There is one page on the blog that especially piqued my interest. The Tips section. As I went through these, I discovered there were things I already do, things I don’t do but should start doing, and things that I absolutely refuse to do. So what are those things? Well, I’m going to break them down like Bea does on her blog, by sections of the home. I challenge you to follow along with me and see where you can make adjustments in your home!
- Use reusable water bottles for my daily water needs.
- Take cloth bags as well as produce bags to the grocery store.
- Buy in bulk for some kitchen items, such as grains, legumes, and dried fruit.
- Shop the farmer’s markets in the warmer months.
- Eat most, if not all, of my food. I don’t let items go to waste and only buy what I know I will consume.
- Completely ditch paper towels.
- Use castile soap for both dishes and hands.
- Compost. Unfortunately, I don’t have a garden. So what would I do with all of that composting material? Plus, I don’t have a place for the rotting specimens to, well, ROT. No yard or patio yet.
- Sadly, nothing on her list!
Would Like to Do:
- For body soap, use a package-free soap.
- Use 100% recycled toilet paper. This is more expensive than regular, though. Boo.
- Refill bottles with bulk shampoo and conditioner. I once lived near a co-op that allowed us to bring in bottles and buy the shampoo/conditioner by the liquid ounce! It was awesome. I no longer have that, though.
- An alum stone instead of deodorant. I already use a non-aluminum, homemade deodorant. But I’d like to try making my own instead of buying someone else’s homemade product.
- Dump the Q-tips. This is going to be tough. I am a bit addicted.
- Make homemade toothpaste.
- Make reusable panty-liners.
- Compost hair and nail clippings. #1, don’t have a place to compost. #2, ewww.
- Menstrual cup. And how does one clean it in a public restroom?
- Homemade cleaner (vinegar, water, and orange extract)
- Old toothbrush for the nooks and crannies
- Wash floors with microfiber mop
- Turn worn-out clothes into rags
- Iron less. I hardly iron as it is, so this isn’t hard!
- Own more houseplants to help clean the air (I only have one so far!)
- Make homemade laundry detergent or buy in bulk
- Take clothes to the dry cleaner, even if it is an eco-friendly one. I don’t want to spend the money!
- Use cloth napkins
- Stopped buying CDs/DVDs. But I do accept them as gifts!
- Bring my own container to take home leftovers when eating out. Sounds weird, but who cares, right?
Absolutely will not/cannot do:
- Take jars to the grocery store. How does one do this for bulk items and not get charged the weight of the jar? For example, bulk rice is sold by the pound. A mason jar will add to the cost because it weighs a pound, at least.
- Started a junk mail war! I get electronic bills and statements for all of my accounts and I don’t have a listed phone number or address.
- Only use paper clips at home.
- Make my own envelopes out of the junk mail ones that do end up in my mailbox.
- Use recycled paper for printing.
- Use memory sticks and external drives instead of CDs for storage of electronic files.
- Use the library for books and renting DVDs.
- Recycle paper and plastic products via the recycling center in my building.
- Use refillable pens and pencils.
- Donate extra office material to local public schools’ art program.
- Refuse free pens. As a part-time waitress, you lose so many pens that any free pens are highly valued! You would be surprised at how many customers steal pens!
- Donate unworn pieces.
- Keep worn-out clothes for rags.
- Bring reusable bags for purchases.
- Adopt a more minimalist wardrobe.
- Learn more sewing tricks. I can hem a pair of pants, but it isn’t that pretty.
- Buy second-hand clothing. I do this on occasion, but I mainly stick to discount stores like TJ Maxx, Filene’s Basement, and Nordstrom’s Rack.
- Only shop a few times a year. While I don’t shop often, I can’t limit myself to only a few times a year, because clothes don’t wear out on a schedule.
- Keep only a minimal supply. Working on paring this down even more.
- Own a Neti Pot. Great for nasal congestion!
- Gave up the multi-vitamin. I eat a healthy diet!
- Don’t buy jumbo size medication. I do this because I think it is a better deal. It isn’t!
- Find more natural/homemade alternatives. Like a homemade salt scrub or lotion.
- Reuse my prescription jars at the pharmacy. I can’t do this. I tried and they refused. I do, however, use a few for storing small craft items, such as beads. AND edited to add, thanks to my lovely friend Nicole: save your empty pill bottles for your friends that are art teachers!
- Ditch band-aids. Sometimes you cut yourself and don’t have time to wait and see if you will stop bleeding. Like while waitressing.
- Alas..in this last category I can’t write much. I don’t have a garden. :(
So let's hear it, could you incorporate some of these ideas into your home?