Eco-friendly alternatives to everyday conveniences.

In our effort to save the earth, many of use have turned to recycling and eco-friendly alternatives to everyday products that fit into our lifestyle. Cloth napkins replacing paper towels, handmade laundry soap versus chemical laden detergents, and re-usable grocery sacks in lieu of plastic grocery bags. However, there's one thing our busy life styles are loathe to let go, and that is the convenience of many throw away products. Swiffer Sweepers and Wet Jets are in nearly every household I've ever been in. Even my mom, who is a hard core recycler, owns a Wet Jet. The pads, however, are anything but earth friendly. Fortunately, there is an alternative that lets you keep your cleaning tools and kick the guilt. Canadian Crafter has come up with a very simple knit Swiffer cover for the Swiffer Sweeper. Even if you can't knit, you can complete this project as the majority of the work is done on a loom. Use it once, then throw it in with your wash for the next time you clean. View the full instructions here.  

Cotton Swiffer Cover - NEW - With Baseboard Dusters, $12 from Ollie's Boutique

Instructables even has a solution for your Swiffer Wet Jet made from old t-shirts and a wool blanket. Like the Sweeper pad, this alternative can also be washed and re-used. The details are here. You can also refill the Wet Jet Solution container with your own eco-friendly mix. Just check out this how to on removing the cap on the container. Then try mixing up 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar and 2 tsp liquid castille soap to add to your freshly emptied bottle. You can scent it as desired with a small amount of essential oil if you like.

Here are a few other handmade alternatives to everyday necessities.
1. Instead of zipper bags, enclose your child's lunch goodies in a Reusable Velcro Seal Snack Bag. $6.50 from Rae's Etsy Shoppe.
2. Skip the plastic straws, and opt for Bended Reusable Glass Straws made from the same material as Pyrex. $13 for two from Straws by Carli.
3. Paper napkins just get thrown away. Not only are these Linen Napkins pretty, but they can be used over and over. $43 for a set of four from Celina Mancurti.
4. Don't add more plastic to the landfills. Instead take these Reusable Produce Bags to the grocery with you when you shop. $15.75 for a set of seven from Love for Earth.
5. Don't waste paper pinning notes to the fridge. Keep track of chores and appointments with this Repurposed Eco-friendly Chalkboard. $45 from Half Pint Salvage.
6. Need a catchall for everyday items? This Eco-friendly Repurposed Wool Sweater and Cotton Fabric Bucket is perfect for stashing baby's toys. $25 from Loop Loft.

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