There are ways of preserving money and saving the planet. Lets talk about how to be eco-friendly.
Greenwashing is a form of Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative where a company or organization claims to be an environmentally friendly product in some way, when in fact they are misleading their consumers into thinking that they are.
Research shows that corporate social responsibility initiatives can positively affect corporate reputation, purchase intentions, and consumer loyalty. Unfortunately, this is an increasing problem in North America that is proving difficult to manage.
"Greenwashing" products is a term I learned while trying to find an environmentally friendly concentrated all-purpose cleaner (is that too much to ask?!). When a company uses empty words such as "clean" (clean from what? How clean?), "Green", "Eco", how environmentally friendly are they speaking? This is your friendly reminder to research the products you bring into your home, especially if you have young children or animals.
Find Reusable Beeswax Wraps at Far & Wide downtown, or DIY your own. These work as an alternative to saran wrap.
Reusable straws are becoming more & more popular among take-out and to-go facilities. While I am sure these can be found at many many locations across the city, I can personally share that the selection of reusable straws at Bulk Barn are good quality and affordable.
A first of it's kind, cardboard laundry detergent containers! These packages are biodegradable, and Seventh Generation offers some great authentically eco products.
Something that has consistently weighed on me as a concious consumer is my toilet paper consumption. An essential product that is difficult to substitute - especially on a budget.
If you regularly shop at Value Village, keep an eye out for their free reusable bags selection at the front of the store. Lifesaver!
Check out the Sustainable Earth Toilet Paper from Staples. They are individually wrapped using paper,. They are also chlorine, fragrance & dye free, and made from 100% recycled fibre.
-Fabric napkins & rags as an alternative to paper towel
-Dish soap brick, bamboo brushes
Some at-home recycling tips include having a recycling bin for residential collection, and one to be brought into the facility. Challenge yourself to up-cycle old clothing into rags, napkins, pet toys, etc. Old coffee cans make great planters.
In becoming more environmentally and ethically concious, I naturally became more concious of the money I was spending, too. Here are some tips that are impactful in these ways:
Refer to the 'Buyerarchy of Needs' pictured below. Using this method, you resort to purchasing new as a last resort - which is also the most environmentally, financially and ethically unfriendly.
Purchase products in bulk when possible, reducing the overall cost, use of packaging waste, and frequency of buying.
Purchase your produce from the local farmers market. It's fresh, usually organic, contributes to the local economy, and brings a smile to a local family's face.
When ordering online, request no packaging or recycled packaging. When offered an emailed receipt, say yes!
Thrift a set of nice fabric napkins, or make some yourself. Have plenty of rags lying around. This eliminates the need for paper towel or paper napkins in the house.
Hang your laundry to dry to reduce your energy consumption and bill.
Switch from environmentally unfriendly scotch tape to compostable washi tape!
Switch to wood pellets as a kitty litter alternative. Clay litter is mined from mountain ranges, and they're too pretty to use for our cat poop.
Begin a compost. Even compostable waste such as produce has challenges breaking down in a landfill due to not enough airflow to break down properly. This results in toxic gasses to be emitted from these products.
Make or purchase locally made fabric produce bags
Purchase locally made honey. It supports your neighborhood's bee colony, and beekeeper. This is also said to improve your body's tolerance of allergens, as you are eating the pollen from local flowers.
Try using reusable straws - $1.99 at Bulk Barn