There are SO many things we could all do to be “greener” but I wanted to share a few practices from my day to day life that help. Please let me know if any of these are things you implement in your life or what you do to be a little more green!
Did you know that textile waste is a huge problem, not just overseas where a lot of manufacturing occurs, but also right here in the US? A couple times a year I go through all of my clothes and I donate the ones that no longer suit me. When I am doing this, I use this Sweater Shaver and Lint Remover on items (mostly clothing but on blankets too!) that I am both donating* and keeping. Knowing that I can spend about a minute an item so that the item will appear in better condition and may be more loved in its next home and kept out of a landfill makes me so happy! Aside from clothing, old items like sheets, towels and blankets may also be greatly appreciated. If you have a larger item and no way or desire to transport it to donate, post it on Facebook Marketplace for free! We have found homes for so many construction materials that are in great shape but no longer of use to us this way and these large items have been able to stay out of a landfill.
*When you are donating items, please be cognizant of condition. My best friend runs a not for profit and when she tells us some of the items they recieve, the group chat is appalled! Nationally, a huge expense for not for profits who accept a lot of donations can be getting rid of items that are broken, dangerous, in bad condition or unsanitary. Please, please just throw items out if they fall into these categories so that you are not passing this responsibility on to the group you are “donating” the items to and so that they are not wasting money in their already tight budgets! If a shirt has a bunch of stains or holes, can you use it as a cleaning rag? If you are thinking someone may really enjoy old pasta sauce jars you have collected (yes, this was a real item that was donated to her not for profit) – maybe check with a neighborhood Facebook group to see if anyone has a use for them and then just recycle them if there are no hits!
2. Care For What You Have
During the year, I have designated spots where I keep items that may need dry cleaning and mending. If the items aren’t urgently needed, I will typically wait until I have several items and then bring those to the pros. Doing these two things has allowed me to continue to use a beloved item that may have had something spilled on it or a small tear rather than just throwing the item out. I have also found that even while there may be more of an upfront cost, higher quality, classic items are often worth the initial splurge because they will simply last for years to come.
3. Pre-Loved is the New Black
I will never forget the ripping sound my favorite jeans made when I was sucking it in and sliding into my car through an inches wide opening because someone parked to close to me at the store. I was devastated that my favorite pair of jeans was both ripped beyond repair and discontinued. Enter: resale websites – Poshmark, Mercari and The Real Real for my bougier friends. These are all great options to not only purchase preloved items, but to offload some that may just be collecting dust in your closet so it doesn’t end up in a landfill. The new shoes you forgot to return? The dress you wore once on vacation? Clear your closet space, provide someone else with a new or gently used item they are excited about and make some money in the mean time that you could maybe reinvest in something that is preloved!
4. Vintage and Antiques Shops
While I LOVE the ease of being able to find decor at Target, Hobby Lobby or Home Goods when I am looking for something specific, I have noticed that many of the items I am drawn to or that fill my spaces are similar stylistically to items I am able to source from vintage and antiques shops. We love to travel and this includes road trips near and far where I am always good for finding somewhere to eat and somewhere to go antiquing. Like fast fashion, there are implications on the environment of buying items made quickly and cheaply overseas, utilizing components that may be hazardous to both our health and the environment. While this particular study focuses on safety from household toxins, during the prenatal and perinatal periods, the fact is that many of the textiles in our home from fabric, to flooring and decor can create more toxins in our home. While we should consider things like lead in vintage and antique items, many of the chemicals that are being omitted off of new items are not concerns on vintage and antique products!
5. SHOP LOCAL!
Similar to home decor, a lot of furniture we buy is made quickly and cheaply. The materials for cheap furniture and decor may contain harmful chemicals as noted in the study above and may often be composed of pressed wood, which is known to contain formaldehyde. By shopping locally made, solid wood furniture, you are not only going to get a most likely safer, better quality item but you are also drastically cutting down on emissions from shipping these larger pieces!
This also goes for other local products. If there is an item you can buy locally to cut down on individual shipping or support a local artisan, this is the way to go! Since we sell and ship across the country, whenever possible, we use recycled, recycled packaging materials! We save the packaging materials from the orders we receive to use when we ship orders, and the vast majority of these materials are already recycled!
These are just a few of the ways I try to be “more green” in my day to day life. I would love to hear any of the simple ways or easy tips you have to be more green in your lives!