As the mother of two young children, I feel a responsibility to create a home that is free of toxins and as environmentally sustainable as possible. The challenge is, with an abundance of information that seems to be constantly shifting, it’s hard to feel confident about where I should invest my time, resources, and energy.
Meet Friday, a sustainability expert and a really nice lady, who let me ask her lots and lots of questions. Friday founded her company because she is passionate about the environment, and a determined optimist, who believes “we all want to do a little better,” and that all we need are the tools to get started. She spent years at The Department of the Environment in San Francisco and launched her business to help busy families and individuals make small, but impactful, changes in their homes. Her services include customized plans and resources to “green” your entire home, sustainable baby registries, and emergency prep kits.
I was thrilled to spend the day with Friday and gain clarity about what changes will have the biggest impact for my family as well as the environment. If you want to make your own home a bit more eco-friendly, read on to learn some easy-to-implement solutions:
Keep it Glassy
One of the first things Friday suggested was a simple switch from plastic food storage containers to glass. Plastic gets warped and discolored over time and also leeches chemicals into your food. No good! Since meeting with Friday, I’ve recycled all of my plastic tupperware and replaced it with these glass containers.
We pack lunches for our girls five days a week and for years I have used these snack containers, Ziploc bags for sandwiches, and lightweight water bottles with cute designs. Friday was able to suggest easy eco-alternatives for all of our lunch-packing needs. We used up our Ziploc bags and replaced them with parchment bags which can be composted after use. We are swapping out plastic snack containers with durable metal tins, and also moving to metal water bottles. These are my favorite although these guys may be more practical for kid use.
My Lightbulb Moment
One of the most important things we can do for the planet is use less energy. Admittedly, I might be late to this party, but I was shocked to learn that just by switching out my regular old lightbulbs with energy efficient, long lasting LED bulbs, I could reduce our monthly energy bill by up to eight-five percent. Friday estimated that this impactful change will cost us about one hundred dollars, (and the lights will last 10-20 years) so the savings will be well worth the one-time investment. I was also thrilled to learn that there are now beautiful LED lights available including these patio lights. No more swapping out bulbs every few months!
Stainless is Painless
Do you use non-stick pans? We only had one, but after learning that the non-stick coating contains chemicals that off-gas when heated and leech into your food, I am switching to 100% stainless. High quality pans aren’t cheap, but we find that we can get away with owning only 2-3 plus our cast iron skillet.
When shopping for cleaning products, look for the “Safer Choice” label. This is an EPA certification and is the easiest way to ensure your cleaning products are safe. Go-to brands include Seventh Generation, The Honest Company, and Method. Friday also suggests using vinegar and baking soda for all of your cleaning needs – both are inexpensive and green as they come!
Learn more about Friday and her business, The Sustainability Concierge, right here. I hope that you found at least a few easy takeaways you can apply to your own home. I feel greener already.