The March 2013 Ensign featured an article on Self-Reliance that opened my eyes to how important that principle is – both temporally and spiritually. Lately I have been trying to improve how “green” my household is by eating fresher foods (which don’t come in plastic packaging) and opting for reusable items instead of disposable wherever possible. My Etsy favorites list is bursting with beautiful, hand-made items that I would love to add to my stash. As I sat on my porch in the beautiful sunshine, reading the article above while the neighborhood kids played in the street, I realized that being self-reliant is an incredible way to also be eco-friendly! A simple Etsy search for “reusable” turned up some fascinating finds, including some things I’d rather not have to wash, like reusable baby wipes and some lady things…but before you shriek and vow you will never use these items, let me share a quote:
President Spencer W. Kimball once said “I remember when the sisters used to say “Well, but we could buy it at the store a lot cheaper than we can put it up.” But that isn’t quite the answer… Because there will come a time when there isn’t a store.” (General Conference – April 1974 Welfare Session, repeated in 1977 Ensign.)
NO stores whatsoever? You mean when we run out of toilet paper we’ll have to cut up old T-shirts for bathroom wipes then wash them like the pioneers did? Personally, I’d rather do my self-reliance in style, using products that others have already tested so I know they function as they should (and look fabulous while doing it!) Here is another quote from the same 1977 Ensign article that finishes our point:
“…Although it may cost more in terms of time, effort, and sometimes even money to produce certain necessities, it is cheaper in the long run because it is the beginning of self-reliance and independence. It will enable us to help ourselves and our neighbors during times of trouble…[In addition,] these activities keep alive the skills necessary for our survival in times of emergency. By and large we are no longer an agrarian society that could turn back to the soil and begin right away to make a living for ourselves. Many, many beginners in home gardening, for example, can testify to that! Learning these skills once again is very reassuring, as well as satisfying.”
So if I don’t learn how to do it now, I won’t know how to do it later – or how to pass it on to my children. With this information in mind, we’re going to show you how amazingly fabulous self-reliance can be with a visual tour of eco-friendly, reusable products from our most favorite site – ETSY!
(We are not affiliated with nor sponsored by any Etsy shops nor sellers. We just like their stuff and posted the pictures we thought were cutest! Photos link directly to the shop for purchase.)
Let’s start with something easy: washable paper towels. Isn’t this roll gorgeous?!! I recently switched from paper towels to using kitchen towels and slashed $24 off my grocery budget. (Yikes, we were using a LOT of paper towels!)
Have a Swiffer? There are lots of sellers who make washable pads so you don’t have to keep buying refills!
Ever wonder how many sandwich bags you’re using per year? Multiply the number of school days (usually 180) by the number of children you have to pack lunches for to get a rough estimate…and that’s JUST for sandwiches. If you’re not good at math, opt for reusable bags – they’re easier than algebra!
Just about anything you buy and throw away has a reusable counterpart. I love the idea of these stainless steel smoothie straws. The seller offers regular sizes as well and all have a lifetime guarantee.
Now off to the bathroom! I thought these washable makeup rounds were super cute!
If you tend to blow through $3 worth of kleenex during a single cold, you might want to consider a set of soft, nose-soothing hankies.
Remember what I said about how the pioneers used to wipe? You can buy soft flannel bathroom wipes for your emergency kit so you never have to worry about running out of toilet paper.
They have everything a girl could need, even in bright colors!
Literally everything…Yep, washable tampons exist, too!
While we’re on the topic of essential lady items, these cute things are washable nursing pads.
Jumping on to the laundry room, I couldn’t believe how simple these paperless dryer sheets are. Fill a spray bottle with fabric softener and a bit of water, spritz a single layer of fabric and toss in with your clothes. So simple!
This plastic grocery bag holder can do double-duty as a rag dispenser. Either way, it’s going to look good!
Bright & sturdy produce bags cut down on the number of plastic bags your family throws away (and you don’t waste time in the produce section trying to figure out which end of the bag opens!)
Who knew that an eco-friendly house filled with sturdy, washable items also satisfied the commandment to be self-reliant? With these items on-hand (even if they are tucked away in an emergency kit because you don’t want to use them right now) you’ll never need to fear bare grocery store shelves because your family will be provided for!