By: Dylan Lennie (Thu July 2, 2020)
Here are some ways that you can be more sustainable in your daily life! This short list is not meant to be overwhelming or the end all be all, but is simply meant to show the average person how possible it is to be more environmentally conscious in their day to day life. Choose a few that seem doable and that will make the most impact. No one can do it all at once, but brick by brick, we can all start to make a difference!
- Give up bottled water – Not only do single use water bottles take a tremendous amount of resources to create, but they are made of plastic that will forever remain on our earth once produced. Get a reusable stainless steel bottle, or a BPA free water bottle, fill it up with tap water before leaving the house, and refill it wherever you happen to be. Not only is this good for the environment, but it will save you money too!
- Say no to plastic grocery and produce bags – There are many different options for totes that you can use at your local grocery store, and because of that there is a lot of room to get creative and stylish! Many of your favorite brands are now creating stylish bags that serve a dual purpose! Often find yourself forgetting those pesky bags at home? If you have a car, keep your reusable grocery bags in the backseat as a constant reminder to bring them into the store with you!
- Shop your local farmers market – Farmers markets are a great way to buy fresh, local produce without plastic, as long as you remember to bring your own bags.
- Carry reusable utensils and glass drinking straws – Can’t go without a straw? Check out Kleen Kanteen’s stainless steel reusable alternatives. There are even alternatives to single use utensils such as Patagonia’s To-Go-Wear Bamboo Utensil Set. Regardless of your choosing, when dining take out, make sure to always refuse any single use plastic utensils when ordering.
- Choose milk in returnable glass bottles – Many areas have local dairies that provide milk in returnable glass bottles rather than plastic or plastic-coated cardboard (all cardboard milk containers are coated inside and out with plastic). Simply return the glass bottle for credit at your next trip to the store!
- Consider switching to powdered dishwasher detergent in a cardboard box – Here is a quick and easy way to eliminate the large plastic containers some brands use for their liquid detergent. I have even found that the powdered detergent does a better job!
- Try and cut down on frozen meals – Most frozen meals contain plastic in the packaging. Cut these out and replace them with freshly made meals, it is better for your health and the environment!
- Bring your own soap when traveling – Instead of using the mini bottles that hotels give you when traveling, pack your own in reusable bottles. Not only do you get to use your favorite shampoo and conditioner, but it also cuts down on waste!
- Treat yourself to an ice cream cone – This is a fun one. Instead of keeping containers of ice cream in the freezer, try going out for ice cream instead! It keeps your ice cream consumption down, does away with the plastic-lined containers of store bought ice cream, supports local business, and best of all, ice cream cones come with zero container or utensil waste!
- RECYCLE – This is ultimately the most important one of them all. Unfortunately, at this time there are far too many situations that single use plastics are unavoidable. In the event you find yourself in one of these situations, be sure to be aware of whether or not the product is recyclable. Check the bottom of the product for the recycling code, and make sure that your municipalities trash pickup will accept that number. Often times the industry standard for accepted plastics are: #1, #2, and #5. Once you’ve got the numbers down, make sure to clean your containers before recycling them!