I am a busy parent but I can at least do my part when I can.
I first heard the term environmentalish from this blog article from Tentree. I felt like I finally had a label for what I do. I wouldn't ever call myself an environmentalist but I try hard to make better choices for the planet. Here is my philosophy: We are borrowing this planet from our children and should leave it better than we found it. I also think that if you know better and you can afford to choose better you should. I know we are all busy and sometimes it can be really difficult and expensive to make the greener choice. But I have collected a few ideas to help you out:
It's Easy to be Greenish:
Bring your own bags. (I know you know this one but do you actually do it?) You can get some bags that fold up super small to keep in your car or purse. You can also just have the habit of always keeping them in your trunk.
Say no to straws, buy your own or bring your own. I actually found a metal straw that becomes small and comes in a carrying case. I bring it everywhere for my son since he still needs a lid on his drinks.
Shop used. It's cheaper to buy used but also better for the environment. Don't have time to search through thrift store jungles or give up your Saturday garage sale hunting? You can use apps like Depop or ThredUp for clothes. You can use apps like Offer Up or Mercari to sell and buy used items too.
Donate or sell your old stuff. Try not to throw things away if they can be A recycled, B reused or C up-cycled. I have a spot in my garage for donations and another for up-cycling--these are things that can be used for kids crafts projects like boxes, scraps of fabric and broken jewelry.
Make your own cleaners (see my other posts). Every time you buy a cleaner, you are buying more plastic and also adding more toxins to the environment.
Use a shampoo bar. The whole family uses this one from Love Beauty and Planet. It lasts us months and comes in a cardboard box.
Use the library. Or use the app libby--which allows you to listen to audio books or read ebooks with your library card. Libraries not only have books to borrow but some have movies to rent, used books to buy and a place for you donate an unwanted book.
Swap with friends. When my son recently hit a growth spurt, I went on social media asking for hand-me-downs. This move saved me money and time but also lessened my carbon foot print. If you have a big group of friends or belong to an organization you can also set up clothing swaps. You can organize clothes by size and gender and give a ticket for each item donated. Then let the fun begin.
Last but not least, buy good quality products that will last. It is tempting to save money on cheap put together furniture or fast fashion but these items will not last costing you more money and adding more waste to the planet. I have learned this lesson the hard way. When I decluttered our home, I found that cheap items did not spark joy but filled a temporary void. It is worth waiting, saving and investing.
Green Products I love:
I love Tentree. Their clothes and accessories are truly well made and I feel like I don't have to give up comfort or style to go green.
Pela makes a durable and cute phone case. The bonus is that it is affordable and biodegradable.
Pacifica makes excellent toxic-free, vegan and ethical beauty products. They also encourage you to send in your empty containers to be recycled into toothbrushes.
Reusable bags for lunches are great for kids and as a bonus they are dishwasher safe. We have had ours a long long time (this is an amazon affiliate link).
Dryer sheets are bad for the environment, bad for you and bad for your dryer. I prefer these LooHoo dryer balls to other brands. I have had my original set for about 10 years and won a set a few years ago. They last a long time, cut down on dry time and you can add a few drops of essential oil to them for an added boost.