Green Living // livelovesimple.com

Hello and happy February, friends! Things are good around here. We’ve been going through lots of big changes… but what else is new, right? We’ve been through so much transition these last few years. I’m sure you’ve probably come to expect that from me at this point. Still, I am hoping that these recent changes will last a very long time & that our days of major transition are coming to an end. I am excited to share more about all of that here soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to pop in today to give an update on one of my big areas of focus from last year, which was sustainable living. I had big ambitions to live more sustainably in 2018. Although I didn’t accomplish everything on my list, I made progress. Here is a little update on some of the things that have been working to help us live greener, especially around the kitchen & during our visits to the grocery store & farmer’s markets.

One of the first changes that I made was swapping out most of my chemical cleaning products for natural ones, both for around the house and for our bodies. Presently, I use Mrs. Meyer’s products for almost everything, including hand soap in the bathroom, cleaning spray for daily use, and dish soap.

Green Living // livelovesimple.com

Another thing that I invested in last year was reusable food storage. This has been a learning process. Little plastic food storage baggies and plastic wrap are so convenient, but they are also so terrible for the environment! I’ve found a couple of solutions for this problem and some have been working out better than others. First, in place of plastic baggies, I purchased silicone baggies with sliding closures. These are simple enough to use and I’ve enjoyed using them, especially for dry food items, like crackers, candy, raw veggies, etc. I’ve struggled to use them with things that are a little bit more messy like cooked food or anything that leaves behind liquid. But it is a learning curve, and the main thing is my willingness to use them and clean them properly — a trade off that is really so worth it.

Green Living // livelovesimple.com

In terms of food storage, I’ve also started using reusable wax food wraps and I absolutely love them! I use two different types — Etee Wraps and Bees Wraps and they are both great. I haven’t purchased plastic cling wrap in a year, and I love using these wraps instead. I use them to wrap food on its own and also to cover bowls of leftovers in the fridge.

Green Living // livelovesimple.com

I have a few different styles and sizes of reusable baggies for buying produce. I love both the reusable cotton produce bags and the mesh produce bags. Aside from being good for the environment, they are also beautiful. I’ve also been using these reusable grocery bags for the past year. I love these things! There are 10 of them and they fold down so tiny that they all fit into a little bag that you can fit into your purse. They appear small at first, but they expand and fit so much inside. Usually I don’t need any additional bags for my grocery trips when I carry these.

The biggest key, with both the produce bags and the grocery bags is to make sure that you’ve got them with you when you head out to the store or market. That’s why I try to put them right back into my car after I unload my groceries, because I never remember to grab anything when I’m running out the door.

Green Living // livelovesimple.com

One of my favorite purchases of the last couple of years was my beautiful market basket tote bag. I got mine at a local thrift store. It is a little bit small so I want to invest in a bigger one this year. Seriously is there anything more gorgeous than a woven tote full of fresh flowers and produce from the farmer’s market…? So dreamy. Everyone should have one.

Green Living // livelovesimple.com

A couple of final miscellaneous things that have worked their way into our kitchen is an indoor herb garden that my mother gifted me for Christmas and a set of reusable ice pop molds. I’ve also been swapping out disposable products for reusable, biodegradable ones whenever possible. A few examples have been sponges, paper plates… oh! … and straws. The kids love their reusable straws.

Two of the things that I am still struggling to replace are paper towels and glass/window cleaner. I’ve tried several alternatives to both and I just can’t find anything that works well enough. If anyone has advice on reusable towels (similar to paper towels) or effective, green glass/window cleaner, please let me know!

I am sure there are more things I have swapped out that I am forgetting, but this is a good start. Below you will find a little shopping list with links to most of the things I’ve mentioned here.

Green Living // livelovesimple.com

Shopping List

I hope that this post has been helpful to you, friends. Here’s to cleaner, greener, healthier, happier living. I love you!

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