Despite rising concerns regarding the condition of the environment, some Americans admit to “never getting around” to living in an environmentally conscious way. While it’s not realistic to transition to a completely eco-friendly household within mere hours, there are several small steps you can take to live more consciously. Below are six household items you can swap out with greener versions to help lessen your impact on the environment.
Cloth or bamboo dish towels
While paper towels are convenient for drying towels and cleaning up kitchen messes, they prove wasteful and harmful to the environment. Instead of reaching for the paper towel roll, consider using cloth dish towels that can be thrown in the washing machine and reused.
In addition to cloth dish towels, a new item has emerged on Shark Tank, the Bambooee, which is a bamboo replacement for paper towels. Similar to a cloth rag, the Bambooee can be washed up to 100 times and reused. With every roll sold, the company also plants one tree.
Reusable grocery bags
Despite the fact most grocery stores package their groceries in plastic bags, plastic bags are dangerous to wildlife and break down into toxic pieces. Reusable grocery bags cut back on the amount of waste and are often more durable than their plastic counterparts.
When batteries are disposed of in landfills, they can release harmful metals such as mercury, lead, and cadmium. To avoid pollution and contribute less waste, opt for rechargeable batteries that can last up to 1,000 charges and will save you money in the long run. When your batteries can no longer hold a charge, they can be easily recycled.
Reusable water bottle
While convenient for people on the go, plastic water bottles prove considerably toxic and problematic for the environment and wildlife. Even with recycling programs in place, about 91% of the water bottles we use every year wind up in a landfill. To reduce this percentage, consider buying water bottles you can wash and reuse. Stainless-steel water bottles prove useful as they not only eliminate plastic bottles, but also keep beverages warmer or cooler for longer.
Plastic straws prove not only detrimental to the Earth and its oceans, but they also prove bad for your body. Consider investing in reusable straws that still offer the ability to sip without the environmental impact. As more concerns surface over the complications of straws, there has been a growth in reusable straws, some of which include stainless-steel, glass, and bamboo options.
Just as it’s important to be conscious of products, it’s also crucial to seek out environmentally-conscious packaging. Instead of buying shampoo in plastic bottles, opt for the less packaged option: shampoo bars. Shampoo bars are concentrated bars of solid shampoo that still produce the hair-scrubbing lather. These bars, often arriving in eco-friendly packaging, are compact alternatives that dissolve completely and leave no waste. Companies like Lush and Ethique offer options for shampoo bars that suit all hair types.
While switching to an environmentally conscious lifestyle may feel overwhelming at times, there are simple steps and alternatives that can help lower your impact.