It’s officially back to school time! Along with the craziness of starting the third academic year to coincide with the COVID-19 pandemic, if you’re headed to college, you need to make sure you have all the essentials for a super cozy and aesthetically pleasing dorm room.
Along with your plush pillows, mini succulents, and fairy lights, don’t forget to grab some eco-friendly dorm essentials that will help you reduce waste and save money. Because goodness knows this planet has enough trash, and a college student’s wallet can always use a break.
Check out these super easy ways and budget-friendly ways to make your dorm room an inviting and eco-friendly space!
The ultimate eco-friendly college dorm essentials list
Chemex Coffee Maker
Aside from looking so dang cool on your counter, this coffee maker is 100% waste free! Made entirely out of glass, wood, and leather, this coffee maker also makes an unbelievably delicious cup of coffee that will help you survive those late study nights.
Chemex Reusable Coffee Filters
Did you know that you can reuse coffee filters? We love the organic cotton coffee filters from CoffeeSock, which fit perfectly in the Chemex coffee maker, but you can find all different types online. This is a super easy way to save waste every morning. Plus, if you save the coffee grounds to use as compost… it’s a double win!
Wool Dryer Balls
Replace disposable dryer sheets with wool dryer balls. These little items are like magic! They bounce around in your dryer and help your clothes dry faster by separating them from each other. And if you spray them with a little water, they can reduce static. Because they help your clothes dry faster, they cut down on dryer time, which also saves electricity.
Pixie Menstrual Cup
If you really want to reduce waste in your life, try cutting out disposable period products. Each woman uses approximately 10,000 tampons in her lifetime… and that’s not even counting pads and panty liners. One reusable Pixie Cup lasts up to 10 years. Plus, you can wear it up to 12 hours at a time. No more stuffing your bag with tampons before you leave for class! Shop Pixie Cups.
Pixie Menstrual Cup Steamer
This handy steamer will get your menstrual cup sparkling clean in just three minutes. Just add water! It’s the perfect option for a dorm room where you may not be able to boil your cup after each cycle. (Plus, who wants their menstrual cup on full display in a shared kitchen?) Shop steamers.
Whether you want to wear a backup method with your menstrual cup, or you just prefer pads, reusable pads give you another way to manage your period in an eco-friendly way. Pixie Pads are made with organic cotton and are super soft and comfortable. Simply wash and reuse — no more emergency drug store runs for that time of the month! Shop Pixie Pads.
It’s all too tempting to grab a set of plastic silverware when you have to eat out on the go. This handy little bamboo utensils set is perfect to use in your dorm room, keep in the car, or take on the go!
Forget buying stacks of textbooks for those general education classes that you know you’ll never use again! Instead, you can save paper and purchase or rent the books on an e-reader! Plus, it’s super handy to have when you’re traveling home for Christmas break and need a book to read on the flight! Shop Kindles on Amazon.
Reusable Silicone Sandwich Bag
Sandwich bags are discarded by the millions every day! It’s so simple and easy to use a silicone sandwich bag that you can reuse every day and save hundreds of bags from landfills. Imagine how much waste would be saved if everyone took just this one simple step!
Collapsible Water Bottle
We get it… not everyone wants to drag a gigantic water bottle around wherever they go. That’s when a collapsible water bottle is a perfect choice — when collapsed, it can fit inside your backpack and then you can just expand it when you need to fill it up!
Plastic straw bans are spreading. Help keep straws out of the ocean by keeping a reusable straw in your bag and pulling it out when you grab a drink!
You’re curled up in a corner of the library with a copy of The Notebook… chances are you’re gonna be looking for a tissue to wipe that tear or two. We’re taking you back to the 1900s with this one, but it doesn’t do any harm to keep a hankie in your purse for emergencies and save the tissues from heading straight into the trash. We love these organic cotton HankyBooks!
Reusable Cotton Facial Rounds
It’s super easy to make this switch! Reusable facial rounds are soft and gentle on your skin, and can be used with your favorite makeup remover or toner! All you have to do is drop them into the wash after each use and they’re as good as new! Some brands are even compostable once you’ve worn them out.
Reusable Beverage Cup
When you make your daily Starbucks run, bring along a reusable cup for your cold brew. It doesn’t slow down the process at all, and it saves a huge amount of trash each day. Tip: keep your cup clean. Baristas don’t like it when customer bring in icky mugs!
We hope this post was helpful to you as you find new ways to save waste in your daily life. If you are looking for more ways to reduce waste every day, check out our blog post about creating a zero waste bathroom.
What are some steps you take to reduce waste in your life? Do you have suggestions for other products? Let us know in the comments!
