Staying home during this pandemic doesn't mean we're any less busy, especially with balancing family, school and work. Even so, our commitment to becoming more environmentally friendly is unwavering. Here are some easy ways for your household to leave less of a trace in 2021.
1. Use re-usable totes and grocery bags or baskets. Most of us have them lying around from previous shopping trips. Take them with you when you go grocery shopping or have quick errands to run. If you let them live in your vehicle, they will be handy when you’re out and about.
2. Skip the produce bags—you know—those plastic bags in the produce section to protect and carry your fresh lettuce, herbs, or fruit. Replace them with re-usable, all-natural cotton woven bags which do the trick quite nicely. Some co-ops and natural foods stores sell them.
3. Use bar soap. Did you know that it takes 20x the energy to produce a bottle of liquid soap versus a bar of soap? Why pay for water and plastic? Bar soaps are more concentrated, saving space & weight making it a better deal. If the thought of bacteria living on a bar of soap makes you cringe, there's a study to put your mind at ease. Scientists contaminated bars of soaps with nasty germs and found no transference on to the next hand washer. (read this (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3402545/for more info.) Not only does bar soap reduce plastic waste, it is much healthier for your skin and the environment. Did we mention Blue Heron Soaps are really great?
4. Compost. Put a container (bucket or metal bin with a lid) in a strategic place near your sink for disposing of food scraps etc. When it's full, you can dump this into a pile or compost bin in your backyard to make terrific soil for gardening or your city might pick it up or provide a local depository. It’s surprising how much less volume of waste is produced by incorporating this simple step into your lifestyle. You might even be able to reduce your trash can size!
5. Consider buying second hand. Whether it’s clothing or tools, stopping at your local thrift store is a great first step. Besides, where else can you find a stainless steel retro VitaMix or a sturdy metal potato ricer?
6. Re-use containers for as many things as possible. Not in the mood to make spaghetti sauce from scratch? Ok, buy that glass jar of spaghetti sauce, use it all up in your spaghetti carbonara, peel off the label and reuse it to store nuts or beans or seeds. Or use it as a water bottle. Or store craft items. Some stores even offer glass milk jar deposits (our family is giving that a go this year).
7. Re-fill. Being mindful and reducing the amount of plastic packaging is another simple step in becoming more environmentally conscious. This means bringing containers to fill at your local co-op, and choosing to buy items with less packaging. Blue Heron Soap Company is proud to announce that we are phasing out the use of petroleum based plastic bags. In 2020 we have eliminated plastic packaging in our eco bar soaps which come plastic-free and palm-free. In 2021, expect to find your favorite classic soaps wrapped in clear compostable bags made from wood pulp produced on sustainable plantations. It’s one of the world’s most naturally abundant organic materials, and is still works great for gifting and protecting beautifully decorated Blue Heron Soaps!