Recently, I have been educating myself on how to live a sustainable lifestyle. This is the most important step because we can’t make changes without knowing the reality of the situation. Today, I’m sharing three of the most popular and helpful tips to start living a more sustainable lifestyle. Let’s get into it!
Stop using single use items ASAP.
We grew up loving the convenience of anything pre-packaged, pre-prepared, and disposable. At the time, there wasn’t enough information going around for everyone to know just how much we were all harming the planet. Now that we know the extent of the damage, we need to do some damage control. We can start by quitting the use of single use items. We have these in every area of our lives.
A More Sustainable Kitchen
So many of our food and drink items come in plastic packaging. Drinks like pop, water, juice, milk, coffee creamer, iced coffee, pre-made smoothies, yogurt, lunchables, pre-sliced deli meats, chicken, pork, beef, and all of the frozen foods typically come in plastic packaging.
We can cut down on this wasteful cycle and get healthier at the same time by eating mostly plant-based foods. These are foods like rice, beans, vegetables, and fruits. We only use the pre-prepared foods because they are convenient. However, we can all meal prep our own foods at home and have the same convenience while eating healthier.
A More Sustainable Bathroom
Our shampoos, conditioners, body lotions, body washes, toothbrushes, toothpastes, floss, mouth wash, deodorant, and even bath salts and bath bombs come in plastic packaging. The easiest way to cut down on using these plastics is to buy bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and lotions in bulk sizes. Instead of using body wash, we could start using bar soap. Even though they still come in plastic and cardboard packaging, there’s less of it. If you’re someone that travels a lot, take your bigger sized products and pack them in your checked luggage. If you’re not going for a very long trip, reuse the travel sized bottles that you have previously purchased.
There are also brands like Lush, that offer shampoo and conditioner bars. These also cut down on the amount of plastic waste because you’re not purchasing a giant bottle for each product. As always, there are mixed reviews, but I don’t expect it to be much longer before they become a trend. Once it becomes trendy, all the major brands are going to join the bandwagon and create their own.
We should also cut down on our use of disposable razors. I purchased a Gillette Venus razor handle and I can just change out the blades. While this is still creating some waste, there’s less of it because I’m not purchasing a whole new razor every time mine gets dull.
Invest in reusable items and save yourself money.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but purchasing single use items is actually more expensive than their reusable counterparts. We have to purchase them fairly frequently so it’s wasteful and expensive.
If you drank the recommended 64 ounces of water per day, you would drink 23,360 ounces in a year. If you purchased all 16-ounce bottles, that’s 1,460 bottles in just one year! Now, you can really see just how much plastic you can save in a year by using a reusable water bottle. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive like Hydroflask or Yeti. I have stainless steel water bottles from Walmart that can hold ice water all day without getting warm. Stick within your budget, but please stop buying plastic water bottles.
When most people mention reusable straws, they talk about metal, glass, or bamboo being the most popular. I found silicone straws at Walmart and I love using them! I didn’t think metal or glass would be a good fit because my teeth are very sensitive to cold. I would be willing to try bamboo straws, but I haven’t seen them available in my local stores yet.
You could also invest in a soap pump for your sinks and get bulk sizes of soap to refill them. Reusable coffee mugs are great if you like to have hot beverages or even soup! It would be worthwhile to invest in a good supply of wash cloths, dish towels, hand towels, and cloth napkins to reduce the amount of waste from your kitchen and bathroom. If you wear makeup, invest in reusable cotton rounds and a cleanser.
Use less of everything.
You should only be using shampoo on your roots and scalp, so it’s likely that you only need half of the shampoo you’re currently using. The ends of your hair will get washed as you rinse your hair. Similarly, the roots of your hair don’t need conditioner on them. You could double or triple the amount of uses you get from a single bottle of shampoo or conditioner! This same theory would work for body wash, lotion, and even mouth wash. You don’t need a ton of these products for them to do their duty.
We can reduce emissions from transportation by carpooling, using public transportation, walking, or even riding a bicycle. It might feel like a hassle, but we should be turning off and unplugging the items we’re not using at the moment. Even if you have something switched off, they are still pulling a bit of electricity. Take showers instead of baths to save water. Turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth or washing your face. Only do a load of clothes or dishes if the machine has a full load. Hang your clothes up to dry in the summer, rather than using the dryer. Go thrift shopping for your clothes rather than buying new.
We can do so many things to live more sustainable!
Many people just don’t have the education or the resources to educate themselves. It’s on us to educate ourselves and each other. It’s on us to implement lifestyle changes. If we don’t make these changes now, then we’re going to kill off our planet and ourselves. Even if you don’t think you’re making a difference, YOU ARE. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean you’re not positively impacting the planet.
If you have any suggestions for living more sustainable that I didn’t cover, or you think I might not know about, please leave them in the comments! I want to be more aware and would love to try out some new tips and tricks to live more sustainable!