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LOL, the thread title is in jest... but I am switching to more sustainable products and would love suggestions based on items you love!

I already use cloth napkins instead of paper towels. I use reusable/washable cotton rounds for face products.  My cloth pantyliners arrive today (yay!); not sure I'm ready to fully commit to cloth products for the monthlies but I'm considering a cup. 

Some of my beauty products are now more friendly (in sourcing or small-business supporting or natural-based) but not entirely. 

Anyway, what do you love and wish you'd switched to years ago? I'm interested in anything -- maybe there's something I haven't thought of!

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Planting fruit trees with the aim of being able to bring fresh, local, organic produce into my house every month from our own yard has been a long term focus of mine.  Dwarf ones won’t take up all that much room so you can have a variety, and there are grafted trees with several varieties on them that seems like a good idea, although I have not had much luck with those.  I got a dehydrator from a free list last year so I’m looking forward to trying it out on our apricots starting this weekend.  

If we didn’t spend so much time going back and forth to the cabin I’d also get a few chickens or ducks for eggs, but they really need daily care so it’s not realistic to take that on.

I have also planted perennial herbs to use fresh, and once in a while I add annuals like basil to the mix, but without being here consistently in the summer to water them, it doesn’t always work out well.

Canning jars are generally better than plastic for freezing things like soup, cooked beans, chili, or spaghetti sauce.  They are cheap, too!  I prefer the wide mouthed pint jars mostly.

One thing I do use plastic for is the special veggie saver Tupperware—it really does extend the life of produce in the fridge, significantly.

A cousin gifted me a tube of Your Lip Balm from Our Planet, and I love it.  It’s all natural and packaged without plastic.  

I go with whole grains wherever possible, buy flours and sugars and rice in bulk, and bake my own sourdough bread.

 

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OH!  One more thing—our Buy Nothing list is great.

People offer things to others in their area for free.  

It’s the ultimate recycling—placement rather than either trashing or decomposing.  

It’s particularly nice for fairly obscure appliances—seems like people have a lot of aspirational bread machines, dehydrators, juicers, etc. lying around, and even the occasional blender.  Saves a lot of money and it’s far easier on the planet as well.

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10 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

OH!  One more thing—our Buy Nothing list is great.
People offer things to others in their area for free.  
It’s the ultimate recycling—placement rather than either trashing or decomposing.  

and if that's not an option: buy used.

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I use a loofah in the shower.  A bar of soap lathers up just fine with it, and when it's worn out it gets composted.

I can also say a good mechanical pencil is a must here.  DS and I each have one that we've used for years.  I buy lead and erasers, that's it.  Wooden pencils may be better for the environment, but not buying more stuff, and needing more places to put it, is a trade off I make for 1 good pencil.

 

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4 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

I use a loofah in the shower.  A bar of soap lathers up just fine with it, and when it's worn out it gets composted.

DD wants to start growing loofah! I didn't realize that they were like a squash (honestly, and this may sound stupid, lol, I thought they were an ocean thing-y). 😄

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1 minute ago, alisoncooks said:

DD wants to start growing loofah! I didn't realize that they were like a squash (honestly, and this may sound stupid, lol, I thought they were an ocean thing-y). 😄

Dh thought the same thing!  😄  We had a whole discussion here about the difference between it and a sponge, and he was still skeptical until seeds fell out. 🤣

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50 minutes ago, alisoncooks said:

DD wants to start growing loofah! I didn't realize that they were like a squash (honestly, and this may sound stupid, lol, I thought they were an ocean thing-y). 😄

Wait…they aren’t? 🤯  Off to google!

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32 minutes ago, busymama7 said:

I keep seeing ads on Facebook for dehydrated laundry soap. You just put a sheet in the wash. No huge plastic bottles to dispose of. I want to try it. Has anyone here? 

No, but that because it's more expensive than my current soap and I'm not keen on what would happen to it here.  I use Charlies, and they used to have the powder in cardboard containers but found they didn't protect the soap well in humid environments.  I don't think I'd be comfortable with the sheets after a week or two.  Even my washing soda has to go in a glass jar if I want it in anything other than a lump.

The toothpaste capsules intrigue me, though.

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5 minutes ago, Carolina Wren said:

We haven't bought plastic wrap or foil since I learned you can use a plate upside down to cover things in the fridge and a cookie sheet upside down to cover things in the oven.

I grew up in a society where plastic wrap did not exist 🙂 This is what we've been doing.

