Today I’m continuing the Earth Day love with
ten basic items for Earth-friendly living I love to use,
four websites for further browsing,
two swell book give-aways of
four cool animalicious books perfect for ages 2-6!
Moving towards a more sustainable, less wasteful, lifestyle is an important goal for me.
I’m highlighting these ten products because I love them, they make me happy, and they are super easy changes to implement as you and your household go greener!
I’ve supplied Amazon or other website links for them all.
1. The Oh-She-Glows Cookbook
Cutting back on meat consumption – especially beef – is the #1 thing most of us can do to significantly reduce our carbon footprint, and it’s an easy, healthy, delicious, cost-savings make-over! You can start with even just one plant-based day per week.
The Oh-She-Glows cookbook is one of my favorites. As I am not vegan, I tend to alter some of her recipes, throwing in a splash of milk rather than making my own cashew cream, for example. But – yummmm! We have loved everything we’ve tried from this book!
The Oh She Glows Cookbook
Buy Oh She Glows from an Independent Bookseller.
2. Reusable grocery bags
This is such an easy step to take. Reusable bags are much nicer and more dependable than paper or plastic anyway. If you are using disposable bags at the grocery store, Target, the drug store – you could decide to just stop now 🙂
My girls love Baggu bags because they’re well-designed, come in such stylish prints, are seriously strong, and easily stuff into a tiny carrying pouch. Keep one in a purse for any quick stop at a store. (Plus they’re having an Earth Day sale now!) I have collected a motley assortment of tote bags over the years. Honestly, my favorites are inexpensive ones I’ve bought at grocery stores in Europe, like this one:
They are incredibly sturdy! Reusable shopping bags are cheap and easy to find.
3. Reusable produce bags
I also use lovely re-usable produce bags instead of unspooling the plastic bags from the grocery store. They make me so happy! This set comes in a nice variety of sizes, and they wash up in the machine like a dream.
Reusable Mesh/Produce Bags
4. Personal water bottle
Get a good brand like they sell at REI, BPA-free, break-resistant, money-saving, and much, much better for the planet.
5. Personal thermos
These are nicer to drink from than a paper cup, keep your coffee much hotter for hours and hours, and don’t wreck the planet. My favorite is this one from Hydroflask. I’ve never had a spill, and a variety of lid types are available. Just hand it to the barista, he’ll fill it up and likely give you a small discount. Win-win-win-win!
6. Silicone lids and bags
I’ve been working to eliminate plastic wrap from my kitchen. These lids form a complete seal for refrigerating or freezing leftovers, and are heat-proof so they can double as lids on cooking pots or in the microwave. One pack has a variety of sizes. I use mine every day.
Silicone Bowl Lids
There are also silicone sandwich bags which I haven’t used but look mighty convenient and long-lasting.
Beeswrap sheets are infused with beeswax so with just the warmth of your hands, they can be shaped and melded together temporarily. Use it to wrap awkward things like a block of cheese or half a watermelon. The website says it lasts a year; mine have lasted much longer and they work great. I love them. A variety of sizes are available.
8. Microfiber mop
I bought something like this about 10 years ago and have never had to replace the pads yet. Mine came with a fluffy one for dust mopping and gathering up dog hair! And a sturdy dense terry type for wet mopping. I love not throwing away Swiffer cloths and the yucky plastic buckets they come in. The pads come out of the washing machine beautifully, and the whole things is much easier to use than a flimsy Swiffer cloth anyway!
9. Reusable coffee pods
We don’t have a Keurig at home, but my office has one and I refuse to add to the horrendous numbers of tiny plastic coffee pods in our landfills and oceans. It is supremely easy and less expensive to scoop some of my favorite kind of coffee into one of these pods.
Reusable K Cups
Cooking spray is another one of the products I’m eliminating from my kitchen. These lovely Silpat sheets fit on my baking pans and allow me to skip greasing the pan or lining with parchment paper. They bake beautifully, and make me feel like I’m on the Great British Bake-Off where I first saw them 🙂
And here are a few web-sites for more green browsing:
- Calculating your own carbon footprint can show you the particular spots you might want to focus some attention, but it can be quite an involved process. This particular calculator is less demanding and my sources say it’s a good one.
