I recently read The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi and it resonated with me in so many ways. I often find myself getting swept up in trying to do everything the genius way and overdoing it until I get so overwhelmed I slip into lazy and do nothing at all. There is such a push to be sustainable that we can spend too much time trying to do it all and actually end up being wasteful in the process.
You might be wondering how being trying to be more sustainable can end in being wasteful. That is usually caused by trying to make sustainable swaps BEFORE you've used other items first. Want to switch to silicone sandwich bags but still have plastic ziplock bags on hand? USE THOSE FIRST. Don't just toss them and buy new silicone bags. That plastic is in the landfill without every being used!
So here are my 5 lazy sustainability tips for someone that wants to make progress without getting overwhelmed!
1. Swap paper towels for cloth.
This is an easy swap with a big impact. Paper towels add up in cost and environmental impact. Dedicate a laundry load to your kitchen towels and cloths. You can even avoid folding the towels with a cute basket for clean and a basket elsewhere for dirty. Just grab and go! I personally use a lot of microfiber towels, traditional cloth diapers like our great grandmothers used, unpaper towels made from cotton, and Blueland's Cloud Cloths (you can actually toss these in the dishwasher after use!).
2. Swap body wash and shower gel for bar soap.
Avoid all of the extra plastic by switching to bar soap and get more soap for your money! (Shower gel is mostly water!) Our handmade soap bars are not only plastic free, but they are also made with sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients. You can read more about why you should make the switch here, and you can shop our hand-poured small batch soups here.
3. Water plants with used water.
This is a game changer! Save that pasta water and use it to water your plants! Real talk, I think it's the only thing that saved my temperamental Calathea.
4. Skip plastic bags.
This is one we all know, but we all forget. Put your bags where you keep your keys, jackets, etc. so it is a visual reminder on your way out the door. If that's not an option or you shop on the whim (how?!), put them in a dedicated location in your vehicle so they are always with you.
5. Buy in bulk.
When possible, buy in bulk to avoid unnecessary packaging, save trips to the store, and save a few bucks.
BONUS for the women reading- Swap disposable menstrual products for a reusable menstrual cup.
Admittedly, I was apprehensive and slow to make this swap. Then, one day I couldn't pass up a June cup discount and gave it a try. After getting the hang of it, I could never go back. It's comfortable, holds more, and I never have last minute trips to the store because I was not prepared for that monthly visit.
Moral of the story, make the swaps that work for you! Progress over perfection is the focus for sustainability. Part of being more sustainable is being able to practice it sustainably. Making a ton of swaps that you only stick with for a month just leads to money wasted and a cycle of frustration for you.