Check the entries below to see what people have shared and challenge yourself to dispose of more disposables in your life! Have an awesome idea that you are still eager to share? Fill out the form and we'll add it to our list below.
Categories: Kitchen, Household, On The Go & Shopping, Health & Beauty, Baby & Nursing, Fun
Categories: Kitchen, Household, On The Go & Shopping, Health & Beauty, Baby & Nursing, Fun
Reusable Coffee Filter
I have recently purchased a reusable coffee filter for my coffee machine instead of the paper disposable filters. Actually, I was surprised to find when I got home that I actuallly bought an empty box! A problem I decided to address the very next morning before work... haha. I also use reusable bags for grocery shopping (I do need to work on remembering to bring them...).
Paper towel roll with on-hand rags!
I found these awesome "un-paper towels" on Etsy that snap together and fit on your paper towel roll -so convenient! Check them out mamamade on Etsy. There are also plain coloured organic bamboo towels at GreenTreeThreads on Etsy
I prefer to use cloth napkins to paper ones.
Instead of plastic wrap, try these pretty and reusable bowl covers. SewMuchStyle on Etsy makes these.
Glass Meal Containers: Sustainable Lunch Packaging
I sometimes don't have time to cook, but after trying many pre-made meal ideas, I found that I l often didn't care for the taste or calorie and sodium count in these foods, plus disposing of all the packaging they come in. I bought a bunch of glass containers that come with tight fitting tops. When I cook, I make enough for 4-8 meals, portion out the food into the containers and freeze it, like chicken with quinoa and whatever vegetables are in season. For the days I don't have time to cook, I take one out in the morning, let it defrost and then heat in the oven or microwave. No waste, no preservatives, and I know precisely what's in it because I made it! I've found that freezing items per plate is so much more useful than freezing large portions of one thing.
I also found out that making your own salad dressings is easy and fun, and once you've done it a couple of times, you don't even need a recipe. Just some oil, one or two kinds of acid (citrus juice and whatever vinegar you like), spices or herbs that you like, shake it up and store in a glass jar. Add some mustard if you like it creamer. It's great, sugar and preservative free, the jars are reusable and the variety is endless.
Washable Containers, Hankies, Cloth Bags, etc...
We traded out all our sandwich baggies for washable containers a while back. And I'm getting used to washing hankies instead of using tissues. Of course, re-usable grocery bags, this house has never seen a "swiffer", buying dry food in bulk instead of bags or containers, hmm... now that I'm thinking about it - we don't have much disposable stuff at all. We haven't filled a black garbage bag and taken it out for 3 weeks!
Scented Dryer Cloths
Since I started cloth diapering, I stopped using Bounce sheets and started using dryer balls in the dryer. I must admit, though, I missed the scent on my clothes. Recently though, I read that you can simply pour a few drops of your favorite essential oil on some kind of cloth (I used a baby washcloth since I have a few), throw it in the dryer with your clean, wet clothes, and let it spin. It's wonderful! I was a little bit apprehensive the first time since I didn't want the clothes to be over-poweringly smelly but the scent is surprisingly soft.
Water Filter System
I decided, after hearing so much about water bottles and how we are polluting the earth with so many, to get a water filter system in. It is from Moose Jaw; it filters all the water in your house, not just the drinking water -even your bath is filtered water, which means your body is not soaking up clorine which is very bad for you. That's what I've done to help the environment
Cleaning windows and mirrors always uses lots of sheets of paper towels, so to eliminate this use of paper towel and windex I use norwex cloths. You wet the one wipe the surface you want cleaned then use the second cloth to buff it to a streak free clean!
Norwex Cloths & Dryer Balls
About 2 years ago I was introduced to Norwex products. Norwex is committed to radically reducing the use of chemicals in personal care and cleaning to promote health and reduce the rish of poisoning and disease. The first thing ever given to me was a "window" cleaning set, to replace the good old blue windex and paper towels I had been using. Now I only use the cleaning cloth and window polishing cloth which contain NO chemicals AND can be re-washed over and over for multiple use. I also use the cloth for dusting, thus getting rid of the Lemon pledge type cleaners and the paper towels I had been using. My home is now paper towel free. As well as I have replaced bounce sheets with dryer balls. They cut down drying time and I don't use the sheets that contain phosphates. I know I'm doing my part in helping the environment as well as keeping my family healthy.
Swiffer WetJet Pads
I love how easy it is to wash the floor with my Swiffer WetJet, but it was bugging me that the pads were disposable. I felt like I should limit my floor washing to cut down on waste and save money. I found a shop on Etsy (DetroitKnitter) that makes reusable pads, specifically for the WetJet and ordered a pack of three -they are beautifully and well-made, and still easy to use, since they are made with the velcro strips that stick on to the Swiffer thing. Along with the pads (which were packaged really nicely), I received a recipe for a homemade floor cleaning solution to refill the Swiffer with. Previously, I was using vinegar and water to wash the floor, but I think I'll try the new recipe out too.