2. I am always looking for more ways to reduce waste. Here are a couple of brilliant web-sites crammed with ideas for us all:
Trash is for Tossers
3. For readers with questions about climate change, I highly recommend following Katherine Hayhoe, one of the world’s top authorities on climate change, and an excellent communicator.
Her Global Weirding youtube channel is superb for middle-graders through adults.
AND NOW FOR THE BOOK GIVE-AWAY!
I’ve got a beautiful bundle of books
especially well-suited to ages 2-6,
all courtesy of the wonderful folk at Kane Miller books,
and all created by the talented Clover Robin.
Across the Savannah and On the Mountain are gorgeous pop-up books! Meet lions and meerkats, bighorn sheep and bear cubs, and lots more beauties.
Boldly-colored, intricately articulated pieces unfold in ooh-ah splendor at every page turn.
Bug Hotel and Bird House are sturdy cardboard books for busy fingers with dozens of flaps to open as you discover butterflies and beetles, woodpeckers and doves, and their particular favorite places to live.
Four books crammed with fascinating facts and bursting with wow factor!
I’ll be sending the two pop-ups to one prize winner,
and the two lift-the-flap books to another winner.
Enter by commenting on which of my Earth-friendly suggestions looks most enticing OR tell us about something you do/use to live more sustainably.
Add to your entries by simply sharing any of this week’s posts on social media or by any more human way of communicating you choose! Tell me which posts you’ve shared, and I’ll add that many entries for you.
Drawings will take place on Sunday, April 28 and winners will be notified via Monday’s blog post, April 29.
U.S. postal addresses only. Sorry, dear international friends!
I’ll be back on Friday — Arbor Day! — with a forest of tree-ish titles!
The silpats are most enticing to me because I do a lot of baking and nothing is ever as tidy as the olive oil spray stuff. I did try to put olive oil in a glass spray bottle, but it wasn’t the same effect unfortunately. Nice try though.
I do a lot of the other suggestions you have. Including- did you know that you can make your own beeswax wrappers by painting fabric squares with hot beeswax? It’s true!
Good luck to everyone- the books look wonderful!
Rebecca — I have also thought of putting oil in a spritzer bottle — now you have saved me the effort 🙂 The beeswax project sounds great! I will definitely give that a try.
This is an amazing post. I am definitely checking out the Oh-She-Glows CookBook. This feels like such an important step to take but a really big one for our family of meat and potato eaters. I have implemented many of your suggestions already but one that I feel proud of in living more sustainably is using a Diva Cup. I feel like my waste is a lot less each month. After living overseas and seeing waste lying around you become more sensitive to what you throw away! We are out of the cloth diaper stage, yay, but that also is a difficult choice at first but worth it. (though I did not ever travel using cloth diapers! =0)
Of your suggestions I am thankful for the time you put into how we carry our groceries! Oh how I hate those plastic bags! Our Aldi is currently selling great bags for a little more than a dollar that fold up very small and are easy to use! Thank you for keeping us aware!
Charity — I totally understand the meat-and-potatoes crew. I keep fish and chicken dishes in my rotation because of my crew’s preferences, but have found so many recipes that satisfy even meat-y appetites. I wish you luck in sneaking some of those into your meal plans 🙂 — I am past the Diva Cup stage which is why I couldn’t really comment on that but I’m so glad you mentioned it. You are right — it is partly my time overseas where there is no such thing as trash pick-up that makes me aware of the tremendous amount of waste here in the States. We went the same route as you on cloth diapers. Thanks so much for your thoughts!
I think it’s time to buy some Silpats and maybe even a microfiber mop. I haven’t seen produce bags like that either. Thanks for all of the great recommendations!
Yes, my daughter gave me a couple of Silpats for my birthday about a year ago and I love using them 🙂 And the produce bags — so satisfying and easy to use. I just keep a stash of them in my shopping bags so they’re always handy at the grocery store.
