22 Sustainable Swaps to Support Mother Earth
I found it fitting to present 22 ways to be eco-friendly on this 22nd day of April for Earth Day. There is nothing I love more than Mother Earth! I have had the privilege of wandering the earth for many years now and I hope to have the opportunity of enjoying it for many more. This can only happen if each and every one of us takes the steps and makes the changes to better the world we live in together.
Did you know that Earth Day hasn’t always been around. It’s actually fairly new, on April 22, 1970 “Senator Gaylord Nelson was disturbed that something as important as our environment was not being address in politics or by the media, so he created Earth day. It is said an estimated 20 million people nationwide attended festivities that day.”
This shows you the power one person can have when they are supported by many. There are so many other times that people have come together to create new laws, legislation & protection for this planet we are inhabiting.
- the Clean Air Act
- the Endangered Species Act
- the Montreal Protocol
- the Clean Water Act
- the Reformation Plan No. 3 of 1970
- the Safe Drinking Water Act
- the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act
- the Toxic Substances Control Act.
- the National Environmental Education Act
It makes my heart happy to see this list of ideas put into action by people who were passionate about the future of our planet. With that being said, we have made leaps and bounds to create a healthier planet but we have also lost our way in other aspects. There is still work to be done and it needs each and every one of us to participate. To make a conscious effort each day to help this planet, our planet, stay healthy. Let’s take a moment to thank all that have come before us & all who will come after. What if we left the earth better than we have found it?
How we* can make a difference
Let me give you some ideas and ways that you can become more eco-friendly in your daily tasks and routines. Before you get started I know that grabbing a re-useable cup or grocery bag isn’t going to solve all the world problems. But, I Do* know that the small actions & choices we each make on a daily basis can and will create change. One by one each of us either adds or subtracts from the pollution & waste problem we have on this earth.
I have included some local to me options, so please, do a little research and source them from small businesses in your area. I also linked some items to online shopping to help you be able to find the items I am referencing. As always, don’t just buy because someone tells you to, tap in and see if you actually need the item. That is something that we all could get better at in this fast-paced, hyper-consumeristic society we find ourselves in.
Ok, let’s get rolling with the 22 sustainable, reusable swaps.
Books that help pave a more sustainable, eco-friendly way….
I’m a book worm through and through. I might be a borderline book hoarder! Honestly, I sometimes have more books checked out than I could ever possibly read. I just love to learn, grow, and find ways to be better. These are a couple of the books that I have had the pleasure of reading. A couple of them I loved so much I purchased a copy for my home. Over the years I realized that I would get excited about a new book and buy it, ship it, and then maybe not love it as much as I thought. I decided to grab a library card, check out the books, and if I fell in love, I then would buy it.
Here are a couple other books that I have read & loved about health, nutrition, menstrual cycles, etc
Why I invested in a Kindle.
I invested in a kindle a long time ago and I am so glad I did!
- It makes traveling so much easier, lighter (always a bonus* for this over-packer).
- It saves thousands of pieces of paper and trees each year by having a digital download.
- Takes away the carbon footprint of packaging & shipping.
- Your books are kept in a neat and tidy space at the tip of your finger.
Sustainable & Reusable Menstrual Care
Just for a second calculate how many pads and tampons you will use over the years of your period. Now multiply that by each and every woman in the world. Think about all of those having plastic or cardboard applicators that will be thrown away with the single use product. Is your mind blown? Me too, friend. I seriously couldn’t fathom how many pads and tampons were being dumped into landfills every second of every day. The plastic wrappers and applicators being used to cover the pads and tampons just to be thrown away because although they could be recycled, for sanitation reasons they aren’t allowed.
This thought process got me doing the research to help slow my impact and direct contribution to the landfill. There are many companies creating more sustainable period care options. I have to admit I fell in love with a locally owned, women-run business, Saalt. A business that is making waves in the world, making period care accessible to all. This company continues to blow me away with all the good they are doing in the world.
How they are impacting the world
We believe that people empowered and equipped to live their element can change the world. As a certified B Corp, we commit 2% of our revenue to donate period care to regions with the most need and help fund initiatives in menstrual health, education, and sustainability.
