If you remember, last year I shared 6 little changes that I actually stuck to the first month of 2018 (if you missed it, you can still check it out here!) … well, I’m happy to report back that I’m STILL sticking to them! And the cherry on top? I’ve also made a few other little changes in addition!
Before I kick things off and share my list of additional little changes with you, I want to quickly mention here that all of these little changes take time and it’s all just a matter of making the FIRST step toward change, which can always seem like the toughest part. However, it’s those tiny baby steps along the way that add up and eventually lead to change. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a TON of things I could improve on, for example, I drive a gas guzzling SUV and I use my gas fireplace way more than I like to admit but we have to remember that nobody is perfect and that imperfect action is better than perfect inaction!
A great example of that is our journey to living a more plant-based lifestyle. It’s taken YEARS for us to get to where we are now and while we aren’t fully plant-based yet, every year we get a little closer. Take this year, for instance, normally we like to share a cow with Justin’s family and eating ground beef for us would be such a treat from time to time but I started rationing is SO HARD that we got used to not having it!! So, this year, we decided to pass on splitting the cow as we just don’t cook with it anymore!! As I mentioned, we aren’t fully vegan though, we still eat the odd egg and sometimes cheese slips in there but we’re definitely leaps and bound from where we started!
Alright … now that I’ve given you a little update as to where our plant-based journey is at this point … let’s take a look at the little changes I’ve made so far in 2019!!
1. No More Saran Wrap
That’s right! Ever since we discovered Goldilocks wraps (made locally in BC!), we have eliminated saran wrap in our household! I would say that we use the beeswax wraps 99% of the time … in fact, I think we stopped using saran wrap in our home LAST September!!Goldilocks wraps work really well for almost everything but I have noticed that it will tend to dry a few things out, such as tofu. However, anything like that that I’ve found to dry out, I just put it in a Tupperware container instead and it works just great!!
Photo Credit: Rachael Alexandra Co
2. Natural Shampoo & Conditioner
After making the switch to natural deodorant, my next goal was to swap out my shampoo and conditional to something natural!
This is when I discovered Unwrapped Life! I love Unwrapped Life for a few reasons, for starters, it’s plastic-free!! In fact, the little bars (similar to soap!) come in reusable travel tins. Secondly, they make my hair feel seriously AMAZING!!!! I was a bit skeptical at first as I’m used to the luxurious feel of your typical shampoo and conditioner but this made my hair feel so HEALTHY and shiny!!
While I use the Unwrapped Life bars the most, I do get gifted other brands of natural and cruelty free shampoo and conditioner so I’ve been testing out a few others lately (I will have to share a blog on this at some point!) but I can definitely say that Unwrapped Life will be a staple in our household!
3. Re-useable Coffee Cups
Justin and I have been making a point of using our Yeti travel mugs when we grab a coffee on the go instead of opting for the paper cups they give you.
This is one of those habits that’s taking a LITTLE longer to get the hang of because generally when I travel I’m packing so much stuff already that sometimes I’ll forget to bring it along. However, we TRY to bring our mugs in, give them a wash after we’re done using them and then bring them BACK out to our car so that the next time we pop in somewhere for coffee it’s already in our vehicle and ready to be used!
4. Market Bags
Whenever I go grocery shopping I make sure to bring my reusable cloth bags from The Market Bags with me for produce and I also bring along my Dreamy Whites market baskets to carry all of my groceries.
I think most of us were in the mindset for so long that the little plastic bag would keep our produce clean but the truth is, by the time you pick it up at the grocery store it’s more than likely already at it’s dirtiest point so it won’t make much of a difference travelling from your cart to your home. For items like broccoli or peppers, I never used plastic bags (and it blows my mind how many people still do!) but for items that you need to carry a ton of, like brussels sprouts, is when you would need the bag. Which is the PERFECT chance to use little reusable bags.
5. Cloth Diapers
I’m adding this in because I know many of you will ask about it as I REALLY wanted to use cloth diapers with Annie but I found that with my crazy schedule and always being on the go, it was SO HARD to keep up with. However, I’m taking some time off this summer which means I’ll be at home wayyy more often so I’m not ruling this out yet … I’m going to give it ANOTHER go!!!
