It seems like the cool thing to do these days is to go eco-friendly in all aspects of our lives. While some pass this off as a fad, I see it as a much-to-long overlooked necessity. As mothers, we are called to be good stewards of the homes & families that we have been blessed with. As homesteaders & farmers, we are called to be good stewards of the land and resources that we are given. Making some simple Earth friendly changes in your home is a big step in the direction to stewardship and care. I started making changes last year by purchasing eco-friendly products instead of my usual household purchases. There are several products that stuck and I want to share those with you.
Eco-Friendly Products for Your Home
1. Tube-Free Toilet Paper
I didn’t even know this stuff existed until a few months ago, but it is brilliant! There really is no need for the cardboard tube so why buy toilet paper that has extra trash attached? We have been buying Scott Tube-Free Toilet Paper on Amazon and I don’t plan to switch to anything else anytime soon.
2. Flour Sack Towels
I can just toss these in my regular laundry and reuse them until they ravel out (which takes a long time). I also use flour sack towels for dusting & for cleaning windows, mirrors, sinks, and bathtubs.
3. Stainless Steel Cups
We use stainless steel cups with silicone lids and steel straws (in addition to our mason jars) in our house. The cups are color coded (colored silicone) so each family member knows which cup belongs to him or her. We use these cups at home and when we are on the go. When we visit restaurants that will allow us to bring our own cups, we use these instead of disposable ones. After we are finished with these cups, they will go to a recycling center where they will be reused in a new steel product.
You can also use a double walled stainless steel thermos for coffee, hot tea, or for carrying take out or leftover food.
4. Reusable Straws
Plastic straws are the absolute simplest item to ditch when you are trying to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Buy a few reusable straws- you can find them in glass, bamboo, and stainless steel– to use at home and to take with you on the road. This one simple step will keep a significant amount of plastic out of the landfill (or ocean) and if you use a reusable straw in public, you might cause other people to think a little harder about their own product choices.
5. Reusable Ear Cleaner
This is one of the eco-friendly products that I laughed at the first time I saw it. I never thought that I would purchase it for myself, but guess what you can find in my bathroom drawer right now? Yep, this reusable ear cleaner.
My family was using so many q-tips and that resulted in quite a bit of extra trash. The kids would also get into these and scatter them around the house. This little tool has taken care of both of those issues so our ears are clean & we have less trash to throw into a landfill!
I don’t like to bring much plastic into my home, but this purchase seems like a good option compared to throwing q-tips out every day. The plastic in this product also won’t be leaving my home for a long time.
6. Ear Candle
An even better option for ear cleaning is the candling method. All you need is an ear candle (hollow), a paper plate, a pair of scissors to make a hole in the plate, and a match or a lighter. You can watch this video to see how it is done. The video shows an aluminum pie pan, but I recommend a paper plate because it can be composted when you are finished.
7. Natural Baby Care Diapers & Wipes
Cloth diapers were my go-to with my third child, but the extra laundry became too much for me to handle. I didn’t want to go back to disposables because those bad boys take 450 years to decompose! That is not even close to being conducive to an eco-friendly household.
I searched for a couple of weeks to find a solution to my baby bottom dilemma and I finally found exactly what I was looking for… Eco by Naty has #1 Eco-Certified, plant-based, chemical-free, biodegradable (not 100%, but the closest I have found) diapers & wipes. The diapers seem a little odd at first because they are made from completely different materials than most of us are used to, but they are wonderful! We have had no leaks or rashes since making the switch.
*Cloth diapers are a better option if you can swing it, but I am loving these!
8. Compostable Trash Bags
This product came into our household as a result of our diaper switch. We did not want to put our biodegradable diapers into a non-biodegradable garbage bag because that would defeat the purpose altogether.
I found these Compostable Trash Bags on Amazon and they are working well for us. There is a little learning curve with the bags so let me give you a couple of tips… Don’t put food or wet items directly into the bag because the moisture will cause the bags to begin to break down AND don’t overfill the bags because there is no drawstring and they are not the strongest trash bags in the world. The biodegradability factor of these Trash Bags outweighs the slight inconveniences for me.
