It is no secret that we live in a world of waste. Americans make up 5% of the world population but we are responsible for almost a third of the waste (Utah Recycles.) I am definitely not the greenest person around. I only recycle at work, I take really long showers, and I have a fan in my bedroom that runs 24/7. These are all things I should work on. That being said… there are 3 habits I have changed that are good for the planet and my wallet.
I bought a Brita water filter
This is honestly one of the most simple switches you can make. I have had mine for over a year and the filter in it still hasn’t needed to be changed. Hopefully the little indicator isn’t broke and I’m not drinking garbage water. I’m sure it’s fine…. Anyway… this ensures I always have cold, and good tasting water in my fridge. I paid $20 once versus buying bottled water. “Last year, the average American used 167 disposable water bottles, but only recycled 38 (Ban The Bottle).”
I started using reusable make-up remover towels
I was so skeptical of making this change. I figured there was no way something that looked like a wash cloth would get my makeup off without rubbing my face raw. I was proven wrong. I was previously using Target’s brand of makeup remover wipes and dare I say… these work better for me. You just run the cloth under warm water and wipe off your makeup. I was running through the disposable wipes like crazy– which I knew was likely filling up a landfill somewhere. It also was getting expensive but it was deemed as a necessary expense. The disposable wipes also always seemed to make me feel slightly sleepy? I’m sure there were chemicals in those wipes getting all up in my eyes. I can’t rave about these reusable cloths enough, though. I used Kitsch Cleanse Ritual cloths. (Click on the image for more info!) Just throw them in the washer every so often and they’re good as new. I bought a two pack so I can just switch them out and throw the other one in with my dirty towels until I am forced to do laundry again.
I ditched tampons for a Diva Cup
Hear me out. When I first heard about menstrual cups I was confused and pretty grossed out but then I decided to do some research and read reviews. I’ve been using a Diva Cup for over 3 years now and I have never looked back. There was an initial learning curve but once you get the hang of it the thing is life-changing. For starters, I’m saving money and not disposing of a ton of tampons.
“The average woman spends $150-$300 a year on feminine hygiene disposables, and one DivaCup retails for around $40, and women only need to replace that annually, so you do the math (USA Today).
“In 2010, Slate estimated that a woman averaging 20 tampons or pads per menstrual period burns through 250 to 300 pounds of products, applicators, and wrappers in a lifetime. Environmentalist blogs are quick to point out that those numbers don’t even begin to calculate the total impact of producing, shipping, and packaging all the those products. (The Daily Beast).
The environmental and personal financial impact to making the switch is pretty spelled but on a personal level, switching to the Diva Cup has made the week of my period feel more normal. You only have to change it once every 12 hours which means no hiding a tampon up your sleeve or asking your coworker for one when you forgot to stash some in your bag. I also have never once woken up in a pool of my own blood after I’ve made the switch. I honestly doubt if any guys are still reading but if you are…. this happens to us and it’s awful and you should be nicer to us when we’re on our periods!
I know there is always more I can do to help the environment. I have a stack of magazines that need recycling and this is my official promise to take them to work put them in the recycling bin there.
Have you made any of the switches I talked about? If not– are you considering any that I mentioned or haven’t? I’d love to hear about them!