Care a Whole Awful Lot

“It’s pretty amazing that our society has reached a point where the effort necessary to extract oil from the ground, ship it to a refinery, turn it into plastic, shape it appropriately, truck it to a store, buy it and bring it home, is considered to be less effort than what it takes to just wash the spoon when you’re done with it.” ~Unknown

In my garden I have a space for natives because I cannot change too much in a garden that is not mine. But being allowed to have a space for these beautiful native plants, bordering the woods, has given nature an anchor for more of a habitat. Also I add many flowers for the pollinators around my little garden hoping to give neighbors some inspiration to add more flowers in their spots.

But even with my native garden and not using chemicals, I felt I needed to do more for earth day…for every day. So earlier this year, I began to wonder what I could do. Small purposeful actions to help reduce my footprint. To reduce the plastics, the paper and chemicals we use everyday without a thought.

First was paper and specifically paper towels. I noticed we used them all the time, but knew there must be something else to use instead. Then as I began my research I discovered the reusable paper towel. I really liked the description of Papaya Reusable Paper Towels. Described as all-natural, 100% compostable, ultra-absorbent, extremely durable, doesn’t smell and replaces 17 ROLLS of paper towel. I can attest that all this is true, and that they last months, can be cleaned with soap and water or thrown into the washer. We simply hang them on the hook they come with to dry. And I can tell you we love them. I use them to clean everything and have them in several rooms. There are other brands you can check out for yourself. Read the reviews. And I definitely haven’t used a paper towel except once in the last few months.

The other area I desperately wanted to reduce use of was plastic especially after seeing most plastic isn’t recycled. We started with replacing all our plastic containers with glass only.

And then moved onto plastic wrap, sandwich bags and storage bags. Instead we replaced them with silicon storage/sandwich bags.

And silicon tops that can be placed on top of glass bowls and other containers that might require plastic wrap. They can also be put on top of dishes that you heat up in the microwave.

Most recently, we stopped using laundry and dishwasher soap in plastic containers. Again there are many different brands you can peruse and check for yourself. We settled on Earth Breeze because they use no plastic jugs, have biodegradable packaging, down to the ink they use, good for sensitive skin (I need that) using dermatologist tested gentle ingredients. And they still are tough on stains and removes odor as well as being vegan and not tested on animals. We love just throwing a small sheet into the washer, and the envelopes they come in are easy to store.

We loved their product so much that we changed our dishwasher pods to Earth Breeze Dishwasher Tablets. I can corroborate they cut grease and grime, are easy to use and requires no scrubbing. They dissolve easily and uses no plastic packaging.

I decided to do this post to let folks know there are choices. Choices in what you use or don’t use in your garden. What you use or don’t use in your house if you are looking for a change. And I am not getting any remuneration of any kind for mentioning any of these products. These are simply the ones I found and liked. You may have other things you are using or doing to reduce your use of paper, plastic, chemicals or something else. I’d love to hear about it.

To celebrate my native garden and trying to make a difference in my little spot in the world, I made a vase with native wildflowers in my garden.

The native plants I chose were: white yarrow, Achillea millefolium; coral honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens and fleabane, Erigeron philadelphicus.

It’s amazing how beautiful this native yarrow looks in my garden. Right now swooning as it’s like having my meadow back.

All the pictures shared in this post were taken with my Nikon Coolpix or iPhone camera, and manipulated on my iPhone using the apps, Pixlr and Prisma. You can follow my progress with #the100dayproject in my Instagram and Facebook feed.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2023.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

18 Replies to “Care a Whole Awful Lot”

  1. Well done you.
    We are working in the same direction.
    I compost everything I can, and while we still put our bins out each week, we could go weeks before they ‘need’ to be emptied.
    We had a plastic recycling facility but it went bust. I miss it, and try and use as little as possible, including rejecting products that come plastic wrapped.

  2. Beautiful! And so happy you used Yarrow in your vase… I am doing a wild and weedy post on it this week. Reducing your use of plastic in so many ways is praiseworthy. We recycle all we can here, and avoid it where we can too.
    Have a lovely week enjoying the flowers in your little meadow Donna.

  3. I’ve seen ads for earth breeze and I think I’ll give it a try. Your wildflowers are special and look great together Donna. Love the coral honeysuckle.

  4. I like the idea of that reusable paper towel, Donna. Don’t forget though that one of the most environmentally friendly things to do with any plastic is to keep reusing it.
    Your native vase is really sweet – and just as pretty as one with cultivated blooms

  5. You chose well with your natives and kudos for doing what you can. Many of us are doing the same. One step at a time…

  6. Kudos, Donna! All good ideas. I’ve tried the reusuable “Swedish dishcloths” but generally just rely on rags cut from old towels that I launder and reuse. We get our drinking water using reusable jugs we refill every 1-2 weeks from local self-service machines. I know there are some stores that will now refill your own containers with everything from soap and cleaning products to makeup and food but those services still aren’t local here. In any case, we need to do more.

  7. This is an awesome post. I have tried several different times to press “like” on your blog, however for whatever reason it doesn’t take. Wish it would, cause your garden and earth care posts are wonderful. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much. That is too bad as it is working for others. I wonder if it is your browser. Sometimes I have the same problem on other people’s post in WP in certain browsers.

  8. This is a great post, Donna. Thanks for all the wonderful and useful ideas. I have tried some of them; I have some of the reusable ziploc bags, and I even wash, and reuse regular ziplocs until they become unusable. I hadn’t heard about the reusable paper towels. I’ll check them out. 🙂

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