Updated: Sep 11, 2020
Moving often represents many different things for different people. Uprooting and shifting spaces entails change, and change can often present itself in a variety of ways. Maybe, you’re a serial renter like me and your lease has come to a close. Possibly, you’re a first time home buyer and are getting the chance to fully call a space your own. No matter what the purpose is for moving, this period of change can certainly cause a mix of emotions.
For me, moving stirred up a lot of excitement and anxiety. First, I was extremely excited to take the next step in my relationship and move in with my partner for the first time (actually, first time EVER doing the live-in-relationship deal). I also really looked forward to doing an excessive amount of shopping in order to design a new space. Second, I felt anxious. I was worried about moving during a global pandemic, if the space would feel safe and like home, and what the change could potentially bring. I always like to view change, both positive and negative, as a fresh start. Fresh starts are great for all kinds of different scenarios, but best of all: breaking old habits.
When packing and cleaning out my old space, I realized I was being extremely wasteful. Trash bags upon trash bags, rolls of paper towels dwindling by the hour, and ziplock bags for this and that. Now, I won’t pretend to be the most eco-friendly person, but I fully understand the impact we have as a collective on the environment. Due to this, I decided to become more eco-conscious. I quickly realized that because I’m being presented with a fresh start in a new space, I want to do my part and try my best to make some really impactful changes. The first and hardest change I made was shifting to reusable paper towels. I love to clean. I find joy in sparkling counters and gleaming floors.
When I would clean prior to August 2020, I found myself ripping off about 10-15 paper towels just to clean the kitchen. According to oceanconservancy.org, Americans use about thirteen billion pounds of paper towels each year. BILLION. I knew I was contributing way too much to this number, so I made a change. It took some convincing both to myself and my partner, but we ended up investing in “UNPaper Towels” by Marley’s Monsters. The switch took some adjustment, but in the end I am elated! The best thing about the UNPaper Towels is they are reusable in every sense. One sheet often lasts me a full day or two of wiping down and cleaning up. I like to keep a little garment bag under my kitchen sink and just toss them in when they get dirty. A weekly wash with the laundry replaces my paper towels used and I rarely go through a whole “roll” each week!
The next and most exciting swap has been for organic “human-friendly” household
cleaners. Have you ever gone in cleaning the bathroom and when you’re done you have to take Tylenol because your head is throbbing from the fumes? I used to think that was the sign of a spotless deep clean. But those chemicals and fumes are doing way more harm than good to the human body, and if a cleaner makes you feel physically ill, it should not have a place in your home. I had been eyeing Branch Basics for months. One concentrate is all you need to make your household cleaning dreams come true. Human-safe, plant and mineral based, free of harmful preservatives, non-GMO, not tested on animals, and biodegradable (seriously, a powerhouse in going green!). The best part? No fumes, unwanted overpowering scents, and you can seriously use it for everything. The concentrate allows you to make all-purpose cleaner, streak-free cleaner, foaming hand wash, laundry detergent, and bathroom cleaner. I use Branch Basics in my dishwasher, spray the all purpose cleaner to disinfect my produce, use the foaming hand soap for cleaning dishes and our bodies (what?!), and love the way it
makes our laundry feel. I could seriously talk about their products for hours (available
Oxygen Boost, you will thank me forever (not sponsored, but would happily be! Referral code below ).
Once I made these two major eco-friendly switches, I couldn’t stop. From here I purchased reusable straws, produce and shopping bags, bowl and plate covers (BYE PLASTIC WRAP!), silicone storage bags (Ziplock WHO?!), machine washable sponges, a SodaStream because we are seltzer fiends (soooo many plastic bottles and cans saved), refillable hand soaps and body washes, bamboo toilet paper, the list goes on! Some might call it an obsession, or another online shopping spiral, but if it’s good for the environment and helps me do my part, I call it a job well done! Some small investments save not only the earth, but my wallet. No more repurchasing unnecessary single use items. Make the switch. You’ll thank me later.
Founder & Creative Director
ash & burrow
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