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I started Gimme the Good Stuff in 2010 with the goal of helping families get rid of toxins in their homes–without going full DIY or crazy with anxiety! Fortunately, most of the things we do to reduce our own toxic burden also benefits the planet–natural cleaning products tend to be friendlier to our waterways than their conventional counterparts, wooden toys can be passed down for generations instead of winding up in a landfill, etc.
Still, one of Gimme’s goals for 2021 is to be kinder to the environment. For those of you who’ve shopped with us, you probably already notice that we sometimes reuse shipping materials. You may notice that your order arrives in a box that bears the logo of one of our vendors, or it might be packed with shredded white paper from the local community college, or with packing peanuts we’ve accumulated. We encourage you to re-use or recycle all the shipping materials you receive from us, and we hope that even if your box isn’t the most beautiful, it still feels like a luxury to receive it.
We know that there are ways we can do better this year–in our own homes and in the products we offer in our store. Ten of my favorite environmentally friendly products are pictured above, and here’s why I love them:
1) Cora Ball. Every time we do laundry, our clothes shed tiny, unseen microfibers (including plastic), which go down the drains of our washing machines and into our waterways. This brilliant ball is simply tossed in the washing machine to prevent microfiber from breaking off our cloths and collecting our microfibers into fuzz we can see and dispose of in the right way.
2) Bamboo bandages. The adhesive sheet of a standard band-aid is made from a type of plastic, often toxic PVC, none of which breaks down. Patch bandages are made with soft, organic bamboo fiber and gauze. Bamboo is a soft and breathable option for wound coverings that is naturally antimicrobial and the most sustainable option available.
3) Meliora plastic-free cleaning products. We’ve been offering a wide selection of non-toxic cleaning products for years, but we are increasingly looking to bring you brands that cut the plastic and the weight of shipping heavy bottles that are, after-all, mostly water. Meliora does just that. Their all-purpose cleaning tabs are a one-stop solution for cleaning the hard surfaces in your home in the most eco-friendly way possible. Hang on to any plastic spray bottle in your home, and then simply add one tablet to an empty bottle, add warm water, and gently shake until the tablet dissolves. This means no single-use plastic bottles, and no shipping of heavy bottles of cleaner to and from us or wherever else you shop!
4) Stainless steel ice cube tray. Regular plastic ice cube trays are not recyclable, so the next time you need to replace one, go old school! This tray is perfect for freezing small portions of food — chopped herbs, crushed garlic, pesto, baby food, and of course ice cubes. We also love to freeze leftover coffee that we accidentally let go cold for the perfect iced coffee.
5) Stasher bags. I have a drawer full of these, and haven’t bought a plastic baggie in years! These are eco-friendly, environmentally safe, and long-lasting. I use them to pack lunches, store leftovers, pack toiletries when traveling, and more.
6) Straight razor. Around 2 billion plastic razors are disposed of each year, and they all end up in landfills. This eco-friendly straight razor has a bamboo handle and a recyclable metal razor. My husband and my dad each got one for Christmas.
7) Cotton bowl covers. I use these daily to cover leftovers that I don’t want to transfer to a separate container. They are perfect for making bread or covering a salad to bring to a potluck, and I’ve heard they also work wonderfully as as a kombucha cover. The large size fits over a casserole dish. Washing them is super easy, and you’ll seriously never miss plastic cling wrap again.
8) Stainless steel cup. This unbreakable 8-ounce tumbler cup will last forever, and is an excellent alternative to disposable plastic cups for a picnic, a party, camping, or for children in their classrooms.
9) Stainless steel lunch box. These bento-style boxes mean you never have to use Tupperware containers or Ziploc bags again. Unlike many other lunch style boxes, the go2 container seals off each compartment COMPLETELY, making them perfect to send with kids to school.
10) Zip Top snack packs. This style of silicone bags is designed to fit in little hands–the zippers are large enough to be handled by even young children. They come in cute animal shapes, and are another step your family can take to reduce your use of single use plastics in packed lunches.
11) E-cloths. These cloths will get you off of paper towels for good, AND you don’t even need to use cleaner with them. One cloth cleans and has a scrubbing pocket to remove stuck-on residues and the other finishes surfaces to a brilliant streak-free finish–all using just water.
12) Food Huggers. I’ve been in love with this brand since I discovered their avocado savers a few years ago. Silicone Food Huggers do double duty, in my opinion–you don’t use plastic to save your food AND you throw away less food because they really work to keep it fresh. I also use them to seal open cans, jars, and glasses.
Comment below to tell me other ways you’re going more eco-friendly in 2021!
P.S. A few other small ways to be more kinder to the Earth: swap body washes for bar soaps, try a menstrual cup instead of tampons, wash dishes with solid soap, throw dryer balls in with your laundry to save energy, switch to refillable laundry concentrate, use a toothbrush that has a replaceable head, try cloth diapering–even if only part time, bring your own water bottle/coffee cup, and invest in wooden toys.