Single-Use Swaps: Five Ideas for a Greener Home

Hi everyone! Caitlin here on the blog this week to share my five favorite single-use swaps I’m made in my home.

Avoiding single-use products helps us reduce our household waste which is great for the environment, and personally, I love it because a lot of these swaps have allowed us to have less need to constantly take our garbage out! Make laundry not landfill as they say!

Single-Use Swap # 1 – Paper towels and Napkins for cloth wipes

This is one single-use swap I’ve been making in my kitchen over the last year. We’ve cut our paper towel use in half by keeping a basket of washcloths and a wetbag on the counter.

This has cut down on our kitchen garbage in a HUGE way. Between tables, counters, sticky little fingers, and oh so many spills that come with mom life, I use about half a dozen cloths a day.

single-use swaps cloth wipes

I rinse and wring them out each night and leave them to hang dry. Then, in the morning I toss them in the wetbag to be added to the wash on laundry day.

Really no more work than changing out the paper towel roll was. We still keep paper towel on hand but this single-use swap has been one small switch with a HUGE impact on our household waste and making our home a little more green.

Single-Use Swap # 2 – Plastic straws for metal or silicone

This one has gained a lot of steam recently, with lots of folks ditching plastic straws. But there are of course times when you really need a straw, on the go or at home.

I’ve found these jumbo silicone straws make my toddler super excited to drink her green smoothies every day.

There are all kinds of options out there when looking to swap our single-use straws. Sometimes with reusable items, it takes time to find what works for you. If you don’t like metal, try silicone, and if you don’t like that you can find paper disposable options or reusable plastic. There are lots of choices so don’t give up if you don’t like the first type you try!

Single-Use Swap # 3 – Reusable Produce Bags

Most folks have made the switch these days from plastic grocer bags to reusable, but a less thought of plastic during your weekly grocery trip is those thin plastic produce bags provided at the store.

Swap out single-use produce bags by bringing your own cotton or lightweight mesh bags. Bonus, no need to struggle to open them when you have your mask on at the store!

This is also a fun DIY project! You can make your own bags, keep an eye here on the Lil Helper blog, I’ll be sharing my cotton bag DIY instructions next month!

Single-Use Swap # 4 – Reusable snack bags

Another fact of life when it comes to parenting, toddlers gotta snack. So you can either go through 2 or 3 single-use plastic sandwich bags with every outing or swap them out and invest in some reusable snack bags.

Lil Helper bite bags are also easy for little fingers to open and won't tear or spill as easily as flimsy single-use plastic.

Single-Use Swap # 5 – Disposable for cloth diapers

Since this is the blog for Lil Helper, I had to mention this switch. But the biggest thing I want to say here is don’t be intimidated by cloth diapers, and just because you can’t do everything doesn’t mean you can’t do anything.

With my first, I cloth diapered full time, day and night from 6 weeks. Until she was not quite two and potty trained early, and now she wears disposables for nap and night time.

With my second, I have cloth diapered since six weeks as well but not at night. She has been a good sleeper and with adjusting to two kids, I’ve been hesitant to do anything with even the chance of messing with that.

Every diaper saved from the landfill is a win in my book. Test it out. Maybe your little one will use just a few a day of cloth and mostly disposable, or vice versa. This is one single-use swap that can seem intimidating at first. Try it out, there's a great deal to get you going here.

Of course, there are always more ways to go green. Choose products with less packaging. Try composting. And keep your eye on Lil Helper for more ecofriendly products to come!

What do you think? What single-use swaps are you making in your house to save money and the environment? Let us know in the comments below!

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