There’s no denying that we have many extra burdens to carry these days. COVID-19. Social distancing. Your entire 401(k) plummeting towards zero. But while we’re figuring out how to work from home while guiding our children through the ups and downs of distance learning, we shouldn’t lose sight of climate change and other environmental threats. Just because we’re going through an unprecedented time doesn’t mean we can forget about Earth Day.
Even as you struggle to figure out your kid’s math assignment or what angle gives you the least amount of double chin while video conferencing, there are some ways you do your part for the planet. Here are some small changes you can make in your everyday life that will have a positive impact on the environment. If you aren’t a stranger to shopping online, there’s no need to risk leaving the house.
Ditch Single-Use Plastic
In 2019, stores in Connecticut stopped giving away plastic bags at check out to encourage consumers to bring reusable totes. In that same vein, you can eliminate single-use plastic from your house by replacing it with reusable products.
I’m constantly freezing food and hate the amount of plastic storage bags I go through. After giving Tiblue reusable gallon and sandwich-sized bags a try, I was convinced to make the switch. They’re leak-proof and great for both liquid and solid storage, as well as freezing food. To clean, I wash them inside and out with dish soap and then let them air dry over our glass rack.
Eliminating disposable storage bags gave me the drive to do the same with plastic food containers. While they lasted for more than a single-use, they’re not in it for the long run. I started with a small set from FineDine and immediately loved them. They’re freezer, oven, and dishwasher safe, making them versatile and easy to clean. The first set was a complete success, so I ordered an additional variety of shapes and sizes. They stack nicely, the lids are strong, and they’re extremely durable.
If you’re into keeping it simple, I also love using Mason jars for food storage as well. These glass jars are my go-to for freezing homemade sauce or broth as well as pre-measured muffin mixes. They can also be used as glasses, vases, or storage for small toys like LEGO or craft items.
We’ve also been using iHem’s Organic Beeswax Wraps to replace plastic wrap. You can secure them to the top of open cans or jars, use them to wrap food or to cover a bowl or casserole dish.
Turn to the Bar
In another effort to reduce the amount of plastic we go through, I’ve added bar soap, shampoo, and face wash to my hair and skin regiment. Beauty items that come in paper packaging have far less of a negative impact on the environment and lead to less waste.
If you think the idea of using a bar shampoo is weird…it is. At first. I quickly realized that rubbing the bar directly on my head was ridiculous and switched to lathering the soap in my hands, then massaging my sudsy fingers through my hair.
There are brands and formulas available for every hair type. Besides the dozens of shampoos and conditioners available online, you can also purchase a few different brands in Target stores as well, which is where I buy Love Beauty and Planet products.
I still use a foam face cleanser and makeup remover combo at night, but in the morning, I love the Charcoal Cleansing Bar from Beauty Counter. I use it in the shower every day, and it leaves my face clean and moisturized.
Buy in Bulk
Buying food in bulk helps eliminate the waste by reducing the amount of packaging you throw away. Imagine taking that amount down to zero! At BD Provisions, you can bring your own reusable containers to fill as you shop. When you arrive, someone will weigh your containers and then set you loose in the store. When you have everything you need, they re-weigh your items. If you don’t have containers with you, you can purchase them in the store. With two locations in Newtown and Fairfield, BD Provisions is a great shop to pick up quality olive oil, pasta, coffee, cereal, grains, candy, spices, baking mixes, and more. Due to current circumstances, they are currently offering pre-orders with curbside pick up only. This is a wonderful local resource to support.
We all have a lot on our minds right now. Saving the planet seems like a big ask when you’re not supposed to leave your house. The good news is that we won’t be quarantined forever. Once we come out into the world again, it would be nice to have a healthy plant to return to.
Happy Earth Day!