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I have added in the thought that whatever I buy new has to be manufactured and that costs energy, shipping, etc.  Keeping a car that might be a little thirsty is actually an energy saver over purchasing a new car that is more gas efficient. 

I do errand days where I get all of them done at once.  It ends up being a 20 mile diameter once rather than a bunch of 3-4 mile radii.  

Stay out of stores. You just buy stuff.  That sounds silly but it really is a good way to keep a lid on purchasing.  I can't buy what I don't see and I don't miss it if I don't see it.

I need to cut back on LeCroix and similar seltzers.  I like the fizz/sparkle but ... too many cans. 

 

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1 minute ago, regentrude said:

Get a sodastream

I think I'll just get over myself.  :-)  But that is actually a good suggestion...I don't have room in my kitchen for anything else, though, so I'll exercise the Suck it up, Buttercup option.

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1 hour ago, HomeAgain said:

No, but that because it's more expensive than my current soap and I'm not keen on what would happen to it here.  I use Charlies, and they used to have the powder in cardboard containers but found they didn't protect the soap well in humid environments.  I don't think I'd be comfortable with the sheets after a week or two.  Even my washing soda has to go in a glass jar if I want it in anything other than a lump.

The toothpaste capsules intrigue me, though.

Where I live it is super dry. But my worry was more like a kid spilling their cup 😅

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3 hours ago, busymama7 said:

I keep seeing ads on Facebook for dehydrated laundry soap. You just put a sheet in the wash. No huge plastic bottles to dispose of. I want to try it. Has anyone here? 

I've used it on vacation -- to wash underthings in the sink. It did a fine job in that context, but I've never used it in the washer, or for a long enough term to see if it really does a good job getting things completely clean and keeping them fresh.

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10 hours ago, alisoncooks said:

DD wants to start growing loofah! I didn't realize that they were like a squash (honestly, and this may sound stupid, lol, I thought they were an ocean thing-y). 😄

 

10 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I want to do that, too!

I have seeds if you'd like me to send some to you. I've never gotten them myself, but a neighbor gave me a loofah that was full of seeds. Pm me your address and I'll send them to you.

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Don't start your crunchy journey with a shopping list and If you don't compost you can't be a crunchy lady.  

I said what I said!

 

 

I first read this as "Lunch Lady Starter Kit" and was wondering if you needed a hair net and sectioned trays.

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We don't use dryer sheets or a substitute. After 2 or 3 washes there was no more static.

We use plastic bags at the grocery store but we reuse all of them. First we pack very full to use less, then we use them as garbage liners, pet cleaning, 15 minute pickup.

We try to use less electric. Our blinds are drawn and drapes down because it's in the 90s this week. We don't own a television and are buying DS a typewriter instead of a laptop.

Buy in bulk for less packaging, though we are a family of 6.

Reusable water bottles. Everyone gets a new one every Christmas, but this year I think we're getting Yetis because they'll last longer. This will cost a fortune.

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15 hours ago, busymama7 said:

I keep seeing ads on Facebook for dehydrated laundry soap. You just put a sheet in the wash. No huge plastic bottles to dispose of. I want to try it. Has anyone here? 

I love them!  I have the Sheets Laundry Club, but from Amazon, not the site subscription. I keep a pretty deep supply of detergent on hand, so I’m still working on finishing up my pods, but was alternating a bit to see if I liked the sheets before getting more.

They are more expensive. ($.33/load vs. $.12/load of my usual brand’s liquid bottle and $.17/pod.) But I can easily tear one in half for a smaller load, which is nice.  When it’s in the budget, I pay more for local food and other sustainable products too, so I’m fine with it.

My daughter insists that the sheets “didn’t work” for her, but I’m absolutely convinced that she attempted to use them in the dryer and refuses to admit it. 😆 

No more big, plastic jugs for me.  At least, not for laundry.
I’d like to see more products go this way. Dishwasher detergent has got to be next, right?

I’m trying to convince myself to use an alternative to plastic tubs of coffee, but Folgers Black Silk is my morning ritual.

I like all my cleaning products in refillable bottles. I haven’t settled on a brand, though.  Better Life and Mrs. Meyers are my favorite products, but still so much plastic.  Amazon Basics seem to be pretty good, but the refills still come in a plastic jar.  Other brands run pretty darn expensive.
I’m still fine with making some of my own for certain things, but not for everything all the time.

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We've been buying blueland foaming hand soap. It comes in tablets that dissolve and the packaging is all compostable.

I bought some clothing items from ThredUp a few months ago and was really pleased. They sell used clothes. 

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