Written by Grove Collaborative

St. Patrick who? Discover 9 different ways to go green this March.

Last Updated: March 4, 2021

Sure, wear your kelly green plaid sweater or olive green corduroys on March 17, but as the world turns green around you over the next 31 days, let this be the month you seek out other ways to green up your life. Here are nine of them.

Around the world, the month of March is most commonly associated with St Patrick’s Day. Whether you celebrate the 17th in a church or in a tavern — or a little of both, or absolutely neither — you probably enjoy the tradition of wearing green (although we doubt there’s a lot of pinching going on in the workplace these days). But there’s more than one way to go green this March instead of wearing a green lapel pin or dancing on the bar in beads for Mardi Gras, March’s other marquee holiday.

In honor of the forgotten days of March, we’ve dug up a few lesser-known holidays that also have opportunities for celebrating by “going green” — but in a way that’ll do the earth (and your body) some real good. You may even save a little spinach, if you know what we mean.


March 3: Go plastic-free for World Wildlife Day

We’ve all heard about the horrifying effects of plastic garbage on marine animals and the fact that our furry land friends also suffer terribly from humanity’s wanton plastic consumption. Every year, Americans alone send 100 billion single-use plastic bags and 50 billion plastic water bottles to the landfill. This World Wildlife Day, why not make a commitment to reducing your plastic use? As we detail in our guide to going plastic free, it’s really pretty easy — and these four super-simple swaps will get you started.

Instead of: plastic straws (half a billion used daily in the U.S.).
Use: metal, bamboo, or glass straws.

Instead of: disposable razors (2 billion sent to the landfill each year).
Use: a reusable razor with disposable blades.

Instead of: disposable toothbrushes (1 billion sent to the landfill each year).
Use: eco-friendly toothbrushes with reusable handle and disposable heads.

Instead of: shampoo and conditioner in bottles.
Use: waterless shampoo & conditioner bars.

March 5: Slay energy vampires on National Day of Unplugging

National Day of Unplugging is a 24-hour respite from all of the electronic devices that beg for our constant attention and give us blue-light headaches. But these and other electronics suck up more than our precious time — they’re energy vampires that continue to draw electricity from outlets even when you’re not using them, increasing your carbon footprint and your energy bill, to the tune of a couple hundred clams a year.

To celebrate National Day of Unplugging, unplug devices with wall warts (the big, square plugs like the one on your chargers) and bricks (the large boxes found mid-cord on devices like your laptop) from the wall, and plug them into a smart power strip, which detects when a device is in standby mode and cuts the power to it. Do the same with other energy vampires, like your cable box, gaming system, coffee pot — pretty much anything with a light that stays on.

March 8: Shop women-owned brands for International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day, which celebrates women’s achievements and promotes a gender-equal world! But what does gender equality have to do with going green? Well, as it turns out, gender bias and inequality are fundamentally environmental issues that put conservation goals and sustainability at risk worldwide.

So what better day than today to make just one permanent swap that makes you a regular patron of a woman-owned business? You can do it right here at Grove, where we have quite a few favorite women-owned brands. Here are just a few:

Bee’s Wrap

Bee’s Wrap founder Sarah Kaeck made an old tradition new again with her delightful alternative to plastic wrap. Made with organic cotton infused with beeswax, tree resin, and organic jojoba oil, Bee’s Wraps cover any container, creating an air-tight seal and reducing the need for plastic-based food storage solutions.

OSEA

Jenefer and Melissa Palmer are the brains behind OSEA, a beauty brand that creates certified organic, 100% vegan, and cruelty-free skincare products using sustainably sourced, plant-based ingredients. You won’t find any synthetic ingredients in OSEA’s products, which include serums, cleansers, and body oils.

SmartyPits

After her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, Stacia Guzzo went on the search for an aluminum-free antiperspirant that was convenient and effective. She didn’t find anything, so she created it herself. SmartyPits’ deodorants are free of aluminum, phthalates, parabens, and propylene glycol, and they work like a charm and smell dreamy.

March 11: Save a tree on National Johnny Appleseed Day

Every elementary school kid knows about Johnny Appleseed, but once you’ve been away from that scene for a while, poor Mr. Appleseed gets lumped in with the likes of Daniel Boone, Paul Bunyan, and John Henry. Need a refresher? In his younger years, John Chapman, b. 1774, worked in a Pennsylvania nursery planting apple trees. Inexplicably, one day he started walking west toward Iowa, planting apple seeds as he went — and coincidentally, where pioneers would later settle. Make like Johnny A. with these three tree-friendly swaps:

Swap paper towels for...

Reusable paper towels. Can’t live without your paper towels? Neither can we. These super-sturdy bamboo “paper” towels are absorbent, and when you’re done wiping up a mess, you just rinse it out, reuse it for around a week, and then compost or recycle it.

Swap toilet paper for...

Tree-free bath tissue. Made from bamboo and sugarcane, tree-free bath tissue is strong, sustainable, and free of chemicals, dyes, and fragrances. It’s safe for all sewer and septic systems and compostable toilets, and did we mention it’s supersoft and absorbent?

