- Living Sustainably -
Living sustainably doesn’t have to be a radical all-or-nothing lifestyle. There are so many small steps you can take each day to better our planet and your health. The most amazing aspect of living a more ec0-friendly life is that it almost always coincides with corresponding health benefits. For example:
switching plastic water bottles out for a reusable one (preferrably glass!) not only is cheaper and environmentally friendly, it will save you from daily contact with phthalates, BPA, and poor quality water- tap water is actually more highly regulated than bottled water. Purchasing a water filter and using a reusable bottle can protect your body from so many contaminants. A reusable coffee cup can provide similar benefits.
packing your own lunch. This saves on so much food waste, plastic, and Styrofoam as well. Bringing your own lunch allows you to control your ingredients and portion sizes, as well as decreases the need for plastic silverware, plastic plates, plastic carrying bags, and even gas to travel.
walking or biking more places- this obviously reduces the amount of emissions released into our atmosphere, but significantly boosts your health through daily exercise as well.
shopping local- picking up your produce or other food locally is not only more eco-friendly (because it doesn’t have to contain tons of preservatives and be shipped across the continent or world) but also is fresher and more nutrient-dense than produce that’s picked well before it’s peak ripeness and sprayed with ethylene when arriving at a grocery store.
These are just a few reasons why making sustainable changes will benefit your health, your wallet, and your planet. I know making a full life switch can seem daunting. It didn’t happen overnight in our house either. But I’m going to list several of the changes we’ve made over the years that have really been easy for us to maintain. I encourage you to maybe just pick one and start there! No matter how small, any positive action will make a positive impact in your life and on our earth.
switching your web browser to Ecosia: Ecosia is an Internet search engine based in Berlin, Germany, that plants trees by donating 80% or more of its surplus income to non-profit organizations that focus on reforestation and conservationism. You can click HERE to make Ecosisa your browser too!
reusable grocery bags: many stores like Aldi or Costco require you to provide your own bags. Some states/cities are evening beginning to charge you per bag you use from their store. Purchasing reusable bags and using them for your grocery hauls saves thousands of plastic bags a year.
reusable water bottles and coffee cups
reusable straws and silverware
shopping local when possible (support your local farmers during market seasons!)
using a french press to make coffee or loose leaf tea: this eliminates the need for coffee filters and tea bags
reusable mesh produce bags
glass containers instead of plastic
packing your own lunch instead of eating out
walking or biking instead of driving when possible
composting your food waste: many other items like some coffee cups or bamboo products can be composted as well in an industrial compost facility
eat more plant-based meals
meal plan to help reduce food waste
get a library card to borrow lots of amazing things like books, magazines, and movies
wash clothes using cold water and hang dry
turn old t-shirts into cleaning rags
use dishcloths and rags for dishes and cleaning rather than paper towel
use beeswax instead of plastic wrap
go paperless with all of your bills
re-purpose old products rather than throwing them out
This is by no means an exhaustive list but I hope you found it helpful and it gives you a place to start!