We received our second Grove order on Friday and I can now honestly say it’s been the highlight of my month. It technically all started when my sister gifted a few of the Grove basics to me for Christmas. I quickly familiarized myself to their website and felt inspired with the products created with the earth in mind.
Things didn’t actually get nuts until I found myself in a deep hole of dryer balls vs. dryer sheets while planning the Laundry Room project. The realization of how many dryer sheets we go through blew my mind. So I started reassessing the things in my home that I could change to do my part in reducing waste.
Dane and I have done this before and have implemented some pretty good changes. However, there's always new ways to improve.
1. cleaning rags in place of paper towels
This one may seem like a no brainer, but it's one I actually struggle with. A few years ago, Dane and I decided to make this switch. But the truth is, we have four dogs and sometimes messes happen that you just can't justify using a cloth on.
That being said, my intention for this year is to severely cut back on our use of paper towels. I plan to keep them on hand for puppy accidents, but to use cleaning cloths for everything else.
I've just added these to my stash.
2. dryer balls instead of dryer sheets
We've used dryer sheets for as long as I can remember. My mom used them, his mom used them, we used them. Ya know?
But in doing a little research, I learned that while you toss a single sheet after each use, dryer balls can be used somewhere around 1000 washes before needing to be tossed! My mind was instantly blown.
In addition, they reduce static and drying time as well as help to reduce wrinkles. The ones I bought also advertise as being biodegradable. This either means the dryer balls are made with biodegradable materials, or the dryer balls themselves are 100% biodegradable.
3. glass soap dispensers in place of plastic
We have two bathrooms in our home, and two of them already have glass soap dispensers. I bought them because I liked the way they looked, but am now glad that they also help reduce the waste of each plastic soap dispenser -especially now that we're more mindful about washing our hands more often. I’ve added this soap dispenser to our Kitchen.
4. glass cleaning spray bottles
I got one glass spray bottle with the All Purpose Concentrate for Christmas from my sister. If I'm honest, it's truly the single item that made me start thinking about reducing waste. While I love the smell of their cleaner, I don't love the streaks it leaves on my countertops. I think that once the cleaner is gone, I'll be experimenting with different refills.
5. canvas shopping bags
This one is a no brainer. Back when Dane and I were living in the city, there was an Aldi nearby, so that's where we shopped. It kind of held a special spot in our hearts -especially after visiting the Aldi in Luneburg, Germany.
I'm sure most of you are familiar with the store, and their 'BYOB -Bring Your Own Bag' encouragement. We have so many canvas bags for grocery shopping. But did you know that if you also BYOB to Target, you get a discount?
6. Meal planning to reduce food waste
This one really has no product to recommend. Just a simple pen and paper.
I've never been good about just buying a bunch of stuff at the grocery store and coming up with meals on the fly. I need a system. So I started meal planning.
Its all about taking inventory each week. This really limits waste because you didn't buy things you thought you needed but didn't. And I'm not talking about going through each cabinet or refrigerator drawer before making your list. If you know you still have chicken in your fridge or freezer, plan a meal that uses chicken. Or if you have leftover lettuce hanging out, plan a meal with a side salad before you have to toss it.
Truthfully, Dane and I have been meal planning like this for years and our grocery bill would blow your mind. This week, we spent under $50. -Keep in mind, we're only feeding two adults and a toddler.
7. no more bottled water
For everyday use, we drink out of tumblers. And we don't really buy water bottles unless we're hosting a party or going on a road trip. Road tripping may be a little difficult to do without, but when we're hosting a birthday party or gathering at home, I'm hoping we can just offer glasses and our filtered water. Or even create a signature water drink that goes along with the theme of the party. Water infused with fruit is hydrating and extremely pretty to look at.
8.resealable food wrap instead of aluminum foil
I don't own these yet, but I'm planning to add them to my Grove order. I think they're a great alternative to aluminum foil and plastic wrap when you need to cover the top of a bowl or wrap up food to go. Be sure to read the How to Use tab -they need special care to last.
If you're a strong lover of aluminum foil, consider swapping over to the If You Care aluminum foil. It's made from recycled aluminum foil!
9.Glass pyrex in place of plastic tupperware
Glass food storage options are a great way to reduce your plastic use. Dane and I registered for a few sets when we got married and we use them every single day. They're extremely durable and don't leave stains like some tomato based recipes leave on plastic options.
10. Silicone baking mats
These mats are a great alternative to aluminum foil and wax paper. We use them any and all times we need to bust out the baking sheets. They clean up so easy, are dishwasher safe, and are super easy to store.
The hinged section of the Laundry countertop is finally installed and it’s everything I could’ve hoped for and more. It’s perfect! And now to walk into that space and see the countertop extend all the way to the wall is so dreamy. I have so much extra room for for folding!
