Easy Ways to Help the Environment at Home in 2020


11 Ways to help the environment in 2020. Recycling and the Earth.

How to Help the Environment at Home in 2020

The crazy weather, Greta Thurnberg, media, Puerto Rico’s earthquakes, ridiculous opposition to climate change that has been vocal over the last year, the fires in California, and then Brazil… phew.

Wildfires.

The wildfires in Australia were the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.

I’ve felt increasing overwhelmed with the possibility that my children might not make it to see adulthood if our society continues the way that we’re going. If the economy collapses due to humans inability to adapt to the needs of our planet …

I get emotional thinking about the future my boys potentially face.

I feel heartbroken and defeated, but mostly, I just feel angry.

We did this to ourselves. Is it too late to make a change?

I wanted to make sure that I could do something this year to help the environment at home. Not only will it be one small step for the environment, but hopefully, I will have been a good role model for my children.

Over winter break, I thought long and hard, and made an exhaustive list of things that we can cut out of our lives to help the environment at home, and hopefully, if we all take a few steps, we can help to change our system from the inside.

Here are my 11 things that will help the environment from home:

Ditch the Paper Goods

Now, toilet paper we kind of need. But paper towels and tissues can be easily replaced.

I estimate that in 2019 my family spent $176 on tissues and paper towels. That may be a conservative estimate. We also purchase our paper towels and tissues bulk at Costco, so for families that purchase a roll of paper towels a few at a time, that number may be MUCH higher.

1 & 2: Cloth Napkins & Handkerchiefs

So I got on Amazon and purchasedcotton napkins and cotton handkerchiefs. I remember my grandpa Kubilius, for all his life never used a tissue. He always had a handkerchief with him.

Why not me?

The cloth napkins we opted for were cotton and were a dark color. Believe me, using a white napkin while eating barbeque and your napkins aren’t going to last very long!

Using more cloth means doing more laundry. We got a couple laundry baskets for the bathrooms and kitchen.

Also, make sure you’re using a more natural detergent!

3: Digital Books

Another way of combating our addiction to paper is to stop buying paper books.

I know, book lovers everywhere advocate that there’s nothing like the feeling and smell of a real book in your hands. And I totally agree.

But not at the expense of the environment.

Both my husband and I have our own Kindle.

Besides, a lot of times, the kindle version of a book is cheaper anyway!

Our children still have paper books. Studies report that children should be reading and writing on paper as opposed to on devices, and I wholeheartedly agree.

But when they are reading chapter books, they’ll get their own Kindle as well.

Be sure to check out Amazon Prime (30 day free trial), Kindle Unlimited, and Audible while you’re at it!

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4: Stop Eating Beef

There.

I said it.

The total effect of cattle farming on our climate and environment is astronomical. Even reducing your beef consumption to once or twice a month instead of once or twice a week can have huge effects.

Make Healthier Choices

Here’s a cookbook to get you started on swapping out your beef for other, healthier meats or other proteins.

(Dirty!) Love a good pun!

Interested in potentially becoming vegetarian or vegan?

Kudos to you, man. I love eggs and bacon way too much.

But becoming vegan is getting increasingly easy with more and more options for vegan protein, vegan restaurants, and vegan health and skincare products.

Here are a couple things that might help you on your lifestyle change:

If you’re not acquainted with Thug Kitchen, you totally should be!

This one is on my list of books I’m reading this year!

(Like I said, I’m not becoming vegan, but it’s totally a great option for those hoping to reduce their carbon footprint that much more.)

5: Cloth diapers

I have a love-hate relationship with cloth diapers.

I used them religiously when both boys were newborns. But then came daycare (for the oldest) and solid foods, and I didn’t use them as much.

Regardless, we’re making the switch back… at least part time. I have not found a good way of keeping cloth diapers from leaking at night, so they’re both in disposables overnight.

But the 9 month old is going to go back to cloth diapers during the day, and once my toddler has had a good poop for the day, he’ll be in cloth for the rest of the day as well. It’s going to be a difficult switch back, but I’m happy about my choice to do so.

Here are my favorite cloth diapers and products for helping to ease your transition to cloth diapers. We did covers and prefolds/inserts, and I very much prefer Thirsties and Rumparooz!

Don’t forget the toilet attachment and a spray cover for when the poop needs to go in the toilet and can’t be washed!

Looking for more reasons to take the plunge and try cloth diapers? Read this post about cloth diapers from my blogger friend at Mama Bear Finance.

