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A Green Living Blog that tries to make it easier for everyone to become a little more green.

Simple Ways To Become More Sustainable Now

STARTING GEAR

  • Arm yourself with a reusable water bottle, a couple grocery totes, a few cloth bags and reusable jars and bottles.
  • Get your 4Rs right. REFUSE -> REDUCE -> REUSE... Recycle only as a last resort.

KITCHEN

  • Ditch disposables (paper towels, garbage liners, wax paper, aluminum sheets, disposable plates, cups, etc….): Swap paper towels for reusable rags, swap sandwich baggies for kitchen towels or stainless containers, drop garbage liners all together (wet waste is mostly compostable anyways).
  • Buy in bulk or at the counter (see Zero Waste Grocery Shopping), bring reusable bags (dry goods), jars (wet items such as meat, deli, fish, cheese, oil, peanut butter) and bottles (liquids: oil, soy sauce, shampoo, conditioner).
  • If you cannot find it in bulk, find a supplier (bring your jar to the ice cream shop, a pillow case to the bakery for your bread, or your bottles to the winery/brewery)… or make it ( mustard, salad dressing, hot sauce, jams, OJ, hummus, cookies, canned tomatoes).
  • Shop the farmer’s market: they’ll take the egg carton and the berries baskets back for reuse. Your veggies will also most likely be free of plastic and stickers.
  • Learn to love your tap water, filter (optional).
  • Use bulk castile soap as a dish/hand cleaner, baking soda as a scrubber (in a stainless Parmesan dispenser) with a compostable cleaning brush (a wooden one with natural hair). Choose dishwasher detergent in a cardboard box.
  • Turn your trash can into a big compost keeper. Use your tiny compost keeper as a trash can (on the market, the sizes for these seem to be reversed).
  • Reinvent your leftovers before they go bad. Go thru your recipe binder/box and only keep the recipes that can be achieved with zero waste in mind.
  • Invest in a pressure cooker (halves the cooking time).
  • YOU CAN ALSO… Reuse single-side printed paper for grocery shopping and errands list, use your lettuce cleaning water to water plants, open your oven after baking in the winter (cool your oven, warm your house)...

BATHROOM

  • Use 100% recycled and unbleached toilet paper.
  • Use a solution of baking soda/water/lavender essential oil in a spray bottle or an alum stone or straight baking soda (most effective) as antiperspirant.
  • For shaving, (re)use a safety razor and shaving soap (any rich soap, such as Alep soap will do).
  • Refill your bottles with bulk shampoo and conditioner. If your hair is short, you also have the “no-poo” option: rinse your hair, massage baking soda in, then rinse, with vinegar for shine. Or use a shampoo bar. Instead of hairspray, switch to lemon water in a spray bottle. To go longer between washes, substitute dry shampoo for cornstarch (in bulk).
  • For body/face soap, find a package-free solid soap or bulk liquid castile soap. To exfoliate, switch to bulk baking soda or oatmeal for the face and salt for the body. For a mask, switch to bulk clays (French, Kaolin, Bentonite, etc…), mixed with water or apple cider vinegar.
  • Switch from toothpaste to homemade tooth powder or paste (google recipes). And until we see a wooden compostable toothbrush “made in the US” on the market, there are no right answers out there yet.
  • Reduce your cosmetics and consider homemade substitutes such as cocoa powder as bronzer and homemade balm that works on eyes, lips, hair and nails. In lieu of disposable feminine products, invest in menstrual cup and reusable liners.
  • All you need for your nails is a nail clipper, stainless steel file and the homemade balm for moisture and shine.
  • YOU CAN ALSO… compost hair and nail clippings, put a brick in your toilet tank, collect water in a bucket while your shower heats and water your plants with it, and use zero waste cleaning: microfiber cloths for mirrors, vinegar for mold, baking soda as scrub, a mix of baking soda and vinegar as drain cleaner....

LAUNDRY AND CLEANING

  • Use natural cleaning alternatives: Castile soap on floors and sinks, homemade all purpose cleaner, baking soda for scrubbing jobs, and vinegar for mildew.
  • Use alternative house cleaning tools: a metal scourer on stainless, a wooden brush for light scrubbing, an old toothbrush for hard to reach places and microfiber cloths for everything else (counters, floor, fridge, etc… for mirrors and windows, just add water… no window cleaner needed).
  • Wash and re-use old sponges for household cleaning.
  • Sweep your floors with a boar bristle broom, wash with a wet microfiber mop and a few drops of castile soap.
  • Use worn-out clothing items made into rags on your un-washable messes (wax/auto grease/glue/caulk).
  • Buy bulk dishwasher detergent or in a dishwasher detergent in a recyclable cardboard box and use white vinegar as a rinsing aid.
  • Let houseplants absorb toxins and clean your air. Open a window instead of plugging in an air freshener.
  • Laundry washing once a week saves time and dryer energy costs, use eco-friendly laundry detergent, full loads, and cold water cycles as much as possible. Savon de Marseille, dishwasher detergent, lemon or vinegar work great on stains.
  • Dry on a line when possible.
  • Iron fewer things and use a homemade starch in a stainless spray bottle.
  • YOU CAN ALSO… find a sustainable dry cleaner (one that offers a reusable garment bag and non-toxic cleaners), compost dryer lint and dust bunnies…
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Contact Me: stephanie@greenartichoke.com