It's a new year (and decade) and the bare minimum of recycling your cans isn't cutting it anymore — although we do tip our hat to those who are loyal to those big blue containers. Sustainability is becoming more visual and the options to replace everyday consumer habits are seemingly endless. So why not start the top of the year with a few ways to switch things up to help the environment!
SWAP PLASTIC TOOTHBRUSHES FOR BAMBOO
Bamboo toothbrushes are renewable, compostable, non-toxic and safe to burn. Whereas, plastic toothbrushes are not curbside recyclable and takes 100's of years to breakdown (opposite of compostable). Bamboo toothbrushes are becoming more readily available and let's be honest... they're really aesthetically pleasing!
Avoid plastic containers and transition your utensils to reusable versions. Try swapping out your hefty sandwich bags for reusable silicone zip lock bags. Invest in a few retractable metal straws so you don't have to ask for them at restaurants. You can even trade in your Tupperware for the super trendy food storage and lunch boxes everyone has been using.
STEP UP YOUR GROCERY STORE GAME
Remembering the reusable grocery bags has been preparing us for this next level because we're eliminating those plastic fruit bags in 2020! Skip the roll of green and white baggies and pick up a cute netted market tote to put all of your produce in. You can even find smaller fruit drawstring bags for fridge storage!
RID OF WIPES
via Package Free
Susan Yara (Mixed Makeup) has made her case for why wipes are a major no no. They tug at the skin and don't get as much makeup off as you think! Using reusable cotton rounds (and a water based cleanser) is both sustainable and good for the skin. If you want to feel really efficient they're a pretty easy DIY project!
CHOOSE PRODUCTS WITHOUT PALM OIL
The problem with palm oil is in the production which has resulted in deforestation and habitat destruction. So continuing to consume products that contain this ingredients increases the demand for oil crops that are destructive to forests and the climate. Palm oil is typically used in simple frying oil, many personal care products (ex. soaps, shampoos, detergent, lipsticks) and many foods. This one is a bit extensive but if you are committed the cause this one is a change you should consider!
CREATE A CAPSULE WARDROBE
The recent exposure of fast fashion has made us aware of the long term effects of a quick trip to Forever 21 or H&M. Of course, the first step to reducing these effects is investing in clothing that will last so that you consume less but another way to contribute is by building a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is defined as a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don't go out of fashion that can be augmented with seasonal pieces.
Adapting a capsule wardrobes allows you to curb unhealthy shopping habits as well as how to keep your closet purposeful and adhering to the "less is better" idea of sustainability.
Most capsule wardrobes consist of 25 and 50 pieces, which includes clothing, shoes and accessories. If this something you are interested in don't let the number deter you. It's all depends on the size of your current closet and how much you want to challenge yourself.
These are just a few ways you can make small changes to be more environmentally conscious. There are a lot more tips out there and we encourage you to do a bit of digging to find more options that would be perfect for you! Now go out and get to living... SUSTAINABLY!