07. 10 APPS TO HELP YOU LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE – Gutsy Convos
Over the past few years, I have become very passionate about the environment and doing my part to help the planet. That is the main reason why I started Stitching Sunshine, an online eco-shop that provides you with practical solutions to reduce waste. I have written a few posts in the past on some eco-swaps and solutions to help with your environmental impact. So, today I want to share with you all a room-room guide for eliminating waste in your home. The important thing to remember here is that you do not need to make huge changes to make an impact. Even if you just take one zero-waste solution from this post and apply it, you will make a difference and contribute to a cleaner earth. After reading this post, I challenge you to pick at least one tip from this post and apply it. Let me know what it is in the comments of this post or over on social media. I can’t wait to see the small changes that we all make together.
P.S. for your convenience I made a FREE downloadable PDF with all of this information and more in one easy place. Print this off or save it to your computer to keep this information handy. Get immediate access to this PDF here!
The kitchen is one room in the house that can bring in a lot of waste. This waste can be in the form of additional packaging, single use products, and also food waste.
- Compost food scraps
- Save vegetable peels and scraps, as well as any meat bones for creating soup stock. Simply keep a bag in the freezer and add to it when you are prepping veggies or meals.
- Cut up fruits and vegetables a few times a week so that they are ready to eat. This will eliminate the chance of foods going bad when they are ready to eat, and it will also save some time and thinking when searching for snacks throughout the week.
- Get creative with your dishes and use up any food that is ready to expire or go bad.
- Freeze any food that is about to go bad. You can freeze pretty much anything, from fruits and vegetables, to breads and other products. Reference this list for how long to keep things in the freezer.
- Shop local and small whenever possible. Go to farmers markets and local bakeries and grocers instead of big chains. This may be more difficult depending on where you live. But, if you can, try to grab from local shops.
- Bring your own grocery and produce bags. Eliminate your plastic use by bringing your own reusable bags. If you are looking for a grocery tote, you can find one here.
- Buy from bulk food stores for pantry staples. Bring your own jars to the store and stock up on pantry staples like flours, nuts, seeds, etc.
- Bring your own container for takeout, or purchase only from takeout places that use recyclable packaging. If you can’t do that ask for no straw or plastic utensils when possible.
- Ditch paper towels and keep a container of rags or wash cloths in the kitchen instead. Then at the end of the day or every few days, do a load of washing with your cleaning rags/towels.
- Create your own DIY cleaning spray. A simple recipe is half water and half vinegar as an all purpose cleaning solution. Check out this Pinterest board for more options.
- Use a bristle brush over sponges in your home.
- Use eco dishwasher tablets over the typical dish washing detergent.
Other Kitchen Needs:
- Use reusable containers and snack bags instead of plastic bag.
- Opt for beeswax wraps over clingfilm.
- Use reusable silicone pan liners over aluminum foil.
- Use refillable k-cups instead of disposable ones.
- Use reusable tea balls or tea bags, or mesh compostable ones.
The bathroom is another place where a lot of waste occurs. With a few simple swaps you can not only reduce waste but also save money.
- Use reusable cotton pads instead of cotton rounds. This will save you a lot of money and a good set of cotton pads will last you forever. Simply wash the cotton pads after you use them.
- Use reusable cotton swabs or just ditch them all together if you can.
- Keep a container of wash cloths and rags for cleaning and spills in the bathroom. This can help to eliminate or reduce the amount of disposable tissues used.
- Use bar body and hair soap over bottled soap. There is a lot of packaging waste with cleaning products, so try out some bar shampoo and body soaps instead.
- Make your own DIY body scrubs and body butters. There are plenty of great recipes on Pinterest and they cost a fraction of the price to make as they do to buy them from the store.
- Use a reusable metal razor over disposable ones. Most people go through a lot of razors in our life time so opt for a metal reusable razor to cut back on plastic.
- Opt for a menstrual cup or reusable sanitary pads if possible. There are plenty of great brands out there, you just have to find the one that is right for you.
- Make your own DIY poo-pourri. It’s super simple and only a few ingredients.
- Use a bamboo toothbrush over plastic.
- Buy a Low Water Use Toilet if you are in the market for a new toilet. Many people think that low-water use toilets are just a big money grab. But, really they have been proven to decrease your water consumption by about 18%.
