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Or I know I wonât keep up with it!
As we say goodbye to summer 2020 and reflect on all this year has brought, both good and bad, sustainable options just make sense!
These 5 easy zero waste swaps are all eco friendly products for the home. Super simple lifestyle hacks to take small steps to an environmentally friendly kitchen.
When we faced a quarantine nationwide all the paper products and cleaning products were wiped out and it took months for us to see any sizeable restocking happening. It was a strange feeling to not be able to go to the store and grab what I needed for my home. This experience made me realize many things I took for granted.
I decided to come up with solutions so I have options other than hoarding or panic buying as we face the months ahead.
Sustainable options give us more control over our lives by eliminating the constant need for things like paper towels, cleaning wipes, plastic wrap, or zip-lock bags to keep our food.
These 5 simple product swaps can help you save money, be prepared if there is another run on cleaning supplies and paper towels, feel good about doing something environmentally friendly!
1. Paperless Paper Towels
Why make the switch? I have two good reasons. Never running out and reducing waste!
As we say goodbye to summer and 3 seasons of 2020 it is wise to reflect on what we have been through this year. We all experienced needing paper towels and not being able to buy them due to the global pandemic. Whether it was due to our community's panic buying and hoarding or just plain, not enough supplies to meet the need, the shelves were empty.
In my area of the US the shelves emptied in March and we are just now (in August!) starting to see a sizeable replenishment at the local stores.
Reducing waste is always a worthy endeavor! Paper towel usage has created tons (literally tons) of waste for many years.
In 9 More Reasons to Pass Up Paper from Norwex.com I found the following:
Paper towels create 250 million tons of waste per year.
âEvery little bit really does help the environment. Also, the idea of never running out of âpaper towelsâ or paperless paper towels to wipe up my spills and do a quick clean in my home sounds great to me!
I keep a stack of Norwex Counter Cloths on my kitchen counter, as pictured here in this cute little holder. They stay folded up neatly or I lay one across the top to dry between uses!
The other option pictured here is from Grove Collaborative, a Bamboo Cloth Reuseable Paper Towel and Holder.
Honestly, I do have a roll of paper towels in my kitchen, especially for mishaps with my pups (for some reason even though washable, my brain just cannot fathom cleaning up pet grossness and then using the same cloths on my counters or hands!).
Interested in the Norwex Options - shop HERE.
Want more info about Grove Collaborative - click HERE:
âHere are some other paperless paper towel options for you to shop:
2. Reusable Food Storage Bags & Beeswax Food Wraps
We donât pack as much food as we used to when the kids were younger and the 2020 quarantine reduced our need to pack food even more!
Still, we have reasons to use resealable plastic baggies. Reusable ones are a great option!
My first set came from Grove Collaborative. I found they are easy to use and to clean.
I like to bring a snack in my purse or the car. Reusable snack size bags so much better than traditional zip-top plastic bags! They aren't as flimsy so they donât fall all the way to the bottom of my purse or bag, but at the same time, they are notâ too bulky.
They zip up tight and keep the food so fresh!
Beeswax food wraps are another item Grove Collaborative introduced me to. I love them! They come in all different sizes and are easy to wash. It feels good to reuse something.
Simple reusable items like these are both economically conscious and earth-friendly.
Prior to trying re-usable options, I was constantly buying boxes of zip-top bags of all sizes in addition to plastic wrap and tin foil. Although these beeswax wraps do not take the place of tinfoil for every use (like in the oven - they are not oven safe!), they are great options to wrap up bread, sandwiches or other food items.
Read a full review of Beeswax Food Wraps on Business Insider.
Here are some reusable food storage items for you to click through and shop:
3. Glass Spray Bottles with Non-toxic Cleaning Concentrates
Cleaners of all kinds were another thing that flew off the shelves this year and are still hard to come by. I was so thankful to have my Grove Collaborative subscription service.
Grove Collaborative worked hard to keep cleaning supplies in stock and delivered quickly this year.
Through Grove Collaborative, I started using glass spray bottles and filling them with my own cleaners. Either purchased through Grove Collaborative or DIY solutions.
Using a concentrate makes your money stretch further by eliminating the constant need to replenish your cleaners. This can really help during times when the cleaning supplies are low or gone at your local stores.
To check out Grove Collaborative click HERE.
Here are some glass bottles and more natural cleaning concentrates for you to click through and shop:
4. Cloth Napkins
This is a simple sustainable switch that just makes sense for your wallet and the environment.
I started collecting cloth napkins during pre-pandemic days in the clearance section at TJ Maxx. This means I have a random collection of mismatched napkins for everyday use. We just pile them in a drawer in the kitchen and grab one at meal time.
My husband is finally on board and will grab a cloth napkin now for dinner. I am still working on my teenagers, just trying to get them to use a napkin at all, but that is another story.
Here are a few more reasons why cloth napkins are a great zero waste swap from TheKitchn.com:
Here are some cloth napkin options for you to shop:
5. Cleaning Wipes
In our area, Clorox or Lysol wipes are still nowhere to be found! I was finally able to purchase some store brand cleaning wipes last week.
I have never been more thankful for my Norwex Envirocloths.
Norwex Envirocloths have the ability to remove up to 99% of the bacteria from the surfaces you are cleaning. I am serious...watch this video for a raw chicken demo - these things work!
With water only these Norwex Cleaning Cloths give your surfaces a serious clean.
Talk about a super easy, zero waste sustainable swap!
Even though I do like to keep some regular cleaning wipes on hand I have not missed them too much thanks to this super green, zero waste cleaning option.
Norwex is not the only option though - microfiber cloths are a great option for all of your cleaning. I would say, if not using a cloth such as the Norwex Envirocloth be sure to combine your cleaning efforts with some type of non-toxic spray cleaner to make sure you are giving your surfaces a deep clean.
Using microfiber cloths are a great option for cleaning.
The tiny fibers pick up more dirt and food residue than most cloths. ... Dusting: Microfiber cloths and mops trap much more dust than cotton rags, which makes the job faster and easier. Another advantage of microfiber is that, unlike cotton, it dries fast, making it hard for bacteria to grow in it. - California Department of Pesticide Regulation Microfiber fact sheet
Interested in ordering Norwex Microfiber Products - click HERE.
Here are some other microfiber cleaning cloths for you to shop:
The weather is starting to change here in Northern Virginia as we say goodbye to summer and head into fall..
Still facing uncertainties in 2020 and hoping for a better 2021 I want my family to be prepared with simple things like "paper towels" or paperless ones, napkins and most importantly cleaning supplies.
These easy eco-friendly zero waste swaps will help me say goodbye to summer and walk into this new season with confidence.
I hope these ideas were helpful for you too!
Check out how my blogging buddies are saying goodbye to summer 2020 here:
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