Everyone should have the right to a safe and dignified period. We empower individuals with the knowledge and long-term solutions to improve their menstrual health, which increases gender equality and opens conversations that bring awareness and break down social stigmas.
EDUCATION & EMPOWERMENT
Access to period care keeps girls in school, breaking the cycle of poverty for generations. We’re fueled by the power educated women have to lift their families and invest back into their local economy, bringing change to entire communities.
Every consumer who chooses reusables saves thousands of single-use period products from our landfills and oceans. We provide consumers with sustainable solutions to decrease waste through product design that is healthy for both body and planet, and by funding direct cleanup efforts.
Sustainable, reusable period care for all.
The only period panties I have ever loved & will never go back to anything but these. They are comfy, classy, and make you feel sexy while you are on your period. You can feel the quality of the material on your body. And, you feel confident to be seen in these gorgeous undies. Trust me, you want a pair or two of these!
Hands down the best made menstrual cup on the market! They offer different sizes and materials to make the cup fit perfectly for you and your body. Salt Teen Cup, Soft Cup, Regular Cup, Duo, Period starter pack, everything you could ever need for your period. I wish I had these options when I was a teen and just starting my menstrual cycle. Wow, what a difference it would have made!
Don’t worry. I too felt a bit overwhelmed and unsure where to start as I navigated menstrual cup and sustainable period care. I have you covered. Here is a great place to start to get some, if not all of your questions answered.
Bamboo Toilet Paper
It might not be the first thing that comes to mind but TP does play a role in a TON of waste!
We have switched to using bamboo toilet paper which grows rapidly compared to hardwood trees. We have been testing out different companies (favorites so far are Better Way & Reel) to see and feel the difference. There are so many companies making high-quality bamboo TP, so take a look and get some delivered to you today! Easy Peasy and the texture and durability. I know, I know, this could make you feel uncomfortable that I am talking about this. But it gets two thumbs-up from our bums & I hope from yours too! Hahaha, there is no getting around a little humor while talking about toilet paper.
Reusable Produce Bags
Have you ever stopped and thought about how many plastic bags you use when going grocery shopping? Some stores have made the change to biodegradable which is a better option. Think about how many plastic bags are used to place a head of lettuce, a couple of apples. The number adds up quickly and it would make a HUGE difference if we invested in produce bags. These are so convenient to use, wash and keep in your car for each grocery trip. They come in so many sizes, styles and I seriously love mine and would never go back. Go grab your own set & see what a change it makes!
Bee’s Wax Wrap
Gone are the days of using aluminum foil or saran wrap. There are so many other ways to cover leftovers, or wrap an item for storing. These bee’s wax wraps have become a staple in our home & I love how many different designs there are. Go take a look and grab your favorite, it seriously makes you smile pulling them out & using them
Reusable Plastic Bags
I feel there is a trend with all of these items that I am speaking about. My little family who loves to adventure was going through so many plastic bags to pack all the snacks. I wanted a better option for us to use and I am happy to report there are so many options to choose from. Baggies for adults, for kids, for pets, clear ones, material ones, decorated ones. Go check them out! I also have invested in a couple of these bags too. They are high quality, super durable & something I love having in our home.
Reusable Grocery Bags
The OG of reusable bags! This bag has all the pockets, dividers, and it is huge to pack all the farmer’s market goods! There are so many options for bags, large, small, mesh, solid, plain, writing on them, colorful, check them all out here!
Reusable Water Bottles
One of the best decisions I made for my health was investing in multiple reusable water bottles. I now have one at my desk, in my car, and with me wherever I go. This has helped me start drinking more water because of the convenience of always having it by my side. I highly recommend investing in a couple of glass water bottles to help you drink water too. This simple decision not only helps you be healthier but also decreases the amount of single-use plastic water bottles heading for the trash.
There are so many to choose from, big, small, sleek, funny, for adults, for kids, there are even some for your pets! I have both glass and metal, which makes it great for both hot and cold beverages. Here are a couple more to check out, for the amount that is offered, everyone should be able to find a favorite.
Reusable Coffee, Cocktails, all the Beverage Cups
I love to treat myself to coffee shop cup of joe and not always am I able to stay and sip in one of their nice cups. But, I just couldn’t bring myself to being ok using a single use coffee cup every time I wanted to treat myself. If anything it took away from the enjoyment of the coffee and had me feeling bad about my choice. Once I made this choice, I might have indulged on a couple reusable mugs that I absolutely love. I use them for my coffee, tea, cocktails on the river, all the things, and of course you need a special cup for each beverage.
