DAILY SUSTAINABILITY TIPS: FOOD AND HOME
Updated: Jun 29, 2020
GREEN VOYAGE AND SUSTAINABILITY
Part of what inspired me to start this blog is to dive deep into some things that I do in my life that have become such a norm - but really have a negative impact on our environment.
There are some basics that I already knew of like recycling, using less plastic, and reducing my carbon emissions. But what does this look like on a day to day basis?
I wanted to explore other cultures and see what were things they did to have a more positive impact.
In Australia, people are hyper aware about how plastics impact our oceans, the way the rainforests are cut down for paper, and the ozone layer.
In New Zealand, preserving the natural habitat was seen through hikes and nature trails all around both islands.
In Hawaii, there was a love for the ocean and keeping our beaches and trails clean.
So the more I thought about sustainability and caring about our environment, I wanted to share some tips of things that we have the power to do every day. Changes that we can make to have a positive impact.
When grocery shopping of ordering take out food, there are some minor changes we can start making today. Here are some ideas:
Bring your reusable shopping bag. Don't forget to take it in to the store with you and put it back in the car as soon as you are home. These are a great alternative to single use plastic bags. Plus, you can buy some that are customized to your style! Earth Ethical offers these 100% Cotton Tote Bags which if you are feeling creative, could customize yourself!
Buy fruit without individually bagging each piece. This is extra plastic you DO NOT NEED. When you get home, make sure to clean your produce with some water, and you are good to go!
Avoid packaged foods and vegetables and opt for fresh produce. This is another big one! It can be very compelling to purchase the cut up fruit or the packaged baby carrots, but it is way less expensive to cut it up yourself and better for the planet!
Reuse take out containers. As we all get comfortable with this new normal of staying home and barely going out, take out has been a great solution to still get a feeling of normalcy going. I love eating Chinese or Thai food, and usually these come in some plastic containers which can be reused! I clean them out and keep them for storing leftovers or some fresh baked goods.
There are many changes we can make from the comfort of our own home so that we can reduce our carbon footprint. Below are some examples you can take to your home:
Wear warmer clothes instead of turning up the heat in the house. This is an excellent solution to reducing your monthly utility bills and overall home emissions.
Use motion detector lights instead of having the lights on all night. Instead of keeping a hallway light, basement or porch light on for hours on end when you are not in that space, motion detector lights provide another opportunity to reduce your utility bill cost and electricity emissions.
Reuse any plastic bags you have as garbage liners or for pet waste. Sometimes it is inevitable that somewhere along you end up collecting a few plastic bags. This happens to me when I purchase bread which many times comes in a plastic bag. Save these and use them as garbage liners or pet waste.
Find ways to re-home your clutter that are sustainable - can you fix it or repurpose it? In the past few weeks of staying home I have been able to sew and fix up quite a few items! A decorative pillow that needed some love, a sweater that I often wear, and even some pants. For those items I don't need anymore, I have a drawer for clothes that I am setting aside for a few months, and a bag of items to be donated. When you're unsure if you want to get rid of something, it's sometimes better to hold on to it for a few months to see if you look for it or miss it. This will help you to not end up purchasing something similar later on.
Look for earth friendly products for your home - like Toilet Paper and Laundry Detergent. These two are SO easy! When you go grocery shopping or order these items online, look for Toilet Paper that is made from recyclable paper. I promise you it will feel just the same on your bum as the three ply comfort TP you are used to - except that with the recyclable version, you won't need to cut down trees that Koalas or birds need. As for the laundry detergent, look for a brand that uses a recycled plastic container, or even no plastic at all! Seventh Generation creates this Laundry Detergent which I love, and it is all cardboard! The only plastic is the lid. Even better, they offer a concentrated detergent that is good for sensitive skin and uses less water in it's creation.
You have the power as a consumer to make changes into what is sold at your stores. If you want to see more environmentally friendly products, begin by making changes in your lives. Along with this, you have an opportunity to explore new places, hobbies, and new ways of keeping your life sustainable. Many times this ends up saving you money while helping save the planet! This journey is about a more sustainable you and I.