5 Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste in Your Home

Many of us have made steps to reduce single use plastic in our daily lives, from reusable grocery bags, metal straws, reusable water bottles and more. Kudos to us! 

I hate to break it to you, but we still have a long way to go! Plastic in the ocean is a people problem, which means people need to help solve it.

Not only are we harming our animals and polluting our oceans, 90% of the water we drink, and 33% of the fish we eat contains micro-plastics, leading to serious health problems.

One thing we can do is vote with our dollars, and support brands that are forging the way to plastic free production.

This year I am committed to reducing the use of plastic in products within my home.

Please note: this article may contain affiliate links.

Here are 5 ways to reduce your plastic use at home:

1. Bamboo Toilet Paper: Who Gives a Crap

Not to bring back fond memories, but remember when this whole pandemic started and the shelves were bare, and we didn’t know if we’d ever be able to wipe our bums again?

Enter, Who Gives a Crap bamboo toilet paper. They deliver a box of premium bamboo toilet paper to my home every few months, with ZERO plastic packaging. 

Bamboo toilet paper is WAY more sustainable than the beloved Charmin toilet paper, that literally decimate old grove forests just for us to have something soft to wipe our bums with. 

Who Gives A Crap really does give a crap, they donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets. They have been able to donate over $5.7 million to help provide proper sanitation for the 2 billion people in need. 

They offer more than just toilet paper, you can have bamboo paper towels and tissues delivered too.

Also, consider getting a hand held bidet. This helps reduce our toilet paper consumption on the regular, leaves our bums feeling super fresh, and it’s also great for keeping the toilet clean, win win!

2. Dropps Laundry & Dish Detergent 

Next up on our list, Dropps Laundry and Dish Detergent with carbon neutral shipping, compostable packaging and ecofriendly ingredients, “By using Dropps, you are helping turn the tide against toxic pollution, plastic waste, and animal cruelty.”

Dropps full line of laundry products are super easy to use, even for my 5 year old son. No more lifting heavy plastic jugs of detergent! Just toss a drop of detergent (and a drop of fabric softener, if that’s your thing) in with the wash and go! Heavy stains? They even have a non-toxic bleach alternative oxi booster. 

They come in a variety of scent options and offer discounted subscriptions to automatically send based on your needs, so one less thing to think about.

3. Bite Toothpaste

Every year, more than 50 Empire State Buildings worth of toothpaste tubes end up in landfills or oceans.

Bite began with two questions: Why does toothpaste come in plastic tubes, and what are we putting in our bodies when we brush our teeth?

These naturally whitening toothpaste tablets don’t use any harsh chemicals and conveniently ships to your home every 4 months (or more frequently depending on your needs) in sustainable packaging. My teeth feel cleaner than ever and my kids even love them. 

4. Lush Shampoo & Conditioner Bars

This was a hard one for me. I LOVED my old shampoo and conditioner but knew that the plastic packaging was not something I wanted to contribute to our landfills and oceans. 

Then came Lush.

Lush created shampoo and conditioner bars that last WAY longer than my previous products, which is a win for my wallet!

5. Blueland Cleaning Products

Blueland creates cleaning products for your home in environmentally responsible packaging. I especially love their foaming hand soap in their signature glass bottles. Just fill with water, drop in a tablet and voila! An easy way to cut out plastic waste from your kitchen or bathroom. And we go through a LOT of hand soap these days, so that adds up!

We’d love to hear about any innovative ways you are cutting down on plastic use!

4 Steps to Create a Simple Brand Style

You might be thinking – why do I need a brand style? Establishing a set of brand elements for your business will help you easily create consistent marketing collateral to appeal to your ideal clients, allow you to be more easily recognized, and save you time.

Be sure to have a clear outline of your business plan prior to starting this process. Knowing what you offer, to who, and why is an important part of a cohesive brand and marketing strategy and will lay the foundation for many of the following aspects. Here are the essential elements for brand style, along with our favorite free resources:

VOICE & TONE

1. Voice

Voice refers to the “personality” of your brand and how it expresses itself to your target audience. It should be unique to you and what you offer, and is closely tied to the values of your business.  When considering aspects of your brand voice, be authentic. If it is real, it feels real. Try to describe your brand voice in three words or less. For example, a brand can be friendly, approachable, inspiring, professorial, playful etc. Also consider what your brand isn’t: fun but not childish, clever but not silly, smart but not stodgy and so on. Regardless of your specific voice attributes, keep it personal, professional and clear.

