As a little life update, I recently moved into a new apartment a few weeks ago. I went from living with two other roommates to living with one other person. Moving into this new apartment has really inspired me to craft a living space to my liking, which is more simple and environmentally conscious. A few disclaimers, I think it is a privilege to be able to create a living space to one’s liking and it is not always affordable to be purchase environmentally friendly products. I do think that there is a long term benefit to reducing wastes now in order to help preserve our earthly home. And lastly, personal habits tend to be difficult to adjust, so these 5 simple tips will also incorporate into our daily lifestyle while being friendly to our wallets.
*Non of these products recommendations are affiliated links, these are products that I’ve personally used and found helpful*
Reduce Your Paper Towels Usage
Quality paper towels can cost quite a bit, especially if we buy it in a smaller quantity. Buying them in bulk can be pricey and due to the current pandemic, most places are sold out so hunting them down can be frustrating. Paper towels are super convenient to use for cleaning our kitchen, quick clean up for spills or drying dishes. I opt for kitchen towels that I can use to dry out my dishes before putting them away.
As for cleaning spills and stains, I bought some Swedish Dishcloths that are reusable and machine washable. Each pack comes with 10 sheets which is equivalent to 150 rolls of paper towels and each sheet can be reused around 50 times. I keep a small laundry basket in the kitchen to keep my dirty clothes after using them with cold water and hang up to dry. Definitely a great safe on money and reducing waste.
Replace Your Napkins
Similar to paper towels, using paper napkins during mealtime is quite convenient that comes at a cost. My boyfriend bought me a set of 12 white napkins that I can wash and bleach in case of food stains. Plus, it’ll also give us the feeling of dining at a restaurant, impressing our dinner guests.
Starting an Herb Garden
Have you ever cooked a recipe that calls for 1 single stem of rosemary or 7 leaves of basils? We always end up wasting our money and food if we don’t finish our herbs. I recommend starting an herb garden by your windows. Based on our favorite cuisine we can purchase herbs that we can use in a lot of the cooking. In Vietnamese cooking, we use quite a bit of cilantro and Thai basil. After buying a large quantity of basil, I like to propagate older stems until roots come out and I will transfer it to the soil. It is so satisfying to see my herbs grow nicely and super rewarding when I get to harvest my leaves for a new recipe.
Reusable Cleaning Supplies
Ever since the pandemic started, it has been difficult finding Clorox wipes and sprays anywhere. Plus, after using these products there are plastic wastes at the end. I found a reusable bottle product of Clorox spray that uses replaceable concentration tubes where you will need to fill the bottle with water, shake and it is ready to use. The tubes are small made of plastic, but it is less plastic usage compares to regular size bottles. I prefer using Clorox based products since they are stronger on bacterias to clean my home.
Ground Coffee and Loose Leaf Tea
During my moving haul, I bought an espresso maker from Ikea, and my boyfriend also lends me his loose leaf tea infuser. These are life-changing! I used to buy tea bags, which are used quite a bit of waste. These bags can also contain plastic, and when soaked in water it can release some plastic into your drink. As for the ground coffee, after brewing my cup, I like to use the ground coffee to fertilize my plants.
Embracing an eco friendly lifestyle can sometimes be a little bit daunting, especially when we are so used to the convenience and norms of using plastics and other products. It is difficult to cut out 100% of our wastes but I think by examining closely at our daily habits, we can make small changes that could have a big impact. From reducing our use of paper towels by replacing them with reusable wipes or fabric napkins, to growing our own herb garden to reduce food waste and plastic use. If all of us can give our best effort to reduce our plastic use, we will be able to minimize our waste impact to the Earth.
I hope you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share your environment friendly tips in the comment section, till next time!