simple sustainable swaps for a new year.

January 7, 2020
grove collaborative special offer | reading my tea leaves

This post is sponsored by Grove Collaborative, an online marketplace committed to making it easier to find healthy and sustainable household essentials.

For better or worse, I start every new year with a list of resolutions that would be totally feasible if only I could crack the code to adding two more days to the week and an extra hour to each day. With the additional time, I reason, I could finally perfect my homemade yogurt or learn to knit something more complex than a scarf. I could build myself a shelf and stock it with tinctures and potions made from my newfound herbalist skills, all while also working a full-time job, parenting young kids, and generally not losing my mind.

grove collaborative special offer | reading my tea leaves

But while I aspire to the kind of self-reliance and swaths of time that would allow me to craft everything from hand, the reality often looks different. I’d never encourage anyone to give up the dream, but if you, like me, currently lack the bandwidth to craft a homemade band-aid when your child takes a tumble on the walk to school, or perfect the chemistry on your own laundry detergent, it can be comforting to know there are simple, available options that require neither advanced homesteading skills nor reliance on products that we know are not great for ourselves or our planet. Grove Collaborative is one such spot.

For me and for James, making a conscious effort to curb our consumption and think carefully about even the most basic household items, has been a decade-long process. Some of that process has been about learning to make things ourselves and some of it has been about shifting our buying habits and finding new solutions that help us live a bit lighter on the planet. We’ve found our way with the advice and support of like-minded folk, and increasingly, sustainable businesses like Grove Collaborative cropping up to fill the gaps.

Ambitions of homesteading prowess notwithstanding, I’m the first to admit that one of my favorite things about living in the middle of a bustling city is that most everything I need is just a short walk away from our little attic apartment. Within just a few blocks, for example, there’s a thrice-weekly farmer’s market, an organic grocer, and a spot to refill laundry detergent. The advantage of this proximity to such a wealth of options isn’t lost on me and I know that for lots of folks, healthy and sustainable household items—products that are reusable, or refillable, or generally produced with an eye turned specifically toward a lower environmental impact—aren’t just around the corner from home.

grove collaborative special offer | reading my tea leaves

To serve folks facing this conundrum, Grove offers a tightly edited catalog of basic household products that are plant-based, sustainable, and healthy—from toilet paper and facial tissues to household cleaners and laundry supplies. When I had the opportunity to place a test order with Grove before the New Year, I was pleased to see that they carried many of the same household staples that James and I use and depend on regularly: compostable parchment paper for the family baker, tree-free tissues for this season of non-stop colds, bamboo bandaids for those morning tumbles. In addition to products from well-known household brands, Grove also offers their own line of goods, including essential oils, dishwashing detergents, laundry detergents and hand soap. And while I’m not generally in the habit of buying household basics online, I can report that having a box full of essentials delivered directly to my door did indeed feel a little like adding an extra hour to my day.

grove collaborative special offer | reading my tea leaves

To incentivize folks seeking to shift their own consumer habits, Grove is offering new customers spending $20 or more, a sustainable starter set to help them along.

The gift includes the following:

+ Grove Bamboo Straws

+ Grove Reusable Sandwich Bags

+ Grove Gel Hand Soap Refill

+ Grove Hand Soap Dispenser

+ Grove Walnut Scrubber Sponges

+ 60-day VIP trial

+ Customers who spend $39 or more, will receive the above in addition to a Grove Stoneware Tray. Existing customers will get a free set of Grove walnut scrubber sponges. Offers available while supplies last.

Note: Grove currently ships only to the lower 48 states and is not available for shipping internationally, to Canada, Hawaii or Alaska. Grove prioritizes post-consumer materials for all packaging and carbon offsets every shipment they send out the door.

This post is sponsored by Grove Collaborative. All opinions are my own. Many thanks for supporting the brands that support Reading My Tea Leaves.

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15 Comments

  • Reply Nancy January 7, 2020 at 11:56 pm

    I keep checking out Grove, and the other mail order eco household supply company (I can’t remember what it’s called…), but reluctant to spend the money just to try it out! This is a good deal, though. I’m going to check it out!

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  • Reply Pat S January 8, 2020 at 8:19 am

    This is as good a time as any to say Thank You for your post ages ago regarding the use of Pyrex bowls to store your leftovers. I bought a big set of them and it has almost entirely eliminated my use of plastics for that purpose. I also just received a package of laundry sheets from https://www.sheetslaundryclub.com/ and am hoping I will find it a good replacement for what I’ve been using.

