In honor of Earth Day, we’re sharing 21 ways you can live a more sustainable lifestyle today. Remember it’s the little things that come together to make a big impact!
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”Jane Goodall
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1. Choose reusable stainless or glass water bottles.
Think about how many one-time-use plastic water bottles go into the trash each day. You can easily save money and the environment by ditching the plastic water bottles and using a reusable glass or stainless version instead. Plastic water bottles also have the potential to leach chemicals, especially if exposed to heat.
Looking for good alternatives to plastic? Here are a few of our favorites: Anchor Hocking Water Bottle (family), Pura KiKi (littles), LifeFactory (family),ThinkBaby (littles), Hydroflask (family), KleanKanteen (family), Contigo Glass (family) and Clearly Filtered (family). Be sure to use a good filtered water too!
2. Fix or stitch rather than ditch!
Replace the broken leg on your chair. Sew the hole in your favorite sweater. Rather than replacing things when they become flawed, figure out a way to repurpose or repair these items!
3. Create a more energy-efficient home.
Turn the lights off when you leave the room. Take shorter showers. Purchase LED light bulbs. Invest in energy-efficient appliances. Turn off electronics. Make sure your home has proper insulation. Consider solar panels. Replace old windows. Install timers on lights and more!
4. Use wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.
Sustainable, reusable wool dryer balls are a great alternative to conventional dryer sheets without the myriad of chemicals that can wreak havoc on our health. P.S. Plus, my puppy also LOVES using them as toys so a total win, win!
5. Donate, sell, borrow and buy gently used items.
Swap clothing with family and friends. Donate unwanted clothing, toys, and household items to charities, resale shops, thrift stores, and churches. If you’re looking to make a little extra cash, you can also sell unwanted goods and clothing on Facebook, ThreadUp, Poshmark, and numerous other sites! And of course, by purchasing gently used items, whether from an online marketplace, local garage sale or thrift store, you’re ultimately reducing the amount of waste too!
Tip: “Buy Nothing” groups on Facebook are a great way to give away unwanted items and create a sense of community. Remember, one man’s trash is another’s treasure!
6. Consider a compost bin or rain barrel.
Consider a compost bin, rain barrel or other means of reducing and reusing in the garden! Planting native plants along with mulch, manure, and compost can help your plants retain moisture resulting in less frequent waterings too!
7. Ditch disposable personal care items.
Choose toothbrushes made from bamboo or recycled plastic, stainless steel safety razors rather than disposables, reusable facial rounds and makeup removing cloths, and opt for silicone menstrual cups instead of conventional feminine products (or if you’re not there yet, like me, opt for organic tampons made without chlorine and other pesticides).
8. Practice natural lawn care.
Weed killing chemical products and fertilizers are hazardous to our health and linked to a host of diseases, health issues and cancer. Learn to love the weeds or opt for safer, natural alternatives. Check out “Natural Weed & Pest Control for a Sustainable Lawn” or our “Ultimate Natural Gardening Guide”.
9. Shop locally for food and eat seasonally.
Purchasing your produce at your local farmer’s market support local farmers, combat environmental pollution, and create a more sustainable environment overall. Choosing fresh fruits and veggies that are in-season uses less energy too!
10. Reduce food waste.
Did you know a whopping 40% of food ends up in the garbage? In an effort to combat food waste, Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market sell “ugly” conventional and organic produce that would have otherwise been thrown away for 25-50% less what you would pay at the grocery store.
Interested in checking out Imperfect Foods? Here’s a coupon for $10 off your order.
11. Invest in sustainable vehicles and lawn equipment.
From electric cars and lawnmowers to solar panels and more, there are so many ways we can lighten our environmental footprint and reduce the amount of pollution in the world. Check out these clean energy initiatives from EPA.gov. for ideas!
12. Ditch plastic baggies.
Plastic sandwich bags are one of the largest sources of waste for many people. You use it once and it ends up in a landfill. Think about a family of 4 eating lunch on-the-go: A baggie for each sandwich, a baggie for a cookies, a baggie for berries… that is 12 plastic bags per day that ends up in a landfill or 4,380 plastic baggies per year!
It’s time to switch to the best non-toxic, eco-friendly alternative I’ve found… Stasher Bags. Made of platinum grade silicone, they come in a variety of sizes and colors and are free of BPA, PVC, latex, lead, cadmium, and other toxins. You can cook, freeze, store, and more with this safe, eco-friendly option!
