporate sustainability into your everyday activities. Find your favorite eco-friendly blogs and read up on environmentalism. Avoid fast fashion and thrift instead. Try to buy local, clean up litter where you can, switch to paperless billing, and drive less frequently. No one says you have to do all of these things at once, but find small and simple ways to reduce waste and your footprint. Learn more about sustainability at earthday.org, and let us know what other ways you are investing in the planet, not just this month, but year round! We’d love to hear from you.