Ah, Earth Day. It’s one of my favorite days of the year. The older I get, the deeper I fall in love with Mother Earth and all that she does for us. However, a few years ago, I began asking myself what I was doing for her. Truthfully, it started with my clothes-I heard the term ‘fast fashion’ and had to find out exactly what that meant. For me, it turned into a huge rabbit hole which then turned into an entirely new way to look at fashion-or my closet-in general. I’ve since adopted a capsule wardrobe and have never looked back. I chat more about it here if you’re curious. Anywho, my capsule wardrobe rabbit hole of 2017 turned into an entire daily mission to live a more sustainable lifestyle and I work hard in my home to teach and model the importance of recycling and sustainability in our daily lives. In honor of Earth Day, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite products and practicies with the hope that perhaps one will resonate with you because at the end of the day, the only way we can truly honor our Mother is to work together.
- Reusable Paper Towels: As a mama to 3, I spend a lot of time wiping counters, kitchen tables, sinks, etc. Before Papaya, I was reaching for a paper towel every time I did my wipe down routine. Shame on me! I’ve since purchased these reusable paper towels and I am hooked! I use them, I wash them, and I use them again. And again. And again. I also recently grabbed these organic scrubbers from One of A Kind Goods and am equally obsessed. Cleaning doesn’t have to be wasteful!
- Menstrual Cup: Okay-hear me out. I got sucked into a documentary last year about the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans and when the credits rolled, what struck me the most was the amount of tampon applicators that they showed. Think about it- I’ve had a period since I was in 7th grade -at 33 years old, I must have thrown away HUNDREDS of colorful, plastic applicators and given no thought to where they’d end up. Reality sunk in and I knew there had to be a better way-and there is. A gal on Insta actually turned me on to these menstrual cups and while, yes, there is a bit of a learning curve, it is 100% worth it if it means I’m no longer contributing to the applicators in the ocean problem.
- TerraCycle: Like many of you reading this right now, my shampoo, conditioner, and countless other hair products are in a plastic bottle. If you think you can’t recycle your tricky plastic bottles, think again. TerraCycle is a company that partners with tons of brands to make recycling your empties easy. Simply create an account (for free), print out your free label, toss your empties in your box and voila. Tricky plastic is recycled.
- Reusable Grocery Bags: This isn’t a new concept but I struggled with it for so many years because 9 times out of 10 I’d leave my house to grocery shop only to discover at the checkout that I had forgotten my reusable bags. Fail. However, I started putting the bags right back into my trunk after I put my groceries away and have found so much success that way! While it does require one extra step during my least favorite chore (putting all of the groceries away) it 100% eliminates the ‘oops I forgot my reusable shopping bags’ moment at the checkout.
- Reusable Plastic Baggies: My oldest daughter brings her lunch to school every day and she’s also allowed a morning and afternoon snack. I found these reusable plastic baggies before the start of the school year and have used them all year long! Instead of putting her pretzel sticks and trail mix into two different plastic baggies that get thrown away, I put them in these reusable ones and she brings them home instead. I just rinse them in the sink and they’re ready to go the next day. Perhaps the best $7 I’ve spent all year.
- Do Your Research: Once I got curious about sustainability and recycling, I was so excited to find so many brands to support that are doing BIG things for Mother Earth. Some of my favorites include Everlane, Rothy’s, Little Hands Hawaii, Nespresso, and I recently discovered that Fairy Farm Co offers a refill program for all of her handmade products and I am dying to get my hands on her products and get enrolled in her refill program! If you’ve got a favorite place that you love to support, I’d love to hear about it! Drop it in the comments to share the love.
Above all, I just hope to inspire and encourage you to make even one small change to your daily routine. Not only will you be doing your part, but your kids will see it and the impact of teaching our kids to take care of our environment is HUGE. I’m certainly NOT perfect but I do believe my few small changes can make a big change! If nothing else, step outside today and take a DEEP breath of fresh air. Our Mother Earth is so beautiful-show her a little love today!
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