On April 22, communities across the globe will come together to celebrate Earth Day by organizing trash clean-ups and recycling efforts. While we’re excited about the many opportunities to go green on this day, we wanted to find ways to make lasting changes in our everyday lives. Going eco-friendly doesn’t require a big shift in your lifestyle—simple changes like switching to a biodegradable cleaning sponge or using a ceramic coffee tumbler instead of a single-use coffee cup goes a long way in helping Mother Nature. Here are some tips to make your home more environmentally-friendly.
Traditional bandages are no friend to the environment. They’re typically made from plastic-coated paper, which ends up in a landfill once your papercut has healed and you’ve thrown the bandage away. Luckily, there’s an easy swap for this one: These organic, biodegradable bandages are made from certified organic bamboo fabric packaged in individual sterile wrappers made from plastic-free rice paper. Even the outer container is made from recycled cardboard and printed with natural dye, making both the bandage and the packaging biodegradable and compostable. And because of the hypoallergenic pressure-sensitive adhesive, you’ll be just as comfortable using these as the plastic product you’re used to.
Ceramic To-Go Mugs
Whether you’re buying them in bulk for home or getting them from the coffee shop, single-use coffee cups aren't great for the Earth. Instead of kicking your coffee habit to the curb, invest in a reusable tumbler you can easily transport from home to the office or take directly to your favorite coffee shop. We like ceramic coffee mugs best because of their durability (and they’re way more Earth-friendly than plastic!). These mugs are handmade from stoneware clay and fired with a gorgeous glaze coating, and they're so pretty that you'll want to take them everywhere.
Tree-Free Paper Towels
While we’d love to say we only keep cloth towels in our kitchens, sometimes the need for paper towels is unavoidable. If you want to quickly tackle spills but still save the trees, you’re in luck! These tree-free paper towels are made from bamboo pulp instead. Bamboo grows ten times faster than regular trees, and the plant can be harvested every four years—rather than the 25-70 year time frame for other trees. These paper towels are just as absorbent as the brands you’re used to and each purchase helps plant trees across the United States through the Arbor Day Foundation.
Zero-Waste Cleaning Supplies
Those tough-scrubbing materials on traditional kitchen sponges can't break down in the landfill as quickly as we toss them out. This durable dish sponge is made from recycled fabric, it's washable and reusable, and it won't get stinky. Another cool feature: The sponge and its packaging are biodegradable. Each sponge comes with two filling options, depending on how fast you’d like it to break down once you're ready to discard it.
Reusable Straw Set
Many restaurants and coffee shops across the globe are doing away with plastic straws, but sometimes you just need one to sip on an ice-cold drink. This stylish and reusable stainless-steel straw comes with a handy cleaning brush for removing all traces of iced coffee. It also includes an organic cotton travel pouch that makes the straw easy to transport anywhere you’ll be consuming an iced beverage.
Earth-Friendly Office Supplies
It can be difficult to find good replacements for paper and pencils we use on a daily basis. While we won’t be getting rid of pencils anytime soon, the Sprout pencil is a great Earth-friendly option. It functions like a regular pencil, except for the fact that it has a seed capsule on the end instead of an eraser. Once it’s too short to use, plant it in the ground and watch it bloom into a tree or herb. The pencils also come with fun sayings on them to encourage you to use them more often.
Reusable Tote Bag
If you’re not already using reusable grocery bags on your Trader Joe’s runs, this is the perfect first bag to try. Instead of bagging your items in those flimsy grocery store bags, take a couple of reusable canvas bags to the store with you—some stores will even give you a discount for bringing your own bags! In addition, this adorable tote bag is made from one hundred percent certified organic cotton and uses fair trade certified manufacturing. Each purchase helps fund local wilderness cleanups, so you’ll be saving the Earth in more ways than one.
Canvas Lunch Bag
Products made with beeswax and cotton are growing in popularity, and they're making sad desk lunches a lot better (especially for the planet). Swap your paper sack or plastic lunch box for a reusable and washable waxed canvas bag. The beeswax blend finish creates a water-resistant layer that protects against spills and condensation, so you can toss the bag in a briefcase or backpack with confidence.
Organic Indoor Garden
Growing your own fruits and vegetables sounds like a great idea, but large outdoor gardens require a lot of space and upkeep. If that’s not a viable option for you, opt for an indoor garden! These windowsill planters allow you to grow cherry tomatoes, herbs, and other plants directly in the kitchen window, meaning you can supply fresh food for your family while saving money at the grocery store.