Monday, April 18, 2011

unique ways to be earth friendly

Touch the Earth by Serpent Mandalas

I try to keep the majority of my eco-enthusiasm out of my blog given it is not in keeping with my main themes (creating, capturing, feeling). But, for Earth Day (this coming Friday, April 22nd) I make an exception! 

Every year I like to add a handful of new eco-conscious practices to my life. It's something that makes me feel like I have done some good and contributed to this beautiful yet fragile planet we live on. I know it doesn't always seem easy given some eco changes require a lot of commitment or effort, which can be intimidating. BUT, there are SO many little things we can do that make a HUGE impact on the environment (and the health of our bodies, as most eco-friendly practices do).

Here are some of those simple yet significant ways you can help the earth:

Reversible Coffee Sleeve by Crafty Staci 

Those nifty little sleeves your local coffee shop slips onto your hot beverage may keep your hands burn-free, but they are a huge waste of resources! They get tossed in the trash with your cup every time, but they are still perfectly functional and clean. My old practice was to simply keep one in my purse (off of an old cup of coffee shop coffee). But, this would be an upgrade and more eco-friendly.

I've tried recycling my recycled plastic, BPA and PVC free sandwich bags (a change in and of itself), but it can get messy and tedious. Enter reusable sandwich and snack bags! They are lined with waterproof and stain resistant nylon so you can shake the crumbs out, turn them inside out to wipe them down or toss them in the washer. Amazing. Think of how many plastic baggies you could save by using these! I know for me the number would be pretty significant given I bring snacks on-the-go every day.

 Felted Wool Dryer Balls by Life Soap Simple

An upgrade from my previous change to eco-friendly dryer sheets. Genius. You simply toss a few wool balls into the dryer and they cut drying time significantly as the wool sucks moisture away from the clothes. They also cut static cling and wrinkles, but more importantly are free of the icky chemicals most commercial dryer sheets are leaching first onto your clothes then onto your skin. Wool dryer balls come both scent-free and scented. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to the outside. Bonus: they last FOREVER! Literally.

Another dryer sheet option. Made from recycled teeshirts, these dryer pillows are also free of synthetic ingredients and are scented by a pouch of real lavender buds. Bonus: they are adorable!

Un Paper Towels by Love For Earth

One of the biggest eco changes I've made in my life this past year is avoiding paper towels as much as possible. I had made the switch to un-dyed, recycled paper towels years ago, which made me feel a little better, but the truth is I use A LOT of paper towels. So, I bought a huge stack of reusable "paper towels" which I store under my kitchen sink and use for all my cleaning then toss them into a small pail I put in the corner of my kitchen. I simply wash them in hot water once a week then reuse. Seeing them pile up in that pail was also a great way to demonstrate to myself how much I really use. Gulp.

Much like the coffee sleeves, we fill so many plastic bags with produce every week when we grocery shop….then we toss them in the trash. We've been beaten over the head to bring our own bags on our shopping trips, but what about those pesky produce bags? It's simple to toss a few reusable ones in your pile of reusable shopping bags.

Pink Cedar & Tuberose Spray by The Dirty Housewife

Every time you spray the bathroom to disguise a less than favorable smell, or you spritz your couches with chemical-laden linen spray, you fill the air and your LUNGS with chemicals (not to mention they rub off onto your skin when you sit down on that fresh smelling piece of furniture). I'm a freak about filling my home with beautiful scents, but there are so many natural options out there….and not just the environment, but my sensitive skin and chronic asthma thank me for choosing a natural option.

Click here for last year's Earth Day suggestions.


  1. Wonderful, Earth Friendly post. And thank you so much for including my dryer balls here!

  2. Great choices! I'm a big offender in the paper towel department too - I might have to try those. Thanks for including my coffee cup sleeve!

    Staci (

  3. I have those paper towel alternatives and did like I read in one of her (Love for Earth) listings... a different color for each room. They are wonderful! No lint, not a smidge. People actually take them from my house!

    I stopped by to Thank you for including my dryer sheet pillows and for the "bonus" affirmation! Thanks!


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