More and more people are looking for ways to live sustainable, Earth-friendly lifestyles, and to limit the footprint their lives make on their natural environments. And there’s no shortage of experts and bloggers showcasing how to do just that.
One of these experts is Katelin Leblond, co-founder of PAREdown Home. She’s committed to pursuing a zero-waste lifestyle and showing her readers how to do the same. We caught up with Katelin to find out how she keeps her home waste-free.
Katelin Leblond’s Healthy Finds for Green Living
1. Nonplastic kitchen scrubbers
I’m not a fan of plastic, especially plastics that disintegrate into tiny pieces down our drains and into our waterways and oceans. I use Skoy Kitchen Scrubbers to wash dishes, and to be honest, I would’ve always used them if I’d known about them sooner.
These durable little scouring pads are 100 percent biodegradable, made of cotton and a food-safe hardening agent. They’re safe on Teflon, glass, ceramic stovetops, and most other surfaces. They last for months in my kitchen before they’re downgraded to bathroom duty, before their final stop — in my compost.
2. Nontoxic cleaning agents
White vinegar and baking soda are the two primary cleaning agents in my household. White vinegar is known for its disinfectant properties as well as its ability to deodorize and cut grease. I use it at full strength in my toilet bowl, as well as to replace Jet-Dry in my dishwasher as a rinse aid. I use a ratio 4:1 water to white vinegar in a spray bottle for cleaning kitchen and bathroom counters and washing windows and walls.
It’s also great for cutting through grease on my range and hood fan. Lastly, I add about a cup of white vinegar to a bucket of hot water to wash floors. For jobs that require something more abrasive such as bathtubs, soap scum in showers and kitchen sinks, I add a little baking soda to my old Skoy Scrubber and it does the trick. No need to spend your hard-earned money on a bunch of chemical-laden toxic products!
3. English ivy
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans spend upward of 90 percent of their time indoors, and that indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air. One way to help increase the quality of the air in your home is to purchase plants known for their ability to purify air — my personal favorite is English ivy.
4. Menstrual cups
Feminine healthcare product manufacturers aren’t required by law to disclose ingredients. When inserting something into my body, not knowing how it’s made gives me reason to pause. Understanding this, and learning that the average woman uses thousands of tampons in her lifetime (which amounts to an incredible amount of waste), makes switching to a Diva Cup an easy decision for personal health, finances, and the environment.
5. Reusable produce bags
Investing in reusable bags eliminates the need to use the single-use produce and bulk bags offered at the grocery store. It’s always boggled my mind to see environmentally minded people carrying their reusable tote bags filled with single-use plastic bags. There are many brands of reusable produce, bulk, and nut milk bags, but my favorite is Carebags. They’re incredibly durable, are see-through (making life easy for the cashier), and they have a multitude of uses.
6. Natural deodorant
Not all natural deodorants are created equal! I have a DIY deodorant that I use for around the house, but if I’m going to work out or go out for the evening, I want to feel confident that my deodorant is doing what it’s supposed to. Meow Meow Tweet is my go-to brand because it kicks BO’s butt. I can pronounce every ingredient, and it’s packaged in a 100 percent compostable cardboard tube.
7. Recycled drinking lids
I’m a big fan of simplicity as well as products that perform double duty. Cuppow Lids turn everyday jars into leakproof drinking vessels! I use mine daily in place of a water bottle, travel mug, or to take my breakfast smoothie on the go. These lids are made from 100 percent recycled food grade plastic that’s BPA- and BPS-free, and they come with a lifetime guarantee. Sigh... so in love!
8. Nonplastic food wrap
Bye-bye, plastic wrap! Abeego is the original beeswax food wrap. This product eliminates the need for single-use plastic wrap. And because it’s porous, like fruit and vegetable skin, it keeps food fresh longer. One sheet is reusable for upward of 18 months, so it’s a money-saver long-term as well.
9. Wool dryer balls
Remember how we were discussing air quality earlier? Well, scented dryer sheets are a part of the problem. According to Scientific American, dryer sheets are laden with hazardous chemicals that escape into the air when heated up.
A better option for your health and the environment is wool dryer balls. They reduce drying time and are reusable for upward of 500 washes, saving you money. They help soften clothes and can add scent to your load if you choose to add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil. This 100 percent all-natural alternative is a no-brainer! My favorite brand is Moss Creek.
Katelin Leblond was born and raised in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Katelin has been living zero-waste with her husband and children since 2014, and she advocates the sustainable lifestyle on her website and blog, PAREdown Home. Katelin believes aligning everyday actions with personal values is the best way to become a part of the solution to climate change.