Today’s post wraps up as the end of April closes and we launch into May’s next miniseries. I’ve been enjoying writing miniseries things, since it keeps me focused on writing little things I’ve always wanted to blog about.
On Wednesday, we kick off the first of May with the monthly Taking Inventory Series and on Friday I get to return to just posting photos from the various photography sessions I’ve done throughout this semester.
Today’s post is the one I’ve been looking forward to all month long! Just a heads up- the links posted in this blog post are a part of the Amazon Associates Program. I recently sent in my application to participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to the Eco Idea List and its products. The commission used for these products will help me run this site! ❤
products for every day use
I mentioned this last week, but one of the downsides of transitioning to a eco-friendly, zero waste, or even a minimalistic lifestyle comes at a price. Let’s say you have hundreds of ziplock bags that you’ve already spent the money on. Then, you invest in reusable snack baggies, adding the cost to what you’ve spent on ziplock baggies. It’s like investing in a product a little too soon and all month I’ve been advising that you use what you have first before you invest in a more eco-friendly option.
I have an example from my own apartment. Last month, I used the last of my highlighters. Instead of buying a more eco-friendly option of highlighters I opted in using other utensils as substitutes for highlighters. I’ve already spent money a few years ago on crayons and colored pencils so why wait to only use them for coloring? This saves me $$ and reduces waste by using what I have for multiple uses.
My Amazon Shopping List
A lot of my eco-friendly upgrades I’d like to pursue tend to only be available to buy on Amazon. So, I’ve created a Eco Idea list you can subscribe to or when you are ready to make some small upgrades in your living space.
I’ve also bought a few of the items on this wishlist and a few items I’ve written reviews for. I only decided to list items that you could reuse or that were unique options. One day, I’ll write about my favorite environmental brands for regular household use like cleaning, bath time and more.
Here’s the link to the shopping list so you can save it for later and look through, after reading through this blog!
For the avid coffee & tea drinkers
Reusable coffee filter
I recently bought a small bag of ground coffee from sprouts. Making coffee at home while we reach the last two weeks of school will help me save money, single-use cups, and even time by brewing coffee at home. Sometime last year, I used the last of my paper filters and bought a reusable coffee filter. I suggest soaking the filter in water so it can absorb water and filter coffee for a more authentic taste. Once you’ve made your coffee, you can easily place the coffee groups in your garden or in your compost bin.
You can also compost tea leaves as well! Some plants prefer this over coffee grounds. Speaking of tea, consider switching over to loose leaf tea. I am now down to the last four bags of Teavana tea and I’ve already bought loose leaf teas from my favorite tea shop here in Oklahoma City. It takes some learning and adjust to properly make tea without the bag, but it reduces plastic waste and is quite an aesthetically pleasing process to do at home!
For on the go food & drinks
It’s easy to forget your reusable container for going to cafe’s. There’s a chance that if I forget my reusable cup, I will skip out on going to get a drink at my local coffee shops. Occasionally, going out-to-eat makes me cringe when I buy drinks in styrofoam cups. Some companies have started to change their practices, which makes me smile. If only we could bring in our own cup to those fast food restaurants to save money and for the use of a cup!
I take lunches with me to school five days a week and this requires me to meal plan in advance. Last year, I had a slew of plastic food storage containers and over time, they’ve all started to fall a part. Eventually, I would like to have two metal containers like Bento boxes to help reduce the plastic in my house and to save on buying cheaply made plastic for food storage.
On average, I make a pound of homemade bread every two weeks. In the past, that’s meant that I’ve had to spend money on plastic wrap, foil, and wax paper for food storage. Recently, I bought a set of bread bags on Amazon and this has helped me reduce my waste in food storage! Yay
I tested out the bread bag last week and I’ve enjoyed the longevity of the bag and the bread that keeps it from molding.
Reusable Grocery Bags
I have at least fifteen reusable bags in my car. A frozen bag stays in my fridge and I use it at least once a month. This is the category where I save the most in plastic and paper bags. On the times i do forget to take reusable bags for going to Walgreens or bulk shopping, I will still reuse the plastic bags to take out trash or the kitty litter.
S & T Makeup Removal Cloths
Slowly I am working through my stash of make up. At least 25% of what I have is animal cruelty free! About the time I used the last of my single-use pads is about the time I used the last of my single-use cotton pads & Q-Tips. I also have invested in reusable make-up removal cloths and they do just as well, if not better, than the single use junk I spent a lot of money on for several years.
Last year, I wrote a review about Luna Pads, reusable pads for women during the oh so wonderful menstrual cycles. Since buying my first reusable pad last year, I’ve bought a second pair. That’s an invested $40 when I used to spend over $100 on single-use pads a year! I can not stress the importance of the savings i’ve made in the environment and in money.
Luna Pad Amazon Link
Work in progress
This is the one where I am using all my items first before buying more eco-friendly options. Eventually, I’d like to start having a close to paperless college study routine or even writing process. In the meantime, I’ve got some reusable fountain pens on my list. I’ve also never written with fountain pens before, and any advice would be lovely!
I am now down to the last nine pencils! Before the start of the fall semester, I plan on buying sprouted pencils. The idea is that once you are near the end of your pencil, you can plant herbs in your little garden!
<a href="https://amzn.to/2ZGbz3x" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener" aria-label="Sprout Pencil Link Sprout Pencil Link ❤
Animals & Patio Garden
Petco has always been my to-go to shop for cat products. If you haven’t heard or the seen the commercial, Petco is ditching artificial ingredients from all their stores by May 1st. I’m interested to see how the branding will change when I go to pick-up cat food later this week or next week. Another item on my shopping list is one I also enjoy buying from Petco: kitty litter! Yes, kitty litter is my favorite reusable container product I buy from Petco. They have a refill station for when you buy the “So Phresh Odor Free Kitty Litter.” On average, I refill my bucket every two months. I bought the 30 pound bucket in September for about $12 new and I can refill the bucket for $10. Do I need to point out the savings?
I enjoy gardening and while I haven’t spent much time in my patio garden, I enjoy coming home and seeing my cat at the window watching the local birds chilling on my porch. In March, I bought a reusable container from my local nursery and when I need to go have it filled, I will save $2! I may only have to refill this container once a year but the birds like it and so do I.
With gardening itself, consider where you are buying your plants from. Buying local is especially important for plants because of the success rate they can have in your area and the economic impact that shopping local has on the nursery you buy your plants from. My garden’s empty right now since I’ve started some lettuce, milkweed, and other plants from seeds (bought from my nursery) and am still waiting for everything to sprout. I also haven’t given my garden the best of attention with time management and such. I also have to be careful since my cat enjoys destroying plants and for now, will only get to have plants outdoors.
I hope you enjoyed today’s list of reusable items you can buy local or online to help save the environment and reducing the waste in your household.
Here’s the link to the shopping list via Amazon if you haven’t checked it out yet!
It’s now time for me to water my garden and help my plants grow. See you guys on Wednesday!
Danielle’s writing career started as a musician first. She enjoys blogging about various subjects ranging from lifestyles, mental health, and topics relating to her English-Writing degree.
Posts are on MWF every week featuring the monthly Taking Inventory Series, photography features, and more!