April 22, 2019
HAPPY EARTH DAY FRIENDS!! I hope you guys are having an awesome day and got to spend a little bit of time outside! I’ve been staring at my computer all day (lol), but am making a pact with myself to take a walk outside after this post! Hold me accountable okay?
Even though it sounds cheesy, the older I get, the more thankful I am for the Earth we live on. I pay more attention to things like how nice the breeze feels in the trees, how thankful I am for warm pretty days, and how cool it is to see flower fields, mountains, and crystal clear ocean water. Nature is insanely amazing.
Because of this, I started really paying attention to trying to incorporate sustainable practices that are good for the earth and figure how I could help. I watched countless documentaries like Before the Flood, Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy, etc, and that only fueled my fire more. While I know i’ll never be that person that rides my bike everywhere, or never uses electricity, I’ve found a few simple ways to lessen my impact on the environment and thought it might be helpful to share them today. These things are SO easy, and incorporating a few of them into your daily routine will make a huge difference in the long run. Mother Earth will thank ya. 🙂 Let’s get to it:
While this may seem like a silly one, switching your bills from getting them in the mail, to going paperless can save millions of trees a year. On most company websites, there is an option you can check off to receive your statements via email instead of in the mail. I personally find this easier as I can categorize my email easier than having to save multiple documents that I might lose. Plus, it’s less mail to have to keep/throw away.
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s something worth mentioning. There are a few reuse-able items that are sold everywhere, and are so easy to invest in. These are:
Grocery Bags – I actually *just* ordered these on Amazon to keep in my car for days when I unexpectedly need to grocery shop. I picked up this specific brand since they had over 1,000 5 star reviews, and I love how sturdy they look! Plus they are collapsable, so they fit really easily in the car, or in your cart while shopping. Shop them here.
Straws – I totally get how easy it is to roll your eyes when you’re given a paper straw at a restaurant, but when you look at the hard facts, it makes sense places are switching from plastic. Over 500 million plastic straws are thrown away daily, so even though it feels like one little straw here and there, it definitely makes a difference.
As someone who drinks out of straws often (with smoothies, tea, etc.), I invested in metal straws a few years ago to lessen my straw usage. These are the straws I purchased here. At less than a $1 per straw, this pack of 8 is totally worth the investment.
One of the biggest reasons I felt compelled to switch to a plant based diet was because of how the meat production industry is one of the largest causes of global warming. If you’re like me a few years back and had no idea these things were even related (we’ve all been there!) here’s some easy info. 🙂
Producing livestock/meat creates a HUGE amount of greenhouse gases, like CO2. The more greenhouse gases that produced, the more our climate temperature rises, thus causing global warming. Livestock production is responsible for 18 per cent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.
Now, let me just add a disclaimer here and say 1) i’m not a scientist, 2) i’m not out to make anyone change their lives. I ate a standard American diet for 21 years of my life so I completely understand not wanting to make the switch! You totally don’t have to go vegetarian or even vegan, but making small changes like adopting 1 meatless day a week like a Meatless Monday can make a huge difference! 🙂 Check out this article on Meatless Mondays here to learn about how great they can be for you and the earth. Or, take the plunge to vegan or vegetarianism a few days a week to see how you feel! Personally, my digestion is better than it had ever been on a standard American diet, I keep weight off easier, and I have more energy.
While you guys know i’m a huge shopper, I also love to go thrift / consignment shopping, and always donate my used items. Local thrift stores are great for furniture and other things, but there are also online sites like Thread Up and Poshmark that sell gently used clothes!
I’ve also been using Poshmark for years now to sell my own pre loved clothes that i’m not getting use out of. I love that they aren’t going into a landfill since i’m not throwing them away, and that they’re going into someones closet instead. Plus you make a little money in the process!
This goes back to the buying reuse-able items tip. I try my best to eliminate single use plastics like water bottles, plastic containers, etc, but I also totally understand that just isn’t going to happen all the time (when you’re out to eat, etc).
I do however, try to eliminate when I am in control of the situation, like in the home. At home, try to invest in food storage containers like Tupperware or glass containers. Having reuse-able storage containers allows us to cut down on things like plastic wrap, plastic plates, etc. Also, bringing reuse-able bags to the grocery store (as mentioned above) totally helps.
This is the oldest one in the book but it’s relatively easy. While i’m definitely not going to sit here and act like its possible to ride your bike everywhere instead of using your car, certain things are so within our reach! Lately, i’ve been focusing on turning lights off when i’m not in the room, or using my lights on a dimmer to use less energy. Smart home lighting systems are also great for this! You can install wifi lightbulbs, then turn lights off using your phone app if you forget about them.
Reduce, reuse, recycle is a phrase we’ve all heard 1,000x over, but that’s because it’s sooo effective! Making recycling a priority is so much easier than you think and something that you’ll get into the habit of doing in no time. Install a small recycling bin next to your regular trash can, and make sure to add recyclable items to it. This makes a huge difference and can be used for items like glass, paper, aluminium and plastic.
Another piece of the recycling puzzle is buying things that are easy to recycle like glass bottles or tin cans, instead of plastic.
Don’t get me wrong, I still shop my favorite brands, but when I find out a brand focuses on sustainability, I try to shop them more often! Some of my favorite brands making leaps and bounds in sustainability are:
Food/grocery: Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Aldi
Clothing: Everlane, Outdoor Voices, Reformation, ABLE, Thought Clothing, United By Blue, Krochet Kids INTL, Elileen Fisher, Patagonia, etc.
Makeup/skincare: Colourpop, Glossier, LUSH, Cover FX, Elate Cosmetics, Gabriel Cosmetics
This is only the few i’ve tried and love, but there are so many more! Next time you shop a brand, do a little bit of research on their sustainable practices and check out what they’re doing for the earth – it might make you love them more!
I’ve said this a million times over and will say it again: i’m not an expert when it comes to plant based eating, sustainability, fashion, or really just about anything (lol) and am so guilty of thinking many of the things above “really don’t make that much of a difference”. Once I started doing research and looking at statistics however, I realized how much they really do matter, and how we can all do small things to make a huge difference.
Each of the above are things I’ve learned over the years, and try my best to incorporate into my daily lifestyle. I also completely understand that sometimes, things just aren’t realistic (like biking everywhere), so i’ve tried to do things that I know are attainable and make a big impact. I’ve also noticed that once you doing certain things, others will too!
I hope this helped a bit, and i’d absolutely LOVE to hear what you guys are doing to incorporate sustainability into your daily routines! Let me know here in the comments below, or over on Instagram @katerinaseigel. Let’s all share EARTHY IDEAS and keep mother nature as happy as she can be.
Much love always. Sincerely, Katerina.