5 Hacks to Start a Sustainable Household
It’s been a hot minute since I last posted here, mostly because of the latest launch which seems to be one big delivery of new skincare products to my store every single day. While I am handling all the packages, sorting inventory, and flattening all the boxes, I realized how much I missed writing here on the blog. If you add writing about sustainability to that, there is no way to stop me from sitting in front of the computer and getting in the zone. Funny enough, my husband recently noticed that whenever I write a blog post, I hit the keyboard so loud as if I was in mania. I like to call it “getting into the zone”.
Let’s get to the point – the topic of today’s post – SUSTAINABLE HOUSEHOLD.
What exactly is a sustainable household? If you want to explain this concept to someone who has never heard about sustainability before, you may come up with words such as “eco-friendly”, “plant-based”, “less waste” or “zero waste”. We all heard them somewhere and we know what they are about, but it seems like they are an introduction to digging deeper into the actual meaning of the term. Lucky for you, I did some digging (to save you time and energy) and according to Uncle Google, a sustainable household is an efficient home, which respects natural resources, it is energy efficient, and is cheap to run. It also should be made from materials that aren’t harmful to you or the environment.
With that in mind, I can say without hesitation, that my household is a sustainable one. This is without hesitation. Now, as far honesty is concerned, I believe it’s a sustainable household in approx. 70%. We rent an apartment, so we are not sure what materials exactly have been used to build the house we live in, but whatever is inside our apartment can be defined as zero- or low waste. How do we do it? What did we introduce in our house to make it more energy efficient? Welcome to your guide for 5 hacks to a sustainable household.
Hack no. 1 – The Big Berkey
I don’t know how many times I stood in front of our Berkey complimenting him for how amazing he is. Berkey is a system that purifies water with a filter system that needs to be replaced every 6,000 gallons of water drank.
For a family of 4, who drinks from 2-4 gallons of water per day, it means that they would need to replace the Berkey filter every 4 years. Not only you will save water, but with Berkey, you will significantly lower the plastic waste. And I just realized I actually used he/him pronouns for describing Berkey in this paragraph – I guess he is a part of a family now?
Hack no. 2 – Rent furniture
It is no surprise that we live in the world of fast-everything: fast food, fast fashion, fast beauty, and yes, even fast furniture. The famous Swedish furniture brand, whose name starts with “I”, creates fun designs, but let’s be honest: this is not furniture made to last. I live in NYC and trust me when I tell you that the amount of MALM bedside tables put out on the sidewalk for the garbage pick-up day is tremendous. This, in turn, creates more waste.
In order to avoid this and follow the low waste path, you can rent your furniture. If you like a mid-century style and you don’t mind using pre-loved pieces, you can always Google places like Conjure that provide short-term rental for amazing sofas, desks, tables, etc. How does it work? You pick a piece that you like and depending on the rental length, you make a monthly payment between $15-$54 depending on what you have chosen. All rentals are sanitized, they may have slight signs of wear and tear, but I guess it’s not such a big deal. By the end of your lease, you can either return it, prolong the lease, or buy it out by paying the furniture off. I am definitely going to rent a desk and a chair from them soon because I am running out of office space!
Hack no. 3 – Ditch the Paper Towel
Who else remembers the paper towel wars in Costco at the beginning of the pandemic? I do. I also remember our daughter was 4 months old at the time and despite the global virus, sometimes we had to go to the store with her. I know. But I learned my lesson and besides the fact that I didn’t want us to go through the same shit show with running for Bounty while wearing an infant in a carrier, I realized the paper towel is something you can absolutely go without. For about 2 years now, I have been using old rags that are washed and sanitized on regular basis, and let me tell you…what a relief for my wallet! Plus, we don’t throw out so much garbage.
Hack no. 4 – Turn the Light Off!
I don’t know if it’s something that my grandparents taught me or if I am already influenced by the zero-waste movement, but I hate leaving lights on in the room that I am not in. When you leave the room, turn the lights off. It saves energy and lowers your energy bill.
Hack no. 5 – Empties.
If you already got excited about turning your house into a sustainable zone, here is a reminder: don’t throw out things if they are not finished. Regardless of the fact if you use eco-friendly or non-eco-friendly shampoo, dish soap, or laundry detergent, it is more sustainable to use it all till the end before you introduce the zero-waste idea to your house. Do you have that plastic razor that you want to ditch? Hold on! Make sure it’s not possible to use it anymore and then order a new reusable old-school style with blades. If you just finished your huge Tide container, but you really want to use plant-based detergent, try searching for the refills option of the product you like and buy that. Once it arrives, fill up the plastic container, and voila! You have just reused your plastic container!
These are just 5 hacks you can introduce to your house if you are willing to make a change. Remember that we are all still at the beginning of the sustainability journey and sometimes things you find on IG may cause anxiety. That’s why I encourage you to try thinking about your household as a low waste instead of zero waste. Start small and you will see how big of an impact you can have! Once you get used to all the swatches and new habits, you can go hardcore and try all the zero-waste hacks, but for now: baby steps.
As far as baby steps are concerned, don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter and follow me on Instagram. It would really mean a lot – each time someone new joins my newsletter or becomes a follower, I have more energy to do even more.
Till next time,