Five simple ways to be more sustainable.
Living a sustainable life is much easier than we may believe. Small changes add up quickly and can have a big impact over even the shortest of time periods. Here are five of my favorite ways to live a more sustainable life.
- Skip Plastic – Plastic is bad (and if you don’t know why, read here). You already know the “bring your own reusable bag” tip, but are you still grabbing those green plastic bags to put your produce in? Try reusing the ones you take home or purchase some mesh produce bags of your own. The same goes for plastic snack or sandwich bags: wash and reuse, or buy a silicon bag. Swap out beeswax wrap instead of plastic wrap, and bring your own reusable cutlery when packing your lunch instead of taking from the office’s supply of plastic forks.
- Brush with Bamboo – As it grows quickly, bamboo is one of the most sustainable natural materials available, and as we all know, plastic is not. Swap out your plastic toothbrush for one made of bamboo. When you are ready to replace your toothbrush next (did you know you are supposed to change your toothbrush every three months?), opt to Brush with Bamboo I love the soft bristles and the aesthetics of the wooden handle on a bright white counter.
- Buy in Bulk – It is so easy to buy something, take it home and rip off the packaging without thinking about it – especially if we are buying online and just want to see what is inside that Amazon Prime box. But this packaging waste really ads up, especially if it cannot be recycled – which a lot of food packaging is iffy on. Reduce your packaging by shopping in bulk. Hit the bulk section of your grocery store to purchase oatmeal, nuts, flour, sugar, candies, spices, etc. Not only will you reduce packaging waste, you can reduce food waste by buying exactly the amount you need. And as an added bonus, your recipes will be made with fresher ingredients (instead of trying to work through that container of cinnamon for a year). Plus, buying in bulk is way cheaper. Who is up for a Winco run?
- Walk More – This is such an easy one, especially if you live in a city center. Instead of hopping in your car to grab a coffee, go out to dinner, or see a movie, see if you can walk there instead. Not only are you avoiding CO2 emissions and the hassle of finding parking, it is healthy, free, and cheap (goodbye paying for gas or electricity). Easy peasy.
- Just Take One or Skip All Together– It is our nature to take what is offered to us – whether it be a play bill or a lid and straw. But we often don’t need these things and they end up in the trash after very limited (if any) use. Try asking for now lid next time you get a drink to go, or passing on the straw (or carry your own reusable one). Try drying your hand with only one paper towel and cleaning your countertops with rags you can wash and reuse. Share pamphlets during the next tour you take or play you see; and unless you are going to buy it, skip the cheesy family picture at the USS Whatever (the picture of you all standing behind a life__ was printed on thick, glossy paper with tons of ink).
- Bonus Round for the Ladies – Western menstruation care is not sustainable. One tampon produces a wrapper, plastic or cardboard casing, a cotton tampon, and a __ string. Plus there is the box it came in, printed with colorful, glossy ink, and the warning card. And we go through how many tampons during just one period? Reduce period waste by opting for a menstruation cup. I love the Diva Cup. Plus, you save a ton of money. Another option is to possibly skip periods all together with an IUD. Consult your gynecologist on your options.
These tips are easy to implement, will save you money, and are good for the environment – what more can you ask for? Oh, and swap out your lightbulbs for LEDs and unplug your electronics when not in use – your electricity bill will thank you. Cheers to a greener future.
What are you sustainability hacks? Let us know below.