Did you know there are a plethora of affordable and sustainable household swaps you can make that are better for your families health and well being? We have found 10 Simple Affordable and Sustainable Household Swaps you can make to do just that. It’s a win, win, win solution.
In this post I made comparisons of products that could help the environment, be healthier alternatives for your family, and just as importantly could save you money.
Let’s start with some common soaps. We will cover hand soap, dish soap, dishwasher tabs, and laundry soap. So let’s begin!
Note: I am updating this on 7/7/2023 at 1:20pm, and some of these prices or availability may change over time. These are all found on amazon. If you utilize my links I do get a commission, that being said, I would never encourage anyone to buy something I would not buy myself.
These foaming hand soap tablets are easy to use, reduces both Plastic Waste and Carbon Impact. You just need to add it to 8 oz of water, let it dissolve and give it a shake. The non toxic formula cleans gently, and has a light citrus scent. The cost was 16.95 at the time I am writing this for 12 packs.
We compared this item to dial foaming hand soap which was a pack of 8 for 19.74.
This seventh generation dish soap is 100% plant based biodegradable is gentle on your hands but tough enough to break through tough grease. It come’s in different scents, and is 0.15 per oz. Whereas, dawn platinum is 0.43 per oz) .
- Many of us use our dishwasher more than we hand wash our dishes, so we also looked at options for dishwasher tablets. These Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Packs for Sparkling Dishes Free & Clear Dishwasher Tabs cost $0.31/oz. They have an enzyme-rich formula that cuts through tough grease and food residue to leave dishes sparkling clean, while being free of fragrances, dyes, phosphates, and chlorine bleach. This package is for 45 loads. For comparison, we posted the link for Cascade as well for 36 loads.
This seventh generation laundry detergent has no dyes or artificial brighteners, and the scents are essential oils. It uses an enzyme formula that is tough on stains, but easy on the environment. If you compare the liquid laundry detergent seventh generation is 0.20 per load for 132 loads. Gain was 0.28 per load for 146 loads, and Tide was 0.36 per load for 110 loads.
We actually use powdered detergent, when we purchased our HE machine we were told that the powdered detergent is better for the machine, so I did a price comparison of the powdered options as well.
We typically use Gain, as we usually have coupons, and it is reasonably priced. When purchasing it on amazon, I am paying approximately 0.24 per load .
Laundry detergent sheets
Seventh generation didn’t have powdered detergent options, but they did have packs similar to tide pods or gain flings. So I did look further for another eco friendly option. In doing so, I actually found these sheets, which are climate pledge friendly, and so much better for our skin, and even if you have to use 2 sheets for an extra large load, we would be paying less. Each sheet is currently 0.07, so an extra large load would be 0.14. I purchased some back in May when I originally published this article, and I love them. There are thousands of 5 star reviews. We have pets, and even the blankets that would previously still smell like them came out soft and clean. If you have heavy loads I do recommend using the second sheet, otherwise 1 sheet is more than enough to clean a normal load of laundry. This is the route my family will continue to go.
Washing Machine Cleaners
Washing machine cleaners have become very popular the last few years, as we try to take better care of our machines. And let’s face it, if you don’t clean your machines, you get that nasty grime, and who wants that on their clothes. We purchased these Active washing machine tablets, which did a wonderful job of cleaning our machine, and with how many come in a package it will last us a couple of years.
The Active washing machine cleaning tablets had over 30k 5 star reviews when we purchased them in May. They are environmentally friendly, and much cheaper than the Tide alternative. 24 tablets for 15.95 for the Active, and 11.99 for a 5 count use for Tide.
Moving along to dryer sheets. We use the bounce dryer sheets. We have 3 dogs, so we attract fur, and when bounce came out with the pet hair guard sheets we were ecstatic. Bounce is about 0.08 per sheet, as you can see here to compare.
I do wonder though about the residue that might be getting left behind on our clothes, and our clothes are in direct contact with our bodies all of the time, so what are we absorbing over time. So I found these wool dryer balls which soften Your Clothes without the Harmful and Toxic Chemicals found in Fabric Softeners and Dryer Sheets. They last hundreds of loads, and dry clothes faster which saves on electricity.
The only concern that I had was pet hair, but here are some clever catchers of pet hair and lint that you put in with your washing machine. There’s actually a video here. It is certainly worth giving it a try.
All Purpose Cleaner / Multi-Surface Cleaner
One product we switched to about a year ago was this 9 Elements Multi-Purpose Cleaner, it comes in different scents. We prefer the lavender scented, we recently tried the lemon, and I am recommending going with the lavender. The 9 Elements cleaner uses a vinegar-powered solution to clean, it dissolves greasy residues, removes tough soap scum, and fights hard-water stains, with no rinse required. Tested to be safe on most surfaces, including stainless steel, laminate, ceramic, and hardwood. And is a safer alternative to Lysol and Clorox. 9 Elements cost is $0.31/oz. The Lysol alternative is $0.36 per oz. The Clorox alternative is $0.60 per oz.
I admit, we do still use paper towels, but about 3 years ago, we also started using these sweedish cloths, which cut down on our paper towel usage. They are super absorbant, and strong enough to scrub dishes. When I purchased them, they came in a pack of 6, but now they come as a pack of 10. They are washable, and since we purchased them I have only tossed 2 of them out. The rest of them are still doing the job. It is well worth the purchase. We compared them to Bounty and Brawny which were 2.29 to 2.50 per 100 sheets. And imagine how many trees it would save, even if it just reduces paper towel use in your house by half.
Plastic waste is huge, and there are a few simple swaps we can do to reduce that as well.
Straws. Yes plastic straws are cheap and convenient, but there are more sustainable options. Of course there is a metal option, but when you drink from metal straws you sometimes have extreme temperatures. Freeze your lips on a shake, or burn them with coffee. We found this silicone option. This pack of 12 straws comes with 2 cleaning brushes and carrying case for 8.95. As compared to a box of straws for 3.00, it is an investment, but they can last virtually forever if cared for, and you don’t have to worry about that metallic taste or extreme temperatures on your lips.
Food storage is another huge plastic waste. We have started to freeze food in glass containers, but you can only store so many pyrex containers.
Plus we needed to look at options for food storage for lunches as well, so we did come up with 3 suggestions.
Jars…just regular mason jars. The jars keep fruits and vegetables fresher longer, which can help reduce food waste as well as save on unnecessary plastics. Jars don’t really travel well for school or work lunches though, and those ziplock bags are so convenient. Well here are a couple of options to use instead of the ziplock bags.
This pack of 21 Reusable Storage Bags are BPA Free, Leak-proof Freezer Bags, and consist of 7 Reusable Gallon Bags, 7 Reusable Sandwich Bags, and 7 Reusable Snack Bags. Perfect for Lunch, and they are Washable and Eco-Friendly for food. The cost of the particular one that I purchased is 21.99, but there are similar options for less. Compare to Ziplock 150 bags for 20.50, and the reusable option reduces plastic waste by 500 bags. These Eco-Friendly Beeswax Wraps For Food, are Organic and Sustainable. They’re a good replacement for sandwich bags or saran wrap. Available in a 9 pack, with 1 large, 5 medium, and 3 Small wraps, in cute patterns. They are washable and reusable, and reasonably priced at 13.98. Included for comparison is the Glad cling and press options that these are created to replace, to eliminate plastic waste.
These are just a few ways we can help the environment, as well as take better care of our bodies, and our budgets will thank us too.
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