Hey Humans! You need to check out this brand

Day 196 – I know many people are trying to find plastic free options when out shopping. I also know they are having a difficult time finding those options. Many of the plastic free products that I have purchased, I have found online. Sadly, the plastic free movement has not yet found a home at many brick and mortar stores. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I discovered a line of plastic free personal care products at my local Target. I was also happy to see that the price point was reasonable.

Hey Humans offers 99% plastic free packaging. The 1% that is not plastic free includes the plastic toothpaste cap. Other than that, everything is plastic free. All products are made from recycled aluminum or paper. All products are vegan and cruelty free. All products are naturally derived and are all under $6 (many similar products are twice, if not three times as much).

They offer toothpaste, body wash and deodorant. I am currently using the lavender vanilla deodorant. Check out Day 124, to read my post about the difference between deodorant and antiperspirants. The kids have been using the lavender vanilla body wash. We have all been happy with the products.

Hey Humans can only be found at Target, online and in stores.

Tomorrow, having fun with ocean bound plastic.

Deodorants vs. Antiperspirants

Day 124 – I have never been loyal to a specific brand of deodorant. I usually grabbed whatever was on sale. I then started paying attention to the packaging. Not all brands are recyclable. On further investigation, it wasn’t just the packaging I needed to worry about, but also the ingredients.

Aluminum chlorohydrate (in roll-ons and aerosols) and aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex GLY (in solids) are found in antiperspirants. They block the pores of our skin to prevent us from perspiring. While this is helpful in preventing us from becoming a sweaty mess, it becomes a problem when the toxins in our bodies have no way to escape.

Deodorants help mask the smell of sweat and body odor caused by sweating. While antiperspirants use ingredients that interact with sweat glands to target and prevent wetness. Now the question is, is one more safe to use than the other.

“Our armpits are in close proximity to the lymph nodes and breast tissue. A study published in the European Journal of Cancer found “underarm shaving with antiperspirant/deodorant use may play a role in breast cancer.” That’s important since, according to research, only 5% to 10% of cancer is genetic, whereas the remaining 90% to 95% is rooted in environmental and lifestyle factors.”Earth911

The FDA did come out with there own statement saying, “Researchers at the National Cancer Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health, are not aware of any conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer.”

I guess, if I have to choose between a product that is free of questionable ingredients and comes in plastic free packaging over a product that has a warning not be used if you have kidney disease and is packaged in plastic, then I’m going with the first choice.

We are going to give the following deodorants a try in our house. I will be sure to report back as to which one(s) we liked the best.

Chagrin Valley Soap and Shave Company

Ethique Natural Deodorant

Each & Every Natural Aluminum-Free Deodorant

What are you using? Do you know if the ingredients are safe?

And just a reminder, you can bring your empty deodorants or antiperspirant containers to the monthly NNA Recycle Popup. The next one is May 15th, 9am-12pm.

Tomorrow, a product that helps many breathe, but is not always easy to recycle.

Earth Hero: Choices Make Changes

Day 84 – When you make purchases you would like to think that those you are purchasing from are producing their products in a responsible and sustainable way. However, many of the items we bring home from the store are being made at the cost of the planet. Many of us do not have the time to research every purchase made. So, it would be nice to have some help. On Day 74, I listed eco-friendly labels that identify products and companies that are doing their part to help the planet. On Day 75, I wrote about Hive, a place where you can purchase grocery items and know you are having a positive impact on the environment. Today, I wanted to discuss Earth Hero. They take over, where Hive leaves off. Earth Hero will not only help you go plastic free throughout the house but they offer countless items to help you on your zero waste journey. They have gathered Earth friendly companies in one place for your convenience. Earth Hero is not alone when it comes to offering eco-friendly products. There are many other companies that have this mission. I have made purchases on Earth Hero and have been very happy with their products.

Earth Hero explains on their website how their brands are doing business differently.

