Sustainability and climate change can often feel overwhelming, but every little bit counts. Each time you bring reusable bags to the grocery store or refuse a plastic straw at a restaurant or tell your food delivery app not to include plastic utensils keeps that trash from building up in landfills and waterways.
There are even small things you can do in your Camden apartment home to be more earth-friendly. Here are four swaps to more sustainable products that I’ve easily incorporated into my routine.
Reusable Produce Bags
If you are already bringing reusable bags to the grocery store, give yourself a high five! Take it to the next level, by swapping in reusable produce bags too. They are lightweight, easy to wash and come in a variety of materials and sizes. I prefer mesh versions like these from Flip & Tumble because you can see your fruits and veggies without opening the bag making the checkout and payment process faster.
Photo courtesy of Kathy Hernandez
I save time at the grocery store too. With the bags already in my cart, I don’t have to pass up the produce to get a plastic bag at the end of each aisle before bagging my items.
Washable Makeup Remover Pads + Micellar Water
Practically every article on how to have clear skin tells us to wash our face every night. A lot of us turn to makeup remover wipes because they are so convenient. This may be keeping our faces blemish-free, but they essentially clog mother earth’s pores. Most makeup wipes aren’t recyclable, and they can take about 100 years to decompose! An easy swap is reusable makeup remover pads and micellar water. Reusable makeup remover pads are antibacterial rounds often made from cotton that can be washed and reused. There are lots of different types on the market. This article from Byrdie has great recommendations. Look for a set that comes with a muslin or cotton bag for washing the pads, so they don’t get lost in your washing machine.
Photo courtesy of Camden: Washer and dryer in an apartment home at Camden Vanderbilt
The perfect partner for reusable pads is micellar water. It promotes skin hydration while gently removing makeup, oil, and dirt. Just soak the reusable makeup remover pad and wipe away the day. It is somehow so much easier than actually washing my face that I remove my makeup every night . . . well 99% of the time.
Reusable Food Storage Bags
The average American household uses 500 plastic food storage bags per year; that is over 61 billion bags in the US alone! These bags are made from crude oil and are not biodegradable, so this is a lose-lose for the earth.
An easy alternative is a reusable option, like these from Stasher. They are BPA-free, come in a variety of sizes, and are freezer friendly. Bonus - unlike their disposable counterparts, they can be washed in the dishwasher and used in the microwave.
Photo courtesy of Camden: Kitchen in apartment home at Camden Hillcrest
While the price may seem high with one sandwich bag at $12.99, a 90-count pack of disposable ones is $3.89, so you will be saving money after just 3 purchases.
Probably the easiest swap to make is using bar soap throughout your home. Liquid soaps are often sold in plastic containers. And, like disposable food storage bags, liquid soaps often contain petroleum.
Bar soaps usually come in cardboard, which can easily be added to the recycling pick-up available just outside most Camden apartment home doors. And, when you use up the bar, there is nothing to throw away.
There are bar soap alternatives for body wash, shampoo, dish soap, and more. Try to swap just one and then build from there. If you have limited storage space like me, bar soap options also take up less space in your cabinets.
Bonus Sustainable Swap
The next time you go to an ice cream shop, opt for a cone over a cup. Not only are you keeping the paper or plastic cup and spoon out of a landfill, but you are also helping mother earth with less water and energy used to manufacture both items. This may be my favorite swap of all!
For other sustainable tips for your home, check out this blog, Top 5 Sustainable Cleaning Products for your Home.