6. Being Takeout Conscious
Lately, we’ve been getting quite a bit of takeout (another factor in our busy life!! LOL!) and there are some amazing restaurants who have ditched the plastic takeout containers and have made an effort to use compostable recyclable ones!!! This makes me SO HAPPY! So, in an effort to support the amazing changes these restaurants are moving forward with, we like to be conscious about where we get our takeout from and also order from those restaurants who offer up amazing plant-based options, such as Cactus Club, Earls, and Naked Cafe here in Kelowna!
Also … if you follow along with my Instagram stories, you’ll already know this but A&W has made AMAZING changes, not only environmentally but plant-based as well! Just this year they stopped using plastic straws and moved to paper straws … and they teamed up with Beyond Meat and released the most DELISH plant-based burger and “sausage” breakfast sandwich!!
7. Less Clothing
Not on my body … in my closet … LOL!!! Many of you probably think that I still shop a lot but surprisingly I’ve actually been shopping LESS! In fact, I’ve been keeping lots of classic staple items in my closet and some of them are even from 5 years ago (I’m going to share these staple items with you all in an upcoming blog!!).
Sometimes Tori and I will even do clothing swaps which is a great way to switch out your wardrobe without buying new (all while helping the environment … and saving moola too!!). Hand me downs are a great way to reuse clothing that’s still in great shape … and also, don’t be afraid to hit up consignment stores! You can normally find some awesome deals that won’t break the bank.
8. Almost Eliminated Wool & Leather
While this one is still a work in progress (and there are still some leather and wool items in our home!) I have been working towards avoiding purchasing wool items and have cut back to only leather shoes. I prefer to favour environmentally conscious fabrics such as cotton, hemp, and tencel when possible!
What are some little changes that YOU have made recently?? Make sure to share them below in the comments section.
I am also big on trying to reduce my footprint, and was pregnant the same time as you (had my baby girl in October). I had wanted to try cloth diapers, and I bought the prefold kind and for the first few months of using them, they kept leaking, I was getting annoyed because they weren’t super easy to put on, etc. I was so upset though bc I was adamant about using them but they were so much harder than I thought! So I ended up getting the Bum Genius organic cotton all in ones and they are SO EASY!!! pretty much like using a disposable just snaps instead of Velcro, and obviously the added laundry but I don’t mind that at all every few days! I highly recommend trying the all in one styles (I know you showed some that you had but I can’t remember what style that was). Good luck!
I just ordered some reusable straws that I can keep at home and in my car!
Do you find your yeti mug is great for lattes ? I am not on basic coffee drinker! I am wondering what a great reusable cup i could take into Starbucks that would be easy for them to make my drink in
Since I have been following you, actually for a while now, I have made some of the same changes as you have. I have switched to natural deoderant, and the bar shampoos and conditioners, and LOVE them as well, although I purchase them from Lush, which are a little less expensive than Unwrapped Life, however, I do watch for sales from them. I love to collect reusable shopping bags, and have some from Hawaii, some from England, one from Palm Springs! They are colourful, and also make great gifts, and like you, I am working on the other things, like getting rid of saran wrap, buying less clothes, and eating less meat! I try and recycle everything I am able to, and am so much more conscious, of what I use, and how I can change. I save glass jars, especially, the mason type, or unsusal ones, big and small, to put loose coffee, baking ingredients, and spices in. I just want to tell you, too, that I loved the video about the Oprah Cruise with your Mom,! Made me laugh AND cry! xoxo
I have also switched to beeswax wraps and love them!! My girlfriend started making/selling them out of Victoria and I haven’t bought surranwrap since! And I just started bringing my own produce bags to the grocery store and I have to say that I don’t know why I never did this sooner, cause they’re so great!! I’m pretty good with remembering my reusable coffee mug and always have my water bottle… but the grocery bags were harder to get into the hang out remembering until I didn’t have a car anymore and now I never grocery shop without them cause walking with crap plastic bags is such a pain!! The last switch I made was using a Diva Cup (again so WORTH IT) way more convenient than changing tampons and pads and saving me $$$ I also bought a few reuseable pads but I don’t like them as much as the diva cup.
I still use plastic wrap but I have been reusing my plastic bags. I will definitely look into the other products you mentioned. I have been using essential oils for cleaning around the house and more natural products. I also always use cloth bags for groceries. Do you have any suggestions for laundry soap?