If you’re in a scenario where you really need to use a disposable baggie, these one-time-use sandwich bags are a much more eco-friendly alternative to plastic. They’re made from biodegradable paper with a natural grease-proof barrier and are even microwavable.
13. Stop spam mail, emails, and calls!
Unwanted ads contribute to not only the decline in our forests, but also create more waste that will end up in the trash. Globally, it is estimated that 100 million trees are harvested to produce junk mail each year – that is a high price to pay for junk! On another note, who has time to read through all of their junk emails which take up space and energy in the cloud? Not me! Oh, and don’t even get me started on those robocalls… ugh.
- OptOut allows you to opt out for five years or permentately opt out of certain junk mail like credit card and insurance offers. Visit www.optoutprescreen.com or call 1-888-567-8688.
- The National Do Not Call Registry is a free registry that allows consumers to register their phones numbers to a national list of unwanted calls. According the the FTC, if you continue to receive calls, these are most likely from scammers. Learn more here.
- The Direct Marketing Associations website allow you to register for just $2 every 10 years! You will be able to choose the type of mail you do or do not want to receive. You can also reduce your unsocilicitated commercial email with DMA’s eMail Preference Service.
- DNS Blacklist is a website where you can identify domains that are known to generate spam. Once you blacklist a domain, server or sender, those senders cannot send you information anymore.
- PaperKarma is a downloadable app that helps you stop paper mail spam with a click of a photo!
- Unsubscribe from email senders to clean-up your inbox!
- Report spam. Whether you’re searching on social media or perusing your inbox, there are options to report any spam you may encounter.
14. Plant a tree or native plants.
Trees cleanse the air, reduce water run-off, shade our homes and create sanctuaries for wildlife. Native plants also benefit the eco-system by allowing us to conserve water, improve air quality, and help support pollinators.
15. Walk, bike, or car pool instead of driving.
Walk, bike ride, carpool, take the train, bus, or boat! If you are in the market to buy a car, consider purchasing an electric vehicle instead of a gas-powered car. All of these transportation methods will help reduce overall CO2 emissions while airplane travel is least sustainable.
16. Consider what your cooking with.
Choosing wooden or stainless cooking utensils are better for you and the environment than their plastic counterparts! And of course, choosing glass or stainless cookware is best! And did you know un-bleached parchment paper is a safer, more sustainable alternative to aluminum foil? Now, you do!
17. Skip the straw and plastic utensils too!
18. Become mindful of your cleaning supplies.
Ditch all of the toxic ingredients found in traditional cleaning supplies and air fresheners! Vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, lemon, and tea tree oil clean just as good! Several brands make safe cleaning supplies too, if you’re looking for a premixed solution. Both Force of Nature and Dr. Bronner’s are great for safe, multi-task cleaning duties! Check out the What Mommy Knows Amazon Storefront for more recommendations.
19. Choose ‘package-free’ or at least ‘plastic-free’ packaging.
Next time your filling your cart at the grocery store or shopping around for detergent, makeup, shampoo or even toothpaste, consider the packaging! Glass, stainless, or paper packaging are excellent alternatives to plastic.
20. Use a ‘free & clear’ natural laundry detergent.
Please, pleaseee do this – especially if you have little ones at home! Many of the chemicals in traditional detergents, including Dreft, have ingredients that are toxic or known carcinogens. Be sure to always use a ‘Free & Clear’ detergent, although they can also be greenwashed by companies, so you really want to look at the ingredients (I know, I know… why is it so difficult to find safe products?!?). In my home, we switch between Meliora and Eco Nuts – two of the best non-toxic, eco-friendly laundry detergents on the market! Both arrive in plastic-free containers as well.
21. Avoid ‘fast fashion’ and purchase clothing made from natural fibers.
“Fast fashion” allows mainstream consumers to purchase the latest trends at affordable prices, but this “fashion trend” has become extremely unsustainable. Synthetic materials, sweatshops, and chemical outpouring into the environment are just some of the concerns surrounding today’s fashion industry. Cheap clothing gets made for a cheap price at the high expense of the environment and those making the clothing.
Buying clothes from sustainable brands help combat this problem a bit by reducing the amount of synthetic microfibers that end up in our waterways and the demand for fast fashion! Plus, clothing made from natural fibers like cotton, wool, and silk are more breathable and comfortable too!
Remember, every little change you make counts!
Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love.
If you’re looking for sustainable products, be sure to check out our Amazon Storefront for personally vetted recommendations.