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  • Reply Sara January 8, 2020 at 10:08 am

    Hi Erin, I’d appreciate to hear your thoughts (and other reader’s) on the sustainability equation of boxed purchases such as Grove – does it make sense? Is it more ecological than going to (especially on foot) to a store where we can purchase bulk and non-bulk natural products?
    I know it won’t tilt the scales in the grand scheme of things, but I do wonder, when trying to live life as sustainably as possible. Thanks!

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    • Reply ERIN BOYLE January 8, 2020 at 11:00 am

      I’d love to see research on this. This is definitely a question that I think about a lot and I don’t have a totally clear grasp on the answer. For myself, as mentioned above, I’ve typically gone the route of traveling by foot to refill at bulk shops and to use products with as little packaging as possible. If you’re someone who buys local unpackaged bar soap at the farmer’s market to which you can walk, switching to pouches of shipped hand soap doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. But I think much of the answer lies in where an individual’s habits and buying patterns are starting from. If you’re someone who regularly buys individual conventional plastic bottles at a big box store, where you need to drive and park and make regular trips, I think switching to a mail order service like this one with options both for both cleaner products and more sustainable packaging, makes much more sense in terms of ecological footprint.

      1
  • Reply Annie January 8, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    Much of the carbon footprint from in-store shopping comes from customer transport. Urban density, packaging, efficacy of various shippers’ routes & processes, and other factors also come into play…so basically it depends. Shipping can actually be more “enviro friendly” in certain situations, as can in-store shopping. Returns are terrible for the environment, so that is something to consider. See this MIT study: https://ctl.mit.edu/pub/thesis/environmental-analysis-us-online-shopping

    1
    • Reply ERIN BOYLE January 8, 2020 at 12:48 pm

      Thanks so much for this! As predicted! And yes to returns…did you see the piece I linked to before the holidays about them? Devastating!

    • Reply J January 8, 2020 at 5:37 pm

      So I may be in the minority, but these free offers typically make me less likely to try a company. In my mind giving away ‘free’ items that the person may not want defeats the idea of using more sustainable products (obviously this doesn’t include those who genuinely want and would use the free items). I find many of these companies do not give the option to ‘opt out’ of freebies. I just feel that it doesn’t matter how sustainably something is made of you are still rampantly consuming.

      • Reply ERIN BOYLE January 8, 2020 at 6:45 pm

        I hear this! I’m often either not in need of or wanting free gifts. Agreed we’re probably in the minority, but in cases when I end up something I really don’t need myself, I love using my Buy Nothing group to redistribute! My kids each took one straw from this set, for instance, but I was able to give the other set to a woman in the neighborhood who needs to take and mix special powered medicine daily! They were perfect for her! The bags went to another family with twins in need of a snack bag solution, et cetera, et cetera. In terms of opting out, I believe if you chat with the customer service online before filling your cart they can void the gift!

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  • Reply S January 8, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    Is there a way to order from Grove right now without the starter set gift? It’s a lovely offer, but we don’t need any of those particular items and don’t want to just send the excess to Goodwill or landfill!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE January 8, 2020 at 6:39 pm

      I think so! If you just head to grove.co instead of following the links here, I believe you would avoid the gift! If not, try using the customer service chat before placing your order and they can likely void these items!

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      • Reply S January 9, 2020 at 9:28 am

        Follow-up – I live-chatted a Grove rep about placing an order without the gift set and got this response: “We truly appreciate that, however, our system won’t allow us to remove the free items for your first order, we ask that you donate any of the unwanted items!” Alas.

        • Reply ERIN BOYLE January 9, 2020 at 11:01 am

          Ah, got it. Did you try my suggestion of not using one of these links and going to the site directly instead?

          • S January 9, 2020 at 2:40 pm

            I did, but there’s a different freebie set through that route! Ha. Such nice offers if you’re already in the market for those items, but I wish it were possible to opt out. Not on Facebook, but may rejoin when we move this year just for the Buy Nothing Group! It sounds so great.

          • ERIN BOYLE January 9, 2020 at 3:09 pm

            Oh, darn it! The Buy Nothing Project is really great! Dependent on location and group dynamics no doubt, but I love being a part of our so much!

            1
  • Reply Nancy January 10, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    Hi, Erin!

    I just wanted to let you know that the website is having some issues today, and not adding stuff to the cart, etc. I spoke to customer service and they ended up giving me a credit for the value of the promotion. I asked them to make sure you get credited with the referral!

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