The hardest part about wanting to make a major life change is knowing where to start and how much of your life you can or should alter at a time.

I remember when I read “Gorgeously Green” by Sophie Uliano. I picked it up at Barnes & Noble to mock, only to fully immerse myself in the first chapter minutes later. I bought it, digested all the information about parabens, shampoos and cleaning products, and decided that facts were facts: I needed to make a change. Yet change is not just tiring, it’s something else the everyday non-celebrity woman finds challenging: It’s expensive.

That’s why I began with the “most toxic” items first. I threw out the lotions and face products with the worst ingredients and vowed to only buy organic from that point forward. Each year, as I ran out of products, I began to “swap in” healthier versions. Six years later, my house “reads” green: Our soaps are refillable and non-toxic, our dish towels biodegradable and my tupperware is made of glass.

This spring, a lot of us still feel like we can and will make changes to step just a little closer to the “natural” lifestyle that we want to inhabit. Sometimes these steps are less about obvious household products and more about rethinking our lives — how we treat ourselves and the kinds of ways we spend our money. Small, incremental steps can lead to massive return on investment and that is the theme of this roundup.

Each item is one way you can make a swap to bring health, balance and an eye of nature into your immediate world:

1. Byta ($29)

byta

I have tried every hot and cold beverage “carrier” that hipsters hold, but this one hit every “must have” on my list. I bought a blue version for my husband at Christmastime and have since commenced to nick it off of him too many times to count. It has a double wall, is vacuum-sealed to prevent sweating or cooling and fits in the cup holder of your car. (BPA and toxin-free)

2. Olio E Osso Oil Cleanse ($80)

olio e osso

This oil cleanser has a sustainable, minimally-processed formula that’s fragrance-free and the best way to cleanse your skin with luxurious results. Using it also allows you to ditch so many face products that you buy to fix the issues most cleansers contribute to, like dryness and redness.

3. HUM Nutrition Uber Energy ($25, discounted further if you subscribe.)

hum

HUM Nutrition is the best whole, well-sourced supplement subscription and I’ve been using them for over nine months. This one, with adrenal care and B5 and B6, has drastically helped me get through days without needed that 2 pm coffee hit. When you add it up, I’ve saved money by taking these each days.

4. Sezane Ambre Bracelet (Ambre $65, Gisele $50)

sezane

When it comes to jewelry, buying a few high-quality, handmade pieces that will last a lifetime ends up being much more economical than buying many $20 pieces that you want to toss in a few months. I consider each purchase from Sezane, my favourite online shop, an worthwhile investment.

5. Olli Ella Soukie Backpack ($79)

straw backpack

I just love this woven backpack that can be used at the farmer’s market, beach, or on the way to the park. When not in use, it doubles as a great magazine-holder in the living room.

6. Moon Juice Adaptogenic Protein ($50)

moon juice

This ketogenic, biofermented brown rice protein has adaptogenic herbs. We know that “what goes in must come out,” but we don’t always know to what extent that happens. It’s become increasingly important for me to invest in protein like this one to care for my health, and I’ve found that I’m less likely to get sick when I do.

7. UMA Ultimate Brightening Face Mask ($70)

uma mask

UMA provides employment to local women and you can go on their site to see beautiful sketches of the ingredients in their products—all sourced from the family’s private estate. This mask is more about helping you to feel at your most radiant, with boosts from saffron, cinnamon, orange peel and honey.

What are your must-have green products?

Images via Shawn Throckmorton

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