I grew up watching Captain Planet, but oddly enough I don’t really remember many of the lessons…at least consciously. However, I did stumble my way into a microbiology lab that focused on using bacteria to clean up environmental toxins during my graduate school work. I have also had a heart for recycling programs although many of the places I’ve lived have not had city recycling services available for residents. So, I have focused on my own habits to figure out ways to make changes.
I started with incorporating reusable shopping bags into my grocery routine to decrease the amount of plastic bags that I use from the stores. I have collected mostly free bags from various conferences and other meetings. However, the tricky part is remembering to take them to the store when I go.
My next focus was to target feminine products. The disposable products that we use over the course of monthly menstruation cycles adds up over the reproductive years. There are so many reusable feminine product options to choose from including cloth pads, silicone cups and discs, cloth tampons, period (and incontinence) panties and other clothing like shorts, leggings and leotards. I wish I had these options when I was younger and into various extracurricular activities like dance, cheer and softball!! Ladies, google these options and learn more about what products are available. You don’t have to just use what’s on that one aisle in the store!
Now, I am exploring new things:
- Cloth wipes. We plan to use cloth wipes with the baby, so I figured why not start trying them for myself since I’m spending quite a lot of time on the toilet these days… We have bidet attachments on our toilets so using cloth to pat dry as been an easy transition for me.
- Un paper towels. I have already been using kitchen towels to dry my hands, but now I’m exploring using cloth towels to replace paper towels.
- Wash cloths. I have been using disposable face wipes daily, but have upped my stash of plain white wash cloths so that I can use those instead.
- Bamboo rounds. These are replacing the disposable cotton rounds that I have been using with my face toner.
I can wait to see how these items will reduce our garbage production while saving money along the way.