You probably don’t realize it, but every decision you make has an impact on the environment. From what you choose to eat for dinner, to how you travel to work, everything we do will affect the earth in one way or another. For some, focusing on sustainability is similar to second nature, but for others it is an area that needs some work. At the end of the day, we all want to be friends of the earth, but how do we actually act?
Sustainable living may seem really scary, but it’s actually a lot easier than you think. It can be just turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth or as complex as a complete typesetting system – it’s just about what works for you. These 7 sustainable tips don’t require a major lifestyle overhaul and are as simple as a few small changes here and there.
1. Embrace an ethical fashion
If you’re interested in slow fashion and ethical consumption, you’ve probably heard of the 30 Wear Test. Before you buy fashion, it asks yourself if you will wear the dress at least 30 times. If the answer is no, don’t buy it. The campaign was started by Livia Firth (Colin Firth’s wife) and aims to change the way we think about buying clothes. It is possible to reduce the amount of clothes that end up in a landfill and help reduce our carbon footprint if we think of our clothes as an investment instead of something disposable.
If you are buying clothing, try to support companies that are working on sustainability, being transparent with their business practices and creating their products taking into account the environment. Big brands like THE ICONIC have product pages dedicated solely to products created with sustainable materials. You can buy things like this AERE linen shirt and these shoes from Veja with the knowledge that they are made sustainably and ethically.
Veja V-10 – Women’s shoe, $ 200
2. Rethink your food
As we all know, the kitchen is one of the biggest places we generate waste – and usually in the most unlikely place.
A wrapper wrap is one of those things we use all the time, without ever considering the impact it has on the environment. By definition, it’s a single-use plastic that we use to cover food and dispose of. On the side, beeswx covers have quietly grown as an alternative to single-use plastics. They can last up to 6-12 months and can cover almost anything that can cling. They are usually made with organic ingredients and also come in many beautiful patterns (so they are much nicer to look at than the leftover stir-fries you cover). This 6-pack costs just $ 19.99 and promises to keep your food fresh without damaging the planet.
Switching from plastic to glass Tupperware is another easy exchange. With 80% of plastic products ending up in a landfill, storing your food in glass is much more environmentally friendly. You can grab a pack of 9 in various sizes for just $ 59.99 at Amazon now. Switching to sustainable cutlery is also another easy option that won’t destroy the bank.
Finally grab a Keep Keep Cup and stop buying single-use cups every morning before work. You can grab a decent big cup with a cork tape under $ 30, like this one.
If you haven’t already switched to these products, it’s one of the easiest sustainable exchanges that will force you to play your part.
Glass Food Storage Containers, $ 59.99
3. Try a menstrual cup over tampons
While we can’t help the fact that our period comes once a month, there are things we can do to make our periodical practices more sustainable. According to national geography, a single menstruation will use between 5-15,000 pads and tampons in their lifetime – most of which end up in a landfill as plastic waste. While periods are a part of life, we can do things to minimize the impact they have on the world.
Menstrual cups are a great alternative to tampons (and they will also make your life easier). They can last up to four times longer than the average tampon giving you 12 hours of protection, they are reusable and often also recyclable. They mark each box. In addition, a lifetime of a menstrual cup can save more than 2,500 reusable products – so if you don’t think one person can really change, think again. This Tom’s cup was made with organic materials, so it’s better for the environment and you.
You might also consider investing in period-resistant underwear for your lighter days as an alternative to pads. Brands like Modibodi and now even Bonds are easier than ever to make the change, along with destigmatizing the whole thing, how good is that?
Toma Organic Periodic Cup, $ 40
4. Plant a grass garden
Grass gardens are such a simple way to reduce food and plastic waste while enjoying delicious food. Sounds like a win, doesn’t it? Herbs probably don’t think much of us, and just before you cook a curry that requires fresh coriander, you’ll have to go to the supermarket and buy a small package for $ 5. These herbs are not only packaged in plastic, but rarely will you use all the herbs, which only contributes to food. Imagine if you could go out to your fresh lawn instead of choosing the right amount of herbs you need without having to waste? That’s food sustainability in action.
If you live in an apartment, you don’t need to waste a full garden. You can pick a cheap wall plant like this and grow your herbs there! Or even use one pot to grow your favorite herb if you love fresh rosemary during your Sunday roast, whatever suits you.
Vertical Garden Planter, $ 19.55
5. Take a bathroom break
Just like the kitchen, your bathroom is another place that could probably include some more sustainable products. If you finish your makeup at the end of the night with makeup towel or disposable cotton swabs – we have a better alternative. Grab a pack of these sustainable bamboo makeup remover pads ($ 16.55), suitable for all skin types and just as effective as any other method. Not only is it better for the environment and your face, but it will help your wallet as well, as they can be washed and used again.
Submitting your plastic toothbrush to bamboo is another easy exchange that will reduce the amount of plastic trash to a landfill. This plant-based bamboo brush ($ 6.95) is the world’s first bio-based toothbrush and can even be composted. Ready, right?
Even things like your plastic claw clips can be exchanged for something that was done thinking about the environment. These sustainable spider clips ($ 14.53) were made from cornstarch and ground-friendly plastics, so even your hair accessories can jump on the sustainable train.
Sustainable Spider Claw Clips, $ 14.53
6. Shop smart
Last but not least is one of the easiest exchanges. You know when you go to the supermarket and buy fruits and vegetables. How many of you throw them in a plastic bag before taking them to the cash register? Probably most of us.
A great alternative is to invest in some reusable online product bags like these and replace your fresh produce here. Once that plastic bag goes home, it goes straight into the trash and then straight to a landfill, so it’s unnecessary trash that you really don’t know.
If you don’t put at least one of these sustainable tips into your life now, it’s time to create it. Most of these things are done without thinking twice, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to do the exchange. We promise you won’t look back, in fact you’ll probably be wondering why you didn’t do it earlier.
Reusable Online Product Bags, $ 24.99
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