I have always been curious about the different ways I can make a smaller environmental impact on the world. From using my bike whenever I can, to turning the faucet off while washing the dishes, the earth (and its future) is always on my mind. I wrote this blog to share just a few things we can each do every day in order to create less waste and become more conscious consumers.
1. Bring your own shopping bags
Almost all stores now give you reusable bags when you purchase something. What I like to do is fold 2-3 bags and place in my purse/backpack, that way I’m always prepared and never need to use a plastic bag.
2. Reuse your jars/ containers
Finished with that jar of peanut butter? You can reuse it in so many ways! Some ideas: storing spices, use for vegan yogurt or mousse, fill with dried fruit and take to work with you.
There are endless ways to use both your plastic and your glass jars, especially if you want some organization in your life!
3. Ask your waiter/waitress to drop the straw
Did you know that straws are on the ‘top ten’ items picked up on beach clean ups?? We use straws for around twenty minutes before we toss them away, which is an incredibly SHORT lifespan for an item that will be on the planet forever. So next time you order that orange juice, ask the waitress to not bring you a straw.
4. Have a reusable water bottle with you at all times
You’re not only saving tons of plastic from the earth, the savings you will achieve minus the average cost of a reusable water bottle is around $255 per year! Look at that, with hardly any hard work, you saved yourself a good couple of bucks!
You’ll stay hydrated, help the environment, and save money! Triple benefit!
5. Ditch the plastic produce bags
When we walk into the produce isle, almost automatically we reach for that produce bag to place our veggies and fruit inside. We use the produce bags literally for about 5 minutes- from the produce isle to the cashier, so next time try placing your produce right into your cart or use a reusable produce bag (see image below).
6. UPCYCLE and DIY
Who doesn’t love a little creativity in their life? Next time you open that bottle of wine, save the cork- once you have enough, you can make a cool hotplate, pin-up board or a picture frame! Now, here’s an incentive to drink more wine 😉 You can do that with other kitchen items like cans, bottles, and more! For more ideas, click here
7. BYOC- Bring Your own Cup!
Next time you go to your favorite coffee joint, bring your own cup! Forgot to bring it? Try to opt out of the takeaway cup, especially if you’re not in a hurry to run out. Always try to think of ways to create less waste, weather it’s the lid, the straw, or anything in between.
8. Live with less
Did you know that most people wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time? That means a lot of space is being taken up in your house by clothes you almost never wear! Once you become a minimalist, it’ll automatically be easier for you to opt out of purchasing clothes and other things.
9. Shop mindfully
We live in a culture of consumerism where studies show that the average consumer is exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages a day!! Brands have mastered the art of turning our wants into needs. If you can stop and REALLY think for a minute about what you really need, you might not only save the planet, but also your pocket! The best way to help with this is making LISTS- before heading to the grocery store write down what you need so you don’t get sidetracked while at the store. You’ll save both time and money.
10. Shop at bulk food stores
At most healthy supermarkets you can find the isle with the bulk products– try to go for that instead of buying your oats in a bag. Better yet, if you can go to a Shuk/open market to buy your dried ingredients you’ll also have a bigger variety. You can even bring your own jar/bags from home and fill those right up!