Where My Husband Drew the Line with Eco-Friendly Swaps


My husband has always been fully on-board with all of my eco-friendly efforts. He’s all for recycling as much as possible and reducing our carbon footprint.

But everyone has a limit!

I’ve always been environmentally conscious. It’s how I was raised. When I started having kids though, I really realized the amount of waste humans produce (and tiny humans) and couldn’t handle continuing with the “normal” American way of doing things. SO much waste!

And it isn’t just the waste. It’s also the impact of certain types of products due to the way they are produced, the extra gas it takes to ship them, or the way that the employees producing them are being treated. I could go on, but I think you get where I’m going with this. Something needed to change!

I realized that, while I can’t change the world all by myself, I can spend my consumer capital on products I believe in and can try to influence those around me into doing the same.

Three or four years ago I began researching what swaps I could make to reduce single-use plastic and disposable products in my home. We’ve made tons of changes and some have been easier than others.

When I started this, I didn’t know which changes were going to bother my husband the most. I started with things that didn’t affect him much. Ditched my reusable razor that needed replacement razorblade heads and got one that only needs the blades replaced. Found my own favorite bar shampoo, conditioner, and bodywash and then told him it was time for him to make the switch, too.

Where My Husband Drew the Line with Eco-Friendly SwapsThen to the home products . . .

Laundry and dishwasher tablets–no problem! Powdered dish soap–this one wasn’t a win on the first try, but we got there. Bamboo toilet paper, unpaper towels, reusable silicon bags instead of plastic zipper bags–all perfectly fine. Cleaners made from tablets mixed with water in reusable glass bottles took a little convincing, but okay. Reusable tissues? Got an interesting look from him at first, but again, totally fine.

Then the hygiene products and his turn to make the swaps . . .

Natural deodorant in a refillable tube definitely took some convincing. Shampoo and conditioner bars were not an issue. Toothpaste tablets–surprisingly okay. The real kicker? Reusable swabs in place of cotton swabs (Qtips). I’m not sure what it is about cotton swabs, but he loves them! I’ll randomly see him go get one from the bathroom and use it. No idea why. Apparently, reusable swabs do not have the same effect. Fine. I may not understand it and I’m definitely going to continue having him use his reusable swab most of the time, but if he needs to snag the occasional cotton swab from the stash we have for the kids, so be it.

So what are our favorite swaps, you ask? Here’s a fairly comprehensive list of what works well for our family. Hope you can find a good balance in your house, too, even if someone has to draw a line somewhere.

Not!ce Hair Co. – Shampoo, conditioner, bodywash

Blueland – Household cleaning products, dish soap & dishwasher tablets, laundry tablets, face wash & liquid body wash

Who gives a crap – Toilet paper

Marley’s Monsters – Unpaper towels & baby wipes

By Humankind – Deodorant

Leaf Shave – Razor

Last Object – Reusable tissues, swabs, make-up remover pads, etc.

Stasher – Reusable zipper bags

Bite – Toothpaste tablets & bamboo toothbrushes

Lush – Bubble bars for the kids’ bubble baths

Check out contributor Ana-Alicia’s post on this, as well, for other ways to reduce your use of single-use plastic!

Originally published November 2022.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.


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