5 Things I No Longer Buy

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In my quest to lighten my load, and my environmental footprint, I’ve discovered more than a few things I can swap out – or just happily live without. The five items I’ve stopped buying / bringing into my home straight ahead…

reduce environmental impact

Plastic Bags and Food Wraps

Oh, how I used to love Saran Wrap and Ziplock plastic bags before I understood that they literally never break down, contain toxic chemicals, and can be harmful or deadly to birds and our marine friends. Here’s the good news: I’ve found a few great alternatives including parchment or paper bags (compostable), Stasher bags (reusable), or even just a good old fashioned mason jar or glass food storage container. We haven’t bought plastic wrap for years, and I was thrilled to recently discover a biodegradable Ziplock bag alternative (linked here).

Plastic Straws

Single use plastic straws are a big environmental no-no, so instead, I’ve invested in a set of thick metal straws that make sipping milkshakes and smoothies even more delightful and refreshing. Win-win.

More Than One Cleaning Product

This is a biggie. I used to buy ALL of the cleaning products which created a jumble under my sink that was cumbersome to organize. When a friend of mine raved about Branch Basics, a non-toxic cleaning concentrate that can be combined with varying amounts of water to create every product you need for your entire home, I gave it a go. Now there’s simply no going back. I currently have ONE cleaning product under my sink (the concentrate) paired with a set of bottles so I can make window cleaner, floor cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, and even a laundry solution, just by adding water. The game has changed. *You can use code SHIRAGILL for 15% off a starter set if you want to give it a try (bonus: they now have glass bottles).

Paper Napkins

We are casual people and used to use simple paper napkins every night for dinner with the kids. While they could be composted, I hated seeing how many we went through in a week, so now we have some cute checkered cloth napkins we use and wash regularly. I’m still working out the nuances of messy dinners with cloth napkins and kids, but typically its nothing that a little spritz of stain remover can’t handle.

Pretty Much All Hair Products

I am very low maintenance when it comes to my hair. Very. I’ve found that a little coconut oil can tame frizz and moisturize like nothing else, and since I wear my hair in a messy bun 99.9% of the time, I can happily do without hair spray, gel, mousse, and pretty much every other hair product under the sun.

The best part is that not buying these products (in addition to saving money and being better for the planet) has actually made my life better. Have you discovered any items that weren’t adding value to your life that felt good to stop buying? Share in the comments below!

Photography Credit: Vivian Johnson

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