Lifestyle

Easy Environmentally Friendly Swaps

I’ve become (and am becoming) increasing aware my impact on the environment throughout the last year – and with that I’ve made changes to decrease my amount of waste! I’ve listed below switches I made in an effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

 

Metal Straws

  • Shout out Emily Kinasz for this!
    • I worked at a restaurant this summer and it really opened my eyes to the amount of straws that get thrown away/used on a daily basis
    • I find it completely unnecessary and will go without a straw as much as possible
    • My coworker turned friend always brought a metal straw to work, and I ended up buying the same ones off of Amazon!
    • I used it frequently in the summer if I had iced tea throughout the day or even with a cocktail. It’s not optimal to drink a smoothie with, so I started drinking my smoothies out of shaker bottles (with the large spouts).

 

Using Tupperware instead of plastic bags

  • I frequently eat on the go (which I feel like most people do these days) but have actively made the effort to use reusable Tupperware instead of plastic bags
    • At the beach – I always bring a cooler full of snacks; I’ll even bring multiple reusable water bottles instead of a handful of plastic ones.
      • Yeah, it can be a hassle to carry but A) I’m burning extra calories B) It’ll be lighter on the way back and C) I’m helping the environment!
    • In the car
      • I really don’t have an excuse NOT to use reusable dishware in the car because I can always just leave it until I get home! I don’t have to bring it with me/there’s no rush to throw the trash away
    • At Work
      • This follows suit. After you finish eating, it’s so easy to rinse the dish out and then just bring it home with you after the day is over. There is NO NEED WHATSOEVER to use plastic bags.
    • Even when I don’t want to because I want the convenience of throwing away the baggy, I tell myself it’s not worth it and it’s the least I can do for the environment. I can suck it up

 

Bringing a reusable water bottle with me 24/7

  • At work, in the car, on the airplane, at the beach
    • I even have left a second water bottle in my car that’s full to have in case my first one goes empty
    • I have a giant jug of water I bring to the beach because ya girl can drink like 6 bottles of water easily
    • The airport ALWAYS has water fountains- plus it’s much easier on your wallet to have your own water bottle as opposed to dropping $5-$10 on plastic water bottles.
    • Whatever your end destination is, it’s so nice to have a cup you can use again and again and again whether it’s at a hotel or friends house. You don’t even have to ask!

 

Started composting

  • In the fourth grade I was a part of the Garden Club, which introduced me to composting. I would bury my banana peels in the backyard and be confused that nothing ever happened.
  • 13 years later, @cleaneatsbytay made a post about how she composts and it reminded me of the concept!
  • I brought the idea up to my parents (my current roommates) and my dad was all for it! We keep an empty coffee canister under the sink that we throw food waste in (egg shells, kiwi peels, coffee grounds) and when it gets full we take turns burying it in the backyard in a designated area.
  • Come spring we hope to use that soil to A) start a garden and B) add it to areas in the yard where we have been unsuccessful with growing plants.

 

Going without the produce bags at the grocery store/trying to bring in my own bags

  • I think @LeeFromAmerica brought this issue to my eyes!
  • Why do we need to put produce in plastic bags when they have their own layer of skin? Plus I can just wash the produce once I’m home (which I should be doing anyway)
  • I bought my mom some reusable bags for Christmas, which I’m excited to use myself. I’ve currently just gone without the bag and checking out with loose produce.
  • We normally shop at Aldi, which forces you to bring a bag/use a cardboard box (I’m totally fine with) and I keep a bag in my car so that I have it with me at all times.

 

Natural Deodorant

  • This one is different than the others, but shout out to my environmentally friendly friends Ashley and Bridget, I had NO idea this was a thing
  • I was skeptical at first, but as I’ve started to care more about my body, I realized how important it is to carefully select all the products you’re using (shampoo, conditioner, lotion, deodorant…) I have to double check what the brand is, but I haven’t had any issues!

 

To carry on my efforts of being environmentally friendly, I’ve made a 2019 resolution of self-awareness and self-restriction. I’m going to make an effort to buy clothes I know I need/will wear (instead of sitting in my closet/getting thrown out/donated) and food that I know I need/will eat (instead of ending up in the trash). A girl only needs so much and then everything else becomes excess! Aside from purchases, I also want to make a conscious effort on my water usage – not letting it run longer than necessary in the shower, when I wash my hands, when I do the dishes, etc etc etc. Do you have any other ideas of areas I can improve/work on? Have you made any switches in 2018?

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