One of the biggest challenges of the green movement is that it is seen by many people as labor-intensive and filled with sacrifice. Not surprisingly, that doesn’t appeal to a lot of folks.

If we want to build a more sustainable culture, we need to find ways to make sustainable choices cost effective, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to use.

Here are 3 easy ways to make your life BOTH easier AND more environmentally friendly:

1. I was thrilled to discover laundry strips. I sought them out and started using them because I wanted to reduce my plastic consumption and there is a lot of plastic in those big detergent bottles. The laundry strips avoid that.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the laundry strips also save me time and hassle. They are easier than using the big bulky, heavy detergent bottles. They require much less space in my small laundry room. And, in fact, they are more accessible for the elderly and people with disabilities because the strips can’t spill and are so light weight. Laundry strips help us use less plastic but they also make our lives easier. What a delightful combination and innovation.

2. If you haven’t yet tried the soap tablets that turn into foaming hand soap when you add water, you should. They are cheap and easy. And, similar to the laundry strips, they involve a lot less plastic than their traditional counterparts and a lot less storage space.

3. Fabric gift wrapping has been used in Japan for many years but it is new to most Americans. Experts commonly estimate that more than 2 million tons of wrapping paper are thrown away each year in the United States. Most wrapping paper, despite being made of paper, is not recyclable because of the tape, other attachments, or specialized ink used on it.

I encourage you to explore wrapping your gifts in cloth. The cloth adds a feeling of luxury to the gift while helping reduce waste because it can truly last a lifetime. What a nice combination. You can do an internet search for “furoshiki” to see the traditional Japanese style or explore some new products using fabric wrapping, such as the one my company developed, available at

These small choices, when made my thousands or millions of people over time, really can make a significant difference. I hope you’ll join us in our efforts to make sustainability easier and more accessible.

Lauren Daugherty is the founder and CEO of Evergreen Wrapping, an eco-friendly reusable gift wrap company that provides a zero-waste alternative to traditional wrapping paper