Homesteading is admirable, but you don’t have to go all in on solar panels, geothermal coils and propane to show concern for the environment. Further your eco-friendly lifestyle by starting with a look at your buying habits.

Small changes, cumulatively, can make a big difference. Here are a few small changes you can implement in your life:

Trade plastic wrap for beeswax cloth wraps.

These wraps will keep your food fresh, and they’re easier to use than plastic wrap that wants to cling in the wrong places. They’re also fun for kids since you can choose your own fabric. You can buy them or make them yourself with this simple-to-follow guide.

Make the switch to bamboo or Tencel sheets.

Both plants are more sustainable to grow than conventional cotton. Organic cotton, unfortunately, has yet to find a viable place to stand in the market.

Bamboo can grow up to a yard per day, according to Sleepopolis, and is a fully sustainable wood source. Sheets made from bamboo are naturally soft, quick to dry, and don’t require special care or fabric softener. They’re antifungal, antibacterial, hypoallergenic, and resistant to mold and mildew. Although slightly more expensive, bamboo sheets can last a long time.

If you’re going to choose bamboo, be sure to choose bamboo linen, as bamboo rayon requires the use of harsh chemicals.

Tencel is made from eucalyptus trees and is as soft as bamboo. It’s made using a solvent called N-methylmorpholine N-oxide (NMMO), which is not generally considered harmful to the environment.

If you get warm while you sleep, Tencel is a good choice since it’s cool to the touch. It also wrinkles less than cotton. The downsides are that it’s more expensive and absorbs water, which makes it prone to mildew.

Understand the life cycle of products before you buy.

Every product has a life cycle and is going to meet its end someday. Get a better version of the product you need, and you’ll be doing yourself and the planet a favor.

For instance, buy a used laser printer instead of an inkjet printer. Inkjet printers are designed to break down, most manufacturers don’t allow cartridges to be refilled, and ink is more expensive than fine champagne.

What purchasing habits have you changed to benefit Mother Earth?

By Jenna Cyprus

Jenna is a freelance writer and business consultant who covers business, technology and entrepreneurship. She's lectured for several universities and worked with more than 100 businesses over the course of the past 15 years. She's a mother of two kids, and loves to go camping, hiking and skiing with her family.