Earth Friendly Hacks You Can Try Right Now

Earth Friendly Hacks You Can Try Right Now

Earth-Friendly Hacks You Can Try Right Now

In honor of Earth Month, we’ve assembled a bunch of earth-friendly hacks that will not only make your life easier, but will save you money. We firmly believe in eliminating unnecessary product purchases as much as possible. Replacing them with more earth-friendly and sustainable options just makes sense. Give these a try and see if you don’t save time, money, and your sanity.

  • Buy white vinegar by the gallon – vinegar is not just for dressing. White vinegar is, in fact, great in the bathroom. Use it full-strength in the toilet to remove lime buildup. Dilute 1:1 with water in a spray bottle and remove soap scum in the shower. It’s great for cleaning glass, as well. In the kitchen room, it’s great for sweetening the coffee pot. In the garden, use it full-strength to kill weeds without the need for toxic pesticides. These are only a few of the many uses for this versatile staple.
  • Not just for cleaning wounds, the bathroom staple hydrogen peroxide is the secret ingredient in “oxyclean” products, and is thoroughly biodegradable. It’s great as a whitener and spot remover on clothing. In the bath, create a paste using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to remove stains from porcelain sinks, toilets, bathtubs and tile. Save on cleaning products and detergents by using this one item.
  • Trade up to Cartridge-free Printers – Even though printer cartridges are recyclable, over 50% of them end up in landfills. Recycling cartridges can be complicated and they are expensive. Many companies have responded by creating all-in-one printers with refillable ink tanks. This allows them to print as many as 7,000 pages, while keeping printer cartridges out of landfills. You can find a list of printers here.
  • Barter for goods and services – bartering is coming back in a big way. All networks have one thing in common; members take advantage of a network of individuals or businesses that combine their resources and provide them for free. From babysitting coops to business-related networks, individuals and businesses can save lots of money. It’s a win-win! Examples include the Hudson Barter Exchange and Hudson Valley Current. For individuals, try swapright or There are also product-swapping Facebook groups that help keep used products out of the trash. You an even housesit for free using sites like
  • Embrace solar – Today, earth friendly solar powered products are everywhere. They are capable of powering everything from cell phones to entire homes and communities. Moving off the grid has real benefits. One of the biggest ones is the advantages to the environment. Solar power is entirely renewable compared with oil and gas. It is also getting less expensive every day. From solar powered backpacks to solar lights, solar power can make our lives easier, save money, and make our planet a cleaner place. Check out the solar devices available here.
  • Learn how to forage – Food foraging is the norm in many parts of the world and it has caught on in the United States as well. Many great herbs and vegetables grow wild in our own backyards. and are loaded with vitamins, minerals and flavor. From dandelion greens and purslane to wild garlic and burdock root, there are many opportunities to add plants that you can harvest for free, with a little guidance. Check out a foraging manual and get picking! You’ll save money and add awesome taste and nutrition to your usual garden vegetables.
  • Choose reusable stainless steel – We love earth-friendly stainless steel items for many reasons. It’s inert, easy to clean, and endlessly versatile. Most stainless steel has about 60% recycled metal, making it pretty sustainable. One of our favorite products is this stainless steel food carrier from Thrive Market. You can also find water bottles, straws, camping gear and cookware that will last for years to come.

We hope you enjoy our list of earth-friendly hacks. Look for more ideas in the coming months. For us here at WEBA Natural Products, every day is Earth Day.

Forbes article on bartering

New Year's Resolutions Worth Keeping

New Year’s Resolutions Worth Making

Another New Year’s Eve has come and gone.

It’s only human for us to see the new year as an opportunity to shed bad habits and learn new ones. More often than not, we are invariably disappointed as we see our resolutions fade after just a few weeks. We chastise ourselves for not having more willpower. We wonder why, year after year, our efforts are thwarted by tight schedules, family responsibilities, illness, and other distractions. And so the cycle repeats itself every year.

But there are a few New Year’s resolutions that are worth making each and every year. Those are the ones that require little effort on our part, but which yield big rewards in terms of more knowledge, better health, and what we call “conscious consumerism.”

What is “conscious consumerism”, anyway?

According to the Network for Business Sustainability, a conscious consumer purchases products or services that are produced in a more socially and/or environmentally responsible way. Surveys show that most consumers would like to consider themselves “conscious consumers”, but they may not know where to start.

So what does this have to do with our New Year’s resolutions? Here are a few ideas:

1) Learn to read labels.If you’re accustomed to reading your food labels, this may sound easy, but personal care labels are not like food labels (as complicated as those might be sometimes). Cosmetic manufacturers may only use the INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) names, which leaves consumers wondering what these ingredients actually are. Most, however, will also include the common names in parentheses. These are generally familiar to us (like oils, butter, alcohols, and essential oils). The Consolidated Label website has a few good articles that help to decipher the mysteries of label-reading when it comes to personal care products. In addition to ingredients, many symbols like the Leaping Bunny or the Certified Organic label are used by companies to GMO-free, etc.

2) Know what the ingredients do. This may not be as easy as it sounds, given the dozens of ingredients used in personal care products. It would impossible for us to be familiar with the thousands of ingredients on the market today. Even more difficult is knowing which of them actually cause potential harm. Consumers can find information by going to the Environmental Working Group’s website. Not only do they print useful pocket guides, but their database lists many commonly used personal care products and levels of toxicity for the ingredients that they contain. You may have heard of the common culprits – parabens, phthalates, triclosan, BPA, sulfates, formaldehyde, toluene, and others. Studies on umbilical cord blood have found sometimes higher levels of industrial chemicals in the blood there than in their mother’s blood. “Body burden” – the study of chemicals stored in the human body and their composition – has also been studied. You can read about Bill Moyer’s body burden test by visiting this article on the PBS website. Between 40 and 60% of what we put on our bodies is absorbed into our blood stream or stored in our fat cells, never to leave our bodies. This accumulation can spell trouble if what we’re being exposed to has negative side effects.

3) Don’t keep personal care products for long periods of time. Many of our products have numbers stamped on them which indicate their shelf life. Regardless, however, products that touch your eyes should be replaced every few months. If a product has changed color or if it has a strange odor, throw it out. Naturally derived products, in particular, which do not use parabens can be refrigerated or labeled so that they don’t sit for longer than 6 months-1 year. If in doubt, throw it out! Alternatively, small jars/bottles will be used up more quickly.

4) Simplify your personal care routine. These days, many men and women are tempted to try the latest personal care “system” with multiple products for face, body, hair, etc. Use them if you must, but be sure to follow 1 and 2 above! Keep in mind that you can also find products that are multi-purpose, like our body balms. Not only are the ingredients identifiable, but they can be used from head to toe, on all family members, and year-round. This can save valuable time and money at a time when you’re looking to limit the number of potentially harmful products coming into your home. In that way, you can purchase products targeting specific problems only when you need them.

5) As questions. Responsible companies will welcome any questions regarding their products, their ingredients, or how they are sourced. For example, ingredients and products coming from China MUST be tested on animals. It may not be obvious from a label whether or not a product is manufactured in the USA or abroad. And with all of the companies being bought up by multinational corporations, it’s more important than ever to find out if this means that the formulas have been changed or if a product is no longer vegan or cruelty-free.

By taking just a few steps towards making more enlightened purchases, we can go a long way towards providing cleaner, safer, and simpler personal solutions for ourselves and our family members. We can’t think of a better New Year’s resolution than that.

Network for Business Sustainability; Conscious Consumerism article
Consolidated Label webpage label reading articles