Love this list! We too do so many of these things, not perfectly. If everyone did green living imperfectly we would still be far better off then a select few doing it perfect!
Cloth diapers are actually not a ton harder than disposable. I’m on my third baby in cloth. Check out gro-via!!!! They have amazing options and the best part is you don’t have the hassle of stuffing fresh diapers or taking a wet insert out of a dirty one. They also have amazing style that is super absorbent and works miracles overnight. I know Jacklyn at the Diaper Drawer (Lethbridge, Alberta) would love to help answer any of your questions. Good luck. ❤️
I’ve been using cloth diapers for about two months now with my 2 year old and I hope to use them when my daughter gets a little older (she’s 3 weeks old right now)
It’s definitely a huge change from using the disposable diapers and can be tough when we’re on the go. We’re not using the cloth ones 100% of the time, if we have family watching him they prefer to use the disposable ones as it’s easier for them. Hopefully one day we’ll be 100% but for now that’s what works for us 🙂
Wondering why you feel that wool is not eco conscious. Sheep are sheared in different seasons so it’s like. Haircut for them.
I love this post! I am on the same wavelength as you and have made many of these changes myself lately (especially the kitchen ones) 🙂 I also just bought reusable cotton rounds from Etsy (cute ones, obviously). I use them to apply toner instead of cotton balls but you could also use them to remove makeup. Thank you for the post!
I love this post! I am on the same wavelength as you and have made many of these changes myself lately (especially the kitchen ones) 🙂 I also just bought reusable cotton rounds from Etsy (cute ones, obviously). I use them to apply toner instead of cotton balls but you could also use them to remove makeup. xoxo
Started composting last year
Produce bags, I refuse to buy vegetables in plastic
Shampoo and conditioner bars, hand soap bars
Bamboo toothbrush for a couple years now and I make my own toothpaste
Completely vegan 2years ago
I take the bus to work or walk most places which is also good for my health as well as the planet
Took a year off of travelling for vacation
No chemicals for cleaning in my house- only natural products
Second hand shopping or clothing swaps.
It’s fun trying to find ways to decrease my footprint.
Cloth diapers! Ugh been there done that. Did it with my first child! Not fun. Not at all. Do yourself one little favor, and don’t bother. It is awful. This Jilly knows.
Love that you refer to Kelowna as it’s my home town, I am now in Ottawa. I have switched over to using Arbonne products because they are all vegan, cruelty free, no artificial dyes or scents and they have everything I need from vegan protein to the most amazing clean shampoo. I truly believe that every little thing we can do for our planet it helpful in the long run. I really enjoyed your blog.
If you want to switch up some products you can try Rocky Mountain Soap Co. They have everything from baby stuff to stuff for you & Justin, I know you are really supporting Canadian based and RMS co is out of Canmore Alberta
Loved reading this. I’ve also switched to beeswax wrappers and Find they work great for everything except cheese (dries it out too). One change I have made this year is meal planning which has saved a lot of food waste and money.
I am not as young as you, in fact far from it. But when I had my children in 1980 & 1983, disposable diapers were the rage. I opted for cloth for both my children. I have never regretted that decision. I also felt like they experienced less diaper rashes. So good for you!
Juicing celery every morning, gluten free, dairy free, working my way to full plant based menu( still eating chicken and fish but only at dinner time) reading food labels, and making better choices,?cut back on Alcohol as well . All since Jan 1, also lost 19 pounds!! Woo hoo!!
I am happy to hear that you will be giving cloth diapers another go! There is definitely some trial and error in getting started and it would be difficult to keep on top of when travelling but it’s truly not much extra effort. You have such a huge platform to keep thousands of diapers out of our landfills if even a few of your followers take the lead!
Great post. I too have been inspired to make some of these changes. It’s amazing how much plastic and water (liquid soap, shampoo etc) we transport. Cloth diapers are an added challenge but sooo worth it. The thing that made it easiest for me was a mini all in one washer dryer. I put the diapers in cold water wash at night and took them out, dry and ready to go each morning. No added time of switching from washer to dryer and I did not use that washer for clothes. I cut up an old pair of pajamas to use as liner for solid poops. No chemicals, no waste, no problem. I did however continue with disposables at night.
Do you use the Laguna Shampoo + Conditioner bar (the one pictured) or do you recommend another one of theirs? How does one pick?! I want to try but am so unsure!
