New year, new me! But don't you think it's time to make some 'new' changes at home too? Transitioning into a sustainable lifestyle is not something that can be achieved in a day. To make your journey easier, here are some easy swaps you can start with this year:
Ditch the paper towels
Paper towels are convenient and easy to use, but they have a major downside: They're not as green as you might think. If you use paper towels regularly at home, they're likely sitting in a landfill somewhere, degrading and releasing methane into the atmosphere.
Switch to reusable cloth wipes instead. Towels made out of linen or cotton can be surprisingly absorbent, even though they're not treated with chemicals that make them super-absorbing like paper towels are. They're also stronger and more absorbent than synthetic cloth alternatives like microfiber, which is often too thin and weak to clean up any real messes.
LED light bulbs are better for the environment than energy-guzzling incandescent bulbs and even compact fluorescents.
LEDs use about 80% less energy than incandescent lights. And because they can last up to 25 times longer — between 20,000 and 100,000 hours compared with 1,000 hours for fluorescent bulbs — you'll save money on your electric bill over time as well.
Shampoo & conditioner bars
Shampoo bottles are made from plastics that aren't biodegradable, which means they'll stay in landfills forever (or until someone figures out how to recycle them effectively). That's bad because most plastic contains harmful chemicals that leak into the soil and waterways when they aren't properly disposed of. Shampoo bottles are also petroleum-based products that require large amounts of oil to manufacture. So even though they might be recycled, they still have an environmental impact from our dependence on fossil fuels to create them in the first place.
Switching to shampoo bars is an easy solution to the problem. They are better for you and the environment. Shampoo bars clean hair just as well as their bottled counterparts while being much better for the planet and free of toxic ingredients. In addition, most of them come in biodegradable packaging, so you can feel good about using them without feeling guilty later on.
Compostable garbage bags
Traditional plastic garbage bags take up to 1,000 years to degrade while they sit in a landfill or on the side of a road. Which make compostable plastic bags the need of the hour!
Compostable garbage bags are better than regular plastic garbage bags because they decompose faster. Eco-friendly garbage bags like The Better Home's compostable and biodegradable garbage bag are made with plastic that breaks down over time and doesn't release any toxic fumes even when burned.
Bamboo toothbrushes & razors
Plastic toothbrushes and razors are bad for the environment. You wouldn't believe how many of these things end up in our oceans every year.
The problem is that these items are made from polypropylene, which is not biodegradable. When they enter the environment, they do not decompose. Instead, they break up into smaller pieces and can be swallowed by animals who confuse them with food.
Bamboo toothbrushes and razors are biodegradable which means they will decompose in the environment rather than polluting it as most regular plastic toothbrushes and razors do.