  1. By turning to renewable, organic, upcycled and recycled materials, their brands cut down on unnecessary resource extraction, energy and water usage that accompanies traditional production.
  2. Their companies are redesigning production by powering their operations with renewable energy sources, using fewer chemicals in their products and utilizing production waste by recycling and reusing excess materials and ingredients.
  3. Through the partnership with CarbonFund, they offset the carbon footprint created from transporting the products offered on their site. In addition, many of the companies manufacture their products in the USA, which cuts down on the amount of miles each product travels before reaching your door. Their brands are also taking steps to package their products in recycled, recyclable and compostable materials.
  4. Their companies create products that are made to last. From reusable water bottles and shopping bags, to durable clothes that will last for years, conscious shopping involves choosing items that will stand the test of time.
  5. From buying back used items to creating products that are meant to be recycled or composted, their companies cut down on the waste that occurs when their items have run their course.

I enjoy the descriptions that Earth Hero offers for each product. I purchased a soap dish not that long ago.

“Extend the life of your soap bar with this Whispering Willow Handmade Cedar Soap Dish! Handcrafted by artisans in the Appalachian Mountains from 100% natural cedar wood, this soap dish allows water to drain away from your soap, extending its life.” – Earth Hero

I mean, who wouldn’t feel good about purchasing a product from a company named Whispering Willow?

Earth Hero also lists the sustainability features of each product, (1) where it is made, (2) what it is made from, (3) the Earth friendly features (4) and a description of the packaging.

So, the next time you’re looking to replace a household item, consider replacing it with a more sustainable product.

Tomorrow, shampoo, bar or bottle.

Easter: Celebrating sustainably

Day 78 – Easter is a mere 16 days away! So, I thought I would give a few ideas on how to be a little more eco-friendly with those Easter baskets.

  1. In our house we reuse the same baskets every year. As long as you store them in a safe place year after year, those things will last forever.
  2. Avoid using the plastic grass to fill your baskets. I’m guilty of this one. For many years, I purchased the green plastic grass because it was the cheapest. I actually switched over to paper, because it didn’t stick to everything like the plastic stuff. I can now recycle the paper grass. There are also many other natural materials you could use to fill your baskets.
  3. Don’t throw away those plastic eggs. I know it may seem annoying to hold on to things year after year. However, throwing away things, just so they can be repurchased the following year, does not do your wallet or the environment any good.
  4. Purchase some Earth friendly treats and/or gifts. As mentioned on Day 75, there are plenty of on-line businesses that will sell you products that do not harm the planet and even help make it better.

Here are a few suggestions on some Earth friendly treats and gifts for the kids.

  1. Plantable pencils – These are genius. A very cool way to ring in the spring season.
  2. 4Ocean On-The-Go Pack – With kids getting back to school (on a regular basis), this is a great gift to encourage your kids to be environmentally friendly.
  3. Beeswax Crayons – This a great idea for the little ones that like to stick everything in their mouths.
  4. Eco Pal – Stuffed animals have always been a huge basket stuffer. These guys are made from recycled plush.
  5. Uncommon Goods – They are a B Corporation that partners with companies that want to do good in the world. They have many unique and Earth friendly gifts.
  6. Ghirardelli Chocolate Bunny – On Day 35, I shared a scorecard that showed how popular chocolate companies scored when it came to key environmental and child labor issues. Ghirardelli had a good score. So, they became the company of choice to take the ever so popular chocolate bunny role. I picked up our bunnies at Target.
  7. Tony’s Chocolonley – Tony’s Chocolonely scored higher than Ghirardelli on the scorecard and we have really been enjoying their chocolate bars ever since we learned about them. Good stuff! You can find Tony in most grocery stores.
  8. Natural Candy Store – I just stumbled across the Natural Candy Store. I ordered a few things to help fill the baskets. I’ll have to report back on how we liked this “healthy” candy.

Even if you introduced just one of these ideas this year, you are making a difference. I know it has taken me quite a few Easters to get to this point.

Tomorrow, a great idea for all those old t-shirts.

Frozen Foods: Extend the life of your food

Day 65 – Happy Frozen Food Day! President Ronald Reagan enjoyed frozen food so much that on March 6, 1984, he designated the day as Frozen Food Day. You might be unfamiliar with this “holiday”, but I thought it would be a good day to talk about how frozen food could help keep some food out of the landfill.

