How it all began
I started my journey towards a more sustainable life when Landon was born 4 years ago. It all began with my decision to use cloth diapers for him. Initially it was about avoiding the chemicals that were in disposable diapers and baby wipes but it became so much more when I discovered the environmental impact of using disposable products. Since cloth diapers, I’ve found many more ways to carry out sustainability into our lives.
Here are my favorite 6!
1. Cloth diapering! Did you know that the average amount of waste produced by a baby that wears disposable diapers in their first 2 years amounts to 2,000 pounds of trash?!? That’s insane! Cloth diapers are a sustainable and toxin free solution to diapering my little ones. I purchased soft bums to get us started. The rest of our diaper collection was graciously donated to us by Brad’s friend from work. I adore the cute little designs that they come out with and I can rest assured that my baby’s delicate skin isn’t coming into contact with harsh chemicals that are put in to making disposable products.
2. Washing ONLY dirty clothes – I know that I used to throw my clothes right into the dirty laundry basket at the end of the day. Majority of the time I never had any kinds of stains on my clothing and they didn’t smell bad, but I’d toss them in the pile to be washed anyway. Thinking back on it, I created a TON of laundry for myself to do. I really don’t need to wash a shirt just because I wore it that day unless it’s actually dirty. We waste so much time, energy and resources washing our clothes out of habit/routine instead of consciously wearing them and caring for them when they actually need to be cared for. In our household of 4, we only do 2 or 3 loads of laundry a week and that INCLUDES our cloth diaper washes! Less laundry means much less work for me, so it’s a win. 🙂
3. Washing dishes by hand – Before you go rolling your eyes at this one, hear me out. It’s really not as bad as it sounds. It only takes a few minutes to hand wash the dishes after each meal. It’s really not necessary to use a dishwasher. It wastes so much power and even more to heat up the water to make the wash effective. If you think about it, you’re practically washing (rinsing food off) the dishes before you put them into the dishwasher, right? Why not just complete the task? You’ve got to wash your pots and pans by hand anyway. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until the cycle is done. I don’t know about you but during that cycle, I was constantly having to stop the dishwasher to either get something out or put something else in. Hand washing is just much more efficient!
4. Eliminating paper products – On average, just one person uses about 700 pounds of paper products a year! Multiply that by the number in your household and maybe tack on a few more pounds because you have kids. I don’t even comprehend how we have any more trees left! Our paper consumption is beyond ridiculous. We use paper towels, toilet paper, napkins, paper plates, tissues, receipts, coupons, documents, holiday cards, coffee filters, etc… Is all of this necessary? I don’t think so but that’s just my own personal opinion. I try my best to replace paper products with something more sustainable wherever I can. I’ve converted to cloth napkins, towels (for cleaning), cloth wipes (instead of toilet paper), cloth diapers and I also bring towels with me to dry our hands in public bathrooms. I have seen so many people in public restrooms use 3-4 paper towels each time they wash their hands. Something like bringing a small towel with you can make a big difference. 🙂
5. Menstrual cup and cloth pads So, obviously this one is for the ladies but for the gentlemen reading this, maybe make a suggestion to your women. 🙂 Using tampons and pads for that time of the month is not only unsustainable, but also very toxic! You would not believe what chemicals go into making feminine hygiene products. I’ve used the menstrual cup and cloth pads for years and I’ll never look back. Check out my blog The Unsustainable Vagina for some statistics that may shock you about disposable products for your period.
6. Line drying – The “Saving Electricity” website reports that the average dryer uses 3.3 kilowatt hours of energy and estimates an average of 11 cents per kilowatt-hour. I’ve always had to run the dryer longer than an hour per load. The costs start to add up depending on how much laundry you do. Something about line drying feels serene. I actually look forward to this task when our laundry day comes around. I get to go outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine while putting up our clothes to dry.
There are all kinds of ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle. These are just a few of my favorites that we’ve implemented into our lives. Our Mother Earth nurtures us every single day. Let’s try to be more mindful this Earth Day and everyday. ❤️