It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we moved into our cozy Cape Cod home.
As you can imagine, after everything that happened this year, we’re incredibly grateful that we moved in when we did. I couldn’t imagine being locked down anywhere else this year.
Among other things, 2020 made embracing an eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle tricky. I won’t lie, we swapped our green cleaning products for more potent, virus-killing products for a little while there. And since we don’t feel comfortable eating at most restaurants these days, the number of takeout containers in the trash increased.
But we still did what we could in our day-to-day life—and that included falling absolutely in love with new sustainable products and brands for our home that have become integral to our eco-friendly lifestyle.
Whether you’re on the hunt for new products to support a sustainable living goal for 2021 or looking for the perfect gift for your favourite ocean-loving friend; here are just a few of Dan & my favourites from around our home.
*Some of these items were gifted to me, some brands are clients or members of the Crystal Richard & Co. collective, however; all opinions and thoughts are my own. Oh and this post was NOT sponsored by MacArthur’s Market, I’m just obsessed and it’s my number one destination for sustainable living.
7 sustainable products we love for our home
LILY PADS REUSABLES UNPAPER TOWELS
What’s one of the household items we used A LOT of in 2020? Paper Towel.
Whether it was wiping down counters, doorknobs, high traffic areas, or our groceries—peak 2020 madness—we went through a lot. Mostly because we just had the ‘virus-be-gone’ mentality that we could spray, wipe, chuck.
But once things became a little less hairy in Moncton, Dan and I made a conscious effort to use less paper towels. (Even though we were still cleaning way more than normal.)
Our solution? Moncton’s very own Lily Pads Reusable’s UnPaper Towels. These non-paper towels are a single ply 100% cotton flannel and wash like a breeze. Just spray with your favourite disinfectant, wipe, toss in the wash and bam!—Fresh new unpaper towel!
And did I mention you can roll them to fit on a paper towel roll? They will naturally cling together and you will never know the difference.
WASTE FREE DISHWASHER TABS
I’m really fussy about what we use in our dishwasher because lets be real—dishwashers are kind of gross. They wash your dishes and a lot of the leftover food and guck just sticks around afterwards. I’m also really nitpicky if there’s any sort of after-wash smell that lingers on glassware or plates. It’s enough to kill my appetite.
So I was a little skeptical about switching my dishwasher detergent. That said, I was pleasantly surprised to fall in love with the Refillery dishwasher tabs from MacArthur’s Market. You can buy as little or as many as you want in bulk. We like to bring in a glass jar or container to fill but you can also bring them home in a paper bag if you forget your refillable.
Not only do our dishes come out sparkling and fresh, but these tabs help us be a little more waste-free underneath our sink. And that makes me happy at the end of the day.
ROSEMARY’S WELLNESS SOAP BARS
Since we both moved to working from home earlier this year, I’m stunned by just how many dishes two people can dirty. Since there’s nothing that drives me crazier than piles of dirty dishes on the counter, it’s not uncommon for us to stop by the sink to handwash a few dishes 2-3 times a day.
That’s a lot of dishsoap.
While we haven’t quit our liquid dish detergent entirely, we’ve drastically reduced how much we use by switching to dish soap bars like this one from another local biz, Rosemary’s Wellness. I love the citrus scent—far more than other dish soap bars I’ve tried—and it sits nicely on our counter, ready for a quick lather with our multipurpose wood scrub brush by Me Mother Earth. Available locally at MacArthur’s Market.
And on the topic of Rosemary’s Wellness, I couldn’t speak to this lovely local brand without mentioning that it’s Dan’s favourite soap company. He uses their products both in the shower for bathing and as a hand soap. His favourite scent? He loves the Tangerine Chia.
BEES LOUISE BEESWAX FOOD WRAPS
I talked about beeswax food wraps in my 2019 gift guide post, but if you haven’t discovered the magic of beeswax food wraps—where have you been?
Thanks to these nifty little covers, we were able to ditch saran wrap for good a long time ago. And while there are many brands to choose from online, I can’t say enough good things about Bees Louise out of Sussex, New Brunswick. I mean, just the name. Come on la!
These food wraps are handmade using local beeswax and 100% cotton. They’re not only reusable, but they’re also biodegradable for when they do finally start to break down. They wash easily, are far more user-friendly than saran wrap in my opinion and keep your food fresh, for longer. When it comes to making sustainable lifestyle changes, this one is an easy switch.
And you should see what they can do for an open ripe avocado!
UPFRONT COSMETICS SHAMPOO BARS
Real Talk: Why does shampoo and conditioner still have to come in plastic bottles? With millions of hair care product packaging hitting the landfills and oceans every year, there’s got to be a better way. And if you’re open to switching things up, you can make waves by switching to Upfront Cosmetics: makers of salon-quality hair care without the plastic waste.
Handmade right here in New Brunswick, Upfront Cosmetics shampoo and conditioner bars are vegan, sulphate-free, paraben-free and Leaping Bunny certified—making their products safe for the whole family. And as a blonde-4-ever, I love their Blonde Toner bars!
Oh, did I mention they’re 1% for the planet?
No one loves sipping seafood caesars with a cute straw more than me, but as a mermaid on a mission to keep plastic straws out of sea turtle noses—I’ve traded my plastic straws for the reusable varieties these past few years.
With so many options to choose from including glass, silicone, and stainless steel, there’s really no excuse not to switch to reusable straws and save a sea turtle now is there?
I’m a huge fan of Mermaid Straws, for obvious reasons. I use their smoothie straw every morning at breakfast. They also happen to be 1% for the Planet!
But if you’re on the lookout for something Canadian, I recently discovered these handmade glass straws from Vancouver company Enviro Glass Straw and I’m in love. You can order online or shop their various sizes and collection at—you guessed it—MacArthur’s Market! I swear I do shop at other places on occasion!
MY HINZA SUGARCANE BAG
Last but certainly not least, there’s one of my favourite eco-friendly items that has travelled near and far with me in 2020, and that was my seafoam coloured Hinza Bag. These Swedish-made bags are extremely durable and are made of sugarcane-based bioplastic that can be recycled. How crazy is that?
Whether I’m hitting the road for the weekend, heading to the beach, or just popping over to the farmer’s market down the street, this bag is usually in tow. I love how easily I can disinfect it and wash it (especially because 2020) and with an add-on zip-up insert bag—I can make it as multi-functional as I need it to be.
Want your own Hinza? Pick one up locally at MacArthur’s Market or order online from Well.ca.
We’re not perfect, but I do like to remind myself that these small changes make big waves over time. And of course, we’re always on the lookout to learn about new products and brands for our home. What are your must-have sustainable products for your home? Drop us a comment or DM me on my shell phone.