I am always on the look out for ways to reduce my family’s carbon footprint, while also making sure we don’t go broke in doing so. I have compiled a list of some easy things you can do to minimize your waste by swapping out things that you would normally discard, for items that you can reuse or recycle afterwards.
I love Amazon because it means I don’t have to drag my clown car of children to the store, so I’ve used direct links for all of the products. You can click on any picture and it will take you directly to Amazon’s listing. I wanted to include some visuals so you could easily see what I’m referring to. If you can find it elsewhere– go for it! The point is to make the eco-friendly switch.
I have slowly been trying to swap out as many items that I throw away for things that I can wash, recycle or compost. Sometimes making a difference in the amount of waste you create can seem daunting, but if you take it one thing at a time it’s a very doable thing.
Reusable Snack Bags
Reusable Food Wrap
If you no longer have an old school coffee maker but instead a Keurig, you’re probably aware of how much plastic and wrap are used for a minimal amount of ground. There are two ways around this
Buying plastic water bottles is stupid. I’m sorry. (Ok, I’m not sorry. You’re throwing away your money for something that is the quality of tap water while also creating a huge mess of plastic waste. Just stop.) Instead, invest in a good water bottle. I’m a huge of this kind because they keep the water cold for 24 hours. But whatever kind floats your boat is OK by me.
Stainless Steel Straws
Those plastic, colorful straws that bring back memories of lemonade stands and summer time fun are great for nostalgia but bad for the environment. Stainless steel straws are a good alternative and can withstand the trials and tribulations of children– they can be left outside or bitten repeatedly.
Don’t assume that because something is compostable it will be more expensive. I’m not a huge fan of bringing reusable plates to a picnic or birthday party– I don’t have time for that. But instead of buying paper or styrofoam plates, you can get something like this! They’re compostable and they are CHEAP so they won’t break your wallet.
Coffee To-Go Mugs
If you’re anything like me, then you like to have your coffee made by other people. It just tastes better. I tried bringing in my normal to-go mugs but it really took the “wow factor” out of going out for coffee. But these glorious beasts look like disposable cups– thus satisfying my pliable brain.
Reuable Mop Pads
There are tons of alternatives out there to the disposable mop pads that come on a mop like a Swiffer, depending on your mop make and model. I made the switch to washable ones and I haven’t looked back. They’re thicker, they work better and I never have to remember to buy replacements.
I could never make this commitment. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t! As parents we spend a huge amount of money on diapers, and this can save you a ton of money. (Experts have estimated that your baby will use between 6,500-10,000 diapers in their lifetime. The average price in the US for a disposable diaper is $.20. Do the math.)