10 Swaps to Become a More Sustainable Household

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‘A little goes a long way’ is a saying that can be applied to many things, from recipes to lifestyle changes. Starting small can make a significant difference, especially when something might seem overwhelming. Are you starting to think more about the day-to-day changes you can make to live more sustainably, but you’re not sure where to start? Here are ten small ideas that can make a big impact. Did we miss your favorite? Tag @dermoteosclub on Instagram with your suggestions we will share with our Dermot community!

Use Cloth Napkins at Home. Many of the items that end up in landfills are single-use items, such as napkins, paper towels and plastics. While paper breaks down faster than plastic, paper napkins are still a single-use product. Cloth napkins are easy to find and can be purchased at just about every home or kitchen goods store. Feeling creative? Buy or, even more ecofriendly, repurpose old fabric and make your own!

Clean Kitchen Messes with Swedish Dishcloths. Who doesn’t love a product that serves a dual purpose?  Comprised of 70% cellulose and 30% cotton, Swedish dishcloths can do the work of either a sponge or paper towel. They are made from organic materials, are easy to wash, and will naturally decompose when disposed of. It is estimated that ONE Swedish dishcloth can do as much work as over 50 rolls of paper towels. At a cost of $2 to $5 per dishcloth, this is one swap that benefits both the environment and your bank account! Options HERE and HERE.

Replace Plastic Wrap with Beeswrap or Silicone Bowl Covers. Noticing a trend here? We’re ditching single use products! Swap out plastic wrap with either of these easy to use and easy to clean products. Beeswrap are organic pieces of cotton cloth coated with beeswax. Press gently on the cloth and it will hold its seal, unlike plastic wrap, which is often clumsy to use. When cared for correctly, one Beeswrap can last for one year! Round silicone covers can be used to seal bowls and cut round fruit. Just wash and reuse! More about Beeswrap HERE. Our pick for silicone lids HERE.

Keep a Telescoping Reusable Straw Handy. Much of our single-use plastic waste ends up in the ocean. One of the biggest risks to marine life? Plastic straws. While single-use straws are only available in NYC upon request, there are many of places around the country and the world that do not have the same laws in place. Keeping a straw in even the smallest of bags is easy with plenty telescoping versions available. Two of our favorite options with compact carrying cases HERE and HERE.

Bring Mesh Produce Bags to Grocery Shop. Another one-time-use culprit – plastic produce bags. Mesh produce bags are available in a variety of sizes. They are light-weight and easy to clean. Stash a few in your re-usable grocery bag every time you go shopping. Order individually HERE or a set of 6 HERE.

BYO Water and Coffee. Making coffee instead of buying it four days a week reduces the amount of waste you create by over 8lbs annually. Do you bring a single-use water bottle to work out five times a week? Switch to a re-usable water bottle and you’ll reduce the amount of waste you create by 20lbs annually.  Top rated brands include Swell and HydroFlask.

Plant Based Eating. Meatless Mondays are one trend with long-term staying power. Eating plant-based is not just good for individual health, it is crucial to the health of our planet. Animal byproducts account for 57% of food production emissions in the US, while plant-based products account for 29%. Beef alone, creates 25% of total food production emissions. Still want to keep meat in your diet but in a more sustainable way? Buy locally sourced meat from butchers and farms.

Get Creative to Reduce Food Waste. According to the EPA and USDA, the average American creates 219lbs of food waste every year and in total, between 30-40% of the US food supply ends up in landfills. Need a few ideas on how to make the most of your groceries? Leftover citrus can be used in cleaning products! You can freeze veggie scraps until you have enough to make a vegetable broth (same can be done for chicken/beef/turkey/seafood bones (Recipe collection HERE) and coffee grounds can be repurposed into a face and body exfoliant!

Shop Consignment. We all have those items of clothing that we’ve only worn once and don’t think we’ll ever wear again. Instead of having them take up space in the back of the closet, why not consign? In addition to clearing up the space for new items, you’re also reducing your carbon footprint. Buying and selling pre-loved items reduces the demand for brand new products and reduces the emissions needed to manufacture them. If you’re looking to go even further, adopt a one-in-one-out policy – for every item of clothing you want to buy, an item gets donated or consigned. Buy and sell online through sites like Poshmark, ThredUp and TheRealReal.

Join a “Buy Nothing” Group. The Buy Nothing Project began in 2013 to reduce waste by creating a community gifting economy. Buy Nothing groups are primarily neighborhood-based Facebook groups (the Project recently launched a Buy Nothing app as well) where members can post free items they would like to offer to others, or items they are in search of.  No item is too small or too big to request or to give.  Learn more about the Buy Nothing Project HERE.