Your Guide to Clean Living in 2020

I was watching a few minutes of the Today Show this morning and was totally intrigued by the Clean Living Segment. Hoda & Jenna {my favs!!} are leading a challenge for viewers to examine how clean their lifestyle actually is. The focus of the show was to inspire easy ways to integrate clean living in beauty, self care, home cleaning and diet. I strive to live pretty clean myself, but besides Clean Eating–which is eating whole foods and avoiding processed ones, I have some room for improvement!

Coincidentally today is the First Full Moon of the decade!! Woo hoo! The first full moon is in Cancer which has a homey vibe! “This domestic goddess of a full moon reminds us that cleaning our homes can clear our minds“. Perfect timing for hunkering down in the casa this weekend and trying to rid your home of plastic, harmful cleaning products and beauty products that contain toxic ingredients and chemicals linked to harmful health effects!

Let’s review some jaw dropping facts:: Did you know it takes 10 to 1000 years for a measly plastic bag to decompose! Crazy right!? Think about how long your use for a plastic bag is? Maybe an hour to transport a snack from point A to point B. Is that worth it?? Even if you used a plastic bag for one year, it could still take 99 more years before it decomposes.

Moving on to plastic bottles…There is no doubt that plastic water bottles are super efficient. When you are on the go, or traveling, single use bottles make things really easy. Studies show that people around the world buy a total of one million plastic bottles per minute. That’s almost 1.5 billion plastic bottles per day! {WHOA!}

The big problem is that 91% of plastic doesn’t actually end up getting recycled. Eight million metric tons of plastic ends up in the “garbage patches” of our oceans every year! It just about doubles every 10 years.

Researchers estimate that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish

A bar graph showing how long it takes for various garbage items to decompose

We can do better in 2020 y’all!! By switching our habits at home, we can effect change.

Let’s make reduce, reuse, recycle a bigger part of our lives.


Cut Back On Unnecessary Plastic & Paper use:

I know it sounds daunting to completely ditch plastic sandwich bags, single use water bottles {or sports drinks!!} paper napkins, paper towels and snack bags entirely, forever. But we can do better!

Upgrade your dining table, and commit to using cloth (washable) napkins & cleaning towels at home! Cloth napkins totally elevate your meal, and its so easy to toss them in the washer post dinner.

For paper towels, try a re-usable version like these by Birdseye Cotton. They are 100% cotton, easy to wash, well absorbent and come in a colorful rainbow collection. They do a great job on my sticky counters!

I’m a big fan of these reusable Stasher Bags to replace our plastic snack bag habit. They are made from non-toxic silicone, and are dishwasher and microwavable safe! Total Game change and thankfully you can find them everywhere {Even Anthro!}!!

Stasher Reusable Sandwich Bag

I also REALLY love Food Huggers! They come in multiple shapes and sizes depending on your need and are so easy to clean.

As for water storage, there is no one better than YETI! Gift yourself a thermos or two that will literally last a lifetime. I’ve been cleaning ours in the dishwasher for years, and so far so good!

Rambler 30 oz Tumbler, River Green, medium

Reduce Plastic in The Kitchen and Aim to Eat Real Whole Foods:

Fill your home with zero waste snacks!!! Fruits and veggies are nature’s perfect snack. Hydrating, delicious and they leave no waste! Plus they are so much better for your family! How easy to simply grab a banana, orange, celery or an apple and head out the door!

Craving something salty? Make a hard boiled egg with salt instead of a plastic encased bag of potato chips. The protein enriched egg will keep you satisfied and nourished!!
Craving something sweet? Bake your own cookies, waffles or muffins instead of buying plastic wrapped pre-packaged, goods at the store! Store them in stasher bags or your glass meal containers. {I love OXO}

Bring your own shopping bag and head to the Farmer’s market! There is nothing better than fresh, local produce and protein from local farmers! Most everything sold there is “clean” so you can aimlessly shop and see what speaks to you! When you do head to the grocery store, skip the provided plastic bags in the produce section. It’s so easy to toss apples, lemons and limes directly in the cart.

When all else fails and you need to use plastic, be sure to recycle!

Clean Beauty

“According to the Environmental Working Group, there are over 80,000 chemicals on the market today but only about 30 (11 beauty ones) are banned by regulators in the United States. {Le Sigh}. In an effort to keep consumers happy and healthy, a variety of beauty brands are stepping up to the plate in order to make “clean” the norm”. Woo hoo!

