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Changes We’ve Made to Live More Sustainably

Today I’m going to talk about some changes we’ve recently made in our household to be more eco friendly and reduce waste. If you’re interested in learning how to live more sustainably, read on to find out how we do it. This post contain affiliate links, which help me support this site at no extra cost to you. 

As I’ve gotten further into minimalism, I’ve started feeling more responsibility to do my part to live more sustainably. When I became more conscious of what we were bringing into our house and how much we had to get rid of, it was easier to notice the things we were purchasing over and over and over, only to throw them in the trash after one use.

Replacing disposable home goods with reusable options has loads of benefits. It saves money in the long run to not constantly have to replace things and there are less emergencies when you’re all out of something you need, because you just wash what you already own and use it again. And then there’s the whole environment impact thing…no big deal.

It can be intimidating to change things from the way they’ve always been done. Just remember, every little thing you do makes an impact. You don’t have to do it all or do it perfectly. Just start somewhere!

Changes we’ve made in our home

Here’s a list of things that we’ve changed over the last few years. It didn’t happen all at once, and I’m still looking for new and better ways to improve our lifestyle. It’s definitely a process!

Ideas for How to Live More Sustainably

Ditch the paper towels

pile of turkish towels in basket - ditch the paper towels and use washable towels

Getting rid of paper towels has been my biggest feat. My husband was not on board for this change. It’s so simple, but so hard. We used paper towels for everything from cleaning up spills to wiping off baby hands and faces. At first it seems like such a pain to wipe up a simple spill with something you can’t throw away but I’m happy to report you do adjust.

The key to a paper towel-less life is to have plenty of hand towels and wash clothes (we use microfiber cloths) on hand. I love these turkish hand towels and you can buy bulk amounts of microfiber cloths on amazon for a decent price.

Invest in reusable food storage bags

A couple weeks after Graham started preschool, I ordered some reusable sandwich bags off amazon. I went through so many plastic bags those first few weeks and have no idea how many I’d have used by now if I didn’t replace them. And they have such fun ones for kids on amazon. I still need to grab some clear storage bags for storing things in the refrigerator. I’ve found if I use the kid themed ones I can’t see what’s inside and end up forgetting about them.

Use bar soap

I finally traded in most of my liquid soap for bar soap. I now use bar soap for my body soap and my shampoo and conditioner. Switching to bar shampoo can be kind of a process. You have to kiss a few frogs to find a brand that works well for your hair. I love Unwrapped Life‘s products. They do ship from Canada so I’d like to find a more local brand, but it feels good to eliminate those plastic bottles.

I haven’t made the switch to a dish soap bar, but maybe that should be my next big change!

Buy reusable makeup removing cloths

Instead of using cotton rounds or q-tips to remove your makeup, you can get a pack of reusable makeup removing cloths for a pretty low price. I like these. I just use my face cloths to remove all makeup, even if I have to put a little makeup remover on them to get it all off. You can even get washable cotton rounds if that’s your thing.

Get a Washable Shower Liner

I didn’t even realize washable shower liners existed until I noticed my sister-in-law had one. I’d just lived my whole life throwing them away every year or so when they got gross. A washable liner is a game changer. They’re usually mold resistant and you just throw them in the washing machine when they get gross.

Create Reusable Gift Wrap

This change required the most effort and is one of my very favorites. A couple years ago I started using reusable gift wrap by buying material and cutting it to size to wrap gifts with. It’s easy to personalize and make cute and at the end of the day, your recipient will probably let you take your material home with you. So far none of my recipients have kept it, although I’d gladly let them. And it’s so much easier to store a pile of material than a pile of plastic gift bags that get torn up easily.

More ideas for easy sustainable living

There are still plenty of changes I’m working on making in our household. Here are some extra ideas of things you can buy or do to live more sustainably

  • washable sponges
  • wool dryer balls
  • compost (I plan on doing this when we live in a house again. Our apartment complex might frown on it here)
  • eat more plant based food
  • run the dishwasher instead of washing by hand
  • buy used clothes and toys
  • stop buying bottles of water, use a refillable water bottle
  • buy from bulk food stores
  • take your own containers to bulk food store like spouts and refill your spices, etc.
  • make your own cleaning supplies or just use water
  • check out Marley’s Monsters for tons of eco friendly household substitutes