10 Tips For Living More Sustainably

We all have room to be a little more sustainable in our lives. It's easy to get caught up in the craziness of life and let little details fall by the wayside, so here are 10 simple things you can do in your day to day life that supports living more sustainably. Some of them may seem obvious or small, but doing all of these things together will help reduce your footprint on the planet and make you feel good that you're doing your part: every little bit counts. 

  1. Bring reusable straws and utensils with you wherever you go. This helps reduce the waste from disposable plastics. It's astonishing the amount of plastic we waste when we're eating on the go. Start carrying a travel pouch of stainless steel straws and bamboo utensils (or any other variation of reusable ware) in your purse or car so you get in the habit of utilizing them.
  2. Keep a to go mug in your car for spontaneous coffee stops. It's easy to just grab a coffee on the go without thinking of the waste repercussions, but even just a few coffees a week in disposable cups majorly contributes to the waste problem.  
  3. Don't drink bottled water unless it's absolutely necessary. Start carrying a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go. If you tend to forget yours easily, buy multiple and store one at your house, in your car, at work, etc. so you won't be tempted to buy bottled water.
  4. Replace disposable plastics with reusable wares in your home. Ditch the ziplock bags and replace them with reusable snack bags, or use tupperware instead. When going to the grocery store, bring reusable produce bags from home instead of using plastic bags for produce.  
  5. Choose eco friendly cleaning products. All the harsh chemicals found in heavy duty cleaning products are harmful to you and to the environment. Eco friendly brands like Mrs. Meyer's and Seventh Generation carry all the cleaning products you could ever want and are safe to use. 
  6. Dry your clothes outdoors when the weather allows for it. Using a clothing line or a drying rack instead of your electric dryer will help the environment and reduce your electric bill. 
  7. Recycle worn out clothing and old electronics instead of throwing them in the trash. These are two common things that go to landfills when instead they can be recycled into something new. If you have clothing that is too worn out to be consigned or donated, find a recycling drop off such as GemText near you. If you have old or obsolete electronics, donate them to a local electronics recycling business such as Free Geek.
  8. Say "no" to the bag. Bring reusable bags from home whether you're shopping for groceries or clothing. Keep bags in your car so they're with you whenever you decide to stop at the store.
  9. Look for clothing made from recycled fibers when shopping new, or shop sustainably focused brands. Educate yourself on which brands are making the effort to reduce their environmental impact. Patagonia and Eileen Fisher are perfect examples of brands that are focused on being as sustainable as possible. 
  10. Shop consignment and resale. This, of course, is the ultimate way to become more sustainable with your wardrobe. Although we can't buy absolutely everything used, if we can shift our mentalities so that 50% or more of our clothing is bought used, the amount of clothing waste will drop drastically. By consigning your clothing and purchasing used clothes, you are embodying the cycle of reduce, reuse, recycle. 
Photo credit: Sustainability Challenge

Photo credit: Sustainability Challenge