Living an environmentally sustainable life is something I wish held more value in our society. There are mindful practices that so easily could be instilled in us at a young age, but instead we have been taught to lean on the convenience of wasteful, environmentally harmful practices. I want to share a few lifestyle changes & pro tips about transitions I've been making over the past year or so to promote awareness about how EASY it is to make a difference on our planet...
# 1 : Jars + Bulk Foods: instead of buying nuts, legumes, and various superfoods in packages, an easy alternative is bringing a bag full of jars with you to the store and loading up on all your favorite goods at the bulk food section. You pay by weight, and it usually turns out to be more cost efficient than buying prepackaged items. (PROTIP: at Whole Foods they aren't allowed to charge you for the weight of the jar you use, so even if you weigh the items in the jar you will be asked what size your jar is at checkout to adjust the price accordingly. I didn't know this until about a week ago, so I used to use a small lightweight container to weigh everything and then I would transfer it to a jar. Don't be like me.) Bringing jars with you is definitely something you have to think about in order to make it habitual, and it does add a few extra minutes at the grocery store. BUT, think about all the plastic bags you save!!!
# 2 : Reusable H20 Bottles + Coffee/Tea To-Go Thermoses: I think a lot of people already do this with water bottles because it's an accessory to carry around with you. But, I don't think enough people take advantage of this with to-go coffee/tea mugs when they're not making their beverage at home. Even if you aren't making your own brew, tea, or latte at home, you can still bring your own mug (B.Y.O.M.) to your local coffee shop and ask them to use that for your beverage of choice. Most places shouldn't have a problem with it, they will just ask you to hold your lid while they're filling up your mug. I use this Hydroflask mug for my coffee, this Swell bottle for my matcha, this diffuser mug for my loose leafs, and this bottle for water. I love them all.
# 3: Menstrual Cup: I found out about the menstrual cup over the summer from a few girls I was traveling with and immediately became intrigued because 1, you only have to change it every 12 hours and 2, you never have to buy tampons ever again!!! I'm not going to lie, the first time I used mine was weird, but after my second cycle with it I was in love. It is SO much more convenient, economical, and body friendly than tampons. I use this one by Lunette and I am a big fan. I would do your own research on the different brands because it's not really a one size fits all kind of thing. But seriously, get one if you don't have one already. It's a game changer.
# 4 : Reusable Grocery Bags, Mesh Produce Bags, & “Plastic” Bags: I bought my reusable produce bags a few months ago mainly to bring to the farmers market, but I started bringing them to grocery stores too to avoid using their plastic produce bags as well. I always have my reusable grocery bags and mesh produce bags in my car in case I make a spontaneous TJ's or Whole Foods trip. So easy and so much less plastic! These are the produce bags I use and I love them. I also recently got reusable silicon ziploc bags from Stasher Bags. I held off for so long because they are a bit pricey in my opinion, but I decided that I use plastic bags frequently enough for it to be a sound investment. Bonus: they are dishwasher friendly!
# 5 : Product Detox !!!: And I mean all products. Cleaning supplies, beauty products, shampoos and body washes..... I very tediously cleaned out all of my products, and no longer buy anything with harsh ingredients or chemicals. For my face and body I use Dr. Bronner's, I like the lavender and mint scents. Pretty much all of my make up products are from Glossier, & my mascara is by W3LL PEOPLE (this one) from Credo Beauty. Hands down the best mascara I have ever owned. I make my own deodorant by mixing coconut oil, arrowroot powder, baking soda, and tea tree oil. I don't really even measure, I just eyeball at first and then keep adding whatever I want to get to the consistency I like. So easy. I am still in the process of doing research and buying replacements for household cleaning supplies, but right now I use Simple Green's all purpose cleaner and I make my own ACV cleaner for my yoga mat/quick countertop cleanups! Definitely research your specific yoga mat to see which kind of cleaners are friendly for it so you don't break down the traction.
# 6 : Fuel Efficient Vehicles / Carpool / Public Transport / Ride bike / Walk: Obviously it's not feasible to just go out and buy a new fuel efficient car. That's not where I am going with this. But I think if you are thinking about getting a new car, taking into consideration the environmental footprint of your new vehicle should be a priority. I also think it is important to make an effort to walk places that are near by or hop on a bike. Not only will you be taking a more environmentally friendly route but you will also get your daily dose of Vitamin D! Win win ;)
#7 : Reuse + Recycle + Repurpose ALWAYS: Get creative with this one. And I mean really creative! I ALWAYS save jars... marinara sauce jars, pickle jars, jam jars, you name it! Jars are great for storing products from bulk food sections, making your own candles in, toothbrush holders, etc etc etc. Yes, mason jars are hip and stuff BUT collecting an eclectic bunch of jars is much more charming in my opinion. Shopping vintage is another awesome way to incorporate more upcycling into your life, and you can find some really awesome stuff.
I hope these tips inspire you to at the very least think about some of the ways you could potentially reduce your carbon footprint. Let's take care of this crazy stunning earth of ours, yeah?