My new year's resolution for 2021 was to reduce our household's waste. Here is a quick update on how it's going.
(Links to product companies at the end.)
O F F I C E:
One of my favorite things that I've purchased to help me go green is my mini Rocketbook. I take notes throughout my workday, edit my "to-do" list, and keep track of my hours since I work from home on a notepad by my computer. I realized I was using 1 to 2 sheets of paper per day, and there had to be a better way. I put out a call on Snapchat for recommendations and my friends told me about Rocketbooks. They are awesome! You just wipe them off with the microfiber cloth at the end of the day, and you're good to go with a clean slate. It also has an upload/digital feature that I haven't tried yet, but it's neat that the option is available if I ever wanted to use the QR code to instantly digitize my notes. The longest I've left ink on the pad so far has been two weeks, and it still wiped off great.
L A U N D R Y:
I have heard about wool dryer balls (as a replacement for dryer sheets) for a long time, and being a knitter myself it was a no-brainer to make a few of my own. I finally got to use some 100% wool yarn I'd been saving, and they turned out great. I've noticed a much faster dryer time with my clothes. I also have a few clothing and household items that can't be washed with fabric softener, so it's a great added bonus that I don't have to worry about them anymore, I just toss all my laundry in the dryer with the wool balls and go about my day.
I have tried a few products from the company Blueland. And so far I really like all of them. Their laundry tabs make my clothes so soft and fresh, are unscented, and are sans-plastic.
B A T H:
Along with the laundry tabs from Blueland I also got their foaming hand soap and bathroom cleaner starter kits. The first thing I was impressed with was the size of them. They're huge! I have a picture of the cleaner next to a wine bottle for scale. They were shipped in completely recyclable packaging and I have been really happy with both of them so far. Their fragrances are pleasant and light, not overwhelming, which is great for me because I'm sensitive to strong smells. You use the attractive reusable bottles and fill with water, then add their refill tabs to make the solution inside. It was fun watching the little tabs dissolve, like Alka-Seltzer. I hope to get their multi-purpose cleaner kit too, once I use up the current one I have.
B E A U T Y:
One of the biggest areas I (and I think most women) create waste is when it comes to our beauty routines. With the average woman using anywhere from 12 to 16 different cosmetic products every day, and most of them being in plastic and nonrecyclable containers, the beauty industry definitely needs to make some improvements when it comes to the environment. My shower has perhaps gotten the biggest makeover. I now use solid bar shampoo, conditioner, and soap. I still use disposable razors for now, but I use each one for two months, so I only use 6 per year. I have been pleasantly surprised by how low-maintenance this has made my shower routine, and traveling is a breeze! I also knit myself reusable cloths/loofas which I affectionately dub "shower flowers" and the one in the picture is about 5 years old. I Love This Cotton yarn is amazing folks, it holds up in the laundry and is super sturdy. The shampoo and conditioner are from HiBar, and I love them. The shampoo suds up well and the conditioner feels moisturizing. They don't leave any heavy scents in my hair, it's just shiny, soft, and healthy.
In an earlier post I shared my pattern for reusable makeup remover rounds. I am still tweaking these a bit, and you can find the original article HERE.
S U M M A R Y:
Overall I am really happy with the changes we've made. Using our own tote bags at stores instead of plastic sacks has been another great improvement, and they can hold so much more, so less trips to the car is a bonus.
While our reducing journey continues, it is fun to reflect on the changes we have made so far. Hopefully this article helps inspire you, or offers suggestions you hadn’t thought of before on how you can find ways to reduce your own household waste.
Links to the companies mentioned:
I Love This Cotton