Sustainably Conscious: An Overview
For some, the idea of considering their ecological footprint is Earth-shattering (pun intended) and an immediate priority (because it should be). BUT for others, this task in and of itself is a source of stress and leads them feeling with very little resources to change the matter at hand, leading to a whole lot of inaction.
(There is also another set of people that feel they have no obligation to the Earth that literally keeps them alive, but this is my blog, so I don’t care to give them more recognition than they need to reassess some things.)
Anyway, I can understand where those who feel overwhelmed are coming from. After all, where should you start? What can you do? Are your actions as an individual enough?
The answers: Anywhere, Anything, & Yes.
Living sustainably is a passion of mine, but am I zero waste? No, I wish. BUT I am conscious how much packaging is on things I buy and go for second hand any chance I get. Am I off grid using only renewable energy? Again, no, I wish. But I watch where my dollars go and try to reduce my footprint anywhere I can.
To avoid writing an entire book on the subject as I’m sure I will be including PLENTY of follow up posts on this subject, here are just a few of the many ways that you can live a bit more sustainably that I practice myself:
2. Grow your own food, people
3. Eat more whole foods (I’m talking produce section here)
4. And cook it yourself (or have your boyfriend do it! *sponsored ad)
5. Buy clothes second hand (90% of my clothes are from thrift stores. It CAN be done.)
6. Use reusable shopping bags (and remember to bring them into the damn store with you)
7. Skip out on plastic produce bags (you’re gonna wash/cook them anyway? I have trouble understanding the need for these, to be honest)
8. Bring a reusable to-go coffee mug with you (or at least get your latte to go and say no to paper cups)
9. Reuse everything you can - jars, containers, cloth, etc.
10. Make the switch to cloth napkins in AND out of the house
11. Say no to plastic cutlery, straws, and anything else that can easily be replaced with something in your dishwasher
12. Opt for used books, or better yet jump on the Kindle train (highly recommend)
13. Wash your laundry in COLD water
14. Use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets
15. Pick up your pet’s poop with biodegradable bags
16. !!! Speaking of animals - stop eating them
17. Buy in bulk with minimal packaging whenever possible. I’m talking nuts, seeds, grains, spices, all the goods
18. Get creative with food storage - beeswax wraps, glass jars, tea towels, etc
19. DO. NOT. LITTER. (cigarettes count, by the way)
20. Make the switch from plastic to glass tupperware
21. Utilize junk mail for shopping lists, to-do lists, love notes, anything.
22. Borrow things whenever you can, especially if you’ll only use it once or twice
23. Re-gift things you don’t use (and don’t be ashamed of it)
24. Experiment with different coffee options, there’s very little need for f’n K-cups
25. If you have to consume paper or plastic products, by all means, please recycle them
26. Make your own beauty products
27. Make your own cleaning supplies
28. Share showers
29. Get a water filter and boycott plastic bottles
30. Say no to receipts (but if they’re printed anyway, take them and reuse them for something)
31. Switch to bar soap
32. Opt out for paper bills, it’s 2019
33. Donate things you don’t use
34. Embrace natural light during the day and don’t use lights if you don’t need them
35. Opt for loose leaf tea over tea bags
36. Avoid flushing the toilet every time you pee, it’s just actually unnecessary
37. Turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth
38. Don’t be afraid of staining towels in exchange of one-use face wipes
39. Limit your driving as much as you can. If you can’t, carpool
40. Try to fix, mend, sew anything that needs it before buying a new version
41. Support local farmers, artists, makers, stores
42. Prioritize Energy Star appliances
43. Use your dang dishwasher
44. Plan your errands all together and strategize them to minimize driving time
45. Consume less, or at least be conscious of your consumption
46. Use what you have more
47. Do your research
48. Educate others
49. Advocate for change. Vote. Let your dollar speak.
50. Do your best
Some of these are more intuitive than others, but I will tell you that it took me a while to compile this list because many of these environmentally-friendly behaviors have truly become my second nature (pun intended again). And to reiterate, there are MANY other ways to sprinkle in more sustainability into your life, I only included things I do myself for you to get the idea that this is NOT hard.
All you have to do to start is pick 1 and commit. You may be surprised how it all unfolds. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself changing your life around it.