Jillian I’m proud of you for leading the way for so many to make such impactful changes. You are in a position to influence so many and you’re using it in such a positive way! Love you so much. You’re a fantastic human ?
I love this Jill! I think making small changes really does make a big impact. There is always more that could be done, but it’s such a great feeling to start somewhere. I have been really adament about using a reusable coffee mug and containers instead of plastic wrap/bags. I think my next step is going to be the shampoo bars, but I have to finish the bottle I am currently using before making the switch!
Pat on the back! We’ve made these changes in our house too and at first I felt that I wasnt doing enough but with so many people being more mindful it is going to make alot of changes for the better. Love your blog Jill!
Great changes and I have made just about these as well plus some others. When it comes to shoes and bags I consciously decided leather was better than plastic as it breaks down but I only buy what I need. Trying to do better and make better decisions is the way progress is made. Good on you Jillian.
I have also cut out saran wrap and only using my own market bags…I have also gone more plant based. Love the idea of the bar shampoo-to cut down on plastic. Why no wool ?
I just have to say that I absolutely LOVE you and your beautiful fam jam and Team Jilly? I love following your feed and reading the blogs! You are such a down to earth, natural, kind hearted, all around great Canadian gal! You probably are already aware of this, but you are such an inspiration to so many women out here in this cyber world, you are just SO REAL, and your celebrity has not overtaken your personality whatsoever (mad respect I might add?). I think that’s probably why I appreciate you and your stories and your lifestyle so much, because it doesn’t appear to be “out there” or “lavish”, it seems as though you’re just a celebrity who lives the best life you can without going overboard, it seems like we could all be doing what you do for our homes, families, and environment, and…well life in general! I’ve loved ya ever since you were The Bachelorette (that sounds creepy, but I’m sure you know what I mean ?lol). Thank you so much for being such a positive role model and amazing human!
Love another small town Canadian gal,
Lindsay (Selkirk, MB)
I have managed to replace all my toxic chemical cleaners in my home with one natual cleaner. And I am so happy withthis choice, for so many reasons, starting with my health, the envoiroment, finally planet earth for future generations… Young Living , Thieves All Purpose Cleaner , it really is amazing. Replaced bathroom cleaners, glass cleaner, floor cleanser, oven spray, laundry spot cleaner, laundry detergent, dryer sheets…. theres more.
Sheep need to be sheared!! It’s not cruel. While I imagine if you find the right operation they would abuse their animals….every rancher I know loves their animals and chooses to do what’s best for them. I’m sorry you have seen the bad end of the ranching world.
I love this! I’d like to also use less paper towels and more euseable cloths for cleaning the counters etc.
Do you have any fave reuseable cloths and natural dishwasher detergent? Thanks!
Tip for your tofu from a half Japanese vegetarian: store in a reusable container and fill will clean water until tofu is fully submerged…bonus points for changing the water every day 🙂
I have some beeswax wraps and need to use them more frequently! I dislike Saran Wrap, so it should be a no-brainer. I am also trying to shop less and clear out my closet. I did some capsule wardrobing before I had kids and my closet contents exploded when I was dressing a rapidly-changing body. I am so looking forward to reducing the number of items to wear (and care for) soon.
Hi! Thanks for sharing your changes, I always feel like it’s planting little seeds in people’s mind… that’s the best we can do to promote a real change! I’ll have to try your shampoo bar, I’ve been using many different ones over the months, but I haven’t yet found one that I truly like. Thanks again!
Ps. Please, do try cloth nappies… I used disposable nappies for three years (with Oliver first and Emily later) and always swore that’s the one thing I couldn’t change because… motherhood + work is already challenging enough, right? When Emily was about 8 months I decided to try, and I never went back! It was so much easier that I thought! 🙂
Great ideas, definitely easy to try
Great post! I’ve made a lot of these changes as well. 🙂
Just curious how come you’re trying to eliminate wool?
This list is great! I have been thinking about no longer purchasing leather items as well. Do you have a recommendation for a non leather bag/purse for a working mom?
Really love this post! Since April is Earth Month is there any chance you will be sharing some more of your favourite, Canadian sustainable brands? Would love more recommendations (particularly for unpaper towels and facial wipes)! 🙂
I live in New Zealand and have been using reusable bags to do food shopping for a while now. Our government recently banned the use of plastic bags in supermarkets and will be extending it to include other all retail stores. We definitely try and be more green and are currently saving for a home where we can install solar panels and recycle water for the garden.
