Do you constantly hear about ways to be “greener” or reduce waste and be more eco-friendly? Do you think about how you’d love to do that but you a) don’t have the time, b) think it’s too expensive, or c) just assume it’s too hard? Guess what!? There are quick and easy ways to reduce your ecological footprint that do not take much time, require minimal effort, and either are super cheap or save you money in the long run! Being in this quarantined life is the perfect opportunity to make a few changes.
Use your reusable totes.
I feel like the hardest part about using the reusable totes is making sure they’re in your car when you need them! I’ve found a great way to remember them is to use one designated tote as storage for the other totes. I keep mine in my trunk, nice and out of the way. Then I grab them when I’m grocery shopping or running errands to other stores. Don’t be afraid to use them. They have such cute ones everywhere. And if you’re a Disney mom, they have oodles of them at the Disney store! Those make for great gift bags for birthdays too. A nice thing about the reusable totes is that most fabric ones are machine washable. These days, that comes in handy. You can grab them and throw them in the wash to ensure that you’re killing any germs from your outing.
Recycle K-Cups or buy a reusable K-cup pod.
If you have a Keurig, you know those pods can pile up. There are tons of eco-friendly options when it comes to K-cups. Less packaging, reusable K-cup pods, and pods that you can peel the foil cover, dump out the used coffee, and recycle! Just check out your pods for a little note that states if their packaging is recyclable! If you get the reusable K-cup pods, you can buy bags of all your favorite coffees, and you’re good to go!
Buy reusable ziplock/sandwich bags.
One word. Amazon. So easy to purchase, these bags come in tons of different sizes, a few to a package, usually dishwasher safe, and they hold up so well to put away that half of an apple your child didn’t eat or to send some snacks or a sandwich in your kiddos lunch box or yours. These bags run about $5.99 for a 6 pack! These eco-friendly bags are made of silicone and can save you tons of money in the long run.
Use metal straws.
These are so easy like the ziplock bags, you can get them on Amazon in so many different styles, colors, and sizes. Most of them come with a storage bag and the straw cleaner which aids in making sure they don’t get funky and makes your life easier in cleaning them. Remember they are also dishwasher safe! I keep a storage bag with one or two straws in my car in the glove compartment so I can opt-out of straws at drive-thrus. A 6 pack of straws with cleaning brushes and a storage bag costs about $7!
Reduce plastic toys in goodie bags and piñatas!
Why do we insist on getting goodie bags to fill up with stuff we wouldn’t want our own kids to get a party? Let’s stop the cycle! There’s nothing I love more than going to a birthday party and seeing a different sort of goodie bag for my son. Adopt a stuffed animal, a plant, or paper bags, even reusable mini totes with candy, stickers, Play-Doh, crayons; something that will get used and not tossed into a bin to be lost forever! In my son’s last goodie bag, I even gave out metal straws so that parents and children could start to use them if they hadn’t or get a new one to add to their rotation. These little changes help reduce plastic waste and clutter in your homes.
Use a reusable water bottle.
Give others the idea and share your easy ways to be a little more eco-conscious. My mom, for example, used to purchase cases upon cases of water bottles. Finally, one day I bought her an aluminum water bottle, the ones that stay cold for hours and she LOVED it.
She had never wanted to buy one for herself because she thought she had more than enough bottles. Now she doesn’t understand how she functioned without it. She constantly tells me how her water stays cold and how much more convenient it is to not have to worry about leaving a water bottle in the car, the water getting warm, or concerns about BPA. People may find different benefits and they all end with being eco-conscious. Now, with constant shortages in cases of disposable water bottles, save yourself the hassle and grab a reusable bottle instead that you can fill up and enjoy!
Opt for shipping on your “Amazon Day Delivery.”
If you’re like me, you’re obsessed with shopping on Amazon (see above)! I find amazing deals, gifts, home supplies, and necessities here. Nearly every day I remember something new I have to buy. When something isn’t an absolute must to get to my house via Prime, I opt for Amazon Day Delivery. This makes your shopping just a bit eco-friendlier. If you’ve never really looked into it, it works like this…
Amazon will hold off on shipping your purchases until they’re ready for your Amazon Day Delivery. They pack it all together, when possible, so you reduce the number of boxes and deliveries. And they limit the shipment to one specific day. This is super convenient. It reduces the number of cardboard boxes you’re getting to your home. This also reduces the amount of emissions from delivery trucks. And hey, you’ll get to open a box full of fun stuff on your designated day. You can also choose which day is your day. So if you worry your packages are home before you are, you choose a day that works best for you!
Or try this…
There is also the Amazon “No Rush Shipping” option that allows you to earn $1-1.50/item to use toward Amazon digital purchases. These rewards can be redeemed for digital books, digital music, and Amazon Video movies/rentals. Perfect for your at-home date nights or to entertain the kiddos with the new movies being released straight to streaming. You’d be surprised how quickly that money piles up and you’re ready for a quarantine night at home with a new book or that movie you were wanting to rent but didn’t want to spend $5.99+ on! Amazon is really pushing these rewards right now to entice people and be able to rush ship the necessities for COVID-19. It’s really a win-win!
I hope these tips have helped you! These are only a few tips, there are many more. Remember you can make a huge difference by taking small steps like the ones I’ve mentioned above. Don’t be turned off because you think it may be out of reach for you or too much effort. So, remember to share your ideas. Drop a comment below, and share some of the ways you are eco-friendlier in your home. I’d love to hear them!! Stay safe and stay home!