Go Greener Around the Home with a 7 Day Challenge to Natural Living
Are you putting off making greener choices because of the expense or difficulty? Then you might be going about it the wrong way. An Eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t need to be expensive or difficult!
Sustainable living can be as easy as swapping paper towels for dish towels or bringing your own tumbler to your favorite coffee shop. Not only will you reduce the trash in our landfills, but you will also save money.
Use this 7-day challenge to natural living as a beginner’s guide or to step up your current zero waste progress.
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Pick one helpful green living method from each day to try. If you miss a day, just start again. Once you get through your 1st 7-day challenge to natural living. Go back to day one and try new ideas from each day. Before you know it, the things that you tried and liked will stick and become good habits for a sustainable lifestyle.
7 Day Challenge to Natural Living
Day 1 Cut Down On Plastic
- Opt for a reusable water bottle that you can refill throughout the day, instead of wasteful plastic water bottles. I recommend a glass or copper water bottle.
- Use canvas tote bags for all your shopping trips. I know I had trouble remembering to bring mine with me. So, I started returning to my trunk after each shopping trip. Did, I mention a lot of stores like Target, Hy-vee, and Fresh Market will give a discount just for using your own bags!
- Store leftovers in glass containers instead of plastic tubs. You can even warm up leftovers in their glass container in the microwave or oven, cutting down on dishes too. This set of five glass food storage containers is the best, they each have built-in compartments!
- Bring mesh produce bags to the farmers market and grocery store. This cuts down on plastic and allows produce to breathe.
- I highly recommend this set of 6 organic shopping bags for the market.
Day 2 Switch to Chemical Free Natural Cleaning Solutions
- Swap your most used cleaner for a natural chemical free cleaner. Try my recipe for an All-Purpose Natural Surface Cleaner or pick one up at the store. If you’re not ready to DIY, I recommend the Grove Collaborative’s line of concentrated cleaners.
- Store your DIY or concentrated natural cleaners in glass spray bottles instead of bringing home more plastic containers.
Day 3 Save Water
- According to Good Housekeeping run a full dishwasher whenever possible. It uses less than half of the water and energy of washing the same amount of dishes by hand. And they suggest you skip rinsing the dishes before you load them as well. Today’s modern dishwashers are powerful enough to clean without the pre-rinse.
- Take a shower most days instead of a bath. According to the Glen Canyon Institute on water conservation, the average bath uses 37 gallons of water. A five-minute shower using just 15 to 25 gallons.
- Teaching your family to turn the water off while brushing their teeth can save five gallons per person, per teething brushing session (Glen Canyon Institute).
Day 4 Reduce Paper Waste
- Swap paper towels for dish towels and microfiber cleaning cloths. I keep a basket of microfiber cleaning towels and old rags in our laundry room with cleaning supplies.
- Trade paper tissues for handkerchiefs and paper napkins for linen napkins. Just toss them in the laundry for a wash and reuse. When my toddler has a running a nose, it’s easier to keep track of one handkerchief she’s using than several tissues.
- Drink loose leaf tea instead of buying tea bags. I use a refillable tea ball or a refillable mesh Keurig cup.
- Switch to e-statements for monthly bills. I’ve been using online banking for years. It really saves time, money, and paper. Just remember to save your passwords. I recommend starting a small password book to keep in your desk drawer or safe.
- Take your own thermos or tumbler with you to your favorite coffee house. Your drink will last longer and you won’t have to throw another cup in the trash! My husband and I use Yeti and Corkcicle insulated BPA Free stainless steel thermos and tumblers.
Day 5 Clear the Air
- Did you know must big-box air fresheners mask an odor instead of neutralizing the air? Even worse Scientific America says air fresheners contain nerve-deadening chemicals that coat your nasal passages and temporarily block your sense of smell. In addition to formaldehyde, phthalates, benzene chemicals. So, skip the store-bought air fresheners and make your own! Try my natural chemical-free recipes for a Winter Pine Room Spray and Pumpkin Spice Room Spray.
- Pot a few plants like an aloe vera plant or spider plant to naturally purify the air in your home.
- Use essential oils in a diffuser to help clear the air. My favorites are lemon, lavender, and thieves essential oil. Find loads for ideas to freshen the air in my book Aromatherapy: A Practical Guide for Home and Family.
Day 6 Detox Your Skincare
- Skip the harsh synthetics and toxic chemicals in your skincare routines. Start with products you use most for the biggest impact. Look for natural brands or try my recipes for a Chamomile Lavender Body Wash and a Cleansing-Aloe Vera Face Wash.
- If you wear makeup most days, one of the biggest Eco-friendly changes you can make is to switch to natural chemical free makeup. Check out my article on Top 5 Natural Beauty Brands and find out why you should detox your makeup bag!
- When it comes to pampering your skin you don’t need pretty bottles and packages filled with colorful chemicals. Instead, really treat your skin and senses with naturally nourishing ingredients and essential oils. Learn how simple it creates a luxurious milk bath or soothing lavender salt bars!
Day 7 Ditch Disposables
- Waste less with reusable pump and spray bottles for natural cleaning and skincare supplies. This amber glass bottle set of 15 is the way to go!
- Don’t purchase individual snacks. Purchase a few Eco-reusable sandwiches bags and fill them snacks. Just wash and use again. I find these very usual and money saving for my toddler. I get mine from the Grove Collaborative.
- When you must use a disposable look for a recycled option. Such as recycled parchment paper for cooking.
Set weekly goals for yourself and/or family with this 7 Day Challenge to Natural Living goal planning sheet.
Grab it and many more printables and reference guides in the Life-n-Reflection Resource Library. Fill in the dates and then choose an Eco-friendly goal from the above lists for each day. Sit down with your family or roommates and come up with your own goals for natural living and challenge each other.
Give yourself the green light to begin your natural living journey. And remember as, with all things, it takes time to develop sustainable habits. For more inspiration see my list of 20 Must Have Green Living Essentials that I use to live a green, sustainable lifestyle.