I keep telling my friends this is my hippie year. I don’t really have an answer when they ask me what I mean by that but(!)… today’s post is my perfect example! Lately I’ve been taking a closer look at our lifestyle in order to find ways to be more sustainable. It’s really just about making a few small changes and being more mindful and aware of how much trash you create. (It can be rather eye opening!).
I was always that kid pulling the newspaper out of the trash bin and informing my mom she should be recycling it instead. This is sort of hilarious to me because clearly I don’t know where I got that from? To this day I still raid their trash when I go home to make sure they’re recycling everything they should be. While I’ve always been someone who recycled, I think living in a city and small apartment for many years also made me even more aware of my trash for the sole reason that you’re only given a very small can that fills up quickly with multiple roommates… so I tried to be cautious of the trash I was creating. So yes I’ve always recycled and had some level of sustainability but lately I’ve been trying to take a better look at our lifestyle and find new ways to do my part to be a bit more environmentally friendly. You don’t have to jump on the zero-waste train to make a difference. The little lifestyle changes you make just around the house can add up to make a big difference like finally choosing to use a Klean Kanteen water bottle over buying plastic. Here are a few ways I’ve been inspired to make small changes around our house and in my daily lifestyle.
Buy ingredients in bulk — A lot of grocery stores now have a bulk section to buy things like grains, beans, nuts, and spices. Rather than buying plastic wrapped versions of these items from the aisle, I’ve been buying from the bulk section instead and filling my glass jars. Plus, it’s so nice to look at your pantry shelf and see a row of organized and filled glass jars!
Hop on the re-usable water bottle train — If you don’t already have a go-to water bottle, this one is a must. Not only can you use re-usable bottles for water, but you can also bring a tumbler to your favorite local coffee shop (like Klean Kanteen from my hometown!).
Choose cloth over paper — In everything from bringing your own grocery bags to saving on paper goods. In particular I’ve been trying to cut back on our paper towel use by keeping a fully stocked drawer of cloth towels around. Having specific cloths for cleaning various things around the house will keep you from grabbing for the paper towel roll every time there’s a spill or you need to dry your hands. Then just toss the used rags into the wash when you’re ready to start fresh!
I’m not on this level yet but aspire to be:
Composting — My grandparents and so many of my friends compost. I used to think it was so hippie of them but I’m realizing more and more how easy it is to actually create a compost (even if you’re just in a city apartment). Hoping to get one going in our backyard this summer.
Create your own cleaners — Not only can the harsh chemicals used in most store-bought cleaners be harmful to our bodies, they are often released into the environment around you. Switch to an easy DIY cleaner (think vinegar, lemon, and baking soda!) or green-friendly store bought option!