Swap paper napkins for...

Tree-free napkins. These soft 100% bamboo fiber napkins are strong and ultraabsorbent. For every 40 packs of Seedling by Grove Tree-Free Napkins we sell, we plant a tree — one million of them by the end of 2022!

March 12: Plant (or plan) a pollinator garden on National Plant a Flower Day

The bees and the monarch butterflies are in trouble, and they need our help. Celebrate National Plant a Flower Day by designing a pollinator garden — and planting it, if you’re in the right hardiness zone. A beautiful, colorful pollinator garden packs in the bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other critters we need for a healthy ecosystem.

Choose a sunny location, and find out what varieties of milkweed and wildflowers are native to your area. Plant a wide selection of flowers that will bloom at different times during the season, and choose plants that are proven favorites for pollinators in your region. Your local county extension can help you choose.

March 18: Green your time of month for Goddess of Fertility Day

Goddess of Fertility Day is a celebration of fertility, life, love, sex, and rebirth. Today, channel your inner Aphrodite, Isis, or Venus, and fully embrace your femininity in all its messy, complicated, and misunderstood glory. If you’ve been doing your period the same way all these years, maybe it’s time to re-think it. Here are some healthier and greener alternatives to the usual lineup of period products.

Menstrual cups

Menstrual cups are a goddess-send. They go in like a tampon, but instead of soaking up menstrual fluid, they collect it, holding up to 60 milliliters, compared to a tampon’s five millimeters. Period cups are eco-friendly, vagina-friendly, and reusable, saving you lots of dough over time. Here’s the full low-down on menstrual cups.

Period underwear

Period underwear is amazing. There’s nothing to insert, empty, or dispose of, no unwieldy pads to get bunched up and leak. Nothing but a comfy pair of underpants with ultra-absorbent, leak-proof layers that hold fluids away from your body. Period underwear last up to five years and can replace your pads and tampons. Intrigued? Read more about these miracle garments in our guide to period underwear.

Organic tampons

If you prefer doing your period the way you’ve always done it, do your body and the environment a favor by switching to organic tampons. Conventional tampons often contain dyes, chemical fragrances, and pesticides. Certified organic tampons have none of that nonsense, and they have eco-friendly applicators. Learn more about making the swap with our beginner's guide to organic tampons.

March 20: Gear up for healthier spring cleaning on the Vernal Equinox

One of the best things about March is that it hosts the first day of spring. After the 20th, we’ll see more hours of daylight than darkness from now until the autumnal equinox on September 22. Spring wakes us up, brings us gently out of our winter stupor, and — for many — triggers a deep desire to rid the home of winter’s physical and psychic grime and clutter. So, happy spring! Throw open those windows, and make your spring cleaning checklist. Then, take all of your toxic household cleaners to a hazardous chemical dropoff site, and start the green season with cleaning supplies that won’t pollute the water and poison your air.

Making the switch to natural cleaning products is a huge step toward a healthier home, and it’s an apropos way to go green for spring. Natural, plant-based cleaners are nontoxic, biodegradable, and tough on dirt — not the environment.

March 21: Choose clean scents on National Fragrance Day

Happy National Fragrance Day! Not to burst your bubble, but “fragrance” is a pretty dirty word in pro-health and pro-environment circles. That’s because conventional fragrances in air fresheners, household cleaners, perfumes, and body care products are rife with harmful or toxic volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, including formaldehyde, phthalates, benzene, and toluene. One study of 25 common household products found more than 130 harmful VOCs associated with hormone disruption, respiratory problems, and even certain types of cancer.

The good news is that Mother Nature is the best perfumier on earth, providing us with countless plants whose essential oils are deliciously aromatic — and completely safe to breathe in. Clean home fragrances include all-natural room sprays, naturally scented beeswax and soy candles, and pure essential oils you can diffuse to fill your rooms with irresistible aromas. Clean perfumes are just as heady and complex as synthetics, but they’re formulated with essential oil blends that are safe for your body and the earth.

March 27: Green up your coffee game on National Joe Day

When you make a small, simple, eco-friendly change in your daily habits, the effects reverberate. If you’re a daily coffee drinker, celebrate National Joe Day by making your cuppa java more gentle on the environment. Here’s how:

  • Ditch the single-serve pods, which are an environmental nightmare and cost more per cup.
  • Use reusable coffee filters, or choose unbleached, chlorine-free paper filters that won’t leach bleach into the environment.
  • Eschew the paper and foam cups at your local coffee shop, and bring in your own reusable cup.
  • Give up the hulking, plastic, electric coffee maker, and make your joe manually with a French press or the pour-over method.
  • Buy your coffee from local roasters who source their beans from sustainable, organic growers.

Shop Grove for (literally) green gifts


Looking for more holiday how-tos and other sustainable swaps you can make at home? Grove has you covered with our handy natural product buying guides and cleaning primers. And let us know how if you have any cleaning questions (or share your own tips using #grovehome) by following Grove Collaborative on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

If you're ready to celebrate this spring, shop Grove Collaborative's paper products and pantry essentials for eco-friendly items and sustainable spring swaps.

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