At Earth Conscious Life, we are all about switching to an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
And that includes supporting brands which are more sustainable or regeneratively-minded.
But keep in mind, buying a bunch of 'green' alternatives to things you already own is not reducing use of resources. The most eco-friendly products you can use, are the ones you already have.
Buying an 'eco-friendly' reusable bag, for instance, when you already had perfectly good options, is still overconsumption.
You don't need to buy a new reusable set of bamboo utensils when you can literally pick a fork, spoon, and knife from your drawer and take them on-the-go!
Giving someone a metal straw who never used/needed a straw in the first place is not helping the planet.
If we throw out our plastic toothbrush or travel mug 'before its time', just to start using one made from sustainable materials, we're missing the point.
I wanted to share a solution I've been using at home for years!
Store-bought cleaning supplies can be expensive, add unnecessary toxins into your home, and are a waste of plastic.
You can make a perfectly effective cleaning spray at home–for pennies–that is much safer for you and your family, and reuse an old spray bottle from your last cleaner.
DIY Cleaning Solution - 1 part water - 1 part white vinegar Optional: 10-20 drops your favorite essential oil (orange oil, eucalyptus, lavender, etc)
Combine in spray bottle from a former cleaning product and shake it up.
That's it! This simple 50/50 mixture replaced the majority of my household cleaning products.
Vinegar can dissolve soap scum and hard water build up, and it deodorizes, rather than covering up smells with a toxic perfume.
For those worried about the smell from the vinegar itself, it dissolves as it dries, so have no fear about your house stinking of vinegar. :)
*NOTE - some natural health product websites recommend combining vinegar and baking soda to make a cleaner.
While this may produce a fun bubbly reaction, these two cleaners actually neutralize the effectiveness of each other when combined. They are opposite sides of the pH scale, and it is their extremely high or low pH that makes them great at disinfecting.
Let us know if you've ever made your own cleaning mixture and what you use!
To be clear, we're not suggesting there is no place for commerce in a regenerative society. It's about being conscious of the source materials, the energy it took to manufacture, how far it had to travel, the values (and actions) of the company producing it, and our own immediate and longterm needs and wants.
Making the most of what we already have, to the best of our ability, is part of that equation. Supporting businesses that aim to be part of this transition to a regenerative future is also an important part of the equation.
The "satisfaction" of a purchase should extend beyond our own pride and addiction to buying stuff, which for most of us is a lot to unlearn—it's a psychological shift that isn't meant to come easy.
It's about considering the entire reality that put that product in my hands, and whether its existence in my life will ultimately be a net positive for myself, the future of the planet, and our species.
Will this new product make me throw out other I could still use?
Could those other items be donated or fill an immediate need elsewhere in my community?
Will this product support a shift in mindset and behavior in my own life, which will extend to impacting others and their choices?
As Larry Santoyo says, "make your handprint bigger than your footprint". Buying a composting bin for example (even if it's plastic) is a net positive.
It's not a perfect process, but shifting our mindset and supporting each other will lead to more of the change we need in this world.