I believe the foundation for a green life is minimalism. I encourage as many people as I can to purge their home of unnecessary items. However, it’s not just stuff we need to purge, but also products that harm the environment. Here is a list of items to remove from your home if you’d like to live a greener, more eco-friendly lifestyle.
Single use products
Products intended to be used one time and then discarded like paper coffee cups, plastic straws, plastic bags, water bottles, etc. wreak havoc on the environment. Opting for reusable products can keep tons of waste out of the landfill. Before you buy a product, ask yourself if it can be reused or if it’s intended for single use and then garbage.
Cleaning products are often a hazard for the environment. Many contain toxic chemicals like phosphates. Check the ingredient list on the back of your cleaning supplies or better yet choose eco-friendly brands. Also consider avoiding cleaning supplies intended for one use. Wet wipes, for example, often can be found on beaches and other places when discarded and should never be flushed down the toilet. Opt instead for a reusable rag and environmentally-friendly cleaning solution.
Aerosol cans, spray deodorant, and other similar products use hydrocarbons and compressed gases to work. CFC aerosols have thankfully been banned, but other aerosol products still exist. These items are also difficult to recycle.
Pesticides and Herbicides
If you enjoy gardening, you’ll likely encounter pests at some point. However, pest control methods like herbicides and pesticides have harmful chemicals that can save into streams, potentially harming wildlife. Opt for organic methods to control weeds and pests. The EPA gives a good run down on the use of pesticides and herbicides.
Dryer sheets may smell nice, but the artificial chemicals used to make them have been linked to asthma, cancer, and other health problems. Remember: if it’s bad for our health, it’s probably bad for the environment, too. One of the benefits of a greener life is a healthier life. Consider other ways to remove static from clothes like a wool ball.
These are just a few examples of common household products that are bad for the environment. Fortunately, there are countless alternatives that I’ll be personally trying out. I hope to see you there!