- Make your own DIY cleaning products. This will help to eliminate waste from plastic bottles, will reduce the number of harsh chemicals leaking into the storm water and will SAVE you money. Win, win, win! Here is a few trusty cleaning DIY recipes.
- Make your own grout cleaner by mixing together 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide, and 1 tsp dish soap. Apply cleaning mixture onto grout, wait 5-10 minutes, scrub and rinse.
The laundry room is another room in the house that has a lot of waste and plastic. Some simple swaps can help you to conserve energy and reduce waste.
- Use a drying rack or clothesline to hang dry clothing whenever possible. If you use your dryer less this will cut back on your energy consumption plus it will save you money. If you don’t have a drying rack it is super simple to make a clothesline. All you need is a rope and some clothes pins.
- Use a wool or plastic dryer ball instead of dryer sheets. Dryer sheets are full of chemicals that can irritate your skin. So, instead opt for a dyer ball to help with the drying process. If you want some added scent put a few drops of essential oil on your wool dryer ball before putting it in the dryer with your washing.
- Use zero-waste laundry paste or tablets instead of bottled laundry detergent. There is a lot of research out there on this, so test out a few products and see what works best for you.
- Create a DIY stain removal. An easy stain removal recipe is to combine 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of dawn dish soap, and 2 cups of water and apply to the stain. Let the mixture sit for a little bit before washing in the machine. If this is a delicate item be sure to do a spot test before hand.
- Opt for rags instead of paper towels. This is a simple solution that can be applied to any room in the house.
- Purchase a Low Water Use Washer if you are in the market for a new washing machine. This will reduce your potable water consumption by 5% each year.
Bedroom & Living Room
- Shop for second hand furniture pieces when you can.
- Shop for quality pieces that will last a life time for furniture and mattresses.
- Use energy efficient light bulbs.
- Decorate with plants.
- Avoid purchasing additional decor pieces and display treasured possessions instead.
- Opt for naturally dyed linen sheets and fabrics.
- Shop second hand when possible. Purchase from your local charity shops or go on sites like Depop to purchase different items second hand, including designer pieces.
- Repair clothing when you can instead of throwing them away.
- Shop for quality not quantity. Opt for higher quality pieces from smaller shops instead of fast-fashion.
- Swap with friends. It can be really fun to swap some clothing with friends, especially things like occasion pieces that people typically like to only wear a few times.
- Give experiences over things.
- Give gift cards for peoples favorite stores.
- Shop local or from small shops for gifts.
- Use reusable gift wrapping bags or butcher paper for gift wrapping. Check out this post for a full set of ideas for eco-friendly gifts and wrapping.
- Grow your own plants and herbs when possible.
- Use a rain barrel to collect water. Learn more about reducing water indoors and outdoors where possible.
- Grow native plants outside. These will use less water and also thrive better in your area.
- Use natural materials like woods to create outdoor furniture and decking.
On the Go:
- Purchase a set of reusable utensils.
- Buy a utensil holder or pouch for your utensils on the go.
- Use glass or plastic containers for bringing lunches and snacks.
- Keep a reusable straw in your purse, bag, or car for ease and convenience.
- Bring your own reusable water bottle everywhere you go. This way you are always staying hydrated and you don’t ever need to buy a plastic one.
- Invest in a high quality travel mug and make your own beverage at home.
In conclusion, it is best to remember the following for when you look at reducing your waste.
- Shop local or small when possible.
- Repair or shop second hand when you can.
- Shop for quality products and pieces.
- Make DIY products and solutions to save you lots of money and reduce waste.
- Shop ethically sourced and made. There a few websites I like to reference when determining the ethical score for companies. These include “Good On You” and “Ethical Consumer”.
For your convenience I made a free-downloadable pdf version of all of this information and more. This would be perfect to print off and keep on the fridge for reference in the future. I hope that this was helpful and gave you some ideas on how you can reduce waste in your home.
QUESTION: WHAT IS ONE TIP YOU WILL APPLY FROM THIS POST?
Leave your thoughts in the comments down below or on my latest Instagram post. Be sure to share this post with your friends ans challenge each other to make at least one swap in their home.
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Your trusty, gutsy gal,