Become more sustainable with these 7 easy (but not-so-obvious) methods
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Part of being a conscious leader — that is, a next-era leader, is being conscious of how we make an impact on the people around us, on our community, and on this gorgeous floating blue marble of a planet we have. Chances are, you have already given quite a bit of thought on how you can become more sustainable and you’ve probably already made changes. You’ve got that reusable, BPA-free water bottle. You carpool when you can, you recycle, and you are considerate of where some of your favorite wellness tools are coming from (e.g. crystals, sage, etc…).
You care and more than that, you actually do make the effort. And it’s when more and more of us become aware of how our home is crying out for help… when we realize that we’re all one big family under the same roof we call the “atmosphere”, that’s when I think we can make real progress on combating climate change.
Remember: When it comes to our planet, to make the biggest impact we actually need to reduce our impact.
So here are a few more not-so-obvious ways you can become more sustainable in your life in order to reduce your impact.
Swap your Shampoo bottle for a Shampoo bar
It’s been years since I’ve purchased shampoo from a plastic bottle. Instead, we opt to use shampoo bars. Not only is there less product waste with a shampoo bar (meaning more washes!) you’ll also be reducing the amount of plastic that will likely wind up in a landfill or worse, our oceans.
Instead of a plastic bottle, you can store the bar in a tin that can be recycled.
Personally, my fiancé and I are fans of Lush’s Honey I Washed My Hair bar or Acure’s Coconut and Argan shampoo bar.
Sure, you’ve heard of paper, steel, and bamboo straws but what about Sugarcane straws?
Let me tell you something… when I found out that there are reusable and biodegradable sugarcane straws, my little Cuban heart jumped for joy. Why? Because sugarcane is one hell of a thirsty plant and since refined sugar isn’t going anywhere, it can leave a toll on the land if sugarcane isn’t harvested sustainably.
But here is the kicker…
Eco-friendly companies are using the fibers leftover from the sugar-making process to create these straws that are more durable than their paper counterparts but compostable within 180 days or less.
In other words, less waste and less plastic. Now, we gotta keep pressuring our governments to ensure that more and more of our agriculture companies are conscious of how they treat the land.
Gotta a dog? Become more sustainable with these compostable poop bags
I’ve got two small rescue pups I call my own and there’s a lot of poop we’ve got to clean up and by far, the Earth Rated brand is my absolute favorite. And guess what? They’ve even got compostable poop bags. So, when eventually wind up in the landfill, at least it will break down and go back to the Earth rather than confuse a poor, unsuspecting sea turtle.
Reduce food waste by growing your own herbs
The pandemic turned so many of us into full-fledged gardeners, myself included. Don’t get me wrong, I already had indoor plants but I became much more conscious of using my small outdoor balcony as a container garden for herbs and tea plants. I’ve been growing my own sage, thyme, basil, mint, parsley, and dill. I’ve also got asparagus and green onions growing in a big ol’ container.
Oh, and propagating these herbs is so incredibly easy to do. Seriously.
For example, with basil, you really only need to stick a cutting in water, and boom! You’ve got more basil plants… for free! Well, that is if you don’t count the original basil plant you might have purchased.
Don’t have an outdoor space? No worries at all!
As I mentioned, I was able to create a container garden on my balcony. You can even use a bright windowsill to grow some of your favorite herbs or use a grow light!
Using reusable food storage bags in place of Ziploc bags
Reducing our use of plastic has got to be at the forefront of our minds because, despite the action of tossing it into recycling, the truth of it is that most of the plastic we use will still wind up in landfills.
And while Ziploc bags can be super nifty to marinate some of your proteins, store random trinkets, or pack your travel-sized items… there is a better and more reusable way: silicone.
Although silicone isn’t biodegradable, it also isn’t considered hazardous waste and it actually can be recycled unlike the majority of plastics.
This simple swap can save you from throwing away so many of those little plastic bags. Plus you can store the herbs you’ve grown in your little garden in the fridge for longer use. I’ve got this set myself:
Bonus tips to become more sustainable by taking a page out of what the Latin community does.
Cookie tins are not just for cookies
I’ll be straight with you. I’ve seen so many cookie tins in my life and never have actually seen cookies in them. In fact, for a long time as a kid I just always assumed that the Royal Dansk cookie tins were really sewing kits disguised as cookies.
I knew if I needed to find some white thread and a needle to stitch up a hole in a shirt, it’d be in there.
But! Cookie tins don’t need to just be used for cookies or as a sewing kit, you can use it for just about anything you might need storage for: birthday cards you’ve received, office supplies, random knick-knacks… let your imagination run wild with it.
And yes, they might not be the most attractive but it isn’t anything you can’t cover up with a bit of paint and/or upholstery.
The main idea I want you to get out of this is that you can reuse almost anything with a little ingenuity.
Don’t throw out those plastic take-out or grocery bags!
Instead: collect them.
Yup! You heard me. Collect those bags.
Because similar to the cookie tins, you can reuse them. Here is what I mean…
If you have a small garbage can in your bathroom or office space, use a plastic bag you got from the Thai restaurant you picked up dinner from as the garbage bag. You can also use bigger plastic bags you might get from shopping to collect any items of clothing you’re thinking of donating.
Now, I will say… reusable totes are the way to go here and you should always have a pair in your car so that you can opt-out from someone at the register bagging your items in plastic.
But, if that just isn’t an option, at least you can increase the longevity of that plastic bag so that you’ll ultimately need fewer of them.
I’ve got a whole pantry cabinet filled with plastic bags that we’ve gotten from take-out in particular and we haven’t had to purchase small garbage bags for our bathroom trash ever. And I mean, ever.
I hope this has enlightened and inspired you with these seven easy and maybe not-so-obvious ways you can become more sustainable in your life. Try out at least one of these ways yourself and let us know how it goes!
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