I’m super passionate about sustainability, to the point where I cringe when the waiter gives me a plastic straw. Why is that necessary?! With that being said, I want others to live their life, and I don’t want to impose with my “I’m better than you because I live more sustainably” attitude. However, I also know that our planet needs people to care if we want to continue living in this beautiful, precious environment. We simply cannot continue living the way we are today with the rate at which the population is growing.
So, here are my quick tips to living more sustainably in the home.
1. Invest in Sustainable Products
Expect to pay more for more sustainable product alternatives, until our government policies promote more sustainable living. For example, the laundry soap in a biodegradable container is likely going to cost you more than the (terrible) Tide detergent, as this is likely more expensive for the supplier to source and manufacture, not to mention all the unpronounceable chemicals washing into the ocean!
Plastic originally became so popular because it’s cheap and durable. So durable, in fact, that it can take 450 years to biodegrade after you drink your bubble tea from it in 5 minutes.
Side note: Bali recently became the first city to outlaw single-use plastics – how cool!
This first tip is more of a mindset shift, but hugely important. I feel good when I vote with my dollar by purchasing sustainable products as often as possible.
2. Have the Recycle Bin be Larger than the Trashcan
A large recycle bin can serve as a visual reminder to recycle more and throw away less. Although 75% of America’s waste is recyclable, we only recycle around 30% of it ¹ – how sad! If you notice that your small trash can is getting full quickly, see if it’s full of recyclable materials. A large portion of household waste could actually be recycled, if done in the right way.
3. Use Reusable Mesh Produce Bags when Grocery Shopping
Hopefully, you’re already using your cloth grocery bags each time you go to the store, but what about your produce bags? Even Whole Foods still has plastic produce bags – why?!
Ironically, I actually bought my reusable produce bags at my local Whole Foods, but you can also buy them on Amazon here. Another added bonus is that mesh bags allow your produce to breathe in your fridge, unlike suffocating plastic (can you say slimy mushrooms?).
4. Use Reusable Beeswax Wraps for Food Saving
I personally use etee wraps, and love em’! They come in a variety of different sizes and colors to help you better organize your leftovers. I’ve also cut some of the bigger ones into smaller sizes to use as lids on jars and small reusable containers when I can’t find the lid (lol).
5. Use Bamboo-Based & Compostable Tissues and Toilet Paper
I personally buy Aria brand toilet paper from Amazon. My only critique on this toilet paper is that it seems to be a bit lint-y, in that it creates a small amount of dust/lint each time you pull some off. Over time, the area around the toilet paper looks like it’s covered in dust, so I give it a wipe down more frequently, which probably isn’t a bad thing! As far as tissues, I use the Caboo brand tissues from Amazon.
6. Use Biodegradable Toothbrushes
It’s recommended that you change your toothbrush every three months. I grew up using plastic toothbrushes with different Disney princesses on them, and, sadly, I’m sure those are still in perfect condition at the bottom of a landfill somewhere.
If you prefer using manual toothbrushes like me, I recommend Bamboo Addicts biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes, which are completely biodegradable. They also have charcoal bristles for teeth whitening! This company was founded by my wonderful and dear friends, Ash and Jeremy, who I fully support and trust.
If you use a rechargeable, vibrating toothbrush, I cannot speak to sustainable options, but I’d hope they have an eco-friendly one somewhere out there!
7. Reduce Meat Intake
Animal farming / livestock production accounts for 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions and is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction ¹ . Even simply decreasing your weekly meat intake can make a huge difference, but I have personally chosen to eat a completely plant-based. Plus, I feel great!
I hope these tips were useful and insightful!
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can live a more sustainable life, I highly encourage checking out Google’s Your Plan, Your Planet tool, which helps you calculate your individual carbon footprint and shares insights on how you can live more sustainably in the home.
If you have any other tips you want to suggest, please drop them in the comments below – I’d love to hear and adopt them myself!