discover how to incorporate habits that will generate less waste into your daily routine.
for earth month, and for every day, let's make a pledge to build lifestyle habits that promote a healthier, more sustainable planet. stumped on how to go about creating less waste? we've done the hard part. check out our list below for practices you can adopt:
quit single-use productsdon't freak out! no need to completely change your whole life. just take a look around the house and identify which single-use conveniences could be swapped for reusable substitutes. final swab offers reusable q-tips that are equivalent to 2000 regular ones—who knew! try swapping plastic sandwich bags for washable versions. personally, i love stasher. they are a member of 1% for the planet, and their 30-day plastic-free challenges give tips on how to live more sustainably. ditch plastic wrap and foil for beeswax papers and paper towels and napkins for cloth upgrades. (it's like you're at a restaurant!)
grow your own herbsstart seedlings inside in april, then move to a backyard or balcony for summer. whether in a small studio or a house, growing herbs doesn't need to take up a lot of space. as long as there's a window—and you don't forget to water them—there's no reason to not forgo some plastic-bottled spices at the store. the best part? fresh herbs for every meal! if space allows, test your green thumb with a tomato or pepper plant.
buy vintagewe all need new clothes sometimes, both for utility and yes, self-expression too. but maybe, we don't always need to buy brand new clothes. next time you're looking to revamp the closet, or just looking for a stand-out piece, hit up a local thrift store to find unique and quality made items, plus strike some sweet deals!
repurpose jarsnever going to be able to pass up a jar of spicy salsa or cheesy alfredo sauce? me either, it's okay. instead of tossing the jars to the recycling though, wash them out, tear off the labels and use them to purchase open-stock nuts, seeds, pasta, and spices in bulk. plus, the jars are clear, so no need to dig to find what you're looking for.
address the key playerswhile this may not create less waste right away, leaving a review for a company can help initiate more significant change that extends beyond the reach of our own habits. next time you go to a restaurant that sends plastic silverware with every take-out order, a store that still uses plastic bags, or even a retailer that's gotten excessive with their packaging, submit a review with some suggestions for improvements.
businesses want to please their customers, so let them know what matters to you. you can also call your city and state representatives and put pressure on them to prioritize waste management and environmental issues. looking for support? turn to social media pages to connect with others in your community that care about environmental initiatives.
make diy self-care masks and scrubschances are, you've got at least three to eight things in the fridge and cupboard right now that could be used to create a face mask (honey, lemon, and cinnamon is my go-to brightening combo). or, try a lavender sugar body scrub. try growing lavender as a potted herb, and mix the scrub in one of the repurposed glass jars—see, the steps are coming together now!
compost biodegradablesrather than throwing apple cores, wilted spinach, or bell pepper tops into the trash, keep food scraps in a bowl in the freezer. once the container is filled, either empty it into your compost or check to see if your community has a compost program. (if your community doesn't, maybe it's time to call local representatives or start one yourself with some neighbors!) by freezing the scraps, they won't begin to decompose and get all smelly on the countertop. if the struggle is finishing fresh greens, try chopping them up and storing in glass jars or stainless steel containers in the freezer.
learn to mend minor wear and tearsthink about how many items of clothing you purchase each year—how many do you end up tossing within that same amount of time? the numbers probably even out in most cases. it doesn't take much to learn how to sew on a patch, repair a button, or even take in a waist. google some tutorials and save your favorites from the garbage while saving money since you won't need to replace as much year after year.
bonus: volunteer match and project beauty sharelooking to help in a way that's bigger than yourself? check out volunteer match, or learn more about how you can donate to project beauty share, a non-profit where we donate a portion of our sales.
do more than just "plant a tree" this year, practice earth day and earth month activities every day to benefit the environment and community!
by leslie berlin, guest writer