The Changes Made in 100 Days

Day 100 – It’s crazy to think that I have been posting everyday for 100 days! I hope you are learning as much as I am. Everyday, I am educating myself and finding ways to treat the planet a little bit better.

I thought I would spend today’s post looking back at the changes that my family has made so far.

  1. We started to compost. We use WasteNot Compost and have all our food scraps picked up weekly.
  2. We started sorting our recyclables (glass, metal, plastic, cardboard and paper).
  3. We started sending our recyclables to the North Park Village Recycling Center. Chicago’s recycling program has a long way to go.
  4. We purchased a can crusher. So, we could start collecting our aluminum cans and exchange them for a little cash.
  5. We started using reusable produce bags.
  6. We started using reusable storage bags and said goodbye to Ziploc.
  7. We have been using reusable shopping bags.
  8. We started cutting back on meat consumption, especially beef.
  9. We stopped buying individual microwavable popcorn bags and purchased a popcorn popper.
  10. We stopped purchasing liquid hand soap in plastic bottles and started using Blueland hand soap (tablets).
  11. We stopped using dishwasher cleaning pods (in plastic containers) and started using Blueland dishwasher tablets, packaged in compostable bags and comes with a reusable container.
  12. During the winter, we turned our heat down to 66 degrees. The heat kicked on a lot less.
  13. We started using dryer balls and stopped using Bounce dyer sheers.
  14. We purchased a TerraCycle Zero Waste Box, so the unrecyclable can be recycled.
  15. We switched our toilet paper to Who Gives a Crap’s recycled paper.
  16. We switched to a pet and environmentally friendly sidewalk salt.
  17. We started purchasing organic produce and other environmentally responsible products from Misfits Market.
  18. We started purchasing ethically sourced chocolate.
  19. We started using cloth napkins and lessened our use of paper towels.
  20. We started purchasing paper towels made from bamboo.
  21. We started sending our polystyrene to the city’s drop off container.
  22. We switched from cotton pads to reusable pads, for makeup removal.
  23. We switched to rechargeable batteries, in order to stop using alkaline batteries.
  24. We started collecting our plastic bread tags for a good cause, instead of throwing them in the trash.
  25. We started using powdered laundry detergent and stopped using liquid stored in plastic bottles.
  26. We switched to Tom’s of Maine toothpaste, which has a recyclable tube.
  27. We purchased compostable drinking straws for the plastic straw fan in the house.
  28. We started taking our clothes not fit for donation to Chicago Textile Recycling, instead of throwing them away.
  29. I switched to a charitable search engine. So, my internet searches will help create charitable dollars for various environmental groups.
  30. I switched to a reusable shaver with blades that can be sent back and made into stainless steel utensils.
  31. Everyone else is using Gillette shavers that can be sent back to be recycled.
  32. We started making a point to purchase products that are produced by environmentally responsible companies.
  33. We are making a point to say no to extras we don’t need.
  34. We started using a shampoo that is safer, environmentally friendly and has a take back program for empty bottles.
  35. We started using a bath soap bar that is wrapped in paper and not plastic.
  36. We stopped using spreadable butter in the plastic container.
  37. We started making our own guacamole to avoid buying it in a plastic container.
  38. We have been using rags to dust and clean the house to avoid using paper towels.
  39. We are donating broken crayons to a charity, instead of throwing them away.
  40. We switched from disposable birthday decorations to reusable ones.
  41. We stopped purchasing food in individual packaging.
  42. We went from 2 bags of garbage a week to 1 bag every three weeks.
  43. We stopped purchasing parmesan cheese in the plastic container and starting grating our own.
  44. We no longer purchase beverages in plastic bottles.
  45. Plastic utensils will no longer be purchased for family parties.
  46. Homemade (made in someone else’s home) toilet bowl cleaners are used instead of flushable wipes and a sturdy reusable scrub brush (made from wood) is used.
  47. Only deodorant brands that use recyclable packing are purchased. Check for the recycle symbol.
  48. We stopped purchasing fruit, like blueberries and strawberries, packaged in the rigid plastic containers.
  49. We stopped using multiple poop bags a day for the dogs, buy storing the bag in a small trash can between uses.
  50. We committed to continue making changes and helping the planet and encouraging others to do the same.

I’m excited to see what the next 100 days bring!

Tomorrow, environmentally friendly face masks.

Greenwashing: Don’t be fooled

Day 17 – Yesterday, Certified B-Corporations were covered. It was learned that these companies take the utmost effort in being the leaders of a global movement of using business as a force of good. Today, we’re going to take a look at the other side. We’ll examine how companies make false claims and mislead the public using greenwashing.

Borrowed from Avaycay – words that hook us into believing we are making good choices for the environment.

What is greenwashing?

“Greenwashing is the process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how a company’s products are more environmentally sound. Greenwashing is considered an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company’s products are environmentally friendly.” – Investopedia

Greenwashing is not new. The term has been around since 1986 when it was coined by environmentalist Jay Westerveld. And well before the term was created, companies were greenwashing their customers to give them a false sense of security and the belief that they were doing good in the world.

Just the other day, I experienced greenwashing. My husband and I had a gift card for Chipotle, so we purchased two burrito bowls for lunch. After I was finished, I went directly to my computer and searched up, “Are Chipotle bowls compostable?” I figured that a company that boasts being “one of the first national restaurant brands to commit to goals on local and organic produce and first national restaurant brand to commit to using only responsibly raised meat with some of the highest animal welfare standards”, would definitely have earth friendly bowls.

Article after article (dated 2019) popped up describing a bowl that was advertised as being compostable but was later tested and found to contain cancer causing, non-biodegradable chemicals. Chipotle promised to have safe and fully compostable bowl by the end of 2020. As of today, there is no mention of a compostable bowl on Chipotle’s website.

There is no doubt that I have been greenwashed countless times and there’s a chance it may happen again. However, just knowing it exists and realizing that a little research can uncover an avalanche of information, I’m hoping to be a wiser and more careful consumer. There are plenty of companies out there that want to take advantage of those trying to make environmentally friendly choices. Don’t be fooled. Do you’re homework and choose companies that are truly making a difference in the world.

Tomorrow, remembering a man that fought for equality for all and how that transcended to the environment.

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.