Wait. Is that MY footprint??

In a world gone mad, I try to pick my battles.

I know I can’t control all the terrible things hurtling at me like so many—pew pew pew—laser guns, but I can control my response. Unfortunately, many days my response is to find a hidey-hole under my bed and live out the rest of my days there.

But that’s not as proactive as I’d like.

One of the major problems that worries me is the irreparable harm we’re doing to our planet. I can’t fix that, but I can try to take care of my little corner of it.

So I’m on the quest for leaving a smaller footprint than I have in the past.

The amount of plastic I throw away has begun to alarm me. It’s easy to overlook the occasional plastic container I toss out, but there was this harmonic convergence one weekend when I emptied a big liquid laundry detergent bottle, shampoo, conditioner, liquid body wash, AND dish soap!

It was a spectacularly horrifying pile of trash.

That’s when my quest began.

I now use a shampoo bar. This fits in the palm of my hand. Only two swirls on top of my head gives me plenty of suds. It’s kind of magic, I think.

Bar soap at the sinks. One is cranberry and makes the whole downstairs smell fruity and delightful. The other one looks and smells exactly like pumpkin bread. I cut it in half for each of our his-and-her sinks upstairs. As soon as I use up the rest of my liquid body wash, I think I’ll go for bar soap in the shower too.

Laundry strips. You can see, I think, that the sheet is perforated. For a regular load, you tear it at the perforation and toss the rectangle into the washer. If you have a particularly large or terrible load, just toss in the entire square. Our clothes come out clean without that heavy perfume scent.

And in our quest to eat less meat, I found some plant-based substitute for tacos, which I crave more than seems rational. It has a long shelf life so you can stock up when there’s a sale, making it cost-effective too. It’s easy to cook, just add it and a bit of your favorite oil to boiling water for ten minutes or so. I add more taco seasoning of my own, to make it even more taco-licious.

I really like all of these products and get nothing in return for saying so, but if you want to reduce your footprint too, I’d encourage you to find some products you can advocate for.

Craft fairs and consignment markets have tons of artisans creating soaps and shampoo bars. Go find some local ones. Plus, you’ll want to stick your nose in the soaps … they’re mostly delicious and I’m sure you’ll find some aromas you love. Added bonus … no chemicals!

My next quest is for dish and dishwasher detergent. Got any other ideas for me?

What do you do to save the planet?

6 thoughts on “Wait. Is that MY footprint??”

  1. We make our own sausages so we have a two-fold advantage: no packages to through away and are MUCH healthier for us. I may try some homemade soaps without perfume smells and chemicals (that I can’t even pronounce!) I recycle all that our community trash provider allows. I do take plastic bags to our local grocery stores including the ones from the not-to-be-named online giant. Since we use plastic storage for the sausages we make, we recycle them as fat and gristle throwaways. I want to start using all of the fruit (bananas mainly) for other purposes than just eating then throwing away the peeling and other uses of coffee grounds. I, also, use glass storage and bakeware containers put I hand wash everything; we did NOT get another dishwasher when ours broke down (I couldn’t see using those pods anymore!) Granted, these are all small things but everything a person does to help our environment is a BIG plus!

    1. You’re absolutely right, Cheryl … one person can’t do everything, but everyone can do something. We’ve tried to be more conscious to use plastic containers rather than zipper storage bags (even though we’d wash and reuse those many times). The only things we’ve figured out for banana peels and coffee grounds is to throw them in the compost pile in the backyard.

  2. I now try to recycle as much as possible. But I’ve never heard of a shampoo bar. Can you get them at a grocery store or do they need to be ordered?

    1. Helen, I’ve never seen them at my grocery store. I’ve never looked at any of the specialty-type stores like Natural Grocers, or Sprouts, or Trader Joes, though. I heard about them a couple of years ago, but when I couldn’t readily put my hands on one, it went to the back of my mind. But then when a friend and I were strolling through one of those crafty consignment stores, I saw these so I snapped one up to try. The problem with the one I bought, though, is that it had no label or anything on the little pouch it was in so I can’t give anyone the gal’s info! I could have sold a bunch of these for her if her marketing had been just a tad better.

  3. Love every bit of this! I’ve been curious about shampoo bars and laundry sheets for a while, so it’s great to hear that they actually work. I’ve been buying clothes from ThredUp (online secondhand shop) for about 2 years now to try to mitigate the environmental damage caused by the fashion industry (and that I do by supporting fast fashion, because, man, sometimes Target just has a really cute t-shirt). I’m also in a constant battle trying to figure out how urban composting works…ugh!

    1. My daughter turned me on to ThredUp … what a fun site! And I hear you about the fast fashion. The more I find out about the environmental damages from cheap clothes, the more appalled I get! And RETURNS from people shopping for clothes online who buy three different sizes because they’re not sure which will fit so they send the other two back. Those almost always end up in a landfill someplace because it’s just not cost-effective for the retailer to do what’s necessary to get those back in the marketplace. It’s mind-boggling.

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