Top 6 Ways To A More Sustainable Lifestyle
When it comes to caring for the planet, we can all play an active role by making small choices every day to live more sustainably. While these actions may not seem like much, if everyone were to be just a little more conscious about the simple changes they can make, it can lead to big results over the long term. Below are some simple, but effective ways to bring sustainability into your life so that we can live joyously for years to come!
1. Reuse Glass Jars For Food Storage
One of my favorite ways to reduce my carbon footprint is by saving my glass jars from things like pasta sauces, salsas, spices and condiments. Just remove the label, run the jar through the dishwasher (or hand wash!), and you’ve got a perfect storage container for everything from grains to spices to leftovers!
As a bonus, glass is a safer alternative than plastic for storing food, since it doesn’t contain toxic ingredients that can disrupt our endocrine systems. As we’ll see below, plastic is also a major contributor to environmental pollution, so replacing your plastic storage containers with reusable glass jars is another simple way to live more sustainably.
2. Replace Plastic Wrap With Beeswax or Silicon Wraps
Did you know that it takes most plastics at least 4000 years to decompose? That means almost every plastic ever made still exists in some way. A study published in 2017 found that of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic that has been produced in the past 60 years about 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste.
If our current obsession with plastics continues, scientists estimate there will be 12 billion metric tons of plastic waste in the environment by 2050. While these numbers may seem scary, it’s actually incredibly empowering!
If a large proportion of plastics are required for packaging, we can do our part to lower our footprint by using sustainable alternatives like beeswax or silicone wraps to store food. You can also use those glass jars you saved as a great way to store leftovers and organize your pantry.
3. Purchase Products In Bulk
Since we’ve already discussed how much plastic is made solely for single-use packaging, a great way to be more sustainable in your habits is to start purchasing products in bulk. There are shops popping up all over the place that sell things like shampoos, conditioners, hand soaps, dish soaps, all-purpose cleaners, body washes, lotions, bath salts, and massage oils. These shops are a great place to start lowering your plastic consumption and possibly get to try some fun new products as well! As a bonus, most zero-waste shops source clean, sustainable products so it’s truly a win-win situation.
Another area where you can save some plastic is by shopping for food products in bulk. Most grocery stores have a bulk section and there are also many shops that are specifically designed as bulk shopping locations. That means you can stock up on your favorites, like nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, and other goodies, all while caring for the environment.
4. Buy Sustainable Clothing
Investing in long-lasting, sustainable clothing is a great way to keep textiles out of the landfill while supporting sustainable agricultural practices. In fact, about 80% of my daughter Vienna’s clothing is made from bamboo! I love buying products made from this material because not only are they soft and cozy as can be, but bamboo also grows incredibly fast, making it a planet-friendly choice!
A theme you may have noticed in this list is reducing our reliance on plastics. Not only are plastics endocrine disrupting and major contributors to pollution, they are also completely reliant on fossil fuels for production. If we want to move away from the effects of fossil fuels into a world of sustainable energy, reducing our reliance on plastic products is an important step!
What does plastic have to do with clothing? Well I bet you didn’t know that clothing made from synthetic materials is a major contributor to plastic pollution. These items shed microplastics as they are worn, washed, and dried. Microplastics are tiny, but they can have a big impact on the environment, especially the health of our oceans!
Even though sustainable clothing may be more expensive up front, it will typically last a lot longer and it won’t shed harmful microplastics into the environment.
5. Try Thrift Shopping!
If shopping for sustainable clothing made from bamboo or organic cotton isn’t in your budget, you can still help keep textiles out of landfills by thrift shopping! Every year there is an estimated 92 tonnes of textiles that are wasted and about the equivalent of one garbage truck’s worth of clothing ends up in a landfill every. Single. Day.
Making a switch from fast fashion to thrift shopping is a great way to shop sustainably and still find unique and cute clothing. Remember that a tailor is your best friend when it comes to thrift shopping! A few quick stitches can take something from drab to fab in no time.
6. Support Sustainable Food Production
Finally, another great way to live a joyously sustainable life is by supporting food producers who make the health of the planet a priority in their practices. With farmer’s market season fast approaching, it’s a great time to get to know your local farmers. Talk to them as you shop and ask about their growing practices for food and livestock. Then you can make informed decisions to support the growers who have sustainable practices in place. As a bonus, buying local food reduces your carbon footprint and supports the local economy. If your local area doesn’t have a farmer’s market, look for certified organic and humanely raised products at the grocery store.
Bonus: One area of our lives that is often overlooked in terms of sustainability is the supplements that we purchase. An easy way to up-level your supplements is to buy them from companies that have sustainability at the forefront of their policies. I love Genuine Health’s Clean Collagen products because they support joyous health from head-to-toe AND they are always sustainably sourced and upcycled from either grass-fed cattle or wild caught cod, pollock and haddock.