I started feeling so guilty about so many of the things we were buying, I knew we'd need to make changes. We are not the greenest household out there, but we're making progress and steadily adopting new habits with results I can actually measure. Here are a four environmentally products we've been using that have a made a difference in our house.
Vapur water bottles
I can't remember when I first saw someone using these bottles. They stuck with me and I bought two about mid way through the last school year. Since I bought them, I've almost completely cut out juice boxes and pouches. I fill these the night before school and add single serve flavored drink powder. In the morning, I put them in the freezer while we get ready for school.
They hold more liquid than a juice pouch so I know our son is staying hydrated and they double as an ice pack. This school year, I'm going to try cutting back even more. My plan is to not buy as many drink powder sticks and instead make pitchers of juice and refill. The Vapur bottles aren't super expensive but you will get mad if one doesn't make it home from school. I'm spending less on lunchbox items and drastically reducing our waste. We took them on our last trip Disney World and it was so nice to be able to refill cold water all day.
Reusable hemp coffee filters
We drink a lot of coffee. No really, a lot. Even though I was buying the brown, non-bleached filters, I felt bad about how many we go through. We were throwing away two filters a day at least six days a week. I looked for another solution and settled on a hemp filter. I bought one to start with to make sure we like it and will use it.
I was worried about mildew since it's cloth but buying additional filters and caring for them according to the directions should keep them mildew free. With more than one filter, we'll always have one clean, dry and ready to use. For heavy coffee drinking households like ours, I think 5-6 filters would be perfect. The coffee tastes the same as a paper filter. I bought ours from BonaFide Green Goods.
Copco reusable travel drink cups
I've talked about these before, but since I love them so, so much I'll talk about them again. I adore my Copco cups. They're permanent fixtures in my car. My husband uses one hot cup every day and we each have them when we know we're going to be at the ice rink for more than an hour. Last week, our family was in town camping at the beach. I took an iced coffee with me every day.
These cups last forever, they save at the coffee shop since sometimes they're considered a refill, they maintain the temperature better than the disposable cups, they make an affordable gift and since I always have Starbucks Via in my purse, I can make a drink whenever I want to.
Reusable produce bags
I had some credit on a daily deal site and bought these Essie produce bags about a year ago. They were another purchase born out of guilt. I hated bringing home the plastic bags since there's nothing else they can be used for. These bags are great. People stop me to ask where I got them.
An added bonus is buying more produce. I like using them so much I bring home more fruit and vegetables than I ever have before.
Those are just a few of the ways we've been greening up our lives. I'm always on the lookout for more small changes we can make. Being green is definitely a lifestyle choice and takes commitment. But, it's something we all need to do and sets a great example for our kids.
What are your favorite green products?
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