I apologize for the three year old pie chart from the EPA, but I was unable to locate a more recent one. I don’t think much has changed in the past few years. You can see that food makes up close to a quarter of the material found in landfills. Food, that if kept out of the landfills would greatly decrease our greenhouse gas emissions and instead create fertile soil.

As much as I would love to talk about composting and all the wonderful benefits, today’s post is about frozen foods. So, I thought I would discuss how freezing food can prolong the life of your food and even keep single use plastic out of your home.

This post could easily become very lengthy, but I’m just going to share what my family has done when it comes to freezing our food. 

  1. The kids freeze fruit to use in smoothies (in our reusable storage bags) . They have found that thawing out frozen fruit to eat is not ideal. However, taking the frozen fruit and combining it with their yogurt and other ingredients makes for the perfect smoothie. 
  2. The cook in the house (not me) has a tendency to make large quantities of food, especially when it comes to soups and chili. I believe this is the result of being a firehouse cook for numerous years. Regardless, I found us throwing left overs away after it had been sitting in the refrigerator after a week. I mean, there’s only so much chili one person can eat in a week. I make sure to freeze the left overs (in our glass containers). There are definitely foods that freeze better than others. Chili and soups are two of the better ones. 
  3. We have been making our own guacamole and plan to start making our own salsa and hummus. All three of these chip companions are much loved in our house. Unfortunately, they are all packaged in plastic containers when purchased at the store. By making them at home, we eliminate the need for the single use plastic. We can say the guacamole freezes well. Haven’t yet tried the salsa or hummus. 

Fresh food is defiantly more popular, but its sibling, frozen food, shouldn’t be underestimated. There are plenty of positive benefits that frozen food provides. We just need to be open to the idea. 

Tomorrow, the power of plants. 

Blueland: Helping the planet and your wallet

Day 21 – For Christmas, “Mother Nature” gave the family a Blueland starter kit. The Everyday Clean Kit includes:

As shown on the Blueland website
  1. 3 bottles and 3 tablets (multi-surface, glass & mirror, bathroom)
  2. 1 glass bottle and 1 tablet (foaming hand soap)
  3. 1 silicone shaker and 16oz powder dish soap
  4. 1 steel tablet tin and 40 dishwasher tablets

You might have seen Blueland on Shark Tank. A mom with a mission to eliminate billions of single-use plastic bottles pitched her idea of reusable bottles which could be refilled by adding a cleaning tablet to water. She negotiated with numerous Sharks, but ended up getting a deal with Mr. Wonderful (Kevin O’Leary).

The amount of plastic bottles that are wiped out with this purchase of this product is huge! Not to mention the money that will be saved. Each refill is $2 or less and comes in compostable packing.

It doesn’t get much simpler than that; one time purchase of bottles, inexpensive tablets, made from people friendly ingredients and packaged in compostable bags.

We have been enjoying our foaming hand soap, but are using up our current cleaning supplies, before we completely enter the Blueland living. I’ll be sure to report our reviews once we start using the products.

Tomorrow, saying goodbye to the fabric softener sheets.

Let’s Go!

Day 1 – Happy New Year! Thank you for joining me on my quest to be more environmentally friendly. I can’t think of a better way to start 2021! 365 Ways to Help Save the Planet was created to keep me motivated and to be a go to place to find ideas and suggestions on how we can help the environment. By no means am I an eco expert, but I’m learning everyday on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

I always thought I was doing my part, but I am finding out that I can be doing so much more. The changes will be small, (no plans to purchase an electric car or a wind turbine anytime soon), but overtime, the hope is that it can make all the difference in the world! I know my family of 6 will not be able to fit a year’s worth of waste into jar (yes, people have done this), but we are going to try really hard to reduce our waste and our carbon footprint.

So, let’s learn something new everyday to help the environment and turn that knowledge into action. The posts will discuss recycling, reusing, and most importantly reducing. The posts will be short and to the point. However, I’ll always give you the option of reading more by providing links to other resources. At times I might share ideas that you have been doing for years, but hopefully I can bring some new information to you that will help benefit the world in which we live. I also hope to learn from you, so please share what you know! My goal is to stay active and excited and hopefully we can motivate each other to make the changes that will really make a difference.

Tomorrow, I’ll fill you in on how this whole thing got started.