Wednesday, April 10, 2019

8 Household/Parenting Hacks That Also Respect the Earth

This post is in partnership with Cascade Pure Essentials available at Meijer. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible. 

Since having my first child five years ago, I have slowly developed a (healthy, I swear) obsession with finding different household hacks and parent must-have products to help make my day-to-day life easier. They really do add up, and when you're trying to squeeze 30ish hours into 24, those little hacks and must-haves can make a world of difference. That said, it is also important to me to respect the environment when implementing them. It's easy to save time by living a disposable, fast-paced lifestyle, but it doesn't leave a very positive impact on the earth (or provide the little ones with good examples on how to be eco-conscious). With Earth Day coming up on April 22nd, I thought it would be the perfect time to share with you some of the hacks and must-haves that help simplify my life as a mama while still keeping the state of the planet in mind.

1. Use reusable shopping bags.
There was a period of time where I was so overwhelmed with parenting and work and life that I couldn't even think about the damage I was doing just using plastic bags every time I went shopping. It seemed so must easier to just grab them, until I realized it really wasn't. The bags piled up, then I had to take them to a special place to recycle them. It's genuinely easier to get a few great reusable shopping bags or totes and just throw them in your car for when you go to the store. Even better, you'll always have bags nearby to carry in all of the random stuff your kids leave in your vehicle. (Seriously, the amount of toys, crayons, paper, etc. that accumulate in our car over the course of a week is mind blowing.) And since plastic bags take between 400 and 1,000 years to break down and are often mistaken for food by wildlife, you're also making a positive choice for the planet. 

2. Reuse paper.
Easiest hack ever, and it saves time, money, and the earth. It is unbelievable how much junk greets me at my mailbox each day, but those blanket envelopes make the best grocery lists, note paper, and even coloring pages for the kids. My 5 year old uses them to practice her writing and math as well. (Also make sure to recycle whats left, and to choose to pay bills online.)

3. Wash your dishes with a product that you feel good about.
When it comes to household products, Cascade pure essentials tops my must-have list. This new dishwasher detergent makes my life easier by using the trusted cleaning power of Cascade (which we've used in my family since I was a kid!) to get my dishes gloriously clean (including washing away stuck on food and messes, which happens often thanks to my kids) on the first round. This means I can save time - and water - by skipping pre-washing at the sink. Cascade pure essentials makes clean up so easy that I no longer buy disposable plates and silverware, even when I'm throwing a party. It is also a better choice for my family thanks to its simplified formula that is free of phosphates and chlorine bleach and contains ⅓ bio based ingredients, its dye-free liquid top, and its perfumes that are infused with essential oils. It is truly of one the pure essentials (get it? get it?) in my home that I count on to make my day a little easier.

Oh, and while I'm talking about it, I've got some good news for you about my beloved Cascade pure essentials as well. Through the month of April, you can take $1 off a Cascade Pure Essentials item using Meijer's mPerks App. And in honor of Earth Day, Meijer is also offering buy one, get one 30% off all Pure Essentials from April 14th through 20th (available at checkout). Yes!

4. Use reusable water bottles. 
Everyone is well aware that plastic water bottles are horrific for the planet, but I still think a reminder is important. Also, reusable water bottles make life easier. Truly. My kids each have one that they chose that they use throughout the day at home, in the car, and at dance and sports. Keep a few around your house and in your vehicle and fill them up at drinking fountains when you're out and about. Everyone stays hydrated, and you're doing a favor to all those landfills here in the U.S. that currently contain 2 million tons of discarded water bottles (!!!). (Side note: ditch those single use plastic straws for reusable straws while you're at it!)

5. Grow your own organic veggies and herbs. 
Organic produce isn't cheap. When you grow your own, you're saving all sorts of money, and saving time too (because you don't need to make a grocery store run when you've got salad in your backyard everyday!).You don't have to go crazy either. We just do small vegetable and herb container gardens each year, but it's plenty. When you grow your own organic food, you also reduce your carbon footprint and avoid pesticides and other harmful chemicals. It's also a such a great way to teach kids responsibility, and about where food originates.

6. Compost. 
While you're at it, compost! Composting is one of the best hacks ever you guys. It's so easy to just throw scraps in a compost bin, and the compost it creates will help your garden grow without the use of toxic fertilizers.

7. Reuse clothing.
I'm not going to lie - I love clothes shopping for my little ones. But I also love clothes swapping with friends. Many of my kids favorites outfits are hand-me-downs from friends, and we pass on clothing when we're done as well. Kids, especially when they're babies and toddlers, grow out of clothing so quickly that it's often barely worn. Instead of tossing and buying new as they grow, trade with other parents. As someone who used to work in the fashion industry, I can confidently say that as a whole, the industry creates massive amounts of waste, especially with all of the fast, disposable fashion available. It also sucks away time and money to constantly purchase new clothing for growing little ones.

8. Use eco-friendly light bulbs. 
These are a must-have for me. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), light emitting diodes (LEDs), and Halogen incandescent lightbulbs last 3 to 25 times longer than regular lightbulbs, so they're money savers and time savers. They also use 25% to 80% less energy than regular incandescent light bulbs, which is better for the environment.

What earth-conscious household or parenting hacks do you use to help make your life easier? What are you must-haves? Have you tried Cascade pure essentials yet?



  1. Oops got cut off. Especially the reusable bag, we should all be doing that. I'll have to try this type of Cascade too.

  2. These are great tips :) We switched all our light bulbs to eco-friendly and hopefully soon we will have a raised bed in our garden to grow our own veggies! Happy Sunday!


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