Happy Earth Day!
April 22nd is the anniversary of the 1970’s environmental movement. It’s a day set aside to educate and inspire ways to help care for our planet. While the options for Earth-care are endless, you won’t find a guilt trip here for having to find what works best for you and your family, even if it’s not necessarily the best for the environment. We are all doing the best we can. BUT, there are a plethora of local resources and product solutions that can help bring you peace of mind, support local, simplify your shopping, and care for the Earth on top of it all!
While it’s impossible for all of us to do everything listed here, I challenge us all to consider making one change in our purchasing or other habits from the lists below. All of us doing something — all of us making little changes as we have the capacity to do so — will make a great, cumulative impact. And of course, share in the comments if there are any local, eco-friendly resources or product ideas we missed!
Local, Eco-friendly Products and Services
*All companies listed in this section are local to the Charleston area unless otherwise specified.
For the Babies
- Mamasita’s Cloth Diaper Service offers home delivery and pickup service.
- Terressentials Organic Baby Care (Not local, but a small business recommended by one of our contributors!)
- Wildcraft: the online store includes personal care, baby, and household items. The brick-and-mortar storefront in West Ashley features local companies, and lots of zero waste options, such as refill stations, soap/shampoo bars, cloth paper towels, etc.
- Motherland Essentials AND Vibey Soap Co: For soap and personal care items.
- Salon Indigo: Treat your locks to an “organic salon” experience.
- The Water Room: For “nail care with a clean conscience”
- Yoloha: For the Yogis, a Yoga Mat made out of cork.
For the Home
- Charleston Wrap: Offers beeswax food wrap, reusable produce bags, and other various eco-friendly kitchen items.
- Holy City Straw Company: For single-use wheat straws, or reusable reed straws.
- Heron Farms: The first indoor saltwater farm, offering nutrient-packed Sea Beans.
- MaidPure: professional “organic cleaning with a twist”
- DwellSmart: Home improvement items and products.
- GlassEco: Countertops made from recycled glass.
- Oyster Shell Recycling with SC Oyster Shell Recycling Program.
For the Yard
- Roots and Shoots Nursery: Native plants and other products.
- Purchase a Rain Barrel to conserve water.
- Carolina Yards and Neighborhood Program: Guidance in sustainable landscaping practices.
- Earth Friendly Landscapes
Ways to Include the Kids in Earth-Friendly Living
Babes & Tots
- The most obvious Earth-friendly way to include the babies is by going full cloth with diapering. But if that’s not for you, you could try reusable cloth swim diapers for a great impact on the Earth AND your wallet when those times arise.
- Green Toys, especially Green bath Toys, are great because they’re made from recycled plastic. The bath toys hold up really well over time without getting moldy!
- Re-Play offers a recycled, durable option for kid plates, cups, bowls, and utensils.
- Once Upon a Child or other kids consignment shops are great places to get so much needed clothing and other various items for the kiddos. You could even take your kids along to pick out some toys for their birthday instead of buying new ones!
- Especially if you do buy new, opt for toys made out of wood and other natural materials over plastic.
- Get your kiddos thinking about protecting the Earth with some great reading.
- When heading out for a walk or to the park, take a disposable bag and gloves along. Model and encourage your kids to pick up trash on the ground while they’re out adventuring!
- Talk to your kids about how to help conserve energy in the home, and conserve water when brushing their teeth and taking showers.
- A trip to the South Carolina Aquarium is bound to not only entertain kiddos but also inspire all of us to be more mindful of caring for our environment and fellow critters.
- Sign them up for the Young Naturalist Camp with Coastal Expeditions. Included in loads of fun, fresh air, and instruction, is teaching about caring for the Earth, waters, and creatures in them.
- Volunteer alongside your big kid to help keep our local earth clean with Charleston Waterkeeper or Palmetto Pride.
Home Swaps to Reduce Waste
Besides the obvious, (washable towels over disposable, reusable bags, containers, water bottles, straws, etc.) you can find more sustainable, Earth-friendly options for just about everything in the home with a simple online search. Here are some different, easy ideas of items to start with:
- For gifts given within your family, try using fabric bags, or fabric for wrapping.
- If you’re crafty, you could even make a snazzy drawstring bag to reuse!
- Washable cotton rounds for face and makeup (instead of single-use cotton pads)
- If you’re crafty, make some out of fabric you may already have!
- Bamboo toothbrush
- Toothpaste tablets with fluoride
- Fabric shower curtain liner
- Shampoo bars and other more sustainable hair care options.
- Cloth napkins
- If you’re crafty, make your own with scrap fabric you already have!
- Silicone bowl covers (instead of plastic wrap).
- Silicone mat to line baking sheets (instead of foil/parchment paper).
- Silicone food storage bags — my favorite are Stasher bags, for food or anything you’d put in a baggie: good in the dishwasher, microwave, oven, fridge, and freezer.
- Eco-friendly trash bags: compostable & biodegradable
- Laundry detergent sheets or pods, instead of the huge plastic jugs of detergent.
- Wool dryer balls — for reducing wrinkles AND drying time.
Further Habits to consider…
- Textile Recycling
- Composting: drop off your compost collection at Whole Foods, or have it collected by CompostNow.
- Limit buying items with bulky packaging.
- Wash/reuse plastic baggies.
- Stop buying fast fashion.
- Thrift more.
- Natural cleaning and lawn care products.
- Glass over plastic, when possible.
- Walk or bike more.
- Go electronic with bills, reading materials, etc.
- Opt for produce from our local Farmers Markets
- Participate in local, seasonal Farm Shares/Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).
- Recycle, Reduce, Reuse!