The room still isn’t done though. I think this will probably be that one project that just goes on in the background for awhile.
Still to do:
-put up shelf on top of washer/dryer
-put up shelf for left storage area
-buy a rug
-and I think I may remove the hinge and paint it a different color. The matte black stands out a bit too far for me.
We also made moves in the office/guest room! I finished painting the headboard/footboard, we finalized a wood for the desks, and Dane started the shelving build. I decided to start with sheets I already have instead of buying new ones. I’m not sure I’ll stay at that decision, but it's okay for now. I have like six different sheet sets that could work. It’s the smart thing to do, but also not any fun. Target had beautiful sheets I may go back for.
Lenna and I went thrifting with my Mom yesterday and found a few really pretty frames. One has a beautiful canvas painting already in it. I bought it with the guest room in mind, but am giving it a shot in the Laundry room. Dane made fun of me instantly because I'm kind of a hoarder with frames. I'm always buying them, but hardly filling them.
But I had a plan for these before I bought them. My grandfather had given me a tiny bird book before he passed and it's falling apart at the spine. So I've started taking out the pages and framing them around the house. I really love them, but Dane (in true Dane fashion) is making fun of me again because my inner old lady is taking over our home.
I also tried my hand at my own art over the weekend. Botanical art makes me really happy, so I found a few I really loved and sketched out my interpretation of them. It was a really great way to relax, and I can’t wait to hang them up! I'll share those later this week when I finish all four of them. I'm planning to put them on our art ledge above the stairs.
On Friday we got our second delivery from The Grove Collaborative. I've never been so excited for cleaning supplies! But I really think that having pretty packaging helps motivate me to use them more. Anyone else?
Grove really strives to help reduce waste. They offer tons of ways to reduce plastic and even paper! Each time I've added to my cart, I find myself looking for more ways to help our family reduce waste. I've put together a list of the ways I've come up with so far and will share that this week too.
If you missed how we finalized on a Red Oak countertop for our Laundry Room, you can read up on it here. I walked you through the things we considered before we landed on wood, and how we narrowed in on Red Oak with so many other great choices!
We’re just about at year 2 in this house, and I’m excited for the changes ahead! In my 2021 Project List, I shared the mood board for our Laundry Room. If there’s one thing I’ve learned along the way is that progress is slow and doing it yourself is slower.
The number one reason for this project was to gain functionality in that space. The layout was terrible, and without doing any major changes, I came up with a plan to maximize the unused spaces just by changing out the countertop material.
If we eliminated the laminate and swapped to wood, I could make use of that space both on top of and underneath the countertop by incorporating a hinged design.
There were many things to consider in choosing which type of wood was best for the project, so I’ve put together the list we worked through and hope you find it helpful while you’re deciding which wood to choose as well.
What types of wood are good to use for a laundry room countertop?
For us, this was all about durability. If you plan on your countertop getting lots of use, you’ll want to consider a hard wood like maple, hickory, beach, or cherry.
For lighter use projects like ours, we considered ash, soft maple, and oak. Red Oak is ultimately where we landed because I liked its level of durability and the warm color tones looked great in our space.
If you have a sink in your space, you’ll want to be sure to properly seal the wood to protect it from any possible water damage.
How much use will the countertop get?
This is the very first thing you should consider when choosing a countertop. For us, our Laundry Room is essentially only used for folding clothes. However, there would still be times a laundry basket may be sat on it, or heavy detergent bottles while I put them away on the shelves. So that eliminated Pine for us. Pine is a soft wood and even the drop of a laundry basket would dent it.
Are wooden countertops expensive?
They’re not the most expensive option out there, but they’re not the cheapest option out there either. I would consider them more of a middle of the road material in terms of cost. This is all relative to what type of wood your purchase and where you purchase it. We bought ours at a local hardwood dealer and paid just under $300 for our 9ft countertop.
How lOng Do wooden countertops last?
Everything I’ve read said that wooden countertops lasted anywhere from 10-20 years, depending on use. For us, we don’t have a utility sink in our Laundry Room, so water isn’t an issue, and if we mainly use it for folding clothes, I think it’ll get us to that 20 year mark, no issues.
What do you seal laundry room countertops with?
We sealed our wooden countertops with a simple water based polyurethane. We tested a few finish coats on a cut off, and noticed a bit of a color change with the oil based option, so I opted out of that option. If you have a sink in your laundry room, you’ll want to be sure to properly seal the wood with a waterproofing sealer.
I’ve been using the countertop for a few weeks now and absolutely love it. We’re installing the hinged part of the countertop tomorrow, and I can’t wait to make use of it!