Three Easy Ways to Decrease Your Waste

Thanks for being here! I love finding new ways to decrease my overall impact on this Earth and sharing what I find along the way. Every day you see something on social media or the news related to climate change, dying species, plastic in the ocean, environmental disasters, and more. It's important to do something kind for the environment each day, even if it is just something small, such as not using a plastic straw at a restaurant. I wanted to share three easy ways to decrease your waste to inspire those of you who are just starting out on your eco-friendly journey or if you are unsure what difference you can make.

Three Easy Ways to Decrease Your Waste

#1 - Reusable Bags

Please please please get a reusable bag if you don't have one already! This tip will affect all of your daily shopping and limit the number of disposable plastic bags you use. I always leave a few cloth bags in my car just in case I stop somewhere on my way home and need to pick up a few groceries. Leaving a bag in your car at all times takes away the excuse of forgetting one! Take your reusable bag into the mall when shopping for clothes, to the grocery store, to a farmers market, to a restaurant for your leftovers, to a birthday party. (Wrapping birthday gifts and placing them in a reusable bag is a great, useful gift for a family member or friend and is way better than the plastic one they'll end up throwing away.)

Where to buy: I have a few cloth bags from Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. My new favorite reusable bags are the large totes from The Tote Project - this company has great values and their bags are fair trade, organic cotton, and help survivors of sex trafficking.

If you're looking to save money, you can make reusable bags out of old t-shirts! I tried this before and it was a great way to repurpose items I already owned but wasn't using. Also, ask around! I bet your family and friends have a cloth bag lying around that they don't want anymore.

#2 - Reusable Mug

Not only will this tip help you decrease your waste, but you can also start saving money! Having a reusable coffee mug encourages me to make my own cup of coffee or tea at home in the mornings to take to work rather than stopping at a drive-thru and spending $5 each trip. Some coffee shops will even offer a small discount on your coffee if you bring your own mug. This is also a wonderful replacement for those disposable paper/plastic to-go cups you find near the plastic silverware in stores. Save your money people! Invest in a reusable option just once!! and be surprised by the money you'll save each month.

Where to buy: I love the Ecoffee Cup. These reusable mugs are super lightweight, durable, and they have tons of cute patterns. They are from the UK, but you can grab them on Amazon for less than $20.

#3 - Reusable Straw

There are many varieties of reusable straws to choose from! You can try glass, stainless steel, silicone, bamboo, and others. I prefer using clear glass straws because they are dishwasher safe and you can visibly tell whether they are totally clean on the inside or not. Reusable straws are a great alternative to plastic straws and they'll last you forever. Reusable straws also add a festive touch when you're hosting a party or making drinks for friends. I mostly use my glass straw for drinking smoothies. :)

Where to buy: My favorite glass straws are these handmade ones from Strawesome. I requested plastic free packaging when they were being shipped to my home and this little family business fulfilled my wishes! I have dropped my glass straws a few times and they did not break. These sturdy straws have been one of my favorite low waste items for the past 4 years and I expect them to last for a long time. I have one smoothie and one bent drinking style straw and purchasing the straw cleaner brush is a must!

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Of course in some cases like the reusable straw example, you do not need to go out and buy one. Simply refusing a disposable item is enough to make a difference. However, these three tools will come in handy while trying to decrease your impact on the world and spread awareness about eco-friendly options.

Looking for more low waste tips and inspiration? Check out this blog post on simple plastic swaps or this post on eco life hacks! What are some of your favorite ways to live gently?



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