If you want to be more environmentally conscious at home, but don’t want to break the bank doing it, you’re not alone. We can all make a difference, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Below are 20 inexpensive ways to make your home eco-friendly.
According to EcoWatch, over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century. The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic each year. When it comes to plastic, if you don’t need it, don’t take it. Why? Because it takes 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade.
20 Ways to Make Your Home Eco-Friendly (for Less than $25)
Check out these inexpensive ways to make your home eco-friendly. All of them can be found through the Amazon affiliate links below and cost less than $25. As you’ll see, it doesn’t take a huge sacrifice to make a change for the better.
1. Metal Straws
500 plastic million straws are used and discarded each day in the United States, ending up in our landfills and oceans. What a waste! If you prefer to drink through a straw, there are still options for you. We use these metal straws in my house for smoothies and other frozen drinks. They were inexpensive, wash easily, and won’t end up in a landfill.
2. Reusable Produce Bags
Hopefully you are already bringing reusable shopping bags with you every time you go to the store. It’s incredibly important to do so, since it takes 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture the 100 billion plastic bags Americans use each year. In other words, not only is it horrible for the oceans, but we’ll never be done with our dependency on foreign oil if we keep using plastic bags.
Think about this. Target alone gives away enough plastic bags a year to wrap around the Earth 7 times.
Do you know how many times I told reusable grocery bags to the store, but still needed plastic to bag my produce? Too many. Then I purchased reusable produce bags fro just a few bucks, and now I don’t have to waste any more plastic bags. There are several options available, such as these produce bags which come in a pack of five.
3. Reusable Cups & Utensils
By now you should also be taking a reusable glass bottle or canteen with you rather than using or purchasing plastic water bottles. You should also be taking your own reusable coffee mug with you to get when you grab a cup of Joe on your way to work. This is such a simple way to make a big difference.
Do you also pack your own lunch for school or work? Chen check out these reusable bamboo utensils. Even their holder is made of recycled plastic bottles. Heat and stain-resistant, they won’t impart or absorb flavors. They’re even dishwasher safe! So stop wasting plastic utensils and use these instead.
4. Reusable Dry Cleaning Bag
Another major waste of plastic comes from dry cleaners (not to mention the harmful cleaning chemicals). Of course, it’s always more eco-friendly to wash your clothes at home. Yet for items that do need to be dry cleaned, save the plastic by bringing your own clothing cover. I have this one from Green Garmentowhich comes in a variety of colors.
5. Heavy Duty Plates
6. Paper Towels
Another HUGE waste of money, trees and energy is paper towels. But now you can replace them with these heavy duty, machine washable, reusable towels that look just like your regular paper towels. Yet these can be reused up to 120 times, so one roll replaces 60 conventional paper towel rolls. What a great way to make your home eco-friendly.
7. Disposable Wooden Cutlery
While you’re company is eating off those plates, they can be using disposable wooden cutlery from Bamboodlers. It’s 100% all-natural, eco-friendly, biodegradable, and compostable. Plus, a pack of 200 utensils (100 forks, 50 spoons, 50 knives) costs just $19.99.
8. Bamboo Toothbrush
Disposable toothbrushes are an absolutely ENORMOUS waste of plastic. Fortunately, there are better options on the market, such as these biodegradable toothbrushes with wooden handles and BPA-free nylon bristles. Bamboo is inherently anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. This set of 4 bamboo toothbrushes costs $12.99.
9. Pet Poop Bags
Not only do we waste plastic on our pets, then we fill it with poop! These eco-friendly poop bags are made with plant starch and food grade polymers. They’re nontoxic and leave no toxic residues when degrading.
10. Trash Bags
While we’re on the topic of wasted plastic bags, let’s move on to garbage bags. Make your home eco-friendly with Evolution Trash Bags. These tall kitchen trash bags are made with 70% post-consumer recycled materials and exceed EPA guidelines by 700%. One box contains 120 bags.
And while we’re at it, let’s not forget about lawn bags. BioBag compostable yard waste bags are breathable to reduce moisture, mildew and odors. They come in a 33 gallon fill capacity. It costs $17.40 for 20 lawn waste bags.
11. Eco-Friendly Batteries
I don’t know about you, but my household goes through an endless amount of batteries for remote controls. Eco Alkaline/ makes the world’s first eco-friendly, long-lasting “green” batteries certified by CarbonFund.org. They have a 5-year shelf life to ensure customer satisfaction. Plus, every purchase is carbon neutral, and offsets projects through Carbonfund.org.