It is helpful to have all of these earth-friendly items in one convenient spot, for reference and purchasing! I am aware of all of the products except for the silicone lids; they look like they would be really useful!
Megan — It can feel a little crazy thinking about buying stuff…to be earth friendly 🙂 But it works out in the long run. Yes, I started out with one or two silicone lids and quickly realized I would use them all the time. I love them for heating things in the microwave — they have saved many a nightmare of splattering 🙂
Silicone lids for sure! Sustainability and public libraries go hand in hand, I would donate the books after I read them!
Here, here for public libraries! Bastions of community and sustainability. I almost put my library card on the list of ten! Thanks, Sara!
I wrote a comment but I also shared this post with five friends via email. I am not sure that this counts but I thought I would ask. I am not on social media at all because I teach my kids from home and it would suck all my time. It is my own short comings that make it an unhealthy choice to be on social media. Your blog is one of TWO blogs I get emails from. I actually do book ordering for two families, not including my own, using your lists. Your lists were particularly helpful when I was doing the challenge of 1,000 books before Kindergarten. My personal goal was to read 1,000 different ones. (obviously when they love a book you read it a 1,000 times!!! =0) It is lovely because now my 1st and 2nd graders read the picture books that I read to them, to themselves. So many of them have such rich language they are written at a 6th grade level!! Thank you for all your amazing suggestions. I am thankful to God for you.
ps. I won something for you once already so I am okay not to win again but I have to say when I saw the wolves popping out I had to enter!! =0)
Such an encouragement, Charity! Thank you. And absolutely your email shares count! I say bravo from keeping free from social media 🙂 I am always happier to hear that people come to me via e-mail or word of mouth as I think social media is toxic for most of us. I do very little there myself.
It was fun looking through your list of Earth-friendly items, especially as I discovered I already use almost all of them (I even have the Bona mop!). The one thing I wasn’t aware of though was the Oh She Glows Cookbook. I have drastically reduced the amount of meat, and the kind of meat we eat, and am always on the lookout for new recipes. To be honest, I’m a bit of a cookbook junkie. 🙂
As far as ideas for living more sustainably, gardening would be at the top of my list.
Also, I just wanted to say that although I live in Canada I do have a US mailing address!
Hi Kristi! Why am I not surprised that you’re engaged in sustainable living 🙂 You inspire me as well with the beauty you enjoy and create. I think you would love the cook book. And I wish you were here to be my pro gardener-teacher…I have so much to learn.
I love to use our reusable bags and stainless steel water bottles. Cheers!
Awesome! Glad to hear it, Kimberly!
A couple of ways I reduce waste from my kids lunches is using the neoprene lunch bags by Built, and sending their sandwich, cut veg, and cut fruit in a flattish, squarish container. The bonus is that nothing gets squished in their backpack.
Thanks for the tip, Christina! I looked up those lunch bags — they are so darling!! I know there are lots of nice lunch-y containers out there as well. I love that you are raising your kids to make these good choices!
Brilliant idea on the silpats! I use mine for mostly just cookies, but why not for more?! Thanks for all these tips!
Well, the beautiful roulade is not mine –it’s just from the Silpat site. But inspirational for us both, I guess!
I love the idea of the reusable produce bags for when you’re at the store, I’ll have to pick some up for myself! Something that I just discovered for my household are reusable bamboo “paper towels”, they’re super sturdy, sock up liquids real well, and they go through the wash just like everything else. I love them so much.
Very cool. I will have to check those bamboo towels out! Thanks, Meghan!
Great list, as always. I never leave the house without a reusable bag, but I’m definitely going to look into those produce bags. And you can never have too many cookbooks. Or any books…
I don’t know why I love them so much 🙂 I mean, I love that I’m not adding to plastic trash, but I think just the feel of putting produce into something not plastic makes me happier as well 🙂 Thanks, Cat!
I’d never heard of reusable produce bags – duh! What a good idea. Thank you!
I learned about them from my kids. It’s one of the perks of adult children 🙂