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When I was in high school, I participated in a recycling club. That was nearly five years ago, yet until this week the only changes I had made to my lifestyle was an occasional plastic bottle in a recycle bin. Now that I'm living on my own and spending my own money on things I didn't have to in high school (thank you, Grandma), I have begun to think of more eco-friendly alternatives to everyday household items.
This interest led me into a rabbit hole of green information. I watched the video above, which I also suggest that you watch if you haven't already. I was shocked to learn about the five gyres of trash in the ocean. The image in my head of litter in the ocean was that it was sporadically spread out along the entire ocean. I had no idea that it clumped up like that, or that it was broken down into bits. Which because of how the food chain works, ended up in the tummies of humans.
Plastics can only be recycled a set number of times. And who's to say that the next person who uses the bottle you just recycled won't just throw it away? It's best to invest in products that you will use for a long time, are made from eco-friendly materials, and are able to be reused. Recycling should be the last thing you hope to do. Don't forget the other two Rs, reduce and reuse. They precede recycle for a reason!
I have already reduced my paper towel, trash bag, dish sponge, and indirect puppy pad usage because of the following items. However, I'm not stopping there. I have a problem with drinking water from plastic bottles. According to that video, that will never be sustainable. I am going to try my hardest to drink water solely from glasses and a personal bottle that I reuse. I have always struggled with this because of my irrational fear of germs. I am ready to conquer this, and help this planet all that I can!
Without further ado, here are the three products I recommend for a greener life! :)
I have had my four pack of skoy cloths for about two weeks. As a person who has historically been fairly germaphobic, a heavy water and paper towel user, these cloths have definitely been quite a change to adjust to. However, the different colors make it easy to designate specific uses. I use different colors for the kitchen, bathroom, floor (for quick messes), and for miscellaneous cleaning. They are quick to clean as well! Just douse it with some water (important), pop them into the microwave for a minute, and let it cool for a minute as it will be hot and you've got yourself a bacteria-free skoy cloth. They can also be washed in the washer when they get very messy. Each skoy cloth replaces 15 paper towels! Before I had these, I was changing my full-size trash cans twice a day because of the sheer amount of paper towels I used. Since I have used these, I have been able to change the trash every other day before it gets full. I really recommend these items!
I bought these at the same time as I bought the cloths. I use these exclusively for dishes. All I have needed is two, as I can use one for dishes while the other is being cleaned (by dishwasher or washer/dryer). I used to use the traditional yellow and green sponge, but I could just tell they were filled with so much bacteria after barely any use. These are reusable and are really fast to clean with. They are antibacterial as well! And as a plus, they have adorable designs! No more yellow and green bacteria sponges in my house!
Reusable Puppy Pads
My puppies are six months old at the time I am writing this, and I live in a second story apartment. So when they have to go, it's best for them to have a spot in the house to use. Don't worry, they still get fresh air on the pet-friendly balcony. Before I bought these, I was spending almost fifty dollars a month on disposable puppy pads. And Lord knows that wasn't doing the environment any favors.
My dogs instantly transitioned to these from their previous pads, no retraining necessary. Another plus is that these pads hold so much more pee that when it's time to change the pad, it doesn't start to leak out and drip on the floor.
This is the part that most people, myself included, seem grossed out at the thought of having to wash a pad. But hey, it actually works out very well. Just put only the used pads into the washer and use hot water (small load), and they will not have any trace of urine smell on them. I just dry them as normal with a dryer sheet as well, and I have had no problems with them. These have saved me a lot of money, and have saved me from getting pee all over me and the innocent floor.
These items are not sponsored in any way, I just really enjoy them, and how much easier they have made my life! I recommend all three of them even to people who don't particularly care about the environment (can't relate), at the very least we can all agree that saving some money is never a bad thing. That leaves more money to donate to charities, or to buy gifts for your family, or to just treat yourself to your favorite meal.