BYOC-Bring your own cup!
So, for more then a decade, we’ve been carrying around our own coffee mugs and water bottles (before Nalgenes were “scarey”) wherever we went. We’ve probably saved thousands and thousands of coffee cups from going in the landfill without blinking an eye. It just became a habit and I liked it better when I didn’t have to worry about putting that plastic top on my scalding hot drink and risk burning myself and wasting a good hot beverage (I have a very good memory of not applying that top so perfectly once.) Plus, it just kept my drink warmer then those paper cups with the cardboard bracelets always did. Now, we can’t leave the house without taking our cups just in case we might grab a cup of joe while we are out on the weekends. We even bought a couple of plastic mugs with an IKEA special where you could get lifetime coffee where you purchased the cup. Now that’s dedication!
Check out this coffee waste calculator and see how many pounds of waste you can save by just using a reusable cup!
Camping Necessities (Stainless Steel water bottles, Dr. Bronner’s
Peppermint and Sal Suds natural soaps)
We’ve moved from using the bulky plastic bottles to mainly stainless steel bottles. They clean up really well and don’t seem to get as funky as the plastic ones.( Here is a link to a page on Nalgene’s website that has a good FAQ section on BPA, here. )We fill those up for traveling, to take to a workout class, and for heading to the park. Instead of stocking up on plastic water bottles for camping, we’ll fill up those large reusable water jugs with filtered water or just purchase multiple gallons at a time. We definitely have to invest in a Brita or other water filter, since we are not fans of our local tap flavor! Some good brands of stainless steel bottles to look for are Kleen Kanteen, Sigg,and a company out of California that I just stumbled upon with some beautiful designs called EarthLust.
Investing in reusable anything whether it’s water bottles, coffee mugs, or kitchen napkins is a great idea for saving money and reducing waste. I don’t use paper napkins anymore, just some reusable cloth napkins I got on sale from Steinmart that I absolutely love. We keep paper towels in the house just in case we need them, but they don’t go to constant use in the house for cleaning or just wiping up spills.
For me, living “lighter” on the planet shouldn’t have to cost you anything, it should actually save you some cash. Even using refillable mugs might get you a “cup” discount at a local coffee shop, so it’s definitely worth a try! I feel like every little bit helps, and If I can be conscious of what I’m throwing away, or even recycling, then I’m making steps to living simpler. It stretches my imagination when I force myself to think of ways to reuse things in a different way (without becoming a pack rat). It’s these kind of habits I’m trying to form, like making sure we have food for the week so that we don’t eat out, and cleaning up once every day so that when Saturday comes I’m not overwhelmed by a house that looks like its been through a tornado. OK, so I think I went off on a rabbit trail there, but those are my simple living thoughts for the day. Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps………….
Be faithful in small things, that is where your strength lies. –Mother Theresa