Are you looking for the perfect gift for the eco-conscious adventurer who is passionate about reducing waste? Here’s a list of gifts that will fit right inside a stocking and make any adventure — and everyday life — a little bit easier!
If you are an eco-minded individual looking for presents for your friends, these small gifts are a great way to introduce your pals to the zero-waste life! They’re also a perfect Secret-Santa size so you can pick out a no-brainer gift for that friend or coworker who’s impossible to please!
Collapsible Water Bottle
You can find a space-saving collapsible water bottle in virtually any color! It’s perfect for the friend who is a minimalist (collapsible), lives a zero-waste lifestyle (reusable), and stylish (totally cute)! This water bottle is great for trips to the gym or sipping on the go! Shop Que water bottles.
Fair-Trade Reusable Face Masks
Single-use face masks have become one of 2020’s biggest sources of pollution. Get your squad some stylish and sustainably made reusable masks that won’t end up on the ground — or in the ocean. We like these masks from Tonlé, which are made from fabric remnants discarded by larger manufacturers, and use three layers of quilted cotton — the recommended practice for cloth masks. Plus, the masks are made by Cambodian workers, who receive fair wages, free lunch, vacation pay, and other benefits.
It’s astounding how many pads or tampons we can go through over the course of our lives. Fortunately there’s another option: a menstrual cup. Ours comes with a 100% happiness guarantee! The Pixie Cup is the ideal stocking stuffer and is the perfect gift for the adventurer who loves to live in freedom! Our small Pixie Cup is a safe bet for most people, or you can gift your bestie our combo pack, which comes with a small and a large. Feel weird about picking out a menstrual cup for someone else? We got you, boo. You can still give the gift of period freedom with a Pixie Cup gift card.
This little sterilizing container is cute, compact, and multi-functional. You can use it for a quick rinse in a public restroom, or a deep clean boil in the microwave! Bonus: it’s collapsible, so it takes up hardly any space in your purse or backpack. It’s the ideal gift for any Pixie Cup user!
These handy cloths are perfect for the girl who is always headed off on her next adventure! They replace toilet paper (for pee only) and snap onto your backpack, so “Leave No Trace” can be realized fully in the great outdoors! Shop Kula Cloth.
While we’re on the subject of pee… we may as well talk about this fantastic device! It makes “doing your business” while out in the wild a breeze! This is the perfect gift for the girl who is always out adventuring in the great unknown where a bathroom is an unknown luxury! Shop GoGirl.
Is your friend passionate about reducing the number of straws that end up in the ocean? Help her reduce her environmental footprint with this super cute collapsible straw! It comes with a cleaning brush and a sleek carrying case, which makes it the perfect size to keep in a purse… and slip in a stocking on Christmas morning! Shop on Amazon.
Best of luck on your gift-giving excursions this year and we hope you find the perfect item for everyone on your list!
We’re all starting to become a little more conscious of and concerned about our ecological footprint. Which is awesome, right? Also, with the rise of COVID-19 we’re all realizing the importance of sustainability. Making last-minute grocery runs or being able to count on some of our staples isn’t realistic during this time. In honor of Earth Day’s 50th birthday, we’re compiling a list of 15 earth-loving + sustainable items members of our team have come to love.
What is Earth Day?
The creation of Earth Day was inspired by a unified effort to bring awareness to the ecological shortcomings surrounding our planet at the time. On April 22nd, 1970, 20 million Americans (which was 10% of the nation’s population at the time) took to the streets of college campuses, cities and towns around the country in protest, demanding new actions on how our planet handles waste, trade and things such as oil spills and pollution. The first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement, and is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event!
What do you do for Earth Day?
Celebrating Earth Day can happen in a variety of ways! Some big, some small. Earth Day is supposed to inspire us to make more eco-friendly choices and be more conscious of what we do and use on a daily basis. You could plant a tree or donate to The Canopy Project! Join in a park clean-up crew that day or decide to switch to natural cleaning products. Have you been mulling over going plastic free? Or what about making your own laundry detergent? Maybe one of these suggestions will strike your fancy! We’ve rounded up some of our favorites.
15 eco-friendly swaps for Earth Day 2020
Glass or metal straws. A simple switch from plastic straws to metal or glass or even this collapsible one is a great place to start! Whether a product is recyclable or not, relies heavily on a market being able to resell the material. Also, there are a lot of straws. Some estimates say that hundreds of millions of straws are thrown out every day in the US alone!
