5 Easy Changes to Make Our Homes a Little Greener
[Disclaimer: Grove Collaborative sponsored this post. All opinions and photography are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog. Grove Collaborative is also running an amazing offer if you too want to baby step towards an eco-friendly home. More details on the FREE product you’ll receive below!]
This year we’ve been chatting more and more about making our lives a little greener. From B ‘s diaper bag, to our cleaning products, and our skincare, we’re trying our best to be more conscious of the products we use in our everyday lives. We’re far from perfect (and both have A LOT to learn!), but every small step we make towards creating a healthier home is a step in the right direction.Instead of completely overhauling every single thing we use, we’ve each made small tweaks and changes over the past 6 months to create healthier homes. We figure if we slowly incorporate new non-toxic products into our homes, it’s a lot less overwhelming than doing it all at once.
5 Simple Ways to Create an Eco-Friendly Home
If you’re also on this mission, we have 5 simple swaps you can make to create an eco-friendly home.
Casey: Finn and I have always used dryer sheets in our household. In fact, we’d buy the super packs at Costco and throw in a few sheets at a time when drying our clothing and bedding. But I learned that most dryer sheets have artificial ingredients and fragrances and they’re really not that good for you.
So I tossed our dryer sheets and we gave wool dryer balls a try. I actually never would have even known about wool dryer balls if it wasn’t for Grove Collaborative. They send some free gifts with your first order, and these balls came with mine. I had noooooo idea how to use them and was a little confused as to how the heck these would help make my clothes smell good and help get them dry quickly.
All you do is throw 3 balls into the dryer when doing laundry. The balls bounce around as the dryer runs, which leads to more airflow and less drying time (who knew?!). Because I missed the fresh smell from the dryer sheets, I add a few drops of essential oils to each ball 1x per week (the pack from Grove comes with a bottle!). This gives a nice light fragrance to our dry clothes.
The only bad thing is when you open the dryer when it’s running and a ball flies out. Ha! We’ve had to do our fair share of crawling under the couch to find balls that went astray.
Use Glass Water Bottles
Bridget: One tiny change Matt and I have made, after a simple tip from a family member, was ditching plastic water bottles. We were both guilty of reaching for these convenient bottles whenever they were available but recently realized that ditching these bottles would be an easy change that would be both healthier and more eco-friendly.
Instead of buying water bottles from the grocery store, we have filtered water on tap in our refrigerator in a glass container. We drink this water when we are at home and even pour it into a glass water bottle when we’re heading out of the house.
It’s such a tiny change, but we already feel like we are doing our part to produce a little less garbage and staying away from plastics a little bit more. Like we said before, we’re not perfect, but every little change helps, right?
Casey: Confession time…Finn & I are serial paper towel users. Yes, we know they aren’t great for the environment but we reach for them time and time again when cooking and cleaning in our home. However, I’m trying to be better about using rags and microfiber cloths instead.
When I wipe down the counters after dinner, I now opt for a cloth instead of a paper towel. And while I still use paper towels for some household chores, I’m more apt to reach for the rags and microfiber cloths these days. I then toss the dirty rags in the laundry and they’re good as new.
Casey: Here’s one swap that I like because it’s both good for the planet, and it makes my kitchen look cuter too! I’ve always been one to buy packs of sponges to clean our dishes. Then when one gets too gross, I toss it in the trash.
I recently made the switch to this brush set and I absolutely love it. It’s actually a soap dispenser too. You add soap and water to the base of the ceramic dish, then when you want to lather up the brush you pump it a few times and it’s loaded and ready to go! It’s made from recycled plastic and renewable bamboo, so I like knowing that it has a sustainable design. I display it on a little tray near our sink, along with a hand soap dispenser.
Bridget: A few readers recently turned me onto the website EWG.org and I love it! Essentially it’s an online resource that allows you to see what types of toxins may be lurking in your everyday products, including your food, skin care products, cleaning supplies, etc. You type in the name (and brand!) of the product you are using/eating and the website will provide a score for that product in a number of categories.
I love this resource because you don’t have to be super savvy in the world of food/toxins (something I wish I was, but am not) to understand the feedback the website provides about the product or food. I’ve been using EWG throughout my skincare journey, to read about products I’ve been testing, and definitely try to use it for our food and products that are around Ben (like his soaps, lotions, and our cleaning supplies).
I recently switched over to this dishwashing detergent because it was rated an “A” compared to the other stuff I used to use, which earned a “D” rating. Again, I have a ton more to learn, but this resource has made me feel a lot more confident in this often intimidating world of “going green”.
I also love shopping on Grove, because they do all of the homework for you! Their selection is curated, so everything they sell on their site is carefully selected, tested, and meets their dirty ingredients list.
- Method Laundry Pack
- Wool Dryer Balls (you’re gonna love them!)
Those items should help your home become a tad bit greener! Use this link to sign up and receive the free products with your order. Extra bonus for our readers, if you spend $39 you’ll receive this enamel cleaning caddy ($14.95 value). It’s great for keeping all your cleaning products organized.
Now we want to know…what small changes have you done to create an eco-friendly home? Any simple swaps we can focus on for the fall season?
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.