12. Yoga Mat & Blocks
So many people today practice yoga, and this is an excellent place to make your home eco-friendly (or to take your mat with you). J-so luxury yoga mat is made from biodegradable recyclable natural tree rubber, faux suede, and water based inks. There are no toxic smells, phthalates, PVC or chlorine. Just put it in the washing machine at low temperature, then hang to dry. It’s ideal for Bikram, hot yoga, pilates, and general exercise.
Fledo Yoga Blocks are ideal for yoga. They’re made of durable, eco-friendly Eva foam for better support, balance and comfort. They’re also easy to clean, non-absorbent, and moisture-proof to keep bacteria away! Plus, you can get a set of 2 for just $7.99.
13. Cutting Boards
There’s no need to prepare foods on plastic cutting boards when you can use bamboo instead. Bamboo is strong and dense as hardwoods. And unlike glass or plastic cutting boards, bamboo cutting boards won’t dull your kitchen knives. They’re easy to clean too. Just wash with hot water and soap! This set of 3 bamboo cutting boards costs just $8.99.
Making your home eco-friendly could start with your morning cup of Joe. Plastic K-Cups have become an enormous burden on the environment. Yet San Francisco Bay‘s single serve coffee pods are compostable. They’re compatible with most Keurig K-Cup 1.0 and 2.0 brewers, as well as Cuisinart, Bunn, iCoffee and other single serve brewers. OneCups are made from plant-based renewable resources, grown responsibly, and fair trade. The coffee pods come in a variety of flavors, though personally I’m partial to the Organic Rainforest blend. They come in multiple sizes. An 80 count box, for example, costs $23.99. (Yes, 80!)
15. Sandwich Bags
I almost forgot yet another way to reduce plastic bag use! Sandwich bags! BioBag resealable sandwich bags are certified compostable. They’re made from plants, vegetable oils and contain no polyethylene. They’re durable and reliable. Get a 25 count box for just $4.99.
16. Compost Bags
This is really cool. If you’re like me, you keep saying that you’re going to get a compost, but never seem to get around to it. Well, these compostable bags are perfect for organic waste. By Hoop Compost, this out of the way alternative to a traditional compost bin sits in the garbage can as a place to put compostable items. It fits in your existing trash can, and it’s easy to install and to clean. You can get a 3 month supply for $24.99.
17. Household Cleaners
Most conventional household cleaners contain chemicals that can be toxic to your body, to the land, to the environment, and to the animals they’re tested on. Contrary to the commercial, clean does not smell like bleach. Clean is an affect, not a smell. And bleach should not be down our drains or in our water. Fortunately, if you want to make the switch to green cleaning products, there are tons of affordable options on the market. In my house we use lots of products made from Young Living and Method. (The Young Living items tend to go over the $25 price point, but you can click here for more information.)
Method‘s products are very reasonably priced (meaning inexpensive), effective, and safe for you and the planet. Plus, they smell great! Every ingredient used is evaluated by an independent environmental research institute for people and planet safety. Almost all of Method’s PET plastic bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic, resulting in less waste and a 70% lower carbon footprint. And Method uses ingredients that follow the highest technical standard for defining biodegradability.
Another easy and awesome way to make your home eco-friendly is about how you wash your clothes. Not only does it get into your body, it also gets into the water system. There are so many toxins in conventional detergents. fabric softeners. It’s an easy switch to make, with so many well-priced options on the market. We’ve tried Method, Seventh Generation, and ECOS with success, but I hear that Biokleen, Grab Green, and Natural Homelogic are all good choices too.
19. Fabric Softener
Along the same lines, fabric softeners can be harmful to our skin and to our landfills. You can make your own fabric softener sheets, use wool dryer balls, or you can get toxin-free fabric softener sheets like the ones from Seventh Generation.
20. Weed Killer & Gardening Products
Last but certainly not least, it’s vital to our health and our planet to stop spraying toxic weedkiller all over our lawns. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in toxic products, is a known carcinogen. Not only does it wind up on our grass and beds with each spraying, it gets into the soil, into the water, into any foods you may be growing, on our skin, on our children, and on our pets (who bring those toxic chemicals into our homes). Isn’t a few weeds on our lawn a whole lot less important than our health and our future?
There are many articles about using vinegar and essential oils to make your own weed killer, or you can purchase more natural products such as the ones from EcoSMART, Avenger and Garden Safe. In addition, Garden Safe makes a variety of botanically derived products to control plant pests and diseases without traditional chemicals to keep gardens beautiful and bountiful.
By the way, you can find over 30 tips for making your bathroom more eco-friendly here.
Now it’s time to make the changes and spread the word! There are many inexpensive ways to make your home eco-friendly. Say no to plastic. Stop using harmful chemicals on your bodies, in your homes, and your lawns. And don’t forget that reducing, reusing and recycling does not cost a thing!
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