Reusable K Cups. Keurig coffee machines took the world by storm over the last decade. What didn’t happen was finding a way to responsibly dispose of these billions of used K-cups! Keurig machines are awesome for on the go and you do waste less coffee if you are only brewing what you will consume (this equals a win). Switching to a reusable K-Cup is perfect because you’re not throwing away a non-recyclable item and you’re saving money by using your favorite bulk coffee.
Menstrual cup. The idea of how many pads and used tampons end up in the landfill is enough to make your stomach turn! It’s estimated that the average woman will throw away 10+ thousand tampons during her menstruating lifetime. A menstrual cup is a small cup shaped device made out of medical-grade silicone. It collects menstrual blood safely and can be emptied every 12 hours and get this: it lasts for up to 10 years! So instead of buying 10,000 tampons you could actually only buy 4 or 5 menstrual cups over your lifetime. Be sure to purchase a reusable vessel to sterilize your period cup in too!
Beeswax Wrap. Want to save on all that single-use plastic wrap? Beeswax wraps are an eco-friendly swap. They can be purchased anywhere these days, including Etsy. Making your own is also a fun project with fabric odds and ends!
Cloth coffee filter. Do you have a pour over coffee pot? Or a Chemex? A reusable filter is the perfect swap! We found this cloth filter and love it. It’s made by a family-owned and operated business. They’re pretty cool.
Start Composting. If you have a backyard available to you, composting is easy. If you love to garden, composting is a no brainer! Finding a compost container is ideal so that it can be rotated especially if you plan to use it in a garden. (this is a great item to look for on second-hand sites) You can buy neat + tidy bins for your counter top in almost any decor theme you can imagine.
Ditch paper towels + napkins. It would shock you to know how much paper waste comes from a one-family household. It’s figured that 4.51lbs is generated each day, per person. And 25% of that is disposable paper. Crazy, right? Keep an eye out at the thrift store for cloth napkins and buy some really absorbent towels like these.
Reef-safe sunscreen. Recent reports are saying that two common ingredients in sunscreens, oxybenzone and octinoxate, can be harmful to aquatic life. Are you swimming in the ocean, lake or river primarily? Choose a reef-safe sunscreen!
Reusable jars. Are you wanting to make the switch from plastic food storage to glass? The price can sometimes be a deterrent. Our team loves to save our pasta sauce jars, pickle jars and jam jars! Wash them, soak them to remove the label and viola! You’ll be amazed at the stash you could build and realize what you would have gotten rid of.
Reusable Q-Tip. Like the straws we talked about earlier, Q-Tips are small, get lost in all the waste a household makes and cannot be recycled. Reusable options have risen in popularity and they are pretty cool. Can’t stomach the idea of washing a Q-Tip? Check out these biodegradable ones.
Make your own vegetable broth. This saves money + reduces waste! Whenever you’re chopping veggies, instead of throwing away the ends, nubs and skins, save them in a bag or container. Pop the container in the freezer and keep them there. Continue collecting scraps and putting them in the freezer container. You’ll be surprised how much you end up with at the end of the month! Boil it all down and make a hearty broth.
Compostable toothbrush. Absolutely nothing about the standard toothbrush is recyclable. 100% of the time it ends up in a landfill. Switching to a bamboo toothbrush is easy with all the styles and options available to you!
Solid shampoo. If you’re unfamiliar with this, it’s basically a bar of soap but it’s shampoo designed to be used on your hair. Shampoo bars have gained popularity with the #plasticfree movement. Likewise, you can also find conditioners!
Switch to a bidet. Toilet paper was a commodity we didn’t think twice about, right? Living this COVID-19 life has us all grasping for the bare necessities. Combine a bidet with Toilet UnPaper and you’re 100% self-sufficient. If you have old t-shirts, washcloths or towels, you could also cut those into squares and use them too! (double eco win!)
Dryer sheet alternatives. If you’re steering clear of all things disposable, don’t forget about the little sheets that get thrown in the dryer! Wool dryer balls have been a favorite but if you have an allergy to wool or prefer a vegan option, these are great too.
If you were to pick even one of these swaps in celebration of Earth Day, that would be a big step! Hopefully, we made the decision a little easier. How are you switching to a more sustainable life? We would love to know! If you’ve ever contemplated switching to a menstrual cup, now is the time! Head over to our website for 10% off your first purchase with us!
Most of us probably would answer with a resounding “No.” A restroom is usually a place that can be overwhelming – the shower gets cluttered with a dozen half-used bottles, the cabinets house the rest of them, and piles of unused towels are stuffed into a drawer.
