Easy Changes to Your Everyday Choices
In celebration of Earth Day this month and our moniker of The Sustainable Stylish Life, we’re sharing five easy ways to be more sustainable. We've partnered with Habits of Waste, a non-profit that provides ways to change habits by encouraging everyone to rethink wasteful behavior. Simple changes in our everyday choices can go further than you think!
Single use plastics are filling up our landfills and oceans. We produce 300 million tons of plastic each year worldwide, half of which is for single-use items. Only 9% of them are recycled. Yikes! Let's not contribute to this already massive problem that we’re responsible for cleaning up in the future. A reusable water bottle can be used when traveling, working out, and any other opportunity you have to do so. Here are three reusable bottles that will help you with this, if you don’t already have one!
Do More: Take the pledge to drink tap water with Habits of Waste and get a toolkit with more ways to end plastic water bottle waste.
Similar to the overabundance of plastic bottles in our landfills and ocean, these single use cutlery items are just as problematic. Over 40,000,000,000 (that's BILLION) single-use plastic cutlery pieces enter the waste stream. Habits of Waste, through their campaign #CutOutCutlery, has convinced UberEats, GrubHub, and Postmates to change their platforms and require users to OPT-IN to receive plastic cutlery in their deliveries - pretty rad!
When ordering take out, ask for them NOT to be included. Wherever you can, use your own silverware. It’s reusable and it also makes for a more enjoyable eating experience. Here are a few travel cutlery options as well for you to take on a picnic, camping trip, or keep at your office.
Do More: Join #CutOutCutlery to send pre-written emails to the remaining major food delivery platforms DoorDash, Seamless and Chipotle, to get them to add the opt-in function too.
When you buy something that is already produced, you’re giving it a new life over buying something that’s new. New items require more energy, fossil fuels, pollution, and potentially unfair labor practices to get them made. I wrote an article on the Art of Thrifting here, which is a great reference for where and how to participate in upcycling your clothing and accessories. Check out my favorite three items below from my wishlists, these are all from online consignment sites to illustrate the quality things you can find.
Do More: Become an ambassador with Remake, a non-profit organization of fashion lovers, women rights advocates, and environmentalists on a mission to change the industry’s harmful practices on people and our planet.
Meatless Monday was first introduced by the U.S.F.A during World War I. It was a method to reduce the consumption of staple meal items and aid in the war. In modern times, there are a lot of benefits to foregoing meat, like better health and less carbon emissions. The annual methane output of raising one cow is the equivalent of driving a car 7,800 miles per year. Learn more benefits of a plant-based diet.
As a former vegan now flexitarian, I know first hand how my health and energy skyrocketed when I was practicing veganism. Even if you’re not committed to going totally vegan, swapping just 8 meals per week can make a major impact on climate change. Our friends at Habits of Waste are making it easy and have created the free #8meals app which helps you find, plan and track 8 meals a week and see your carbon savings. Super dope! Here are some of my favorite meatless recipes to get you started.
Plastic utensils and water bottles are only half the problem - think about all those creams, shampoos, conditioners, body washes and what have you that are also in single use containers. Plus, bottled shampoo, conditioner and moisturizer can be composed of up to 95% water. Meaning we are unnecessarily shipping water around the world in plastic containers. Learn more at Habits of Waste's #BarsOverBottles campaign.
I am the first person to love all my fancy products but there are two things I have done in my beauty routine to combat my continued use of some single use plastics. One, I use a bar of soap over a body wash or body scrub that is in bottle. I use Dove Sensitive Skin soap to this day and have been since I was a pimply teenager. It’s a classic and never irritates my skin. Two, try out shampoo and conditioner bars. These are so cool and just as effective as any bottled shampoo. I was turned onto them by our founder, Nicole àBeckett. Here’s a few we tested and like.
Do More: Let the major beauty conglomerates know that you want to see more bar alternatives! Send emails with Habits of Waste's #BarsOverBottles campaign to advocate for plastic free alternatives.