Check out the products beauty expert Bobby Thomas recommends to makeover your clean beauty living! Also Credo Beauty is a site dedicated to clean beauty products! Fantastic!

Personally, here are a few I can’t live without!

I’ve been using Acure brightening wash and brightening scrub for years! My friend Ashley recommended it to me 5 years ago, and I haven’t looked back! It’s sold at Target, Whole Foods, HEB, Amazon, so it’s so easy to stock up! The website is actually having 20% off right now! Perfect time to try it! I also love Acure’s unicorn shimmer shampoo and conditioner

As for perfume, I think Henry Rose is the only clean fragrance on the market! The fresh scents are made from safe ingredients, are cruelty free, non-toxic & come in 90% recycled glass bottles.
Actress Michelle Pfeiffer worked with the EWG to create a fragrance that fit industry standards for clean beauty. My favorite scent is FOG!
Try them yourself! Every Henry Rose sample set comes with a $20 credit toward your first full-size purchase.

Sephora now highlights clean beauty on their website, making it really easy to shop consciously! Drunk Elephant, Tarte and First Aid Beauty are some of my favorite clean beauty brands.
I’m also loving this Sephora brand firming sleeping cream. It’s really moisturizing without being too heavy and at $16! Super cost effective!!

SEPHORA COLLECTION - Firming Sleeping Cream 1.69 fl oz/ 50 mL

As for deodorant I use Native–Coconut & Vanilla, and for clean toothpaste I buy Burt’s Bees for the kids {they love the flavor!} and Jason’s Powerful Peppermint Whitening toothpaste for myself.

Native Deodorant - Natural Deodorant - Vegan, Gluten Free, Cruelty Free - Free of Aluminum, Parabens & Sulfates - Born in the USA - Coconut & Vanilla

When in doubt download the Think Dirty App! The app educates users on potential toxins in household, personal care and beauty products. Just scan the product barcode and Think Dirty will give you a list of ingredients! GENIUS! By default, products receive an overall Think Dirty rating. If several ingredients in a given product receive high ratings, the product itself is automatically assigned a Think Dirty rating of 10!

Go Green! While you Clean!

I have some room for improvement here, but I’m inspired to incorporate sustainable, effective cleaning products into our home and get rid of unnecessary toxic chemicals. I love this All Purpose Cleaner Solution by Lou Mandredini. As well as this extensive “clean” cleaning product list from Today!
Here are the products I plan to start with first! I’m most excited about the E-Cloth Microfiber Cloth Set. Apparently using an E-Cloth + water removes over 99% of bacteria, mold, pollen & other contaminants, locking them away inside the cloths’ fibers, where they stay until the cloths are rinsed! Sounds so efficient AND eco-friendly!

All-Purpose Cleaners

To make your own DIY cleaner, mix together the following ingredients. All-purpose cleaners are ideal for everything from counter tops to bathroom mirrors

  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 gallon of water

If you don’t feel like making your own, Lou recommends this dye-free, clean, bio-based cleaner by Seventh Generation. Simply spray your surfaces and wipe clean with a reusable cloth.

I hope you found this to be a helpful collection of clean living inspiration! Like I said, the Today Show totally inspired me to live with more intention.

Which area of your home do you plan to “clean” first!

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Ashley (urell) Guzzo

    Cort! I love this so much

  2. Sara Hazard

    Great article! Another plastic that has been banned in many countries and it is really bad for the environment is the straw!
    I am thinking to go back to the old hand and body soaps and avoid the plastic containers .
    I will definitely be checking the “clean” beauty products!

    1. Cortney Zieky

      Great point! Thankfully most of Austin has banned straws.I use glass/clear straws at home. They are easy to wash as well!

  3. Domenica

    Very Inspiring, Courtney!!! Love this so much!!!… okay… I’ll do my Best to implement these things into our lives. Always Always a Great reminder to remember these facts about plastics and products … and Foods! We CAN do Better!!!

    1. Cortney Zieky

      Even a small improvement is a step in the right direction!!! I still use plastic as well, but thankfully I’m becoming more aware of the negative effects on our Earth and learning better tools for plastic and paper alternatives! Our kids are also learning from our leadership, so maybe by the time they are adults this plastic situation will be so much better!

  4. Michelle

    Wow! Great post!

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Welcome to Happy Dinner! I’m Cortney, a Holistic Health Coach, wellness entrepreneur, wife and Mama of two, here to make holistic health simple and engaging!

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