I've always seen a positive correlation between my mental well-being and my efforts to reduce my plastic waste. Whenever I do things that I know are benefiting the environment, I feel much better about where our world might be heading, and about myself too. Here are some examples that better explain how reducing the amount of waste I produce, makes me feel better.
1. Living lower waste clears out your home. Now that I am trying my best to buy less plastic and ultimately less of everything useless, the spaces of my home feel much less crowded and cluttered. Personally, I think crowded and cluttered=stressed and overwhelmed.
I definitely used to get sucked into every form of marketing and would purchase something primarily because I liked the way it looked, regardless of how wasteful it will be at the end of its life. A few examples of this might be: purchasing many different plastic bottles of lotions and any hygiene products that look nice and might smell good but they just end up cluttering my bathroom. Another space that ofter ends up cluttered are those cupboards under the kitchen sink that overflow with plastic bottles of random, decaying, cleaning products that we all tend to buy more and more of... These are both very fixable situations with very viable solutions!
At the end of the day, we all know how hard it is to keep your space clean and clutter free, but we also know how good it feels to relax in a space that isn't overwhelmed with unnecessary items. Reducing your lifestyle right down to the basics tends to clear the mind just as much as the space, and reminds us of what is truly important in life and what brings us the most joy.
2. Getting outdoors and cleaning up! This one has less to do with how much plastic you use and more to do with doing a good deed and getting outside. Every time I have participated in a group beach cleanup or any kind of outdoor cleanup, I always feel so inspired and happy at the end of the day. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is already a step towards feeling better. Getting outside and breathing some fresh air, while doing a good thing for our planet and surrounding yourself with good people... there really is no better combination for happiness!
3. Spending less of your hard earned money. Spending money is always stressful. No doubt about that. So, I find peace by making sure my money is spent in the right places.
There are so many products on the market currently that advertise as "eco-friendly", or "green", when they may not be doing any good. Also, they've probably jacked up their prices because they know people will pay a higher cost because what they are buying is "good for the planet". This is when we need to think critically about whether these products are worth spending your money on and if they are using a "greenwashing" tactic. ("Greenwashing is the process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how a company's products are more environmentally sound")
The most important factor I like to think about in this situations is reusability. How long will I be able to use this product for before it ends up in the landfill? What happens to it when I am finally done with it? What are my alternatives? What is the impact of the alternatives? These are some of the questions I like to ask myself before purchasing a product. Here are some examples of successful situations where the eco-friendly products you buy will ACTUALLY reduce your environmental impact and also SAVE you money!
Let's Crunch some numbers!
Beeswax Wraps vs. Plastic Wrap:
One package of 3 Nature Bee Beeswax Wraps = $24.95, (Lasts up to 1 year!)
The average family uses up to 24 rolls of plastic wrap every year along with around 1000 plastic sandwich bags...
One roll of plastic wrap = around $5 (24 rolls x $5= $120)
One box of 100 plastic sandwich bags= around $5 ($5 x 10 boxes a year= $50 yearly)
So with the $50 for plastic bags and the $120 for the plastic wrap, the average family would spend $170 on single use food wraps every year. So even if you purchased our large variety bundle that contains 12 wraps total, you would still be saving about $70 per year.
Swedish Dishcloths vs. Paper Towel:
One of our Swedish Dishcloths = $7 (Lasts a year!)
6 rolls of paper towel = around $6.99
The average family uses about 2 rolls of paper towel in a week...
I've done the math and concluded that with 52 weeks in a year and 6 rolls of paper towel costing $6.99, the average household will spend around $121.16 on paper towels every year. So since our dishcloths can last up to a year, you can be saving $114.16 every single year just by abandoning paper towels! Even if you treated yourself to 4 Swedish dishcloths (one of each pattern😉), you are still saving $93.16 every year!
I fully acknowledge that everyone has their own preferences and that everyone has the right to spend money on the products that they like to use and there is no shame in that! These comparisons are just to shed light on the fact that there are still products out there that aren't just using greenwashing to get you to buy their products. We just have to understand the difference between what products are helping us and the environment out , and which are not!
The problems I touched on above have clear solutions and just require some time and effort to solve. However, there are definitely some environment induced stressors in life that we don't have full control over. These can be the hardest to deal with.
The state of our environment is certainly becoming a source of stress for so many people today, and I totally understand. It is sometimes extremely difficult to remain positive on such a daunting topic and it is so easy to become overwhelmed by terrifying facts and graphics about the direction our Earth is heading in. Feeling hopeless is one of the worst emotions, and unfortunately, our global situation tends to make people feel that way. Consuming too much information about climate change and waste production can really affect how we feel. (After taking an Environmental Studies course, I know first-hand how horrible that feeling can be).
However, no positive changes will be made if we lose hope! It is extremely important that we all keep trying our best and remember that small changes are still changes. "We don't need a handful of people doing zero-waste perfectly, we need a millions of people doing it imperfectly!"- Anne Marie Bonneau. Every single thing you do to help the environment, is still helping the environment. No matter how small! That being said, it also so important that you don't shame yourself in times when you don't feel that you are helping the cause. Absolutely no one is perfect and you should not beat yourself up when you feel bad about your consumer choices. In those moments, all you can do is think about how you can improve from there! There is no reason to shame yourself.
There is always strength in numbers so if we can all individually do our part, we can collectively make a large difference.💚🌿 I hope you are all having a great month and I hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you'd like to shop our truly eco-friendly products, click the button below:)