Becoming more aware of the impact we have on the earth and the amount of waste we contribute is a great first step to becoming more sustainable. Our climate crisis continues to be a conversation and we only hope that more people will realize the effects that could be irreversible unless we start contributing as a society for a better planet. Educating yourself, understanding the impact, and taking action are all important when wanting to make a difference. However, it can become a little overwhelming, especially when you don’t know where to start. If you are wanting to start living a more sustainable lifestyle, keep on reading!
Reuse, Repurpose, Reduce, Recycle
The big 4 R’s, but what do they really mean? When looking to become more sustainable, the first step to start making a habit of is reusing what you already have. Examples of this can be mason jars, containers from grocery stores or restaurants, cups, bottles, clothes, bags, lids, and much more. The second step you can do is repurposing any old furniture, pillows, clothes, shoes, and objects listed above to avoid any possible extra waste. You can get creative and try ideas of restoring like sewing up a damaged pillow or shirt, and flipping a couch or chair!
As far as reducing, what can you do to reduce your waste? For starters, reducing single use plastic is extremely beneficial to our environment. In summary, every single piece of plastic ever made still exists today in one way or another. There are landfills everywhere, and it may be closer to you than you think. On average, every single person produces 3 to 4 pounds of waste per day, which can add up to A LOT of waste. There are plenty of sustainable swaps you can begin to make, especially for everyday life. Some swaps include:
- Bring your own reusable cup or water bottle
- Use reusable straws
- Bring your own reusable grocery bags
- Swap out plastic ziploc bags for reusable ziploc bags
- Use bamboo/tree free or recycled paper towels and toilet paper
- Replace single use plastic cutlery with reusable cutlery
- Use beeswax wrap instead of plastic wrap
- Use tea strainers
- Use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets
Shop Local + Thrift
If you needed another reason to support small businesses on top of a global pandemic, you got one! By choosing to purchase local food, eat out at local businesses, and shop at local farmers markets, you are reducing the amount of transportation needed from vendors and supporting your local economy and farmers. Not only is this great, but shopping for clothes at local thrift stores and businesses also helps cut down negative impact on the planet. Doing this will save you money, help you repurpose, reuse, and contribute to a small business owner doing a happy dance!
Another issue to keep in mind is the amount of support shown to the fast fashion industry. Among countless impacts that come with fast fashion, a few to name are the depletion of non-renewable energy sources, emission of greenhouse gases, and the massive amounts of water used to make each piece of clothing. In addition to pollution impacts, companies categorized in fast fashion also underwork and underpay their workers to maximize profits. This doesn’t mean you cannot shop at your favorite online stores ever again, but educating yourself and choosing to spend your money with socially responsible companies is always helpful.
A simple way to start becoming more sustainable in everyday life is composting food scraps, rotten foods, manure, leaves, grass clippings, coffee grounds or filters, tea bags, and tea leaves. When composting, it is important to remember oxygen is needed when composting correctly to enable the organic waste to decompose. Not only can anyone contribute to composting, but it is extremely easy to start. Sadly, 50% of all produce grown in the United States is thrown away and 22% of that waste are food scraps. With this being an ongoing problem, composting in your backyard may be one of the most thoughtful habits you can do when reducing waste as a whole.
Some other daily habits that can be easily implemented is buying less produce when at the store or going more often to avoid waste produce as they go bad. However if you see your produce beginning to spoil, put them in your freezer to keep them fresh!
Try Going Vegan or Reducing Meat & Seafood Consumption
If you have ever wanted to try going vegan or reduce your animal intake, this is your sign to give it a shot! Eating more whole foods and limiting animal product consumption not only reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, but also reduces your environmental footprint. Even if you decided that the vegan lifestyle isn’t for you, decreasing the amount of red meat and fish you eat will go a long way for yourself and the environment.
Overall, there are plenty of ways that you can implement to start becoming more sustainable and a friend to the environment. Our earth is the only home we have, and it is essential that we do what we can as a community to play our part, lower impact, and reduce our waste. If you are looking for some sustainable swaps to add to your home, you can check out some of our favorites from our shop below!
- Veles All-Purpose Cleaner
- Rebel Green Tree Free Bamboo Toilet Tissue
- EcoCoconut Scrub Pads
- New People Company Silicone Squigees
- Mushie Silicone Bibs, plates, cups & bowls
- Axiology Lip Balmies
- Nash + Jones Bamboo & Charcoal Toothbrushes
- Nash + Jones Bamboo Washcloths
- Rebel Green Bamboo Vegetable Scrub