It seems to be trendy to be eco-friendly but is it really that hard? It’s only right for us to treat our planet with respect. We’re given this beautiful world to live in but we do things so carelessly without thinking of it’s future affect on our planet. The idea of being completely waste-free or eco-friendly may seem daunting — but, it’s truly not that hard. You can start in small easy steps and the difference will matter. I decided to share with you some of the ways you can slowly start to become more eco-friendly and love our planet. If you already do some of these, congrats! The Earth appreciates you. If you’re reading this, there’s a chance you’re hopeful and the Earth appreciates you too.
1. Get a Reusable Water Bottle
The amount of waste you make when buying a flat of plastic water bottles is insane and it’s so easy to combat. Buy yourself a reusable water bottle. Whenever you have a reusable water bottle, it’s more likely you’ll even drink more water. You won’t have plastic water bottles laying all over your car or bedroom floor. Trust me, I’ve been there. I bought aKlean Kanteen last year and it comes with me everywhere. It literally goes everywhere with me and you can tell by the way it floats in the background of my photos.
Similarly, you should think about getting a reusable coffee cup to cut your morning waste down. You might buy coffee everyday and you’re throwing away a plastic or paper cup into the garbage creating more waste. How about you just get a reusable cup? It’s easier and you can sometimes get a discount at coffee places for doing so. For example, Starbucks!
2. Bring Your Own Grocery Bags
I know you’ve come across a plastic bag stuck in a tree, floating across the street, or simply in another plastic bag hanging on a door in your kitchen. I’m aware that you can re-use these bags around your home but they always end up in the trash and then eventually, the ocean. “…plastic shopping bags kill large numbers of wildlife each year. In the water, plastic bags can be mistaken for jellyfish by wildlife. This makes plastic bag pollution in marine environments particularly dangerous, as birds, whales, seals and turtles ingest the bags then die from intestinal blockages.”1 Another large problem that comes with plastic bags, they don’t decompose quickly at all. In fact, there’s estimates that state it could take a plastic bag 20-1,000 years to decompose.2 Instead, I recommend using your own grocery bags. You can even purchase insulated grocery bags to help keep specific items cold. This also goes for produce bags. You can invest or even make your own. For the non-crafty, here’s a link to some affordable re-usable grocery bags. For others, here’s a little DIY on how to make your own.
As for produce bags, you can make them but also here’s a link to shop.
3. Use Rechargeable Batteries
Batteries are extremely harmful to the environment and it only makes it worse whenever they’re not thrown away correctly. If you didn’t know, there is a proper way to dispose of batteries. Hint: Most Ikea stores have a bin to recycle batteries. It’s better to use rechargeable batteries because you’re not buying new product and throwing old out. Rechargeable batteries consume less non-renewable resources and make for an easier solution to batteries. Whenever you throw out old batteries, you’re allowing toxic waste into the environment. It’s also way more convenient to always have batteries instead of constantly searching your house whenever the batteries in your remote die.
Here’s a link.
4. Use Cloth Instead of Paper Towels
I feel like this is pretty self explanatory but there’s so many things in your daily life that create so much waste. It’s frustrating because there’s almost always an alternative but we tend to use more wasteful products. Paper towels are one of these things. You use so many in a day and you seem to add them often to your grocery lists. You can use old towels and cut them instead pieces to use for cleaning. (You do have your own DIY cleaning products right?) It’s so much less wasteful to just use fabric and cloths instead of paper towels. Not to mention, it’s not that hard to replace them either.
5. Buy in Bulk
This one might seem a little advanced for those who are just now dedicating their lives to being eco-friendly but don’t worry, I got you. Whenever you buy in bulk, you’re getting more for your money and you’re not creating wasteful packaging. You can buy or even thrift things like reusable glass jars and buy things like quinoa, coffee, or rice in bulk. It makes things so much easier and it’s not that hard. Whenever you go into the store, you subtract the weight of your jar from the weight of the product. That’s it! Here’s a list of a few stores that allow things in bulk:
– Whole Foods
– The Fresh Market
– Bulk Nation
– Earth Fare
Here’s a list showing you places specific to your state.
I’ve been learning this phrase since I was in kindergarten but just to remind you: Reduce, Reusable, Recycle. Recycling has gotten a bad rep recently and I still truly believe that you should still recycle. In terms of plastic bottles and paper, of course you should recycle these things. But, there’s other ways to recycle like recycling your favorite pair of jeans into shorts and making the old into new.
7. Step Away from Fast Fashion
In 2018, I became conscious of the fashion industry and how harmful it can be to people and the environment. I began investing in pieces I felt would truly last and my main source of clothes shopping became thrifting. Fast fashion allows for exploitation of people in foreign countries (mostly women and children), creates more waste, and proves to be low quality clothing. Whenever this quality is so low, you’re forced to throw it away (I HIGHLY recommend donating) or continuously buy more. You should watch the documentary called The True Cost to truly see the horror that is fast fashion. To avoid supporting such an industry, thrift your clothing. It’s cheaper and you can find great quality items at half the cost. You’re also reusing clothing instead of constantly allowing for more manufactured clothing.
8. Buy Reusable Straws
I’m so glad that this was brought up in 2018 because it makes more people aware of how wasteful some simple things in our lives are. Plastic straws are plastic and are harmful to the environment but there’s always an alternative. You can use paper straws or metal straws instead. You can easily buy these things on Amazon and even some sets that include a spoon, knife and fork as well.
9. Try a Bamboo Tooth Brush
I think you’re seeing a pattern now, right? Tooth Brushes are made out of plastic and you should be throwing it out and replacing it every few months or so. This is incredibly wasteful and there’s always a better way to go about brushing your teeth. Bamboo toothbrushes are better for the environment and barely feel any different. They last longer and are better for the environment. What more could you ask for?
10. Cut Wasteful Makeup Remover
Whenever you remove makeup, you’re using things like cotton pads, cotton swabs, makeup wipes, etc. that you just throw out after one use. It’s better if you just use something like Micellar water and a reusable rag to remove your makeup. I actually use cold cream because it genuinely removes makeup so much more than a wipe and you’re not tugging down on your skin. Isn’t that a win?
11. Get a Plant Friend
Save the environment, plant some trees! But also, plants in your home are incredibly beneficial as well. There’s so many different species of plants that can improve your home life by clearing the air of toxins and even helping you sleep better. They’re stress relievers that also reduce carbon dioxide levels! Not to mention, having green foliage in your home is a staple if you want to feel like you’re an interior designer. If you’re not great with plants, I plan on making a post soon on the best plants to start with. Keep up with my blog if you’re interested in that! Also, did you know you can grow a Lemon tree indoors? Talk about multi-tasking.
13. Don’t Take the Paper Receipt
It really is that simple. When asked for an emailed or paper receipt, go for the digital receipt. You’re not creating waste but you’ll have the receipt just in case. You can just ask for no receipt at all as well! This way, you’re not taking home extra paper that you know will just end up in the trash.
14. Become Mindful
Easy, right? These are the small steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint and live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Once you start doing small things like use a reusable water bottle and get rid of plastic straws, you’ll become more aware of the things in your life that are wasteful and find alternatives yourself. You won’t need an online guide on what to look out for — it’ll become an instinct. That’s the goal you should be looking forward to. You’ll go grocery shopping and chose the less wasteful option and maybe you’ll have your reusable grocery bags on hand. You’ll find yourself thrifting more whether it be online or at your local Goodwill. Whatever small step you’re taking, the Earth is thanking you!
Let me know how you plan to start your eco-friendly journey and tag me in any posts relating to this one! I’d love to see it.
How do you live an eco-friendly life?