Here are some questions to help define your brand’s voice:

  • If your brand was a person, what kind of personality would it have?
  • If your brand was a person, what’s their relationship to the consumer?
  • Describe in adjectives what your company’s personality is not.
  • How do you want your customers to think about your company?

2. Tone

Tone gives specificity to your messaging and includes the moods and attitudes representative of your brand’s personality. Voice remains steady and embodies your brands values and identity, whereas tone can vary depending on the platform, context and audience. Consider who you are talking to and what feelings you want to elicit with the specific information you are sharing. Example tone elements include: helpful, informative, approachable, honest, humble, direct, clinical, scientific, educational, entertaining, delightful, informative, engaging and so on.

LOGO & VARIATIONS

Hiring a graphic designer for your logo can cost anywhere from $500 – $5,000. If that’s not in the cards, there are many online resources for creating your logo. Your logo could be as simple as the name of your business in a special font, that you use consistently.

If you want to get a little fancier with design elements, try starting with one of Canva’s free logo templates and customize with your brand’s personality, easily editing the text, colors fonts and more. You’ll likely need multiple formats of your logo. Generally, 250 px (width) x 100 px (height) are the optimal logo dimensions for a web page.  You’ll also need a square “icon” version for social media sites. See more logo size formats for different platforms here.

FONTS

When it comes to fonts, keep it simple for cohesiveness and consistency. We recommend choosing two or three fonts for your brand:

1. Body Choose a font that is easy to read, for text on your website and materials. Sans Serif (“without the little tiny feet”), or Serif (classic) fonts general work best here.

2. Headings Choose a display typeface to stand out. Display typefaces will often have more eccentric and variable designs than the simple, relatively restrained typefaces generally used for body text.

3. Accent Font (optional) Find an additional handwriting or display for flair on marketing materials for short amounts of eye catching text. Pinterest is a great place to look for font combinations & ideas – check out our favorites!

COLOR

We recommend choosing 3-5 main colors for your brand. A great rule of thumb is to have the following color elements represented: Bold, Complimentary, Neutral, Dark & Light. Consider the psychology of color and the different emotions they are known to elicit when choosing colors for your brand.  

Need more inspiration? Try creating a Pinterest board with photos that represent the look and feel you are going for, as a guide to choosing your final five. 

Have a photo you love with your desired color scheme in mind? Try this FREE color palette tool from Canva, which generates five Hex Color Codes of colors found in the photo. 

Not even sure where to start? This super simple, super fast color scheme generator can help you narrow it down. Lock colors you like and keep the generator going to complete the set. 

Any other tips or tools you’ve used for creating your brand? Leave them in the comments!

Productivity Tip: The Pomodoro Technique

If you’re into life hacks, you’ve likely heard of the Pomodoro Technique. If not, then I’m super excited to share this amazingly simple way you can improve your productivity.

Simply put, the the idea is to break apart your day into 25 minute chunks with a 5 minute break in between. After about 4 cycles you take a longer 20-ish minute break. The trick is to limit distractions during those 25 minutes, so you are solely focused on the designated task. No checking instagram notifications or emails. Just 25 minutes of attention focused on one (or maybe 2) things.

I just use my phone as a timer (“hey siri, set a timer for 25 minutes”) but you could also use an online tool like https://tomato-timer.com/.  

I use pomodoros for big chunks of my work day, including scheduling out my time spent going through emails or social networks (making sure to close out those browsers when I’m working on something else to limit distraction from notifications). If I’m home I can use the 5 minute breaks to switch a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher. They’re also a great time do to a few stretches and shake out any desk kinks that can come from sitting in the same position for too long.

To be honest, it does takes some practice to get a hang of it, but once you’ve started the pomodoros you’ll notice a hyper productivity and for some a greater feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day.

If you’ve tried this method let us know what you think in the comments!