i love when clients and friends pass along topics they want me to write about on the blog – and this one popped in my inbox earlier this week.
i’d been so involved in talking about earth day with audrey (she’s doing a project each week for school) that i’d completely lost sight of the thought that i could blog about it!
because i love kentucky, i’m always heartened when i see changes in the direction of preserving it and becoming more ecologically conscious. maybe it’s that my dad was a park ranger for a while?
and before you start thinking i’m great in this area, i’m so far from it…bit by bit we’re improving here and there and acknowledging that we have a long way to go.
let’s walk through a few favorites – and man, there are so many more but these are the ones that came to mind first!
metal straws – i brought a smoothie for a friend with one of these straws when I was traveling and that’s how this blog post began.
every day I made a smoothie and then threw the plastic straw away :( eliminating single use plastic products has been my personal focus.
i really love these…and they take up a lot less room, too! they fit in our utensil drawer rather than occupying a spot in the pantry.
they are slimmer bent styles but i like the thicker diameter ones since i only use them for smoothies.
a great quick explanation on why from jeff bridges.
the book that has most impacted my thinking in this area in the past couple of years is Zero Waste Home…. and while I can’t hope that my family would subscribe to everything, i lean into experimentation…when a disposable product runs out, i just don’t re-buy it.
my grandmother is totally baffled that i don’t have paper towels :)
muji handkerchief – any quality handkerchief will do. i’ve heard good things about the rolled ones from brooks brothers but you don’t need a bunch unless your family is under the weather often.
1-2 per person is sufficient – mine has been laundered countless times and doesn’t show any wear.
a reusable water bottle – it’s super easy to avoid a ton of plastic trash with a high quality water bottle.
at home & the gym i prefer a 24oz tervis tumbler with lid + straw but when i travel this is almost always with me.
microfiber towels amaze me – i used to bring an rei one to the gym because it was so compact and since i used it almost everyday, i grew to prefer it.
i was thrilled when i discovered these! they’re white, large, and if you hang them up they’ll dry super fast and it’s fine to wash them after you’ve used them a few times. it cuts down on so much laundry + electricity because i never dry it in dryer.
they’re great…it’s different from terry cloth but i love the packability!! we each have one with a little loop of ribbon in a different color that i stitched in the corner so they’d hang from a hook on the back of the door.
if towels clog up your laundry, there’s a solution, my friend :)
sandwich bags – we’ve been using ours for 7 years and haven’t needed to replace any of them but sadly the etsy seller is no longer in business. these are fun but there’s a huge variety. i like that ours are lined and we can actually wash them in a washing machine but as long as there’s a way to really clean them, that’s what i’d check for if we needed to replace ours.
we use the sandwich size most often so make sure it’s really big enough to hold a sandwich (a lot of them aren’t). they’re the best for toting snacks when we travel/go on a hike. i have some big freezer ziplock bags but that’s it.
audrey adores her planet box too!
safety razor – this falls in the same category for me as handkerchiefs…i wonder, “why did the original ever fall by the wayside when it’s so much better than our modern replacement?” a handle lasts your entire life! this video doesn’t have amazing production value but it explains a little about environmental benefits if safety razors are totally foreign. i don’t use a special soap – just coconut oil. i wouldn’t say it’s easier (i’ve gotten tiny cuts twice) but i so prefer it…it forces you to slow down just a little which is always lovely.
so you aren’t caught off guard, these aren’t approved on airplanes…but they’re fine on cruises, etc.
not all experiments turn out so well – i had high hopes for this shampoo because it came in a bar form but after a few weeks, i decided i wasn’t a huge fan :) i love that it’s so low-waste (just a wrapper you can recycle and not a big plastic bottle) and there are different formulations i might try in the future.
seed by seed – this book is all about johnny appleseed…such a lovely example of environmentalism…but i didn’t know much about him. he planted a ton of apple trees…and maybe he wore a pot on his head? if you’re like me, get ready to become an admirer. i read this to audrey and my nephew while we ate apple slices and i’ve probably eaten an apple every day since.
i’m sure you’ve already discovered the junior park ranger program at our national parks but if not, make sure you check it out next time you visit one – they’re brilliant and make visits SO fun for kids. and consider getting your children a passport book so they can get it stamped at each one they visit :) we’ve particularly loved acadia & yosemite!
Have you been to Park + Vine in Cincinnati yet? It’s their environmentally friendly general store – I can’t wait to check it out.
I hope your earth day is incredible. i’m so glad to share this planet with you! xoxo, -melanie-
Oh, this is an amazing post! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I’m going to see if the library has that book. Thank you for setting such a great example of being eco-friendly!
thanks, elizabeth!! oh goodness, the mauers still make far too much trash to be considered eco-friendly but step by step we’re improving!