Happy first day of May! Just because April has come to an end, does not mean we should stop doing good for this Earth! I love the month of April for a few reasons… one being my birthday which is a time to celebrate with my closest friends and family, but also because this month falls in the full bloom of spring and Earth Day continues to raise much needed awareness for the condition of our planet. In this post I share some simple eco-friendly habits that you can easily sneak into your daily lifestyle and try out for the rest of the year. These tips will help you lessen your ecological footprint and overall impact on mother nature. It is our job to be kind to our environment and these acts of kindness are essential for our health and the state of our planet’s future.
BYOB: bring your own bag
Sometimes I do forget to bring my own bag whenever I go to the store, however a good habit to have is placing your reusable or cloth bags back into the car once you empty them! Keeping reusable bags in the car ready to go will ensure that you always remember them for every shopping trip. Many stores even offer incentives like raffles for gift cards or discounts when you bring your own bag which is just another reason why you should try this out! Some options for reusable bags include baggu bags or chico bags that can be folded into small squares for easy storage. If you want to be crafty, you can cut up old t-shirts and sew your own bags! I have made a few bags from old oversized t-shirts and this is a great way to upcycle a product and give it a new life before the landfill.
Say NO to plastic straws
I am sure many of you have seen images of the plastic waste found in our oceans and the organisms directly impacted by this downfall of our society (the viral video of a straw stuck in a turtle’s nose says it all). I have found an amazing family brand called Strawesome that sells handmade glass straws in Michigan and strives to encourage others to say no to plastic. I love the smoothie straw and I truly get excited to use my special glass straw instead of disposable plastic ones. They also offer straw cleaners and other sizes for different glasses and drinks! Other stores sell other varieties of reusable straws such as stainless steel or even silicone. Lastly, tell your waiter or waitress that you do not want a straw for your drinks or bring your own! This is something that I plan to work on more this year.
Shop with a purpose
Keep an ongoing list of wants and needs and let them rest in your notepad for a little while before you make a purchase. Shopping with a purpose will help limit unnecessary spending and remind you to think before you buy! Also, research some ethical and sustainable brands and see if they have what you are looking for. Today many more brands exist that care about their impact on the environment and offer assistance to communities in need. I am all for supporting a good cause and I often turn to zero-waste or minimal Youtubers to learn about new brands that might interest me!
Look out for “package-free” and "plastic-free" items
Shopping on the outside aisles of the grocery store is an easy way to purchase package free food! Not only do the outside aisles offer less processed foods, they typically display healthier options like fresh produce that we should be consuming more of anyways. No one is perfect and this tip can get very challenging, however be on the lookout for packaged foods in compostable packaging. I purchase Nature’s Path Microwave Oatmeal for school and the box and packets are fully compostable unlike some other brands. Many stores are starting to offer recycling programs as well where you can bring back glass or plastic bottles that can be cleaned and reused.
Refill and Reuse!
Invest in a reusable water bottle that you love! If you already have a reusable water bottle or two at home, even better! Purchasing cases of plastic water bottles that only get one use and end up in a landfill or the ocean is not what our Earth deserves. Of course, do the best that you can and don’t feel guilty if you buy an occasional plastic bottle because often convenience wins. However, consider the consequences and opt for a reusable bottle as often as you can! My college offers water bottle refilling stations so you can refill your reusable bottle and track how many plastic bottles were saved in the process. Bring a reusable coffee cup to coffee shops to avoid even more single use waste.
One last bonus tip!
~Download the app Ecosia and start using it for some of your online searches! Ecosia plants trees using the money earned from ad revenues unlike other search engines. Once you search about 45 times on this app, you will have planted one tree! How amazing and innovative is this?! I love it!
we only have one home. treat it well.