Raise your hand if you’re curious about ways to be more eco-friendly. I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you gotta be somewhat curious, right? That’s a good start!
When we try something new, we sometimes approach new challenges with an “all or nothing” attitude. Want to lose weight and start going to the gym? One may sign up immediately for a gym membership, go cold turkey and throw away all their junk food. However, when it comes to sustainability, baby steps can make a huge impact. I think already being in the mindset on how to be more environmentally conscious is a huge step—so give yourself a pat on the back. 🙂
My biggest recommendation is to take a step back to analyze your daily habits. I listed some questions below that may help to explore ways to minimize waste.
What am I using to drink water? Am I drinking from single-use water bottles/cups most of the time?
In my day to day, am I using anything that is plastic? If yes, is there anything I can do to reduce the amount of plastic I am using? For example: drinking straws, single-use sandwich bags, plastic utensils, plastic grocery bags, etc.
Recycling. Am I recycling to the best of my ability?
From here, I will have a honest conversation with myself to ensure that I am taking the right steps to set me up for success. Remember, we don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly.
Sustainability has always been top of mind, and I’m constantly asking myself, “Can I live without this?” or “Is there something I could replace this item/habit with that is less wasteful?” Below I am sharing my favorite zero-waste products that help me live my day-to-day more eco-friendly.
Reusable Water Bottle – I say no to plastic water bottles whenever I can. My favorite reusable water bottle is Hydro Flask. The quality is great and they are available in various sizes and colors. I’ve dropped my 40 oz a few times on the ground and it is still alive! One of my favorite things about Hydro Flask is it’s so easy to clean compared to other reusable water bottles. My current collection consists of:
64 oz in White – Perfect for road trips!
40 oz in White – I use this one the most. I take it with me to work and to the gym.
20 oz in Navy – Received as a gift and love taking it with me while I run errands.
12 oz in White – I use this one for coffee and matcha.
22 oz Tumbler in White – I received this as a gift and like using this as my drinking cup around the house. In the summer, it keeps my water cold. I like that I don’t need to worry about it breaking if I drop it on the floor.
Whenever I travel, I always take my Hydro Flask along. I make sure to empty out all liquids before entering airport security. Once I get through security, I will refill my Hydro Flask at a water station , or ask one of the restaurants to kindly fill my Hydro Flask for me. This way you save yourself from buying overpriced bottled water at the airport. I always take my 40 oz Hydro Flask when traveling. It’s a good size to keep myself hydrated while traveling and love that my water stays cold throughout the day. Most Airbnbs will have a water filter so it makes staying hydrated convenient. I don’t see too many water stations in hotels, and hope the industry begins to consider installing a water station for guests to refill their reusable water bottles.
Reusable Tote and Produce Bags – Did you know that single-use plastic bags are one of the most pervasive sources of pollution? These bags are easily swept away by the wind and have been found along water bodies. I have been making more of a conscious effort to reduce my dependency on single-use plastic bags. For example, over the years I have acquired many reusable shopping bags/totes and realized they’ve been stored away much longer than actually put to use. Now, I hold myself more accountable by putting them into my car so that I will remember to take it with me into the grocery store. Another example is at checkout, if I have a larger purse with me, I will tell the cashier I will not be needing a bag, and transport all my items in my purse. If I only have a few items, I try to carry it out using my hands (or underarms). No big deal.
Metal Straws – Plastic straws are bad for the planet. They end up in our oceans, polluting the water and harming marine life. After seeing heartbreaking photos and learning more about how plastic straws negatively impact the planet, I was committed to making this swap.
Reusable Sandwich Bags – Plastic sandwich and snack bags were common in my household while growing up. As I became more curious and conscious about single use plastics impacting the environment, I researched for reusable alternatives. I’m a fan of Stasher reusable silicone bags. These reusable bags are made of pure non-toxic platinum silicone, so they’re completely free of any BPA, PVC, and latex and totally safe to throw in the dishwasher or microwave. I also love that these are sous-vide friendly!
I especially love all of pretty colors they come in. They come in various sizes like pocket, snack, sandwich, stand up and half gallon. Not only do I use these for storage, but also for travel. They make great storage for your skincare products that you need to carry on.
Repurpose Empty Skincare Containers – Whenever I finish a skincare product, I think before tossing it in the garbage/recycling. My thought process looks like this:
Is there any way I can re-use this? Some ideas how I would repurpose is use it to pot a succulent, q-tip or cotton ball/rounds storage, office supply storage (paper chips, rubber bands, etc.)
If I can’t repurpose, is this recyclable? I check the bottom/side of the container to check if it’s recyclable. If I’m not sure I will try to do further research by checking the brand’s site or reaching out directly via Instagram.
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