- Insulated Wine/ Cocktail Tumbler
- Wood, Glass, Pottery, Eco-Friendly cups
- My personal favorite brand of reusable, insulated cups
Travel! Oh travel how I love you so much! I have had the opportunity to travel to so many incredible places already in my life. It is something I really believe you spend money to do but get richer by the experiences. Over the years of traveling I have tested and tried so many different bags, snacks and gear & now have favorites. I am starting to make the shift to eco-friendly bags and suitcases as well. You can find my favorite bags, clothings, storage kits, and snacks all in one convenient place!
Plant-Based, Nontoxic Cleaning Supplies
We talk so much about organic food, the dirty dozen, and clean fifteen but have you heard much about cleaning supplies? The items that you are using to clean your home and clothes, are they hurting you more than helping you? It is so important to take a minute and turn those cleaning supplies around. What are the ingredients? Can you pronounce them? Do you know what is in them? Could they be contributing to allergies & skin issues?
These are all things to think about when selecting cleaning supplies for our homes. I made the switch to this nontoxic, cleaning brand a couple of years ago & absolutely love them. They make a conscious effort to supply glass bottles to use, so you aren’t wasting a ton of plastic bottles. They also keep synthetic fragrance out which is a huge hormone and endocrine disruptor. Think how easy it would be to have one product to clean your home & wash your clothes. So easy that you can make your own anytime you run out. This is the company and product you have been looking for. Bonus* use the code: sproutingvitality for 10% off at check-out!
Growing Your Food
Growing your own food has so many benefits. You are able to eat everything you grow making yourself more self sustainable. You are supporting local and small businesses by purchasing their seeds, dirt, and gardening supplies. Maybe you are growing enough to contribute to a CSA or farmers market so you are also feeding others.
There are so many fun ways to make gardening something you love to do.
- Gardening Tools
- Tools, Books & Gardening Gear
- Garden Grow Lights
- Organic Seeds
- Herbs, Flowers, Veggie Seeds
- Gardening Containers, Raised Beds, Etc.
I am so passionate about decreasing your carbon footprint and supporting locals. I wrote a whole blog post about eating seasonally and supporting local. You will be able to plug in your own zip code and find farms, CSA’s, and markets in your area. Be sure to check it out, I promise you will not only get delicious food but create friendships too!
Wool Dryer Balls
Possibly one of the easiest and best decisions I made for my skin and respiratory health. I stopped using dryer sheets with synthetic fragrance. Seems like these little sheets wouldn’t be so bad, but let me tell you they are. I made the switch to organic wool dryer balls and sprinkle them with essential oils for a nice, natural scent.
Decrease your water usage
I work out almost every day and I don’t love spending a ton of time or effort showering, washing & blow drying my hair. My world changed when I started using this dry shampoo. It is nontoxic, it smells delicious & they actually offer different options for the color of your hair! I was hooked after the first shake!
I also switched to nontoxic deodorant a couple of years ago and I’m so happy I did. No longer am placing harmful chemicals and ingredients in my armpits puts my mind to ease. But, also I feel like I don’t deal with body odor like I once did. If you haven’t made the switch, I highly recommend you looking into the one and only natural deodorant that has worked for me.
Other ways to decrease your water usage
- Decrease your laundry days, have an eco-friendly washing machine, dish washer, etc
- Zero scape your yard
- Grow food instead of grass
- Turn the water off while washing your hard, brushing your teeth, washing your face.
Reusable Makeup Remover Pads
This is one that I have yet to switch over to. I tend to just use small washcloths for my face post washing and don’t use a lot of pads or cotton balls. It is a great thing to switch if you do find yourself using cotton balls or pads on a daily basis. People are so creative and crafty these days! I found colorful pads, white pads, organic pads, mini pads, anything you could ask for, people are making!
Reusable Paper Towels & Napkins
I used to always have a roll of paper towels in my home for the occasional spill. I started to realize just how many I was using, Yikes! Not feeling good about how and why I was consuming this much & I made the switch! There are so many darling prints and materials to choose from, how could you not smile looking at these rolls! Again, go have a scroll and find the ones that are calling your name. The ones that will put a smile on your face seeing them on your counter!
