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Wondering how to be more sustainable? Here are some easy changes to make at home that will positively impact you and the environment.
Are you looking for easy changes to make at home that will have a better impact on you and the environment around you? Many people have heard about people living a sustainable or zero waste lifestyle but wonder how to be more sustainable.
Rebecca Noelle put together this guest post on what it has been like moving towards more sustainability
and ten changes she has made at home in the hopes it can help you!
How to Be More Sustainable – Easy Changes to Make Now
I know for myself zero waste sounds very daunting. That is when I began looking into sustainable alternatives.
Sustainability is a bit of a buzzword right now. People know they should be living sustainably, but what is it? If you’ve come to this site you might be a frequent visitor and already have an idea or you’re trying to grow your knowledge and this came up via Pinterest or another search engine.
Well in this crazy season of life, I’m sure you’re more aware of items you use once and toss away. Then it becomes one of those essential items you need to go pick up. My journey to sustainability has been a slow one. Starting with a lot of research and also seeing what changes do fit my lifestyle.
Fitting my lifestyle means, what can I financially afford to change right now. Do I have a few items in my house I would need to use up before replacing? Warning of caution, some people get so caught up in buying something that will help with sustainability they neglect to see what is in their home and just end of throwing out things and replacing.
That is not the way to go about it. Use what you have and then once it’s been used up, that is when it is time to replace it.
For me, I live with people that are not on the same track as me. I will share the changes I have made to be more sustainable and these won’t infringe on the others you live with. They might also adapt them for themself!
1. Reusable Water Bottle
From playing spots for most of my life, I became used to having a water bottle that I brought everywhere. When I learned about plastic being all over the ocean, keeping a Nalgene or Hydroflask on my at all times was a no brainer. I also drink A LOT of water.
This isn’t limited to water, but also coffee. I have a travel mug for coffee and tea. I keep one even in my car if I get a craving. I bring it when I travel too! When you travel, you can put the teas you’d like in the mug and just add water at the airport or wherever you travel to. If you’re just a coffee drinker, then just bringing it you’ll be all set!
It might seem like an inconvenience to bring a travel mug or bottle, but the water bottle will remind you to drink water! This is important when you travel. For me, I love chamomile at night, so it helps keep that nighttime routine when I travel to sleep better.
Check out reusable water bottles.
2. Reusable Grocery Bags
In some states, it has become the law to bring reusable bags or be charged per bag. This was an easy enough change for me at the beginning of my sustainable journey. I was not buying groceries for many people, just myself. It is easier walking the store filling up my bag instead of a massive cart that would just lead to overbuying.
This has helped me cut done on food waste as well since I need to be more mindful of the food I’m buying to be able to fit into my bag(s). If you have a large family, then fill a car with your bags! I’m sure you have seen this in the store.
Check out reusable bags.
3. Stasher bags
This has been a series game-changer for me. My family was going through ziplock bags like candy. One of my family members even commented on the silliness of it. I had been doing research at this time and tried a few things to replace silicone wrap, but eventually moved to Stasher bags.
I have had them for about a year now and I haven’t used a ziplock bag since. The best thing about these is you can put boiling water into the bag to kill off germs so I know they are sanitary and they are dishwasher safe. Depending on how you treat and care for the bags will depend on how long they last. They also range in sizes to cover all your needs.
Check out Stasher bags.
4. Essential oils
This may seem like a buzzword too. Essential oils can be a great way to start with cleaning alternatives, perfumes, or medicine changes. Cleaning alternatives can begin with lemon oil, tea tree oil, or lavender. Perfume is made with chemicals that our skin absorbs. Switching to oils scent to apply with distilled water or coconut oil you don’t have to worry about your skin absorbing harmful chemicals.
Using clean essential oils is important. Not all oils are created equal. Some have additives or aren’t made pure, if you push it in a diffuser it can create a slim. Or if you try to clean with them, the outcome won’t be the same. My friend tested multiple different oils and the purest one she found was Young living. I also use Thrive’s essential oils for lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus.
Check out Young Living oils.
5. Bamboo toothbrush
When it was time for me to get a new toothbrush, I went from the generic plastic toothbrush to a bamboo one. Around this time I was looking into composting and bamboo truth brushes came up.
It does take some getting used to since it is wood. Bamboo grows so quickly so it’s one of the best reusable sources.
Check out bamboo toothbrushes.
This is not swapping out your Listerine mouthwash for another liquid mouthwash. I will say this is not for everyone. Some might know this as oil pulling but I use this for my mouthwash and an
added bonus is it helps get stains off your teeth. This is using coconut oil with peppermint oil or lavender oil. I use peppermint for the minty taste, this is great to do while completing another
task. You can start small with 5 minutes, but I normally do it for about 15 minutes. Also since coconut oil returns back to a solid, spit in the garbage, not your sink!
7. Ethical shopping
Look into the quality of the clothes you’re shopping for. Also the ethical business practices of where you are shopping. Thought of thrifting or using a site like Poshmark? Clothes contribute millions of tons of textile waste to our landfills. You might think, my clothes last and I maybe shop once-twice a year? It’s not how frequently you shop, (although that is something to be mindful of!) It’s about where you shop.
Do the shops you turn to fall under the fast fashion category? If you don’t know, look up the companies and sites where fast fashion brands are listed.
This goes with the say, put your money where your mouth is.
8. Unsubscribing to Junk emails
Logging into Gmail or your email account source, each of those emails sent has a carbon footprint. This is a simple fix, just unsubscribe to those emails that you delete each morning.
Even though this is a small carbon footprint, any little bit helps! Who doesn’t love a clean inbox anyway?
9. Reusable utensils
I love going camping and it is easy to bring plastic utensils to use. Or going to work or a friend’s party, I keep a camping multi utensil on me. This might sound odd to you but think of all the
forks or spoons you’ve used at a party, lunch daily, or for a quick second and they just end up being thrown away. If you bring lunch every day, just add it to the bag to keep one at your desk
for a spare. You’ll be amazed by how much less clutter you have. Also, less junk in your draws!
Check out reusable utensil sets.
My skin is super sensitive. I was on the hunt for a moisturizer that wouldn’t make me break out or feel super greasy. I found one, and all the ingredients I already had in my home. I was very excited about it. I gathered together the ingredients, did research about how to combine them and shortly after, I had a new moisturizer! All the ingredients I already had for cooking or from using essential oils. Looking to buy each separately, I can see the hesitation from spending the money right off the bat, but mine has lasted me longer than the moisturizer I paid $26 for.
I hope you find the above list helpful and you can begin implementing these changes to your daily life!
Here’s a detailed list of zero waste swaps if you want to continue on your sustainable journey.
Planning a trip for the future? Here are my resources.
Interested in starting a blog? Use these resources.
Read my other sustainability posts.
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- 10 Sustainable Changes You Can Make at Home Right Now! - April 20, 2020