Have you heard the rumor that Whidbey is filled with hippies? We’ll let you in on a little secret – it’s kind of true!
But honestly, how could it not be? How could you live in a beautiful place like Whidbey and NOT want to save the planet? Who doesn’t want to preserve this incredible island that we call home? Sometimes; however, it can be a little difficult. As much as we all want to learn how to be better citizens of the planet, it’s hard to know where to start. I mean, how do you incorporate low waste in your home? You’ve heard about shorter showers and not running water while brushing your teeth, but what about cutting back on physical waste? How do you do that?
We’re here to help! Below is a list of ways you can start to incorporate low waste in your home!
Reusable Grocery Bags
It is little shock to anyone that a HUGE issue when it comes to cutting down on waste in America is the amount of single-use packaging found in almost every single retail store you enter. If general packaging wasn’t enough, those packages are then placed into single-use grocery bags that are inevitably found littering the sides of our highways and parks – yuck!
So, why not skip the pesky plastics and try reusable grocery bags instead? Reusable bags aren’t just great for their ability to help the planet, they also are far stronger than your single-use shopping bags. This means there will be no more tears when you’re halfway out to your car and the bags rip, sending your food everywhere. Plus with reusable bags you no longer have to wonder how many trips it’ll take to get them inside. Nothing but positives here!
Also, did you know this practice will soon be state law? Washington State currently has a pending plastic bag ban which is being delayed by the COVID-19 State of Emergency. Once the state of emergency is lifted, retailers will no longer be able to provide customers with single-use plastic bags.
So why not get ahead of the curb? We can help! Reach out to your Windermere Agent to claim your FREE reusable shopping bag!
Ditch the Paper Towels
We know what you are thinking, “What am I supposed to do without paper towels??” But hear us out! A lot of the things you use paper towels for can easily be taken care of using a reusable rag that can just be thrown in the laundry when you’re done.
That milk spill? Reusable towel. Did water spray a little out of the sink? Reusable towel.
You may also think that getting that many towels are expensive, but you can get a pack of 2 washcloths from Dollar Tree! Or even better; you know that old shirt your partner keeps saying they’ll throw away? Cut it up! Suddenly you have a dozen washcloths for FREE!
We aren’t saying you have to COMPLETELY get rid of your paper towels. Being more mindful about what messes could handle a simple washcloth will make an incredible difference in incorporate low waste in your home.
Try DIY Cleaning Products
Ever wonder what people did before the time of store-bought soaps and detergents? They made their own! It might seem like a lot of work, but making your own cleaning products is sometimes as simple as putting vinegar in a bottle. Not to mention the money you’d save!
Laundry Detergent – Ready to save some serious cash on laundry detergent? In a large container mix together 2 cups of washing soda, 2 cups borax, and one bar of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap. The result is detergent that will leave your clothes clean and your wallet happy!
General Purpose Cleaner – Did you know that white vinegar’s higher acidic levels make it a natural anti-bacterial? This makes it a wonderful multi-purpose cleaner! Simply put 3 parts white vinegar and 4 part water into a spray bottle and you’ve got an all-natural cleaner. Don’t like the smell? Try adding essential oils, or even better – lemon peels!
Dishwasher Detergent – Imagine having dishwasher pods that wouldn’t kill you if you ate them. Don’t get us wrong, you still shouldn’t eat them; but at least you won’t die if you did! This Dishwasher Pod Recipe is amazing and ALL NATURAL. It’s a little too long to write out here, but we highly suggest you take a look!
Want to give low waste cleaning a try, but REALLY don’t have time for any DIYs? Try looking into Blueland! They are a low waste cleaning company focused on minimizing waste by drastically reducing the amount of packaging they use and providing reusable containers to clients.
Buy in Bulk
How does buying in bulk help cut down on waste? Again, it’s the packaging!
Think about it – if you are buying 16oz shampoo bottles every month you are wasting gas going to the store more often and almost doubling the number of plastic containers you’re placing in the trash. However; if you switch to purchasing a gallon of shampoo your trips to the store would be reduced along with the amount of plastic you toss.
Did you know you could buy dry foods in bulk at Saar’s Super Saver Foods? Check it out!