Every time I come here I feel so welcome and admire you more and more. Recently found you on love it or list it here in Brasil, and I love the dynamic of the show, your design, the fun relationship with Kenny and Todd that always makes me smile, and the beauty that you create. And not so long found here which is always a plesure to learn and get some great ideas. I feel it doesnt metter where you are from, everyone wants the same things, and thats confort and love.
Loved to hear the 8 things, and I’m gonna try these changes myself.
Lots of love.
I’m so with you on most if not all of your changes. But I’m a knitter and it is really hard to not use wool yarn. What are your reasons for eliminating wool?
I’m so with you on most if not all of your changes. But I’m a knitter and it is so hard to stay away from wool. What are your reasons for avoiding wool?
Agree with such changes! I have changed almost everything, except shampoo and conditioner. My hair don’t like organic and natural shampoo, I don’t know why and what should I do with this 🙂
Maybe I should test Unwrapped Life too.
Thank you for the idea 🙂
Would probably best not to say “Saran Wrap “in your post. This is a brand , and I ‘m sure they wouldn’t appreciate you using their name. Maybe rephrase as plastic wrap
Love this! I’ve been using reusable produce and grocery bags for a while now, but just ordered some beeswax food wraps which I’m super excited to try. No need to have all that plastic and saran wrap! I also am in love with Stasher bags. I received one as a gift for Christmas and bought a bunch more because I loved it so much. They are reusable silicone bags which have replaced Ziploc bags in my kitchen. They come in a couple of different sizes and fun colours, and you can freeze or cook food in them. I use them mostly for storing snacks that I take to work, and they are awesome!
This is so awesome!
I am embarrassed to admit this, but until I became a mama I didn’t go out of my way to be environmentally conscious. Of course I always recycled (I live on Vancouver Island, we’re all hippies over here!) and tried to remember my reusable bags, but it kind of ended there. Now, I am way more concerned for the future of our planet!!
After doing some research about what actually happens to our recycling (spoiler alert: lots of it doesn’t end up being recycled!!!) I’ve started making the effort to REDUCE & REUSE as well as recycle!
Here are our 10 changes…
1. Using reusable cups & straws for cold drinks, and mugs for hot drinks
2. Buy bulk coffee (or coffee in compostable bags) and make it at home.
3. Drink more water (bring it from home or refill on the go!) and cut back on buying beverages… especially when they come in a single use cup or bottle.
4. Eliminate plastic bags for produce. (We do however eat meat in our household and I do buy the meat in the styrofoam trays… AND wrap it in a plastic bag! With little ones, I am extra conscious of things like salmonella and e. Coli. This one is difficult to mitigate, as our family isn’t ready to go plant based yet!)
5. Buy nearly all baby clothes, toys, and gear secondhand (obviously for hygienic and safety reasons, some things do need to be brand new).
6. Switching to environmentally conscious brands for beauty/personal care products.
7. Cut back on paper towel use- while it is easy to use towels/cloths instead, with toddlers in the house it does increase laundry significantly!
8. Beeswax wraps and glass Tupperware instead of saran
9. Wash in cold water, try to avoid dryer use (we are about 50/50 on hanging clothes to dry!)
10. COMPOST! Our city has an incredible compost program and nearly everything can either be composted or recycled. Of course the “trouble” is separating it all- but we are making a huge effort!
Thanks for the post Jill!
Thanks so much for this post. I read it last month and realized that I had been part of the plastic problem and have become a bit anti-plastic obsessed since. I have been making a lot of little changes in my daily life as I do my research. I also stumbled upon a Kelowna company called Pela that makes compostable phone cases. For mother’s day, etc it would be great if you could show some zero waste gift giving ideas.
This is why our tiny household loves you and yours! We’ve eliminated every item on your list (plus some) many moons ago! Thank you for the conscious effort- it gets easier in almost every way.
We’re a Canadian, mom-owned cloth diaper company called Glowbug Cloth Diapers. We would love to send you a diaper package and help make cloth diapering easy for you!
We have also prepared a donation for Mamas for Mamas and will be sending it out this week. We wouldn’t have known about this organization if it wasn’t for you!