Sustainable Lifestyle 101 - Where Do I Start?
A few tips on how to make your life a bit more eco-friendly
Let’s face some facts. The world has a huge pollution problem. A big part comes from the plastic pollution. But also such industries as meat, food and fashion are bit contributors to the problem. According to National Geographic, around 18 billion pounds of plastic waste enters the world’s ocean each year.
“That’s an equivalent of five grocery bags of plastic trash sitting on every foot of coastline.”
‘I want to make a change’ - you’re thinking. If you’re asking yourself ‘but how’, or simply don’t know where to start, don’t panic. Changing your lifestyle into more sustainable one is like going onto healthy diet. It's all about making smart substitutions, good habits and not having to say ‘no’ to your favorite dessert. 😉 Do you want to improve not only your own lifestyle, but also contribute to positive environmental change? Here is a short guide on how to start.
BYOS - Bring Your Own Straw, and bag, and anything else you can
More and more places are actually banning single-use plastic. But better to be safe than sorry. Right?
Single-use straws have been marked as the main evil in past few years. And not for no reason. With the USA using 500 million straws every day in 2016, that’s a lot of trash, isn’t it?
Can’t picture it?
That’s enough straws to circle around the Earth around 2.5 times. But a year later, the number reduced to 390 million straws per day due to Freedonia Group. That’s a massive change, is it enough? If more of us changed the habits and brought our own stainless straw we could reduce this number. You can get them on Amazon or eBay for even as little as $4 for a set of 10 straws,
You can also always carry a reusable cloth bag, or a few, in your car. So whenever you decide to go shopping, you’re ready and don’t need to ask for a single-use plastic bag.
Sustainable fashion or slow fashion
The fashion industry is actually one of the major polluting industries in the world. What can you do? Shop locally. Good quality products that will last you for a long time. Buy clothes and accessories made from ecological and sustainable fabrics. You can take part in local clothes swap where you can exchange the items you don’t want to wear anymore for new items. Don’t tell me it’s not a win-win situation. 😉 Getting rid of all the stuff that clutters your closet and getting some new pieces in.
There are a few different aspects to fashion that's good for the environment. One of them that covers the aspect of sustainability is slow fashion. It focuses on choosing garments made of sustainable materials of higher quality that will last longer so there won’t be a need to keep buying more. If you’d like to find out more about slow fashion aspect read the special blog post explaining it better.. And if you’re looking for slow fashion accessories you can check my brand Shop Jenn Lee. Where you can find bags made out of natural fabrics such as ata grass, which will last you lifetime. 😉
Food and groceries habits
You can help the planet by reducing meat and dairy, as well as by shopping locally, not in the big supermarket chains.
While shopping try not to pick items packed in the single-use plastic wrapping. Yes, we’re going back to the #1 point. Did you know that 40% of plastic packaging is used only once and then goes straight to the landfill? By shopping with your own bags and avoiding plastic packaging you can make a positive change.
Try going to Starbucks with a reusable cup. Again, you can keep it in your car and whenever you feel like stopping to get coffee, bring it with you! Try it once, twice, and it will get into your habit and become your best friend. 💁
Get on that zero waste hype
Zero waste doesn’t have to mean literal zero. It’s all about trying to produce as minimal waste as possible. Any contribution helps. Zero Waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. The goal is for no trash to be sent to landfills, incinerators, or the ocean. It doesn’t mean you have to be perfect zero waste right away. Any kind of change in your habits would be awesome.
Shampoo bars, homemade cleaning solutions and bamboo cutlery.
It can actually have a positive influence on your wallet and your health. Reuse anything you can and get creative. You can literally use vinegar and water to make all-purpose cleaning solution and put it in a reusable bottle. Cheap, zero waste and handy.
If you can’t go zero waste, recycle
If you’re considering going zero waste but find it difficult with your lifestyle - r e c y c l e. That’s such a little step but can make a difference. You gotta start somewhere.
Turn it off for Mother Earth
Try to reduce the use of electricity. Middle of the day? No need to have all the lights on. Open the blinds and enjoy what yo momma earth gave ya. No need to charge your phone overnight. You can do it in an hour in the morning while you’re getting ready. Or even better just before going to sleep. There’s no excuse for having it plugged during those 6, 7, 8 or even more (lucky you) hours of sleep at night.
All in all, it’s not about being perfect, but about having good cause in your mind. It is also all about trying. No habit was created overnight. Let yourself make mistakes. But also try, because if you won’t try you won’t know how easy it is to change your lifestyle and help the planet. And we have only one planet. Let’s appreciate it.