Here we are committed to the idea of “progress, not perfection,” because we understand that by virtue of living in an industrialized country it becomes nearly impossible to avoid all the things that harm our Mother Earth. We also are committed to the idea that every small action builds on every other small action and that together, doing our own little part, we can make a significant difference. So let's look at 8 simple swaps that can both save you some money and help the planet.
1. Switch to a menstrual cup.
A woman will use about 11,000 disposable pads and/or tampons in a lifetime, the result of which comes down to 12 billion pads and 7 million tampons end up in landfills annually in the US alone. These require a great deal of cotton, the world’s “thirstiest crop,” requiring six pints of water to grow just one little bud and most of that is non-organic, meaning saturated in pesticides and insecticides. Most pads contain polyethylene plastic, an environmentally harmful pollutant, and most tampons contain chemicals such as dioxin, chlorine and rayon. Not only are these things in intimate contact with your ladybits, they all leach into our water and air when they sit in a landfill. It's a no brainer to switch to a cup that is made from silicone and will last nearly forever.
2. Give up household cleaners in plastic bottles.
In 2019, household cleaners generated sales totaling approximately 3.46 billion U.S. dollars. In addition to the fact that that represents a whole lot of 24 ounce plastic bottles, those bottles will contain fun ingredients with confirmed health risks such as phthalates, QUATS compounds, 2-butoxyethanol, and chlorine. Switching to something like Meliora All-Purpose Cleaner makes good sense. Here's the full ingredient list: Vegetable Soap [Potassium Cocoate, Sodium Cocoate, Glycerin, Water, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil.] Works like a charm and comes in a refillable glass bottle.
3. & 4. Try silicone bowl covers and silicone food storage bags.
Plastic film, the type that makes up grocery and trash bags, plastic packaging and plastic wrap accounts for 19 percent of all plastic in the waste stream. These types of plastic are difficult to recycle. Plastic wrap is never recycled. So covering your bowls with silicone cuts off a major source of plastic pollution. Not to mention saving you money. If enough of us stop buying plastic wrap, they will stop making plastic wrap. Same same with food storage bags.
5. STOP BUYING BOTTLED WATER.
Bottled water consumption throughout the world has continued to rise over the last decade and is still going strong. And, of course, the US is the largest consumer of that water. In 2018, the U.S. sales volume amounted to approximately 13.85 billion gallons- the highest volume of bottled water ever sold in the United States. This amounts to industry profits of over 3.2 billion U.S. dollars. For something that comes out of your tap. For free, just buy a reusable bottle and save yourself a LOT of money.
6. Use up your little soap babies.
Don't you hate it when your organic soap bars get skinny and breaky? Don't toss that soap! Instead give it a home in a sisal soap pouch and use it until it's allll gone. Don't waste the good stuff!
7. Switch to reusable cotton rounds.
Remember that stuff about cotton production? Same cotton in your facial rounds. Switch to a nifty organic cotton alternative that you can toss in the wash and use again and again.
We chose hemp cotton for our cotton rounds because for one acre of land, hemp can produce 1,500 pounds of fiber – 3x the amount of cotton. Hemp can also reduce soil pollution, uses drastically less water than cotton, is antimicrobial and durable, and one of the strongest natural fibers. Our rounds are 70% hemp and 30% cotton. They last for YEARS vs a one-time use.
8. Try making your own nut milk.
OMG- I have a cardiac arrest at the price of alternatives to cows milk. But did you ever consider making your own? It's easy with a nut milk bag and a recipe and will save you gazillions at the grocery store. Here's a simple recipe for making your own almond milk at home:
- 1 Cup raw almonds + 4 cups filtered water
- Cover and soap overnight or for 6+ hours in the fridge.
- Optional add-ins: dash of sea salt, 1-2 pitted dates, or 1 tsp vanilla
- Blend for 30ish seconds
- Strain & squeeze 1-2x through nut milk bag
- Refrigerate up to 5 days
- Separation is natural- shake & enjoy!
So there's some easy suggestions to help you on your sustainability journey. Try one. Try them all. And remember – Progress. Not perfection.
Article written by contributor: Patricia Rodriguez
Plastic-Free Living Blog by Me.Mother Earth may contain testimonials or reviews by contributor writers. These testimonials reflect the real life experiences and opinions of such users. However, the experiences are personal to those particular users, and may not necessarily be representative of all users of our products and/or services. We do not claim, and you should not assume, that all users will have the same experiences.
Me.Mother Earth was created by Amanda Runkle and Alberto Gomes who aren’t experts, just two Mother Earth loving humans who share their plastic-free tips and advice with the help of contributor writers. The various DIY & zero waste methods, suggestions, and tutorials on Me.Mother Earth are not error proof, they’re merely what worked for Amanda and Alberto along the way. Extra precautions and additional research are always advised and Me.Mother Earth cannot be held responsible for your personal health or the outcomes from any of the articles shared on our Blog.