Our planet is suffering under the effects of human impact. Continents of plastic amassing in our oceans, animals strangled by bags and bottles, toxic ocean temperatures on the rise, pollution burning through our atmosphere, dangerous emissions, carbon footprints and so much waste that landfills or overflowing and only a percentage of recyclables are actually being recycled… But we can change. There’s still time to slow down climate change and reverse some of our harmful effects on this earth. We all hold a moral responsibility to change our behaviors. Small changes can have a big impact. And if enough people start making them, the world can change. And yes, one individual’s actions does matter. As consumers we have more power than we realize. I’ve already seen the shift in stores offering more and more organic products and sustainable goods. What was once a hippie fringe movement is now an essential lifestyle going mainstream. If we demand sustainable goods, companies will supply them. Almost all companies will alway take the financially beneficially route, but as consumers, we can choose the moral one and they will follow us.
Many people say that living sustainably costs more money, but that’s not necessarily true. The wooden dish brush in the photo above is almost three years old! And it’s still in excellent condition. Imagine the number of sponges one would normally go through in that time? And the money spent on them? Moreover, sponges can’t be recycled and don’t decompose in landfills. Instead of buying endless paper towel rolls, why not use rags that can simply be thrown in the wash? Or instead of buying packs of bottled water every week for years, consider investing once in an excellent filter or cleansing stones like shungite and purify tap water at home? Or homemade charcoal toothpaste that cleans and whitens better than plastic encased, store bought varieties (and costs a fraction of the price and isn’t filled with toxic chemicals!). Wait for your products to run out and consider replacing them with more sustainable options.
There are so many options, and highly aesthetic ones too! In the long run you’ll save a lot of money and feel great about your sustainable living choices and love these objects as part of your home, not just a single serving thing to be used and never seen again. And the most important part? Show them off and spread the word…
Say no to plastic grocery bags (and paper! Which often uses toxic chemicals to produce) and bring your own reusable bag when shopping.
Bring reusable produce bags instead of using the plastic or paper ones provided in produce sections. There are also reusable freezer bags or glass pyrex (much better option for storing food than plastic containers that can leach chemicals into food).
Use wooden brushes for dishes instead of sponges (they can’t be recycled and are a disaster for landfills). They can last years and they don’t start stinking like sponges do! I also use these brushes for dry brushing and as a shower scrub.
Use reusable rags instead of paper towels and cloth for napkins.
Glass bottles instead of plastic ones. Find a beautiful bottle you love and you’ll even find it helps you drink more water!
Metal straws over plastic. Or none. Who really needs straws except those with disabilities that effect their ability to drink from a cup?
Instead of plastic wrap, choose reusable bees wax paper to cover food. Plastic wrap is filled with toxic chemicals that can be released into food.
Replace plastic toothbrushes with wooden ones, and make your own toothpaste (charcoal powder and water) and body scrub (just baking soda!) and store in recycled small glass jars.
Use silk dental floss instead of plastic floss.
Carry a reusable wooden spoon (like the one photographed above) in your bag or car and use this instead of throw-away utensils when eating on the street or going out for ice-cream.
Replace tampons with reusable menstruation cups. Tampons are often filled with toxic chemicals that can destabilize hormone balance and they don’t decompose in landfills.
Use reusable makeup removal pads instead of cotton. Or simply wash your face with almond or jojoba oil and pat dry with a cloth.
Use cloth diapers for babies (if you can handle the washing, like my brave mother!).
Reuse glass jars (remove labels) and reuse for storing everything from food and dry goods storage to office and cleaning supplies.
Choose loose leaf tea over tea bags. Reusable coffee filters over paper. And never use espresso pods (they don’t decompose and are overfilling landfills).
Take shorter showers: turn off the water while shampooing hair or shaving.
Eat plant based foods as much as possible! Your body and the planet will thank you. Choose organic foods, free-range organic eggs, and if eating meat products, look for local options. Poultry and rabbit are much more sustainable options than beef. And incorporate more plant-based protein sources like mushrooms, quinoa, chia seeds and beans.
Eat locally and seasonally (lower carbon footprint, supports small businesses, and the food genuinely tastes better and is higher in nutrients!)
Opt for organic and ethnically produced clothing brands and food products.
Consider buying shampoo bars instead of shampoo bottles.
Try and make as many beauty and cleaning products as you can! They are much cheaper, can be made in bulk, and not filled with toxic chemicals as most store bought products.
Bike over carbon foot print transports as much as possible! Instead of cars and buses, try biking to more places. You can add saddle bags for groceries and general transport as the Dutch (my people!) do. Plus it’s excellent exercise. Too birds one stone kind of sustainability!