Hey, friends! 2018 is well under way and, as we draw to the end of January, it’s worth checking in with ourselves. What direction is this year taking? I’m not talking about “resolutions” – I didn’t even set any because I know I always break them within a week or two. However, being mindful of where we are steering our lives is always worthwhile. My friend Arielle from the brand Four Rabbit put together a couple of ways to be mindful of our sustainability efforts. And, like I always say, you don’t have to be perfect in your efforts to be conscious and sustainable. Just doing your best and making small changes is all we can really ask of ourselves!
With the new year, many of us have made New Years resolutions.. to eat better, exercise more, go on more vacations (yes please!) By the end of January, most of us have forgotten about our “resolutions” and go back the same old routine. But, grand resolutions aside, what if we changed our same old routine, even just a little? As our environment changes, we should change with it. Let’s become more environmentally aware, let’s be more conscious. Understand little things we do can have a big impact – no major life alterations necessary (at least not all at once!) Below are a few ways we can be more sustainable in our everyday lives.
Say no to plastic bags. That includes ALL the plastic bags, not just the check out bags. Those rolls of produce bags are just as bad as shopping bags. There are some great produce bag options made of feather weight mesh. Or just don’t use them at all. If you must use plastic produce bags, use them again. And again and again. I’m sure all of us have a surplus of tote bags lying around. These make amazing grocery bags. And great shopping bags in general. Easy to throw in the wash (should a tomato smash at the bottom of the bag). Every grocery store will have their own and be happy to sell you one if you don’t have one, just lying around. Our oceans are ﬁlled with so much plastic. This is reason enough to quit plastic bags. A few reusable bag options: Ecobags, Gaggu, SproutPeople.
We all clean our houses and apartments. Why should we clean with harsh chemicals that end up in our water and our atmosphere when there are so many great natural alternatives? There is a great article in Apartment Therapy on DIY cleaning products. Its super easy, with many of the ingredients you probably already have, and you’re going to clean anyways. Every part of your body will thank you from not breathing in aerosol chemicals and your hands wont dry out from harsh products. Some good options: The Simply Co., Mrs. Meyers.
Lets talk about clothes. This is such a huge (and sometimes confusing) one, but I think that just being a little more aware of how we shop can make a big difference. Fast fashion is such a huge problem environmentally and ethically that we can talk about this forever. The easiest change we can make when it comes to buying clothes, especially new clothes is, Do I Really Love It? We are so used to buying disposable everything, that this has trickled down into the way clothes are manufactured and the way we shop. A shirt should be worn more then a few times before tossing. Especially if its made out of materials that will take hundreds of years to biodegrade. Even beloved cotton takes an alarmingly long time to break down. Buying second hand or up cycling clothes you already own is a very sustainable way to refashion your wardrobe. No one has to quit shopping at your favorite retailers, but buying clothes that aren’t loved end up as trash. There are also so many great ethical, eco and sustainable clothing companies out there that buying new clothes made in a conscious way are a totally viable option. Be a responsible shopper. A few to try: Four Rabbit, bhoomki, Reformation, A Peace Treaty, Brave Gentle Man, or just try some trendy consignment shops!
A FEW EXTRA THINGS
Reusable water bottles. Why buy water… its free! And if you live in NYC like me, Arielle, or in Vancouver like April, then you know we have some of the best drinking water around. A great example of trendy, reusable bottles: Swell
No more straws. Straws are killing so much of our marine life and massively adding to the existing trash in the ocean. There are so many companies making sustainable reusable versions from bamboo to stainless steel so you don’t have to go strawless. Check out Simply Straws (they were featured on Buzzfeed!)
Feel good and do good, keep this year going in the best direction! It’s not an all or nothing game – little changes do make a big difference! Remember if a million people say no to one plastic water bottle, that’s a million plastic water bottles that don’t end up in the trash.
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