It is always a good time to go eco-friendly! You can make little changes throughout the year, or make a list and tackle a lot of changes at once. These are some very easy ways to start incorporating eco-friendly habits into your household.

1. Shop local

This is a super easy swap to make. Instead of only shopping the big box stores, think about visiting some local stores. This can be anything from a farmer’s market to a local book store. There are so many great benefits to shopping local, as you support your local economy and local families. Things like locally grown produce are fresher and healthier. Small businesses often struggle, and you can play a role in your community to help those businesses thrive. I have personally enjoyed local products and making friends with business owners in the community.

2. Natural soaps

Natural soaps have come a long way over the years. You can find a range of soaps from liquid to foam, and a variety of scents. Be a label reader and try to steer clear of harsh chemicals, dyes, and synthetic fragrances. It makes a big difference in your health and also for the environment. Remember that while you are washing dishes, the soap is affecting your skin as well, so even though it is for dishes, your hands absorb these chemicals. Want to go a little further? Buy hand soap in bulk packaging to cut down on plastic waste.

3. Reusable bags

Many bags already have bag laws that require you to bring your own reusable bags already. Regardless, make sure you have a good system in place for reusable shopping bags. You can also make sure you have things like produce bags as well.

4. Rags instead of paper towels

You can start switching over to cloth rags by buying a bulk washcloths. You can find inexpensive ones at many stores, including Walmart and Target. The kids spill a glass of juice on the floor? Use a couple rags instead of half a roll of paper towels. I still keep paper towels for things like when the cats throw up, but we mostly use rags to clean up messes. They are way more efficient and of course eco-friendly.

5. Natural laundry detergents

There are lots of great natural detergents to choose from. We went natural when the kids were born, as I did not want any chemicals or fragrances on my baby’s skin. Be a label reader and stay away from chemicals, dyes, and synthetic fragrances, as many companies claim to be natural but aren’t necessarily very natural.

6. Reusable drink containers and straws

There are so many great water bottles and travel mugs out there. Make the switch so that you aren’t using plastic or other disposables. This also goes for straws. There are plenty of reusable straws to choose from, whether you choose stainless or silicone. There are also paper straws that can be composted.

7. Sustainable Bedding

Bamboo sheets are softer, more resilient, and have superior antibacterial and cooling properties when compared to cotton ones. Consider reading this guide on the best organic sheets made from bamboo in order to make an educated purchase.