Start a Compost Bin
Have you ever wondered what happens to all the food you put in the trash? Well… nothing. The food’s amazing decomposing nutrients sit alongside non-degradable materials that in no way benefit from them.
But you can change that!
Although composting may sound complicated – it isn’t! All you need in order to start your own composting bin is a backyard, some pallet boards, zip ties, and some elbow grease. The video below will show you how!
Not interested in all the work? That’s alright! Home Depot has a number of compost bins that can be delivered directly to your door.
Now that chicken fajita you made last week can have a second life in your garden!
In what ways do you incorporate low waste in your home? Let us know!
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How are those New Year’s Resolutions going? For many of us, this time of year is filled with setting high expectations for ourselves only to be let down after a few weeks. With the added stress of COVID restrictions and cold weather, it’s hard to keep your head in the game when it comes to staying healthy.
It’s not too late, though! Here are some simple health and fitness practices you can actually stick to this year from the comfort and warmth of your home:
Drink More Water
You’ve heard it a million times before and you will probably hear it a million times more. Drinking an appropriate amount of water each and every day is one of the best health choices you can make for your body and overall well being. The benefits of drinking water are countless with healthy skin, better brain function, improved heart health, and assistance in regulating digestion being just a few of them. Water intake is noted by countless nutritionists as being the cornerstone of healthy choices.
So what is the right amount of water to drink each day? According to the American Heart Association, it is suggested that men have about 3.7 liters of water daily and women have about 2.7 liters. That is about 15 8oz glasses of water a day for men and 11 glasses for women. A great way to kick this off each and every day is to drink 16oz of water when you first wake up in the morning. Starting off the day right makes keeping the momentum easier.
Getting up, getting moving, and working your body on a day-to-day basis is vital to your current health and long-term bodily function. Individuals who begin the practice of regularly moving their bodies at a younger age are more likely to continue on as they get older and enjoy regular mobility for a longer period than their counterparts.
However, gym memberships are expensive and you may not have the equipment or the know-how for at-home workouts. Have no fear, YouTube is here! YouTube is a great resource for finding at-home workouts for all levels of fitness and workout preferences. Yoga With Adriene is one channel we highly recommend. Yoga is a great gateway exercise and one that is easy to do early in the morning before starting your day. Another option for some more cardio, HIIT, or weight options is Bodyfit by Amy.
Health isn’t just about keeping our body in functioning order, it also has a lot to do with our mind and emotions. Wellness experts are discovering more and more that our mental health plays a greater role in our body’s function than we ever imagined. This is why regular engagement in mental health practices is so vital. Depending on the person, these practices can range from simple things like engaging in a hobby regularly to interacting with a therapist weekly.
If you’re new to practicing mental health, a simple way to start is with a daily gratitude journal. Researchers such as the Happiness Research Institute and Harvard Health have found the simple act of taking time every day to write down 3-5 things you are grateful for can have an unbelievable impact on your mental health. According to Harvard Health, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” This practice is particularly wonderful because it can be done anywhere and at any time, and is 100% free.
Eat More Veggies
Okay, this one might be harder to stick to than the rest… especially if you are the parent of a picky eater. But including more vegetables in your diet is not impossible and definitely worth the effort! Vegetables are not only low in fats and calories (which we get plenty of from other foods), they’re also full of vitamins and nutrients your body needs!
Eating your daily portion of veggies can help prevent infections, aid iron absorption, decreases the risk of heart disease, keeps your skin healthy, and more! Experts suggest eating 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but talk to your doctor if you want more specifics on how many veggies you should have in your diet!
Set an Alarm to Go to Sleep
Most adults simply do not sleep enough! According to the CDC, 1 in 3 adults don’t get adequate sleep. Getting a good, restful 8 hours of sleep each night can drastically improve your overall health! Setting a daily alarm to remind yourself when it’s time for bed is a great way to make sure you’re not staying up too late and forgetting to check the time.
Having trouble falling asleep? Don’t look at your phone in bed! The blue light from cell phones has been shown to negatively impact sleep by suppressing melatonin and keeping your brain awake. So set the phone aside and break out a good book before you turn out the light instead!