Minimizing your carbon foot, is a tall order. It’s not only good for the environment, but a lot of the steps in cutting out clutter, also improve your health and grade of life. One of the major contributors in everyone’s carbon footprint is plastic. It’s cheap and easy to manufacture, making it a prime ingredient for many packaging solutions. While most plastics are recyclable, reclaiming the substance is not cheap and has an impact on the environment.
The most consistent way to lower plastic’s presence in the planet is to use less of it. While people are recycling more now than ever the sum of recycled plastic comes to a sad nine percent.
Make Your Own Daily Hygiene Products
Deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo’s, conditioners, and lotions are used every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Think about all those containers we blow through! Also many of the ingredients in products are just terrible for you (aluminum chlorohydrate, parabens, propylene glycol, fluoride and triclosan to name a few). You can get essential oils to spice up and personalize your smell. It’s great for the environment, your health and your pocketbook!
Replace The Common, Go-To Cleaning Products With One Simple Solution
If you look at under your sink spaces, how many different cleaners and bottles are there? Don’t you think that’s a little crazy, seeing how they all simply clean? I break necessary cleaners into two categories: everyday and heavy duty. For everyday cleaning you’ll want to play around with different ratios of water, any vinegar, rubbing alcohol (70% or higher) and an essential oil to spruce it all up. You’ll want to change the ratios for a ‘deeper’ clean. Throw it in a spray bottle and go crazy!
If Given A Choice Choose Glass
Try to buy as much glass and cardboard containers as you can. If something you drink often comes in a glass bottle, spring the extra buck to get the glass. Super easy to re purpose. You can use the glass container for storage at home or a water bottle you won’t have to cry about if you miss place it. I get a kambucha bottle to use as my water bottles. I’m always losing my water bottles, and I hope who ever finds them recycles it!
Use Alternatives To Commercial Air Fresheners
There are many alternatives to Febreeze or Glade or other air fresheners. The commercial variety are full of toxins that can cause lung cancer or other respiratory diseases. Many people enjoy the convenience of candles but please my article on the dangers of certain candles. Some of them can be just as bad or worse than the commercial alternatives! Essential oil diffusers are a pretty safe bet, and depending on the kind of oil you use the aroma can have therapeutic properties.
Use Reusable Containers To Replace Plastic Wrap And Ziploc Bags
This solution involves you preparing and cooking your food with the future in mind. Try to cook only what is going to be consumed immediately. Plan ahead so that if you do have left overs, they aren’t just little scraps, but a meal. This way what you have saved is nutritionally, and economically it’s worth saving. There are plastic wrap alternatives that are pretty cool, they are made of bees wax or cotton. These materials break down much easier.
Use Soap Nuts and Baking Soda Instead of Laundry Detergent
Soap nuts are all natural alternatives that work the same as store bought detergents. Ancient peoples in Asia and Native Americans were big supporters of Sapindus (tree soap). For even more whitening power and freshness you can toss in a half cup of baking soda.
I’m a big fan of making your own laundry soap. Its super easy to make and store, saves so much money and works better than store bought toxin filled concoctions. The three ingredients necessary to make the detergent can be found in ANY grocery store. Take bar soap (we recommend Fels Naptha bar soap) washing soda, borax and a 5 gallon bucket to begin. This recipe for laundry detergent has been thoroughly tested by Spirit Science employees and found to be the best on the internet!!
- Boil half a gallon of water
- Grate half a 5.5 oz bar of Fels Naptha soap and add to boiling water
- After it reaches boiling, reduce heat
- Fill the bucket with 4 1/2 gallons of hot water
- Stir in 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda
- Once the mixture in the bucket is one homogeneous solution, pour in the soap water solution
- Stir periodically for eight hours
Buy In Bulk, At Establishments That Let You Bring Your Own Containers
The best way to ensure a smaller carbon foot print is to simply eliminate anything that isn’t necessary. A lot in our consumer driven lives aren’t necessary but convenient. If you are buying is bulk write down the base weight of the container (its weight without contents). It’ll make it easier during check out.
Make Your Own Juices And Other Beverages
All store bought juices have been pasteurized which means the contents were heated up to kill and bacteria. This heating process destroys a lot of those great vitamins and enzymes your always hearing about. There are also so many preservatives and artificial nonsense that serves no good purpose for you. A juicer is one of the best kitchen appliances you can purchase but the flavor and benefits are unmatched. Keep in mind that anything freshly juiced will have to be drank immediately. The nutritional contents break down quickly (hence all the preservatives). If your drinking soda’s….. Just stop it.
Prepare And Freeze Your Own Veggies, Legumes And Meats
All of those frozen preserved food options can be replicated by yourself with out the plastics or preservatives. Cook the veggies or meat most of the way through then freeze. If you can avoid cooking it all the way through, do so. This way you don’t over cook the food and thus breakdown the nutrients.