Friday Favorites – Affordable Eco-Friendly Switches

Friday Favorites Eco-Friendly switches

Welcome to our newest series. In “Friday Favorites,” our team will share a handful of favorite items. These can range from clothes to beauty products to recipes to books and anything in between.

As a person who tries to be environmentally conscious, I try to make better purchases and choices as a consumer. And I finally feel like the economy (and the world) are moving into this. I live in Hawaii, and the community here tries very hard to follow the old adage of “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” I love it.

However, I’m also a parent and living on a budget. Some eco-friendly products are expensive! I do my best to balance what I really want to switch my family over to and how much I can afford. So for this week’s Friday Favorites, I’m listing some of my most affordable eco-friendly switches. Not too much impact on the Earth and on my wallet!

Coolah sunscreen

Reef Friendly Sunscreen

Maybe it’s because I live in Hawaii, but I had never thought of what sunscreen can do to ocean life until moving here. There are chemicals and ingredients in traditional sunscreen that are harmful to sea creatures, plant life, and coral. 

Yet switching to completely reef safe sunscreen can be pricey. I aim for the middle ground: reef and wallet-friendly. Look for sunscreens with organic or natural ingredients. There should also be a label of “reef friendly” or “reef safe” on the label. This one from Coolah is a little expensive but my favorite. It’s lightweight and smells amazing!

Reusable Food Bags

Many stores and households have been switching to reusable shopping bags; there are some stores that refuse to give plastic bags or charge you for them. But what about food storage?

These bags are perfect for lunches, traveling, and more. They are waterproof and sealed for food freshness. And they can replace more than 300 standard plastic bags. They are easy to clean and use.

I hated the idea of spending more money on bags for lunches but when you do the math of continuously purchasing single-use bags, these save a family so much money.

reusable bags
Kindle e-reader


I am a huge book snob. Nothing makes me happier than the smell of a library and that “book smell.” I was adamant that I would never switch to e-books or digital reading.

So I made a compromise: half e-books, half actual books. This choice made me feel better about my reading consumption. I use my iPad but there are many options out there for reading digitally!

Beeswax Wraps

I remember the first time I saw a reusable beeswax wrap. It was $15 for one wrap! But it’s all about the math again. $15 for a wrap that would serve me 6 months of use versus how many $5 boxes of plastic, single-use wrap? 

I love these wraps for all kinds of food storage. Lifetime uses vary from 2 months to a year, and most are biodegradable or can be repurposed after this. Plus look at the patterns! I’m a sucker for a good print. 

There are tutorials for making your own beeswax wrap here, but I prefer to buy mine. The wraps linked above are a great starter pack.

beeswax wraps
dryer balls

Wool Dryer Balls

I was skeptical about this replacement for dryer sheets. Would these actually help with static cling? And what about the fragrance of dryer sheets?

Simple answer: YES. These tennis ball-shaped dryer balls are 100% wool and help reduce static, wrinkles, and drying time. If you like some fragrance, you can add a few drop of essential oil to them. This pack from Target costs less than $10, which saves you tons of money in the long run.

Stainless Steel or Glass Water Bottle

It’s 2020 – get yourself a reusable water bottle! We have many in varying sizes and shapes. From glass bottles to 60 oz. Hydroflasks, there is a water bottle for everyone in our house. I’m not saying that we never drink from plastic bottles because we are not perfect, but we try to use our reusable ones as often as we can.

They are not just environmentally friendly. They save you money on plastic water bottles and encourage everyone to drink more water. Because we all need to drink more water!

water bottles

Gretchen also wrote a great post about eco-friendly period alternatives – check that out here! What are your favorite eco-friendly products?

This article may contain affiliate links. By clicking on these links and purchasing products, the owners of Military Moms Blog may be compensated, at no cost to you. Thank you!
Previous article18 Ways to Provide Support During a Deployment
Next articleJuly Book Club: A Good Marriage
Rachel Carpenter
Rachel has been an Air Force spouse for 17 years. Her husband's career had taken them to many assignments around the world, and she currently lives in Hawaii. She is a mother of four children; their ages range from fifteen to four years old, so her life is often exciting and challenging. She holds a BA in English and a MA in Management. When not busy with work or her family, she enjoys volunteering within the military community and has even been a Key Spouse at two stations. Rachel has always enjoyed writing and literature, and she is happy to find this community to combine these interests. She has been featured on We Are The Mighty, Her View From Home, AMSE, The Beautifull Project, Hand-in-Hand QC, and other publications - but The Military Mom Collective is her home. :)