Hello you beautiful human being!
Today I share with you part 2 of the series on my blog/YouTube channel that revolves around reducing waste.
Like I mentioned in my first blog post, for years and years I have been doing the bare minimum which has been recycling. I always had the fear that going all in would be extremely overwhelming and as we all know life itself is very overwhelming. I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a million different little things you can swap out or add into your routine that won’t be a huge burden/adjustment.
The more I researched, the more I listened, the more I read, the more I realized how urgent it is that we all take small steps in the sustainable direction. Just one swap can make a huge difference and hopefully with time and the knowledge you will naturally want to incorporate more.
With trash very quickly taking up our land and our oceans there is no better time than now to start making small changes.
Below is a video I created to talk about nine easy steps you can make today that will reduce your waste significantly. If you don’t want to watch, you can just scroll on down and read all about the swaps!
1. USE WHAT YOU HAVE
It’s the basic instinct to want to 100% switch to sustainable and eco friendly substitutes the moment you decide to take matters into your own hands but you don’t have to. You can use what you have to start with. You truly don’t need to throw away your sheets to buy from Buffy. You don’t need to toss out all of your feminine products and buy THINX undies. You can use your plastic containers until the end of their life cycle. You can use up your cling wrap. You can use up your butter spray. The point is to create less waste and only when necessary. Once the item is used up then of course try to make the most sustainable and thoughtful swap. This is absolutely the best and cheapest route.
2. BUY SECOND HAND TECH
This one was honestly one that I hesitated starting for a while. Buying second hand technology like phones and computers scared me. I thought someone must be selling me a faulty item if they don’t want it anymore but that is just not the case at all. If you can’t get over that mindset then I would 100% suggest using sites like B&H that do thorough testing and inspecting of the items they buy from consumers and sell to you. I recently purchased a used Nikon DSLR and I paid 30% less than buying it brand new and it works just fine!
3. Shop Local if possible
This is a wonderful way to create less carbon emissions. Each product has a massive creation cycle and anywhere you can cut corners absolutely matters. If you buy local you are not only helping your community thrive, most likely getting better quality items/produce but also ensuring that you are cutting at least some shipping emissions.
4. Compost vs throwing in trash
Composting is actually a lot simpler than we are led to believe. You can go many different routes with this one based off of what you think you can handle. If you live in an apartment or a house with no backyard there are many small compost bins you can simply hang inside your cabinet, drop the scraps in and every week take it to a recycling facility where they accept compost material. If you have some money to blow you can sign up for a collection service. Those most of the time provide you with a bin and all the necessary materials. If you have a backyard and space you can buy an actual compost bin and worms and actually do the process yourself. In the end you are rewarded with healthy and wonderful compost to fertilize your garden of plants with.
TWO GREAT OPTIONS:
indoor (click the photo):
outdoor (click the photo):
5. FIND NEW USE FOR OLD/BROKEN THINGS (if not fixable)
This one is actually kind of fun (well for me anyway). I love any excuse to get creative especially when it means saving some money. You can do all sorts of flips with broken things. You can make your old car tires into tables with twine. You can use your old pickle jars for glasses or vases. If you hate the shape or color you can always slap on some paint on it. Trust me, it will look cool. You can cut your old T-shirts into rags. Cotton shirts make the best window cleaning rags.
6. use ecosia.com
This is actually just a simple chrome extension that you download. It essentially becomes your homepage and you use it just like you would google. With every search you are planting trees. Isn’t that amazing? Their servers run off of 200% renewable energy and every search removes 1KG of C02 from the atmosphere. You can find out more information here.
7. USE MADE TO ORDER HAIR CARE
To me this seems like the best solution to something I know I don’t want to cut out of my life. I will continue to dye my hair and wash it/treat it with salon quality products. Going sustainable doesn’t have to mean giving up everything that brings you joy. I think just being conscious about your choices can go a long way. I personally use eSalon for my custom hair formula. This product is created especially for me whenever I want it, wether that be three weeks, four weeks, five weeks and so on. It’s not mass produced, it’s not sitting on a shelf until it expires and is eventually tossed into a landfill.
If you would like to check it out, use the link below and get your first order for $10:
8. OFFSET YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
Like I mentioned before everything has a carbon footprint.
All the products and energy you use have associated emissions. The most straightforward example might be the CO2 emissions from burning natural gas to heat your home. As for the new jeans you just bought, there are emissions associated with growing the cotton, from the fertilizer used and the carbon lost from the farmland soils, as well as emissions from the energy used to manufacture the final product and to transport it to you. There are emissions every time you use your washing machine and dryer, and again when those jeans get tossed into the garbage in a few years, when they end up in a landfill and ultimately emit methane. The combination of emissions caused by your home, transportation, and daily life is known as your “carbon footprint.”https://native.eco/our-approach/carbon-offsets/
Now there are companies that help you offset those emissions. You essentially are helping fund projects already in place that focus on tree planting and green energy.
9. use your dishwasher
Did you know that using your dishwasher is the greener way to getting those dishes clean?? Fun fact of the day for you! Your dishwasher uses about 4-5 gallons of water to wash a load while you would use about 27 gallons hand washing in the sink. You literally could load up 8 dishes and still save water. Isn’t that neat? Also make sure to skip the dish rinsing. Most dishwashers can handle some food bits as long as you scrape off most of it into your compost bin. This is by far the easiest swap. Saving time and water one load at a time.
I hope that you truly enjoyed this article and learned something. Fingers crossed that you can take away at least one thing to introduce to your lifestyle. A little can go a long way. Don’t ever forget that!
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Thank you for reading! XOXO, Rutele.
DISCLAIMER: Although some of the links listed above are affiliate and I do make a small commission, all of the opinions are 100% my own.