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Howdy and welcome to another installment of our humble blog!

As you know, we here at Santa Barbara Stone Masters are enthusiasts for living sustainably.

To that end, we periodically share with you some of our favorite practices to help you join along in that effort, and today’s entry will be another example of that.

Perhaps the easiest practice you can adopt for a life of sustainable living is to reduce the amount of waste you produce.

There is no shortage of methods that can help minimize your waste output – we’ve talked before about up-cycling as a great option – but today we want to focus on small, out-of-the-box changes that make a HUGE difference with very little effort.

Forget paper towels!

Paper towels have got to be among the most underrated inventions of the 20th century. They are affordable and convenient and useful in cleaning just about anything. But they are also exceptionally wasteful!

Not only that, but the average family in America spends almost $200 a year on paper towels. Instead, consider using washable cleaning cloths like these microfiber rags.

At less than $10 for a pack of three, you could purchase several packs for significantly less than $200.

Worried about napkins? A four-pack of cloth napkins from Target is only $10! Get a few that you like to last over laundry cycles, and you’ll be saving money and saving the planet all at once.

Reusable coffee cups

Call me captain obvious if you want, but I would be remiss not to include this.

If you’re anything like me, you drink a lot of coffee, which means that a lot of cardboard is going into the waste.

Cut it out!

Find a brand and style of coffee cup that you LOVE, that you will want to use every day, and take it with you wherever you go!

Take it to your local coffee shop and have them put your favorite drink in your cup instead of their disposable cups – they’ll do it gladly, and over time you will be cutting down on a lot of waste.

Cloth diapers

Gross, right?

Maybe, but honestly, not any more than with disposable diapers, and these you don’t have to dispose!

Cloth diapers are also another great way of saving money while you save the planet – you could be spending between $700 and $800 a year on diapers alone (as though babies weren’t expensive enough!).

A “fancy” cloth diaper is only as expensive as $25, and that’s the high end! Invest in a dozen affordable cloth diapers for $120 and they’ll last you for as long as your baby wears them.

Ask for no straw

A lot of bars and restaurants are getting wise to how wasteful straws are, but many will go ahead and toss one right into your drink for you.

Ask yourself: do you really need a straw to enjoy your drink?

If the answer is no, make a habit of asking your server to leave it out! Straws are among the biggest causes of needless waste, and this small practice will go a long way to reducing it!

Shampoo bars

Alright, I admit I’m really dipping into the deep end with this one, but I really think you’ll thank me later!

Not only are shampoo bars cheaper than liquid shampoo, they tend to last longer (since one is less prone to use too much) and they do away with the pesky plastic bottles. If this isn’t too far out for you, I highly recommend giving this a try!

What great ways do you use to reduce your waste?

We’d love to hear about them. And if you are a property owner or business in the Santa Barbara that needs some help with your natural stone, give us a call today!

Skip Jankoski

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