Julie Allen - 9/12/22

The Beginner's Guide to Eco-Friendly/Sustainable Living: 5 Simple Swaps

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When beginning an eco-friendly/sustainable journey, things can feel really overwhelming. I struggle with being a perfectionist still and this idea of “having to do it perfectly” was a barrier to me starting the journey. I wanted to throw anything and everything with plastic away and start over. Then I realized, that was pretty much everything. From clothing (polyester is plastic) to my laundry detergent, to shampoo, the list was never ending and that was a daunting feeling. Feeling like I couldn’t do it right, wouldn’t be making enough of an impact, and sure that I would fail, the old stories we tell ourselves are strong and tend to find their way into our daily lives until we recognize and rewrite them. 

I had to realize there is no perfect solution to sustainability 

There is no one way to do it “right.” It comes down to small changes and consistency. Just like so many other things in our lives. We do not have to do it all. We start where we are and we go from there. Leaning away from this idea of perfection and into gentle compassion. Learning to honor ourselves and Mother Earth in our choices. Becoming a conscious consumer. Aligning our values with our purchases and learning how to nourish ourselves in our lives authentically.

And simplicity.

As a mother of 2 small humans, my sustainable journey has to be easy. It cannot complicate my life because I won’t do it. These are just a few of my favorite product switches that I have made in my personal life. All of these and more are available at the boutique in downtown Oregon City and on our website. It doesn't have to be complicated. We start small. We start with where we're at. And then we go from there.

5 Simple Eco-Friendly Swaps

1.Laundry Detergent Sheets: I love these! This was one of the first eco swaps I made and it required zero % effort. 100% recyclable packaging as opposed to the large plastic containers typical laundry detergent comes in, cruelty and plastic free, safe for babies and delicates. This was an easy swap and works great on kid’s laundry even! Did I mention the young humans I have that LOVE to dig in the mud? 10/10 recommend these. 

eco friendly laundry detergent
eco friendly laundry detergent

2.Wool Dryer Balls: Another super easy swap to make. Dryer sheets contain SO many chemicals and these wool dryer balls are the easiest thing to replace them with. No toxins, add a couple of drops of essential oils if you want a scent, but seriously, these are so easy. I leave mine in the dryer and that’s that. I have the 6 pack and have used the same ones for 6 months already. 

Wool Dryer Balls

3.Shampoo/Conditioner bars: Love, love, love these! The shampoo lathers great and my hair looks fantastic. It’s also color treated and I have not noticed any issue with fading. One thing I will say, is you’ll want to have a soap holder or a soap saver bag to set these on/in. Keep out of the direct water and they’ll last a long time. I love mine. I have the peppermint ones but both the scents we have are great. Another easy peezy swap. Zero extra effort and no plastic. 

Eco friendly shampoo bar

Our Shampoo/Conditioner bars are a easy way to make your life more sustainable. 

4.Shave bar: Yes, these are amazing. Another SUPER easy eco friendly swap. Lathers great, leaves my skin super soft, and smells so wonderful! And once again…zero plastic! And quite possibly the coolest thing about this one in particular is the labels are made from seed paper! Plant it and watch it grow into wildflowers! I couldn’t possibly love these anymore. Another one you’ll want to keep out of the direct water stream and on a soap dish. 

5.My last simple swap that I initially made are these Marely Monster’s Unpaper Towels. First, this company is women owned and based out of Eugene, OR. That automatically gets a couple of points from me. Supporting businesses that align with my values is important to me and I firmly believe in supporting women owned and BIPOC owned businesses first and foremost. Humans first. Humans will always come first to me. Getting more money into the hands of historically marginalized groups of people is a way to start changing things. So these upaper towels…I use them all the time. My kids use them. They wash great. I’ve had mine for about 6 months and wash them roughly once a week. No pilling, they’re soft, and my kids are excited about picking what color they get to use. This is a simple sustainable swap perfect to use instead of napkins and paper towels. Available in both a 6 pack or a 12 pack. 

Marley Monster unpaper towels
marley monster unpaper towels

Start where you are. There is no perfect way to be sustainable. All we have to do is the next right thing. This idea of needing to be “perfectly sustainable” simply is not true and oftentimes can prevent us from starting the journey. Do what you can with where you are and go from there.

 I’d love to hear what your favorite simple eco friendly swaps are? Please let me know in the comments below!

Article credit : Julie Allen, CEO at Mary Rose Boutique

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  • MarcyOct 03, 2022

    I love unpaper towels and cloth napkins. At first my husband was skeptical, but now he raves about them to other people because they do a better job than the disposable kind. We still have paper towels in the kitchen (bamboo actually) for super yucky messes and a roll now lasts months and months.

    I’ve also switched to Marley’s Monsters pour-over cone filter for my morning brew and I made myself cotton rounds for washing my face. I used a car seat blanket my sister had made my son and I was so happy to keep that fabric in rotation in the household.

  • SherrieSep 15, 2022

    I cover leftover food with a pot lid or a saucer. The food stays fresh: no plastic wrap

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