Every action in your day makes a mark on our planet. From the toothpaste you use in the morning to the bed you fall into at night. Choosing your daily products can help you mitigate your global footprint and reduce your impact on our neighboring communities and wildlife.
Sometimes, going eco-friendly can be difficult. It’s a lifestyle change, more than anything else. Here are a few tips we found to make the adjustment more manageable and significantly impact minor modifications.
Tip 1 – Follow the Example of Experts
There are many resources for you to learn from when it comes to this lifestyle. They share their best tips and tricks with you that are tested by time and built into their habitual lifestyle. Finding books gives you a physical or digital resource you can return to time and time again. Beth Terry wrote Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too. This is an excellent jumping-off point for your shift.
Tip 2 – Track Your Trash
Take a week or two to look at where you’re producing the most trash and brainstorm how to reduce this. Can you pack your lunches in reusable containers instead of ziplock bags that must be thrown away after each use? The same idea stands behind reusable drink cups, water bottles, and other containers.
When you travel to the grocery store, do you return home with a ton of plastic bags? Several states have begun penalizing the use of one-use plastic bags, and some individual stores reward you for using your reusable bags with rebates at the check stand. EcoRise offers a great eco-audit worksheet to help you figure out where you can curb your waste.
Tip 3 – Learn to Do With What You Have
Many items are designed with planned obsolescence in mind. This means that they’re intended to break down, wear out, or otherwise be rendered useless after a certain period. This is why older cars seem to run forever, while newer cars break down sooner and more often after a particular mileage is hit.
Learning to do your repairs on clothing, furniture, electronics, and vehicles will help you reduce your footprint and make what you have last longer. Whenever possible, use up what you have before starting on something new, reuse what you can, and reduce what you can. Refuse what you can’t use before it goes wrong, and share with others if you have excess.
Tip 4 – Look at Your Sleep
So many mattress sets are tossed into the landfills as they wear out, and because of their materials, many will never break down. SleePare carries a wide variety of eco-friendly mattresses and has tested and ranked them by the overall quality and eco-footprint.
Further, when you look at your bedtime routine, are you contributing to waste? Many people need moving air or white noise to sleep soundly. If you’re one of those, look for low-energy alternatives to air conditioner units, fans, and sound machines.
Tip 5 – Donate and Upcycle
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This isn’t just a quirky saying used to justify thrift shopping; this is true eco-friendliness. When you’ve used an item and no longer need it, it still has some life left. There is no reason for it to go to the trash. If another person can get more life out of it, then that’s one less item in the landfill.
Upcycling is a favorite activity of many artists. Some things that are junk by usual standards can be upcycled and turned into beautiful art, jewelry, or other valuable items. Just search Etsy for Upcycled art to see that there is no end to the usefulness of many of the things you’d otherwise throw away.
Tip 6 – Change How You Shop
Shifting your lifestyle to be more eco-friendly can be challenging, but baby steps and intentionally changing how you shop will help. Your kitchen is likely the largest culprit of waste in your household. Start your reduction process here.
Shop in bulk stores to bring your container, find the local farmers’ markets and bring your bags and packaging. These options reduce the amount of plastic being used to wrap your veggies and contain your specialty spices. Bonus: You can use some pretty awesome jars to create an apothecary look in your kitchen.
Baby Steps to an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle
When you find companies actively working toward a more eco-friendly business presence, you can feel comfortable in your involvement with them. Companies like SleePare, TOMS, and Lush pride themselves on their activism to save our planet. Supporting them supports the Earth.