This is the second segment of my goal of 100 Greener Choices! Did you miss 1-10? There's a list at the bottom, along with some ongoing thoughts as I continue to adjust to the changes.
And as an aside, I started this entire blog because when I Googled "How to Go Green" the things that came back were absolutely absurd. No, I will NOT spend my days unplugging every appliance in my house to conserve vampire power.
I wake up like Terminator meets Grumpy Cat and need that coffeemaker working IMMEDIATELY.
And other things, like bringing reusable grocery bags, were things I was already doing. I knew there had to be a halfway point on seriously going green and realistic ways to live an eco-friendly life, but everything I saw on Instagram was just photos of bulk stuff in mason jars... not that I don't love a good jar. So, I decided to publicly hold myself accountable and to be honest about my eco-fumblings.
Here's a short and sweet recap of where I'm at right now:
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Doing away with travel-sized products and refusing pre-packaged hotel products! This is easy when you've already made the shift to bar shampoo, conditioner, and soap, but skip the travel sized containers and get bar moisturizers and lotions for your next trip. You'll be amazing at how much less waste you produce, and how much less effort it takes to go through security at the airport.
Dog ownership means poop bags, but there's a better way to bag it. Invest in veggie resin or compostable cornstarch poop bags, it will dramatically decrease your daily plastic usage. And since you tend to use up to 7 times more cleansing product - which is frequently filled with toxic chemicals - a simple bar shampoo for your Fido is the greener way to go. Gatsby also is way calmer now during baths, the harsh chemical smells of the other stuff probably bothered him.
Who knew you could beat sad hair days with something as simple as baking soda? Skip the harsh chemicals and unidentified "fragrance" additives with this cheap, effective hair rinse. And sashay away!
The search engine you've been waiting for. I love any change that requires minimal input energy, yet has a massive environmental return. This Berlin-based search engine, a certified non-profit since 2014, plants a tree every time you search the web. Not only does Ecosia have a Google Chrome extension, but the company spends 80% of their company profits planting trees around the world.
I love Christmas so much, I still refuse to beat you over the head with waste statistics at the holidays. But you know in your heart it's a problem, so DIY some adorable and eco-friendly gift wrap! Your friends will love it, it's an easy way to personalize the experience.
17. Foraged Wreaths
Ok, so most of these changes have been tiny steps outside my current wheelhouse, but this one had me convinced I was about to be arrested and sharing a cell with Big Bertha. Fortunately, I ended up with gorgeous, textured wreaths and a new appreciation for the shrubs of the Lowcountry instead. Thank God, because I look awful in orange.
The average American throws away a whopping 80 POUNDS of clothing each year, much of which is still perfectly wearable or transformable. (Have you met my girl over at Salvage & Stitch? She turned a fast fashion top into lingerie. Amazing.) Since my last clothing swap, I've only purchased two clothing items... both times I caved was on vacation, for what it's worth.
I am a grandma in a crop top, basically. This change was easy, because I've always loved vintage things and I'm getting a tramp stamp that says, "I'd Rather Be Antiquing." (This is a great test to see if my boyfriend actually does read all my posts!) But committing to leaving the consumer stream as much as possible isn't all teacups and Pyrex, and there have been aspects of this change that have been harder than most... but that also probably makes this attitude adjustment one of the most important on this list.
LOOK AT THOSE FOXES! They make me smile every time I pull that bag out at work. Lessening my environmental impact has never been easier or more convenient. I bring snacks to work frequently because I can be a Hangry wench and also I like to save money whenever possible, and these bags are so much more convenient than crating around a Tupperware container... and then I just flip them inside out and drop them in the laundry or dishwasher. It's that easy.
Missed the first post? It's cool! I've got my lifestyle changes 1-10 listed below... and this time I've even listed them in order of easiest to least convenient (I promised I'd keep it honest, remember?).
1. Bar Soap: Funny how my first step in building a greener life is still the easiest! My house is filled with adorable bars of soaps and soap dishes - most of which are Grit & Grace sustainable oyster shell dishes.
2. Junk Mail: This one gives me the most satisfaction. So much so, I have a follow up post slated for May.
3. Meals Without Plastic: This one is awesome because it snowballs. Once you start to source plastic free ingredients (bread, eggs, spices), it becomes exponentially easier to go waste-free several times a week in the kitchen.
4. Farmer's Markets: This one is possibly the most fun, though right now in the winter this takes a little more commitment and planning while I wait for my folks at the Lowcountry Street Grocery (think a farmer's market on a bus) to make it to West Ashley each Friday. I do miss my regular market!
5. Plantalones: There's been a casualty or three at Moore Manor. I went to Jacksonville and left my air plants in their rain bath. *Face palms* Anyway, the two that survived are happier than ever, and one is even making its first pup!
6. Bar Shampoo/Conditioner: Bar shampoo has gotten knocked down on the list after my friend Amy had a horrible experience with a bar shampoo she purchased. Since then, I've started the research on a bar shampoo review post, and NOT ALL BARS ARE CREATED EQUAL. More on that, later.
7. Green Halloween: I can't in good conscience put this at the top of the list as the thorns had me looking like the victim of a cat rave during the clean up.
8. This blog: I love it. But do not fool yourself into thinking this is not a lot of work, even when it's a lot of fun!
9. Litter: Frankly, sometimes I get really irritated. There's still so much garbage in my neighborhood, it's emotionally taxing. AND WHOEVER THE JERK IS LITTERING MINI BOTTLES OF FIREBALL ON MY STREET, I HOPE YOU DEVELOP BETTER TASTE IN LIQUOR.
10. Line drying: While Charleston's scorching climes make this a no-brainer in summer, this one is a royal pain in the ass in the winter. There. I said it. I'm still doing it, I still love the way it smells, I'm just also now complaining about it.