How many times do you get takeout to bring it home and have a set of plastic utensils you never actually use. Or you go out to eat at a fast food joint and use a plastic fork for 5 minutes to then throw it away. What if we changed that and have our own set of utensils to use wherever we went. On a plane, road trip, lunch out with friends, there are so many times that we could save a set of plastic by bringing our own. I thought it was so fun going and seeing all the different sets that are offered. Some have a carry case, some come with your own personal straw, they are all so cute, its hard to choose just one.
Clothing & Shoes
I used to be the girl that looked for every sale. You know the ones, the buy one get 4 free, the $10 t-shirts that you’d where a handful of times and then throw out. I was this girl until I realized where are of those clothes that I easily tossed were going. How fast fashion is one of the leading contributors to landfills. I was shocked, appalled & ready to do my part. I no longer wanted to buy into fast fashion & wanted to really be intentional of what I was buying and who I was buying it from.
How to become a conscious consumer
- Spend a little more on higher quality items.
- Get creative with what you already have. Mix, match & rotate your wardrobe.
- Upcycle your clothing when they get too worn out to donate. Make blankets, towels, pillows, carves, and bags.
- Donate when you no longer wear or use items.
- Invest in a good tailor that can alter and mend clothing.
- Support brands and companies that are working to be more sustainable, and putting into place practices that support the planet.
- Rent clothes for special occasions instead of buying them and wearing them once.
- Shop secondhand/ consignment.
- Buy eco-friendly materials like wool, bamboo, cotton, linen, and hemp.
- Limit how often you do laundry. Fill your loads to consume less water on more frequent, smaller loads. Hand wash and air dry when you can.
As I started researching, I was pleasantly surprised to find so many women run and owned businesses making in impact. Creating clothing, shoes, and accessories that are made with quality, sustainable materials. They also are giving back to the communities in need, which I fully support and love knowing how my purchases are supporting others.
I have started a favorites page to have all the companies I support and love in one place. Hop on over and take a look and know this page will only continue to grow as I stumble upon more companies doing good in the world.
- Girlfriend Collective
- Back Beat Co.
- Andie Swim
- Vitamin A
If there is one thing I would highly recommend you switch it would be everything plastic in your home. Especially food containers that you are placing hot foods in or using a microwave to reheat food. So much information about plastic seeping into our food, let today be the day you make the switch to glass. There are a ton of options for food storage containers that come in every size, shape & include lids. I love switching out plastic storage containers in my kitchen to glass because it looks sleek & keeps food fresh. There are spice containers, dry food containers, candy containers, bathroom supplies storage, you name it, they have it!
Like I said above, I love working out, trying new classes, hitting the trails, and moving on my yoga mat. I have tried on, tested out, and sweat in so many brands of clothes and shoes over the years I thought it was time to create a favorites page. A place to find the items that not only fit the bill to work out in but also creating a positive impact in the world. Think yoga pants made out of recycled plastic bottles, lightest fully-cushioned running shoes, sustainable sundresses.
Sustainable, Reusable, Eco-Friendly Starter Kits
An easy way to get started and not feel overwhelmed by trying to make every swap. I thought these kits were super cute and could even be a great present!
One stop shop for all things sustainable!
I recently stumbled upon this company on Instagram and was shocked at everything they offered. They say “have peace of mind with everything you buy. Healthy, beautiful essentials for a more sustainable home.”
One tree is planted for each and every order! That just warms me heart to think about.
Here are some of the things they offer;
That’s a wrap my fellow Earth dweller!
I really hope that this post has helped you get some ideas of areas that you can become more eco-friendly. It is not meant to be overwhelming or make you feel bad. It is an intro into identifying where we as a community can do better. Where we can take a step to live a more sustainable life not only for ourselves but for our community and planet Earth.
Just imagine what our Earth would look like if each one of us picked just one thing on this list of 22 to implement into their life. What would it look like if each one of us checked every box on this list? Wow! My mind is blown and so happy to think about the impact that could take place.
Let us all take action today to be better, to do better.
Start becoming more sustainable today!
Every choice you make impacts the world, so why not make it a positive one.