Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Going Paperless

Something I've always wanted is to go as paperless as possible. In the last year I've been making small changes to try and implement this goal. Here is where I've purchased all my paperless products and also some thoughts on this journey.

My desire to go paperless/plastic free grew from my desperate researching when I was battling major health issues. I went to the doctor several times and was told nothing was wrong with me. But I knew something was. It took three years but I am now completely lost down biomedical rabbit hole--and also no longer in chronic pain, so I call it a win/win. One of the things I researched was plastics and paper, and as I was in the process of removing all hydrogenated, refined food from my diet I decided why not remove it from every part of my life as well--at least as much as I could. This was secondary to my goal of feeling better (because when you are in pain all the time your first thought is getting OUT of pain, not tossing your napkins).

So now I'm paleo and have more or less solved my issues biomedically--I want to go paperless.

Here is where I am so far and where I want to be: (none of these are affiliate links)

Unpaper Towels - I bought my unpaper towels (they clip together and hang from a paper towel dispenser) from Generation Me. I just clip them back on the end after I wash them. I've had them almost for two years now, and I love them. We have not bought any paper towels since purchasing (we still have some actually).

Cloth Napkins - I bought a set of blue cloth napkins to use to clean up Reuben's messes and as table napkins from Moo Cow Mama. I love them! I bought them at the same time I purchased the above unpaper towels so almost two years now. They have held up very nicely, and we have not had to buy any napkins since.

Cloth Pads - I went full cloth for my period almost three years ago! I bought my starter set from Pleat, but it looks like she's closed her shop. I love love having a cloth period-- no more itchy chemicals against my skin or plastics. It's been a game changer and it's really not that gross.

Cloth Diapers - My son wears cloth. He wore cloth from 2 months to 6 months, and from 9 months with no end in sight (he is 15m as I write this). We took a break when he started solids because I was overwhelmed with his allergies. I love our cloth diapers now, and plan to use them until we potty train! I bought them from Green Mountain Diapers.

Another thing I did was get rid of all pans that had any sort of teflon coating. We use only stainless steel pans. I also replaced all our cutlery (serving spoons and spatulas) with stainless steel versions. No more plastic! These two things I got at the local Krogers.

In the kitchen area, I replaced plastic sandwich bags with two reusable snack bags. To replace my freezer bags, I bought three silicone food storage bags. I need a few more of those, as we freeze a lot of things. To replace all the plastic leftover containers, I now store leftovers in jars, I bought a set of ball jars with lids from the local Target. Right now we have 12, but I want a second set in a bigger size. To replace plastic wrap, I bought some bees wrap.

For water, I own two glass water bottles. This means we no longer have to buy bottled water, and saves us space and money. I also recently replaced all our worn out and scratched cookie sheets with better browning cookie sheets. I bought two.

We also use reusable bags at the grocery store as well as reusable produce bags.

I am also trying to reduce the amount of plastic I wear by buying only cotton, wool or linen clothing. This is hard. Right now I don't get out to shop much, so I have a stitch fix box--if anyone knows of a ethical clothing subscription box, let me know and I'll drop stitch fix like a hot potato.

So that is where I am on this journey right now. My plan is to be even more paperless by 2018. I want to try a fully paperless kitchen (composting) and also learn to make my own toothpaste. I want to figure out paperless for tissues (like when you blow your nose) and also how to buy without creating so much trash. Right now there is one store where you can go to get dry products like beans and rice in bulk, reducing waste.

If anyone has any tips or suggestions I would love to hear them! What should I try next?