While I love a good feng shui purge but I really hate throwing things out. Not that I mind parting with things - I just don't like to create waste. It's guilt. I feel guilty and enviornmentally irresponsible.
To avoid this feeling, I'm going to start with looking for replacements of disposable, single use items. Specifically, non recyclable plastic items. I really don't like using plastic. Especially single use plastic items like zippy or produce bags that go straight into the trash. It's too wasteful for something with such a short lifespan. I've found a few great replacements in my search and wanted to share.
1. No more zip lock bags. I carry veggie snacks to work everyday and wanted something that once empty, would be flat. These reusable, silicon versions seem like a good fit. They can be rinsed in the dishwasher.
2. I've always found cotton balls to be wasteful. Instead, cut up an old cotton t-shirt into squares and store in a pretty jar in the medicine cabinet. When I'm done removing my makeup or swiping on toner, they just go into the laundry hamper. I'm going to cut little rectangles, fold then in half and sew them. The double layer will make them more absorbent.
3. Replace produce bags with thin muslin bags like the ones below. They are easily found on online or would be a quick way sewing project. Just don't make them too heavy if you're going to be weighing you produce in them!
4. Plastic water bottles. I say just don't buy them. Don't support these companies. For many reasons. Don't support these companies, the plastic bottles, the privatization and commoditization of water or the chemicals used in the process. Use the tap and a refillable bottle.
Of course, all the ones I like a pretty expensive but I only need one so I might as well love it, right?
5. Carry a hanky instead of a pack of tissues for your coughing, sneezing and nose blowing. Did I lose you on this one? People seem to find this one very off putting but I don't see the problem,. The hanky is prettier than a tissue. I wash it. I carry a clean one. It does not pollute the environment with more trash. Get over it and use a hanky!
6. Replace paper coffee filters with reusable cloth or metal ones. These are probably not the worse things on the list but it's still something I throw out everyday. I don't like sooty coffee like the last bit out of the french press or coffee made with a metal filter so I was happy to find cloth filters for my Chemex. These are cheap and work just like the paper filters.
7. Skip the bagged tea for loose leaf teas made with a tea infuser or teapot. I've been drinking a lot of tea lately and it's another thing I throw out everyday. I don't know what these little bags are made of. I always assumed natural fibers but these heat sealed baggies must be something synthetic. Also, who hates teapots? I love them and their little tea infuser relatives.
8. Never buy another box of dryer sheets because I have these cute little felted wool dryer balls instead. I've been using these for a while now and love them. I use six for a normal load of laundry. I add a couple drops of essential oil to each, put them in the dryer with the wet laundry and dry as usual. They laundry smells nice, is soft and takes less time to dry. They are chemical free and will last for years.
9. I've said this one before in my kitchen detox post but here it is again: Swap cloth towels for paper towels. We have a big stack of 20 and use them for everything. You can even buy different color kitchen towels and use them for different tasks: blue for cleaning, green for food, pink for dining.
10. I've said this one before too but it's important! No more plastic bags. They're terrible in every single way. I've put thin, rolled up canvas totes in all of my purses and car so I always have one with me. It's also a lot easier to carry a couple totes packed with groceries than the 6 tiny double bagged bags every grocery store in Brooklyn loves to send people on their way with.
Thanks for reading!