9. Compost Bin
I hate to throw food away. Most of our scraps go to our animals, but when we have things that the animals aren’t crazy about we just toss it into our Kitchen Compost Bin. This bin serves as a ‘holding cell’ for this food until we can take it out to the heap.
Also, we are a coffee-loving family so we have many coffee grounds that would be thrown out each day if we didn’t compost. This compost bin gives allows me to reuse the grounds without having to run to the compost pile every morning.
10. Compostable Kitchenware
My family currently lives in a tiny house with no dishwasher. We like to use disposable dishes on occasion (especially during calving season and baseball season), BUT we don’t want to use plastic products or flimsy paper plates. We found the perfect solution in these compostable plates, bowls, cups, and cutlery. Once we are finished with them, we toss them in the compost bin!
11. Shampoo Bars or Refillable Shampoo
This is the newest eco-friendly product that I have added to my home. Think of all of the plastic that would not be entering your home if you stopped using your liquid shampoo & conditioner. That is exactly what I did! I now make my own shampoo bars (recipe in The Homemade Household) that I can use for my hair and my body. No more shampoo, conditioner, or body wash bottles for us! If you don’t want to make your own bars, you can purchase them as well. HiBar is my favorite shampoo and conditioner bar…check them out here!
If you don’t want to use a shampoo bar, but you also don’t want to use shampoo in plastic bottles, you should check out Plaine Products refillable shampoo and conditioner. You can purchase your hair products in refillable aluminum bottles. When the product starts to get low, email the company or place a refill order on Amazon. They will give you a shipping label to return your empty bottles to refill and you will receive freshly filled reused bottles a few days later.
*Take note that switching to a sulfate free shampoo will take a few weeks for your hair to get used to. Your hair might feel oiler for a bit, but stick it out and your hair will look and feel better than ever!
12. Reusable Grocery Bags
I have started shopping at Ruler Foods (a discount Kroger store) where shoppers bag their own groceries to cut down on costs. You can purchase plastic bags at the checkout, but I bring reusable grocery bags because I have seen the effects of plastic bags and it ain’t pretty. I have even made some of my own grocery bags out of old feed sacks.
You can use reusable bags no matter where you shop. If you buy groceries somewhere that has an employee to bag the items for you, just hand them your bags before they start putting them into plastic. This is a super simple step that can make a huge positive impact on the environment.
13. Reusable Produce Bags
I try to avoid plastic produce bags every time I go to the supermarket. Carrying a reusable produce bag with me makes it possible to keep my produce clean and separated without using a bunch of single-use plastic bags.
14. DIY Cleaning Supplies
Another excellent way to create an eco-friendly household is to replace your cleaning supplies with homemade products. Almost all of the cleaning products in my home have been replaced with DIY recipes. My favorites are the All-Purpose Antibacterial Spray, Dish Detergent Cubes, Scouring Powder, and Carpet Freshener. You can find all of my cleaning supply recipes in The Homemade Household.
15. Bamboo Toothbrushes
We started buying Bamboo Toothbrushes for the kids to help reduce the amount of plastic that we go through in our household. The ones that we use are numbered so each child knows which one belongs to him or her.
16. Dental Lace
Most dental floss is made of and packaged in plastic. There are a couple of good alternative options for the standard, but many people aren’t aware of them. Dental Lace is one of these options. This floss is made of silk and it is packaged in refillable & recyclable glass.
17. Water Pik
A Water Pik is another good alternative to standard floss. It is made of plastic, but it is far from single use. This tool shoots water between your teeth and under your gums to clear out bacteria and debris. The Water Pik comes highly recommended by dentists as well.
18. Reusable Coffee Filter
Opt out of paper coffee filters and use a reusable filter instead. I use a GoldTone filter that came with my Ninja Coffee Bar that works really well. I dump the coffee grounds into my compost pail each morning, rinse the filter, and reuse the next morning. Zero waste win 🙂
What are some eco-friendly products that you use in your home?
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