A new year … a new resolution
Yep, it’s that time of year again. While many people go without setting resolutions at the beginning of the year, I actually like having a new focus each January … even if it is thrown out the window by the time Mardi Gras rolls around. Sure, every year I resolve to lose weight, exercise more, drink less, read more …. I also try to focus on another area of my life, such as professional development, being more spiritual, etc.
This year I’ve decided to focus on practices and products that are better for me AND the planet. While I don’t think it’s all gloom and doom that some people would want you to believe — I do think we could do more to protect the planet. That’s one reason why we started St. Tammany Soapworks. Aside from using all natural ingredients that’s better for your skin, it’s also better for the environment. So what else can we do?
Using “cleaner” cleaning products
We’ve been using all natural cleaning and laundry products from Melaleuca for years. We love that they use only safe, proven, and trusted ingredients - nothing harsh or dangerous that would cause harm to us or the planet. And their products are concentrated, “eco-friendly” and reduce waste. I’ve also been experimenting with making our own — vinegar with essential oils can work wonders!
Finding “cleaner” beauty products
Right now, I have vowed to not purchase any more beauty products until I use up the stash I have in my bathroom drawer and cabinet. No sense in adding those to the landfill while I’m buying more. And I’m beginning to research clean beauty companies that have the same mission that we do at St. Tammany Soapworks … all natural, sustainable ingredients with minimal packaging. Do you know of any that I should check out? I welcome recommendations!
Using less plastic
And speaking of landfills, we are trying to do as much as we can to use less plastic. In the U.S. alone, we use 37 million tons of plastic each year, with single use plastic bottles and plastic bags being at the top of that list. For food storage, we switched to glass containers a few years ago, and we just purchased some Stasher Bags for additional food storage on the go.
Growing our own food
We would love to build a raised garden to grow some of our own vegetables this year. We live in the suburbs, so I’m not talking about a full fledged crop. And if you know me, you know that I have a brown thumb, so I’m kind of depending on hubby to pull through on this one. Growing your own food has many benefits, such as saving money, having fresher fruits and vegetables, eliminating plastic packaging and of course reducing our carbon footprint.
We also plan to start composting our food scraps and other biodegradable items (I'm looking at this one). When you compost, you’re putting valuable nutrients back into the soil and creating nutrient-rich mulch for use in gardening. Composting reduces greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Once something has reached the end of its lifecycle, it will be a great feeling to throw it out into the compost bin, knowing that it will break down naturally and create an organic material to enrich our garden (and hopefully keep those veggies alive!).
Supporting more local businesses
The transportation of goods across the country is a huge source of greenhouse gas emissions. When you reduce the distance that a product needs to travel, you reduce the amount of gasoline that is burned during transport. Less gas = fewer emissions. Shopping locally also keeps more money in our economy, which is always a good thing!
Now this is in no way a complete list. Will we be perfect? Absolutely not. But if we try, I know we can make a small dent in the overall problem, and I’ll feel like we’re doing our part.