Whether it's Earth Day or just a normal day, being more conscious about reducing the number of disposable products we use in our daily lives benefits everyone—but especially parents. After all, our children will inherit this planet and we don't want them to be left with a big mess from us. Here at Motherly, we've been thinking about how to reduce our own disposable use and testing out longer lasting products that can replace the ones we typically toss at the end of a kitchen clean-up.
Here are six products we love that you can find on Amazon:
Paper towels are one of the most used items in our kitchen and I had hoped that by replacing standard paper towels with a roll of these that we would be able to cut down on the amount of towels going in the garbage. These bamboo towels come on a roll and are torn off like paper towels but are much stronger and can be thrown in the washing machine. (Unfortunately, my partner misunderstood and threw away a significant number of our bamboo towels.) A word of advice: Make sure everyone in the family knows that these towels belong in the laundry hamper, not the garbage can. You can wash and reuse these multiple times, and one roll could last about 6 months!
We're trying to reduce waste so we're no longer buying paper straws but I've just got to have a straw when I'm having a cold drink (and my preschooler is obsessed with straws) so we've been on the hunt for a dishwasher safe, reusable straws. The first ones we tried were completely stainless steel and I nearly chipped my tooth, so I was happy to find these Klean Kanteen straws with silicon tops on Amazon. The little brush they come with is great for cleaning them, especially since we sometimes use them for smoothies.
Purchasing these microfiber cleaning cloths was another attempt to reduce my family's consumption of paper towels, and it worked! Unlike with the bamboo towels, there was no confusion about these clothes being reusable. We just threw them in the washing machine with towels or jeans and had a fresh stash for all the messes we are constantly making. I like having the different colors to keep kitchen cloths, floor cloths and bathroom cloths totally separate.
This 13.5 ounce vacuum insulation thermos was tested by a #TeamMotherly staff member who totally loves it. The photo above shows it holding ice cream, but this triple-walled, stainless steel container can hold healthier foods too, and keep them hot or cold. It's a step up from nearly disposable plastic food containers so many of us have rattling around in our kitchen drawers and (unlike many of those containers) is leak-proof in a backpack or diaper bag.
Multiple Motherly staff members have tried these wraps and as someone who did I can say they are totally worth it. If you're trying to cut down on plastic wrap in your kitchen (or have a preschooler who likes to take one bite out everything and save it for later) these beeswax wraps are an eco-friendly and reusable alternative. There are a few brands out there. We like these ones on Amazon and the LilyBee beeswax food wraps are a non-Amazon alternative.