Today we are going to walk you through some ways that you can declutter your restroom and make it into a place that is peaceful, calming, and relaxing. After all, the shower is often where you think the best, so you need an uncluttered mind to make room for all of those fantastic ideas!
Before we get started, remember there is a difference between “tidy” and “clean.” Clean is scoured, dust-free, and shining! Tidy is when everything has a distinct purpose and “home” in your house! In this article, you’ll learn some tips to help you organize your bathroom and decrease waste in the process!
Step 1: Take everything out of the restroom
In order to fully organize your restroom, you need to take everything out so you know exactly what you own! Remove all items from the shower, drawers, cabinets, even the top of the sink, and place it in the middle of the floor.
Step 2: Sort through the pile
If there are items that you never use or items that are old/expired, go ahead and dispose of them, recycling containers when possible. For the items that you do use, think through their purpose. Is the restroom the best place to store them, or would it make sense to store them somewhere else? For example, bathroom towels can be stored in a hall closet. Once you’ve decided what needs to stay in the restroom, start separating them into piles based on category.
Step 3: Create new, waste-free systems
In order to reduce waste moving forward, think through the things you use. Do you need to use so much toilet paper? A bidet is fairly inexpensive – in fact, it would end up saving you a lot of money in toilet paper and reduce waste at the same time! You could also transfer your shampoo, soap, conditioner, and other liquids to glass bottles and buy in bulk to refill them. This reduces plastic and you won’t need to go to the store as often!
Step 4: Organize the remaining items in smaller containers
Small bottles, hair ties, etc. can be placed in smaller containers inside drawers to keep things organized and separated! This helps to maintain tidiness and also gives you a sense of peace when you open a drawer and see things neatly organized!
Tidying your home can be so fulfilling, and once you find a home for every item you own, it’s a lot easier to maintain it for the future!
Did you find this blog post helpful? How do you keep your restroom tidy? Comment below to let us know your organizational and zero-waste tips!
Small decisions every day end up making a huge difference, and they don’t really change your life that much!
It’s so easy to get into a daily grind of habits that fall upon each other into a stack that we call a “day.” From the way you brush your teeth to the show you watch in the evening, each day includes a lot of decisions that are often made by habit instead of by a considered choice!
Habits are wonderful things because they remove the stress our brains would experience if they had to make EVERY single decision like it was the first time, but they can be detrimental when the habits we’ve grown accustomed to are unhelpful or even harmful to ourselves or the world. For instance, the litter that so often is scattered alongside the road is there because lots of people have the habit of dumping their trash outside the car window instead of regularly discarding trash at each gas station stop or choosing to recycle it. Throwing trash out the window is a small habit that collectively creates massive destruction.
Thankfully, with a little intentional effort, new habits can be formed to replace the unhealthy ones, and it only takes a few weeks!
Why are we talking about habits today?
We’re talking about habits because this blog post is all about giving back to the world we live in through a few simple steps, and it might take a little work for these to become habits! But we think you will agree that these habits are well worth the work and will turn out to be a really fantastic investment of time in the long run!
Here are 4 ways that you can make a huge difference in your community by changing a small habit in your life!
1. Buy local groceries
Local groceries are often healthier because they are produced in season, and your money is going back into your local community, so it’s a double win! You can purchase your groceries at a farmer’s market, or at a local vegetable stand! Plus, farmer’s markets are a really fun fall activity and often include games and food trucks to enjoy with the whole family! Other good options are smaller grocery chains like Aldi.
2. Bring reusable bags
The amount of plastic that most grocery stores hand out in the form of disposable bags is absolutely atrocious. Buy some super cute reusable bags and bring them along when you go shopping – you can even keep them in your car! This works with farmers markets as well as larger suppliers. If you don’t think your little contribution makes that big of a difference, try storing all of your plastic bags in a main area of your house for a month! Now imagine all of that going into a landfill or in the ocean… that’s a LOT of plastic that one simple decision can change completely!
3. Do something nice for a stranger
There’s nothing more satisfying than a small act to make someone’s day! Next time you’re in the drive-thru line, maybe you could pay for the person in line after you! Or, keep an eye out for those who are counting dollars to pay for groceries. Open your eyes a little extra wide to the world around you and you just might make someone’s day!
4. Recycle as often as possible
Recycling is often as simple as taking the time to drop your plastic water bottle in the correct bin. Most of the time, if I look around, I can find a recycling option. If you have trouble finding a bin, you could throw recyclable trash away separately at home and deliver it regularly to the local recycling facility.
We hope this article was helpful to you as you care for the earth and give back to your community one reusable bag at a time.
What are some of the ways you like to support your local community and give back to the earth? Let us know in the comments!