5 Small Ways To Be More Eco-Friendly in 2019
Updated: Jan 6, 2020
Living sustainably in 2019 doesn't have to be overly complicated or crazy costly. You can take small conscious steps in order to reduce your waste and live a little greener. This year one of my resolutions is to be mindful of my consumption patterns and live more minimally in order to do my part. I've found what works best is to incorporate small doable actions into your day-to-day life in order to elicit lasting change. Here are 5 easy ways you can cut out waste and adopt a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
1. Flaunt your style and #cancel plastic with a reusable tote bag
We've all seen them as they cross our path on the street, drifting through the wind (wanting to start again). Jokes aside, plastic bags take roughly 10-1000 years to decompose in a landfill if they even make it there. I don't know about you but I'm leaving plastic behind in 2018. We can all do our part by refusing plastic bags when shopping for groceries and instead making the conscious choice to carry a reusable tote bag. You can find cheap and sustainable tote bags at practically every store now that will suit your needs and style. I got this cute organic cotton book bag for $2 at Cotton On where they had a ton of pretty designs that support the Cotton On Foundation for empowering youth.
2. Bring new life to used food containers and jars
There's a running joke about about Latino moms storing food in deceptive food containers and it turning out to be some unrelated food item. They're not wrong, my mom still store salsa in butter containers to my dismay. Now looking back, Latino moms were the original zero waste stewards. You can get creative by repurposing food containers like pasta jars or mason jars into virtually anything! Seriously there's a ton of uses for them like storing bulk food, drinking use, makeshift Tupperware, or even growing a plant. With a little creativity the possibilities are endless and if you need some inspiration check out this BuzzFeed post.
3. Carry your own portable beverage containers/coffee mug
If you're an avid coffee drinker/beverage consumer this is the most foolproof way to reduce waste in your day to day life. Getting your caffeine fix doesn't have to be a wasteful venture, plus many coffee shops like Coffee Bean and Starbucks give a discount if you bring in your own coffee mug! There are limitless types of reusable cups/tumblers on the market and available at your favorite coffee shop to buy. If you're constantly on-the-go, you can keep yourself accountable by leaving a cup at work, in your car, and at home so you won't be tempted to waste a paper/plastic cup. ♻️☕️
4. Think of the turtles by carrying your own reusable straws
It may seem like an inconvenience at first to carry around a straw but I've found it eventually becomes second nature—like carrying a chapstick. I have a combination of metal and silicone straws that I stash at work and in my bag. Amazon sells reusable straws in large bundles which makes for a perfect gift and subtle way to encourage others to be more eco-friendly. In addition to saving the turtles, metal straws keep your drink cool so that first sip of iced coffee will feel like frosty heaven. 🌬❄️
5. Grow and nurture a plant that reminds you of Mother Earth
Okay hear me out, we weren't all born with green thumbs and some of us might even be like Timmy Turner's mom (EVERYTHING I TOUCH DIES!). However, there are low-maintenance plants out there like succulents and bamboo that are actually quite easy to care for. I have three plants that I've (shockingly) kept alive for months and I am now convinced I have a green thumb and am slowly venturing down the path to full-blown plant lady. Having a low-maintenance plant is a simple way to be mindful of another living being and it can be an everyday reminder of the beauty of nature. Here are some low-maintenance plants that you probably won't kill. Probably.
Attempting to live more sustainably is a learning process so bear with me! I will be making more posts like this in the future to inspire and challenge people to live a little greener. 🌱