10 ways to make your home more eco-friendly, even if your home is a tiny, cramped apartment
With spring right around the corner, most of us may feel inspired to live a more sustainable life. We try to practice sustainability and minimize waste whenever possible, and we’re always looking for tips and products to help us build more eco-friendly homes and make a positive impact on the environment.
The world of eco-friendly products can be intimidating, but you don’t have to do it all at once. You can start small with one or two sustainable items and incorporate them into your daily routine over time. And once you start going green, you’ll want to find even more alternatives. You may find that going green frees up a lot of space in your cabinets, too.
Try these 10 products and tips to create less waste and make more space.
1Buy reusable bags
$12Shop it Baggu
Say goodbye to that unsightly wad of plastic bags taking up valuable space under your sick. It’s the oldest piece of advice in the book, but it bears repeating: Buy reusable bags. Reusable bags come in handy so much more often than you might think: grocery shopping, picking up lunch, sorting dirty laundry when you travel. Baggu has chic, fun bag designs, and you just need a couple to round out your collection.
2Try reusable produce bags
3 for $24.99Shop it Sol + Spirit
Grocery shopping with reusable bags is a great start. To cut back on waste even further, invest in some reusable produce bags. These are unbleached, made from 100% organic cotton, and will make your fruits, veggies, and herbs look even tastier than plastic and baggie ties.
3Declutter your Ziploc bag drawer
$19.99Shop it (re)zip
Every apartment has what we call the Ziploc bag drawer: a drawer stuffed to the brim with boxes and boxes of different-sized Ziploc bags. Yet somehow, you can still never seem to have the right size bag you actually need. Try (re)zip’s reusable storage bags and your life will never be the same. You can use them for snacks, sandwiches, and the rest of that red onion you chopped up and want to save for dinner tomorrow. This five-piece will do wonders for your conscience and your drawers.
4Store more things in jars
From $15Shop it West Elm
Speaking of doing away with Ziploc bags, try storing more things in jars. Are you guilty of opening a new bag of brown sugar, and immediately sealing it inside of a Ziploc bag so it doesn’t go stale? Same. Skip that step and keep it fresh in a glass jar. Jar storage makes your pantry more uniform and easy to organize. Plus, it looks nice.
5Reinvent your coffee routine
$14.99Shop it Keurig
Real talk: K-Cups create a lot of waste…but they’re so darn convenient, it’s hard to part with them. A reusable K-Cup coffee filter gives you the best of both worlds.
6Switch to reusable cleaning concentrates
$12Shop it Brandless
When you run out of surface cleaner, it’s a shame that you have to buy a whole new bottle. But not with these cleaning concentrates for glass, tub and tile, and granite and stone. Just add a pack to any refillable spray bottle, fill with water, shake, and you’re good to go.
7Make your beauty routine more sustainable
$7.45 for 5Shop it Etsy
Did you know that makeup routines can create a lot of waste? But a package of reusable, zero-waste cotton pads can make a big difference.
8Try a shampoo bar
$11.95Shop it Lush
They cost less than most shampoos, don’t come in a plastic bottle, and will leave your scalp feeling clean and refreshed. This one is made with oat milk, almond meal, and French lavender oil. Oui, s’il vous plait.
9Minimizing online shopping
Online shopping creates a lot of excess waste. All of those shipping labels, packing materials, and cardboard boxes add up—and not all of it can be recycled. Also, avoid buying a bunch of options that you “can always return later,” because that creates even more waste. Even though online shopping is convenient, try to buy things in person whenever possible to cut down on waste. Better yet, shop local to support your community and see the direct impact of your purchases.
10Set up a recycling system that works for you
Buy a dedicated bin for glass, plastic, and paper. Keep a container in your bathroom to collect empty toilet paper tubes and shampoo bottles. Recycle junk mail as it comes. Get in a routine, and recycling will be second nature before you know it.