Hey all, Happy March! A Simple Alternative is now two months old, yay! I’m so glad you’re here with me! If you haven't yet, feel free to subscribe to have posts sent directly to your inbox once they are published!
Today’s post is all about little changes I’ve made over time that helped launch me into values-based living. I’ve walked around my home and noted some of the small changes we’ve made that have had a lasting impact.
This is one that I’ve talked about in past posts, but it's near and dear to my heart. I am surprised to say that this was one of the easiest changes for me once I got used to it. I used to go through paper towels like a bandit, which adds up over time and is not great for the environment. To make this change I cut up an old towel into small squares. I have gray rags for the kitchen and dusting, and white rags for the bathroom, that way they don’t get mixed up. When I’m done using one, it goes straight into the washing machine so it doesn't get mixed in with our regular laundry. It took me a couple of weeks to get over the taboo of cleaning my bathtub and toilet with a rag, but once I got used to it I loved it! I save money and time by not using paper towels, and I’m also able to be mindful of my impact.
2 Reusable Napkins
Similar to paper towels, Eli and I knew we wanted to make the switch and found some great handmade napkins by local artist, Leo's Dry Goods. Making this switch goes hand in hand with paper towels since I used to use paper towels for napkins. What surprises me most about this change is how much I appreciate the aesthetic of cloth napkins. They are also very easy to care for, which was a concern of mine. We throw them in with our regular laundry, and they are able to go in the dryer. That is important for us, we didn’t want to have to iron linen or do anything special to make this switch, I think we found a great solution! You can also find cloth napkins at thrift and antique stores.
Once again, getting off of paper products. I am a tissue fanatic (Hello, allergies!). Hankies are an ideal solution for me since I need lots of tissues around. I also have two larger hankies which I purchased at Momentum in Boulder, CO to keep in my day bag. To fill our hankie jar I cut up old tee shirts. We keep one jar in the living room and one jar in our bedroom. We pop them straight in the washing machine once used, voila!
4 Compostable Toothbrushes
I use a toothbrush called Brush with Bamboo. Both the packaging and the brushes are compostable. This is important because every plastic toothbrush ever made still exists somewhere on the planet today. Let that sink in. Every toothbrush you’ve ever used is still around. Either lurking in the landfill or a water stream, it exists. This is because plastic takes hundreds of years to breakdown, and some plastics will never break down. For me, the switch to a compostable toothbrush was a no brainer. I realize not everyone has access to compost. My thought on that as related to this toothbrush is that wood (in this case, bamboo, which is abundant) is still better to be using and investing in than plastic.
5 DIY Cleaning Products
Since stopping the use of chemicals in my home I’ve come to notice how sensitive my body is to them. Perfume makes me sneeze, and conventional cleaning products give me a headache. I’ve gained body awareness on what works for me and what does not, and honestly, I don’t think chemicals work for anybody. Making your own cleaning products is simple, it takes less than 5 minutes. You can find my post on it here.
What are some simple changes you’ve made this year? What has surprised you about making changes to live from your values?