Reducing your carbon footprint isn’t that hard if you start small. My footprint is still bigger than what I’d like but I’ve taken the edge off by doing the following:
Did you know appliances will still leech energy even if they’re turned off? Unplug your toaster, blender, chargers and any electronics you don’t need. TVs and internet stuff might be a little more complicated but unplug what you can.
Changing my laundry routine
My favorite detergent was discontinued. It seemed like a good time to try something new so we decided to go really green with econuts. Throw a few in a bag and into the wash and your clothes still get clean. We added a plant based stain remover and are killing our dryer sheets before switching to something else to prevent static.
Because I wear a lot of athletic wear for work, my clothes generate a lot of problematic microfibers in the wash. Insert the GUPPYFRIEND wash bag! I haven’t seen a ton of fibers but it definitely catches something.
Eating less red meat
I’ve ever been much of a hardcore carnivore. There’s all sorts of info about how the cattle industry is bad for the planet so it makes my ambivalence even better. I even have days where I don’t eat any meat.
Removing my makeup remover
I switched to an oil based makeup remover instead of those wipes that just go in a landfill. Use oil, use face wash or baby shampoo depending on the intensity of makeup, scrub with washcloth, done. I use baby wipes when I travel but I’ve started using coconut oil as a travel conditioner and moisturizer. We’ll see if that changes things.
Buy secondhand. Textile waste in the western world is insane. Keep that down by using thrift stores, GoodWill, Poshmark, thredUP, eBay, or garage sales. It’s also cheaper. On the same token, sell or donate what you don’t want instead of throwing it away. What can’t be donated should be recycled. Textile recycling is a thing and I’ll be doing a drop off sometime this month.
Personal rant: I sold items to thredUP stuffing that bag to the gills and paying for them to send the rejects back (they charge for this). The prices they offered me for my items resulted in me turning a profit of $0. I still feel extremely ripped off. Several influencers I follow have been hyping them but I’m not a fan.
Changing how I shave
I’ve been dry shaving with coconut oil. It shortens my shower time and I don’t buy shave cream/gel. I have to use a rag to get the hair off the razor but it’s still better than wasting water going blind in the shower. Sugar scrubs are also supposed to be a good option.
Changing my period products
I switched to reusable pads and period underwear. I made the switch right before the hottest, mightiest day of summer which made the day so much more comfortable for me. Diva cups are also a good reusable option but I haven’t used one personally. If you still want or need disposables, switch to organic cotton.
Recycling and Reusing at Snack Time
Napkins and paper towels are products you buy just to throw away. Pick one to switch with a reusable product. Hubs and I use and love flannel napkins and recycle or compost paper towels. We discovered a local company that makes reusable snack bags, among other things.
This one won’t be doable for everyone but Hubs and I live 2 blocks from an organic market. We have a little trash can in the kitchen and use compostable liners. In addition to veggies, fruit, and bread, we can also compost a lot of paper products.
There’s more I can do but these are the ones I do regularly and easily integrated into my routine.