With our very busy lives—family, friends, and work—it's often easy to overlook the beauty that Earth provides. And many of us take that beauty for granted. The truth is that our population continues to grow, but our planet's resources continue to run low. Here are a few fun ways to incorporate more eco-friendliness into our everyday lifestyle to make a lasting, significant impact on the future of our environment.
Washable Bamboo Towels
Who woulda thunk it? An alternative to traditional paper towels, bamboo towels are both super absorbent and durable. Best of all is how this grass-based product serves our environment. For paper towels, trees are cut down and harvested, and those trees are gone. Forever. On the other hand, washable bamboo towels are produced from bamboo that's harvested using sustainable practices. That is, bamboo is harvested from sprouts that continue to regenerate year after year. To put things into perspective, the average roll of bamboo towels, which contains about 30 sheets, has the potential to replace more than 400 rolls of standard paper towels. And each washable bamboo towel (depending on which brand you purchase) can be machine washed up to 100 times. Choosing bamboo over standard paper towels saves the forests, cuts down on waste, and saves you money.
One of the coolest things I discovered in the past few years is cleaning slime. Sounds gross, right? But fear not. It's environmentally safe, fun, and edible. And it's allergy friendly, too! With just three ingredients (1 cup packed spinach, 1 cup cornstarch, and 1/2 cup water), making this slime is super simple. First add the spinach and water to your food processor and puree. Then empty the puree into a mixing bowl and gradually whisk in the cornstarch until you have an oozy, slimy consistency. This slime works great for those hard-to-reach areas and crevices. I like to use this stuff to get in between the keyboard keys, around the gear shifter in my car, and around the stovetop area. Using cleaning slime, instead of harmful chemicals when possible, can reduce the amount of pollutants and toxic waste we release into our environment. I guess one could call this "green" cleaning slime!
Cloth Grocery Bags
More than one million sea creatures die each year because humans dump plastic waste into our ocean waters. Plastic is the world's most dreaded form of pollution, and it's only becoming a bigger problem. By using cloth or recyclable grocery shopping bags, you can significantly reduce the amount of plastic that gets emptied into our oceans. And all of those plastic bags you may have stuffed underneath your kitchen cabinet can be recycled; most grocery stores now have a receptacle for those plastic bags, which then get recycled. Another great thing about using cloth shopping bags is that they typically store much more than a standard plastic grocery bag. Plastic products can take anywhere from 10-1,000 years to fully decompose. We can all do our part by simply using alternatives.