I have to admit, I was never the most conscious person. I’ve littered, I’ve had food waste, I eat a lot of meat. I’m human, and I didn’t really think much about my impact on the world.
Somehow, motherhood changed that.
I now think what can I do better for me, for my son, for the world. I have been making small changes that have so far stuck. While these changes may be small, they still have a huge impact on our little world. At the end of the day, our choices today impact our children’s world tomorrow. Here are some changes in my lifestyle that anyone can do if they try!
What’s crazy to me is that this change is the most controversial; yet for the history of the diaper, cloth and natural materials have been used far longer and across multiple cultures compared to disposable diapers.
Before I had my son, I had always wanted to cloth diaper. But like I said, this choice is seen as questionable and I wasn’t exactly supported, which let to me trying cloth after my son was 5 months. My husband gave it a week until I gave up. 6 months later I’ve become a full on clothy mom.
I talk about cloth diapering a lot. There are many personal and environmental benefits to cloth diapering:
- Cloth diapering will save moms thousands of dollars. Not only is a cloth stash $7-900 as a one time investment vs $2,500 over two years, but cloth diapers can be reused for 3 children! While this comes out to the cheaper option in the long run, some mothers don’t have access to this initial deposit. My suggestion, look on local FB groups for secondhand diapers!
- Cloth diapers are better for the environment. Disposable diapers take roughly 500 years to decompose!
- Cloth diapers are better for babies bottoms. Disposables are made with chemicals and synthetic materials. Cloth diapers are made usually with either organic cotton or bamboo materials. These materials are better for babies skin, won’t cause diaper rash, & cloth diapers contain blowouts (if you don’t know what that is, consider yourself lucky)!
It’s also important to note not all diaper creams are created equally or cloth friendly! For Santiago we use GroVia’s magic stick which is made only from natural ingredients and essential oils!
Thrifting has gotten more popular as the years go by and technology develops. With apps like Poshmark, Thredup, and OfferUp you can find everything from clothes to furniture second hand. Facebook marketplace is also an awesome resource for second hand pre-loved, and even sometimes NEW items! Savers, goodwill, and Salvation Army are also great thrift spots!
Buying secondhand reduces your carbon footprint. By limiting what we purchase through fast fashion or similar companies, we limit the heavy toll manufacturing these products take on the environment. Pre-loved doesn’t mean old raggedy clothes. I’ve found designer brands second hand, including my Louis Vuitton bags. Let’s not get into how second hand is the only way I’d afford these brands, we’re doing it for the environment, okay!?
If normal thrifting isn’t your thing, maybe host a swap party with some friends where you can trade pieces from each other’s closets!
Ever heard the saying you are what you eat? Well what if I told you your plastic containers are leaking toxic chemicals into your food every time you microwave? Gross, right!? What about all the paper waste when you use your paper towels for everything?
The kitchen is where I have made my first changes towards a sustainable lifestyle. I started out switching any plastic food containers for glass. If you’re worried about glass breaking, stainless steel containers are a good alternative, but don’t microwave these! We also purchased steel and bamboo straws in our household and one that attaches to our keys when we’re on the go!
Ziplock bags are in every home, but that is a huge source of kitchen waste! Making an easy change to silicone snack bags cuts back on all that trash! Silicone bags like Stasher or ZipTop can be placed in the freezer and are great of on the go! Stasher even makes a stand up version to store liquids like soup!
If you’re anything like me, you use paper towels for everything! Even cleaning up simple liquid spills. Well that’s why I made the switch to Marely’s UNpaper towels! These washable towels have replaced disposable paper towels for E V E R Y T H I N G. They have solid colors or cute prints, if that’s your thing (it’s totally my thing)!
This is arguably one of the most important changes to be made. Anything you use for your body should be made from the best ingredients. To live an eco-conscious life, packaging and manufacturing should be sustainable as well!
Maybe it’s the Tunisian in me, but a bidet was a must in my house! I chose the TUSHY bidet and it is the best purchase ever! It’s not expensive, easy to set up, and they even have a bidet that can connect to hot water. Pair this up with Marleys UNtoilet paper – yes, washable, reusable toilet paper. The bidet washes all the… stuff off you and you just pat dry. I know this isn’t for everyone but I recommend you reconsider!
If that’s too drastic a change, why not change your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo option? Bamboo is more sustainably sourced and compostable! Pair that up with tooth powder, yes powder for your teeth! Research by the National Library of Medicine showed in two studies that tooth powder was more effective than toothpaste! Not to mention it’s made with all natural ingredients and no plastic packaging! My teeth are whiter and feels cleaner since I’ve made the switch!
Next time you go to lather up on lotion, soak in the bath with salts, or even wash your hair, check the ingredients & packaging. Ask yourself how can this be better for me and my body?
Start Small, Change the World
The road to a sustainable, eco-conscious lifestyle is a long, winding, and bumpy one! Changes don’t happen overnight and it takes a lot of learning and dedication to continue on the right path. Some changes are easier than others. Here are some simple swaps you can try (spoiler alert: you probably already do some of these!):
- Use glass or steel reusable water bottles instead of plastic
- Take reusable shopping and produce bags with you to the supermarket (New York State has made plastic bags illegal and is now charging for paper bags)*
- Pack your lunch in reusable containers, with reusable utensils instead of ordering takeout
- Invest in reusable bamboo or steel straws (plastic straws are also part of NYS plastic ban)*
- Purchase fair trade & shop local whenever possible
- Turn off lights and unplug unused electronics
When in doubt, live by the cardinal rule, reduce, reuse, RECYCLE!
We won’t be here forever, but neither will our planet if we don’t make changes today! I encourage you to evaluate your lifestyle and find ways you can not only better yourself, but our shared home called planet Earth.
Don’t know where to get started? Check out my favorite places for friendly, zero waste & sustainable products:
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