9 Ways to Reduce Waste and Live More Sustainably, Starting Today

Often, we get caught up in the idea that living sustainably and reducing our footprints means making big lifestyle shifts like not driving or flying.  But in reality, there are simple steps that you can take in every part of your life to reduce waste and start living more sustainably- and you start right now! From using green products at home to re-thinking the way you shop for that new hoodie you’ve been wanting, here are 9 steps you can take to start living more green today…

9 Ways to Reduce Waste and Live More Sustainably

At Home:

  1. Switch to Eco-Friendly Products: Common household items such as cleaners, soaps, and personal care products often contain chemicals that are damaging to the environment.  Consider making the switch to eco-friendly products that use natural ingredients to do the same job.  Bonus- the eco-friendly counterpart to your household products is likely less toxic than what you’re using now, which is great news for the health of you, your family, and pets! Find a list of 13 great products you can switch to here!

  1. Unplug appliances that aren’t in Use:  In most homes, 75% of the electricity used to power home appliances is consumed when they are turned off! The simple act of unplugging appliances when you’re not using then not only reduces energy use- it can save you money on your next bill too.  Win-Win! 

  1. Use products that use recycled or post-consumer waste: The next time you’re looking for toilet paper, paper towels, or printer paper, search for a brand that incorporates recycled or post-consumer waste into their product creation.  This ensures that you’re using ingredients that have already been sourced and reduce the need for deforestation to create household paper products. Find recycled toilet paper here (and use the store locator to find a store nearby that carries it).

On the Go:

  1. Bring a reusable water bottle: Single-use water bottles are a large cause of environmental pollution- both from their production and because of how long it takes for them to decompose.  In a landfill, it takes about 450 years for a plastic water bottle to decompose!  Luckily, using a reusable water bottle is a simple way to reduce waste and live more sustainably.  Save some space in the landfills and keep yourself healthy and hydrated by always bringing a reusable water bottle when you head out.  Shop local Colorado brand Eco Vessel to find great reusable bottles, and have 5% of your sales donated to Nonprofit organizations.

  1. Consider alternative methods of transportation: While not all of us can commit to completely abstaining from driving, we can use alternate transportation methods when possible. Do some research about what’s available around you.  Is there public transportation nearby?  Can you bike to get groceries or visit friends rather than drive?  Simple actions add up!  Even if you commute to work, you might be surprised at the other times you could leave your car in park.

  1. Make food at home instead of grabbing to-go meals: Cooking meals at home often results in healthier choices, and it’s also a great way to reduce your reliance on single-use items such as plastic straws, to-go containers, and paper bags.  Plan your lunch the night before you head out for the day and keep your meal tidy by using reusable containers.  Have a busy day and don’t have time to plan ahead? It happens to us all.  Check out Plastiscore to find restaurant options that use sustainable products! Their app is free and easy to use.

At the Store:

  1. Bring your own bags: Keep some reusable bags handy in your car or backpack before heading to the store to avoid having to ask for a plastic bag. 

  1. Shop in the bulk section: Lessen your use of packaging by shopping in the bulk section of the grocery store.  Many items that are pre-packaged or canned can be found dried (and for a lower price) in the bulk section.  Using cloth bags to hold your bulk items makes this process entirely free of single-use packaging! Ecobags has a great selection of produce, bulk, and shopping bags that are sustainably crafted!

  1. Buy sustainably made or second-hand clothes: Did you know the fashion industry is the second biggest cause of environmental pollution?  When you’re looking for new clothes, look for brands that use sustainable practices to create their styles.  Shop False Ego’s 100% organic, sustainably sourced clothing here

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