6-12: STOP. USING. ONE-USE. PLASTICS!

Guys, time to get serious.

Starbucks coffee cups can’t be recycled. (6)

Straws can’t be recycled. (7)

Q-tips can’t be recycled. (8)

Tooth flossers can’t be recycled. (9)

Ziploc bags can’t be recycled. (10)

Plastic forks, knives, spoons, and party cups CAN’T BE RECYCLED! (11)

Toothbrushes can’t be recycled. (12)

Plastic dish sponges can’t be recycled. (13)

Please, for the love of Mother Earth, STOP USING THESE PRODUCTS!

If you want to get serious about ways to help the environment, THIS IS IT!

Here are my favorite product replacements for the items I listed above. It’s not difficult to carry a straw with you on your keychain. It’s not difficult to have a little box in your car with a Thermal to-go mug for your Starbucks in the morning.

Make the switch today.

And remember, a habit takes 21 days (or longer…) to form. So don’t give up after two weeks.

Yes, change is difficult. But facing an ever-increasing world temperature will be the most difficult thing that we’ve ever collectively had to face.

What do I do with the plastic and paper goods that I already have in my home?

I’ll tell you what I’m doing with them, and then I’ll give you some additional options.

We’re keeping them all for now. If we travel, if there’s an emergency, or if there is just NO other option at a certain point in time, we will use them. But we will use them sparingly and consciously.

You could also donate them to your local church or soup kitchen.

You could make “care boxes” to hand out to the homeless.

You could donate them to classrooms, which, I’m sure, need an abundance of tissues at this time of year.

If you already bought them, no need to feel guilty. Just make sure they go to good use and don’t just end up, in the box, in a landfill. That kind of senseless waste is what we’re trying to avoid.

Other Potential Ways to Help the Environment

Planting a garden is another potential way to help the environment at home in 2020.

Like I said, I’m heartbroken for everyone dealing with the consequences of our money-driven society. And I’m angry.

I hope you are too.

These 11 things that will help the environment are NOT an exhaustive list. If you care for the Earth, you’ll continue to do more research and continue to make changes like I am.

Here are a few other ideas for making changes in your life to have positive effects on our environment:

  • only shop for eco-conscious clothing
  • plant a garden
  • raise bees
  • make a bee house
  • compost
  • get educated on your city’s recycling policies
  • ditch the paper planner and get a digital one
  • contact your local and state government to advocate for recycling bins in public places
  • contact your Senator via letter or phone to express your concern for environmental matters and climate change

I’m not perfect. I don’t live a no-waste life.

But I’m making healthier, more eco-conscious decisions.

I hope you’ll join me.

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17 thoughts on “Easy Ways to Help the Environment at Home in 2020”

    1. We did cloth diapers as well, disposable at night bc they always peed out! I stopped buying paper towels a long time ago and just use wash cloths or hand towels. We still do napkins though. Before school started we made DIY reusable snack and sandwich bags. I’m a vegetarian and eat dairy and eggs. It’s pretty easy. 😊
      Good list! And good luck!!

  1. Very informative post and I love that you included alternatives. I’ll also be looking into the books suggested here….if I ever get the chance to read again (I have a 9 month old, too).

  2. Thank you for all the great information and suggestions. A good place for me to start is replacing our paper napkins with cloth napkins. I never paid attention to the amount of paper napkins our family consumes.

  3. I love these tips for a more environmentally friendly approach to home life. You mentioned so many easy tweaks that are not only environmentally friendly but also much more budget friendly too. We create so much unnecessary waste! It’s true, we don’t inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. We need to do better!

  4. This was a very informative post on making our homes more environmentally friendly. I definitely need to stop using so many ZipLocks. I’ve been trying to use little containers instead. I also didn’t think about how many paper towels we use. I have a few cloth napkins, I should start using them. Thanks for the suggestions.

  5. Love this post!
    I’m all for simple living, we raise our own small cattle herd of 8 on 10 acres here at home, so I’ll always eat beef! I suggest purchasing from a small local farmer for healthier, grass fed, humanely raised beef. Happy sustainable living 🙂

  6. This is so great. I’ve already got several things in place, but in 2020 I really want to focus on reducing plastics. Once you notice how much you’re going through, it’s really incredible. Thanks for all the info!

  7. I totally agree with you, especially with all the recent fires lately, I do worry about my children’s future. This has been of my goals to help the environment so our kids can enjoy this planet we call home. Thanks for sharing.

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