I get a kick out of the fact that I've discovered a way to make the Swiffer sustainable when it's pretty much designed to make you keep buying and throwing things away.
You can also purchase reusable Swiffer duster covers from JaninesPlace on Etsy, and Swiffer sweeper covers from SunCreationsEmporium on Etsy, both Canadian-based.
On The Go
I have been carrying around travel mugs for over a year now, and I get all my beverages (preferably tea from DavidsTea, where I work) in them. I always say no to disposable cups (and also plastic shopping bags whenever I can)! :)
My last trip I took my travel mug with and had all my hot drinks put into it instead of the paper one the place would have used.
Stainless Steel Water Bottles
I never buy bottled water, all that plastic is so bad for the environment. I use the stainless steel water bottles. There's a variety of fun and colorful designs and the water stays fresh and cold.
Lunch & Snack Bags
You can purchase really cute lunch and sandwich bags, which are so much more fun than ziploc bags, as well as reusable. TheStraightStitch on Etsy makes lunch & snack bag sets, as well as Enviro Wrap -easy as cling wrap, velcros shut tightly, and is totally reusable.
Stick a set of this bamboo cutlery in your lunch kit and don't worry about forgetting a spoon or fork again. Tucks nicely in a washable fold-up roll. Made by BC-based InkySpider on Etsy.
Cloth Grocery Bags
My favourite non-disposable items are cloth grocery bags! I love not having huge collections of plastic bags (because I never just throw them away). I am getting really good at remembering my cloth bags too, now I hardly ever have to ask for a bag at a checkout! I just need to work on remembering them when I go clothes shopping.
Organic Cotton Produce Bags
My favourite reusable items are the organic cotton produce 'CredoBags'. They are a mesh style bag with a drawstring closure. I love not using those flimsy store-provided plastic bags for two reasons: 1. less waste/recycling, and 2. no more bags of slimy veggies found in the fridge. They are available through me or my website! Here's a link https://www.onlygreen.com/carolineb/shop/details/?prod_ID=2071.
I find wet bags to be extremely helpful when re-using. They are great for holding used diapers and mama pads both at home and on the go; they hold wet washcloths in lunch bags, wet towels and swimsuits, damp paperless towels in the kitchen... It's nice to keep damp stuff separate while not having to use a plastic bag (especially if you are lacking in plastic bags because you are so good at remembering to shop with your cloth bags). Most cloth diaper websites sell them, and I found a Canadian-based Etsy shop that makes them in several sizes as well: GreenBumkin
Health & Beauty
Face Scrub Pads
Perfect for removing make-up and cleansing your face, these crocheted scrubbies are washable and reusable. Store the used pads in a mesh bag and toss the bag in the laundry with your towels. RitzysAllNaturals is an Etsy shop based in Regina who makes these.
Crocheted shower puffs are machine washable and last for years. Search 'reusable shower puff' on Etsy or learn how to crochet one yourself!
Make your own or buy some handmade. Toss the used ones in a wet bag and machine wash. They come in all shapes and absorbencies. NaturallyHip, Ontario-based Etsy shop, has a great variety and even sells wet bags.
Online link if you'd like to make your own:http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2009/07/make-your-own-cloth-pads.html
Baby & Nursing
I have recently made the switch from disposable diapers to cloth diapers for my babe, and I also only use reusable shopping bags.
Cloth Baby Wipes
We use cloth wipes when changing our little one's bum. We used to use disposable but they were bothersome to her sensitive skin so we switched to cloth wipes and voila! had much better results on her skin. We are using cloth diapers as well. We also use cloth, reusable dryer sheets by Natura.
Here's a recipe for homemade wipe solution:
You can buy reusable nursing pads rather than disposable ones. MySunshineDesigns on Etsy makes some really nice ones.
Plastic Bag Balls
I have a four year old son who loves baseball. Hitting homeruns off the tee ball tee is Ryan's favorite springtime activity. Together, we have collected many different types of projectiles which have at one point or another, been pounded off the "baseball rocket launcher". The crazier and different the ball, the more joy and anticipation in the eyes of a four year old boy. One day while watching world vision on television, Ryan saw some boys playing soccer with a ball made simply of used plastic shopping bags. Knowing we had an old sleeve stuffed full of them in the pantry, I said to Ryan, "maybe we should make some balls to hit off the rocket launcher". Hours of wrapping later, we hade a couple of new missiles to hit off the baseball tee. This winter, we have been collecting our used sock tape from hockey to do the same with.
Wrapping Paper Rolls & Cardboard Repurposed
I've turned empty christmas wrapping paper rolls into rain sticks!
And garbage cardboard into a platform for my pet Chinchilla.
Buntings & Pennants: Reusable Decorations
Make your own, or buy one from someone on Etsy -reusable party decorations.
BoPeepBaby is a BC-based Etsy shop.
Reusable Gift Bags
Rather than buying paper gift bags or wrapping paper, make a gift bag that can be reused.