As you go through the motions of your daily schedule, you may have started to become more aware of the impact that your actions, products and amenities have on the environment. Cultivating an interest in adding more sustainable practices to your routine is an incredible first step in becoming highly intentional with your everyday decisions. But before we get into exactly how to do so, we need to cover the basics. What is sustainability?
Sustainability is avoiding the depletion of our earth’s natural resources in order to maintain ecological balance. This concept isn’t just about making the decision to live a more conscious lifestyle; it’s about protecting our mother (nature) for future generations. EnvironmentalScience.org puts it into perspective by noting that we use about 40% more resources every year than we can put back into the environment. With our need to move forward technologically and economically competing with our need to protect the environments in which we live, it’s safe to say that it’s time we struck that balance.
Though it sometimes may not feel like enough in the grand scheme of things, making small eco-friendly changes in your daily routine can make a huge impact on reducing your carbon footprint. You’re probably wondering what changes you could start making in order to take the first step on your green living journey. Here, we’ll be breaking down a few easy swaps that you can immediately implement in your everyday life. Continue reading to discover six easy ways that you can make your daily routine more sustainable.
01 — Ditch the Plastic
This minor change packs a punch when it comes to its eco-friendly effects. Plastic fills up our landfills so much that it eventually spills over into our oceans and lakes, endangering wildlife as well as our health. Here are a few easy wins that you can start implementing right away to reduce plastic use:
- Ban bottled water — that’s what filters are for!
- Purchase a reusable cup to use for your morning coffee order
- Say no to plastic straws
- Buy food essentials (such as grains) in bulk
- Invest in durable grocery bags that you can bring to the store — oftentimes your local grocer will offer totes for low prices
02 — Align With Eco-Friendly Brands
A great way to reduce your carbon footprint is by buying from brands that go above and beyond to ensure that their packaging is both made from environmentally friendly materials and fully recyclable.
Being an eco-friendly brand ourselves, the team at SHEbd has an initiative to protect the planet for generations to come — from our safe hemp farming practices to partnering with Recycle Nation. So as you run out of products on your beauty counter, by your bedside or in your pantry, consider making a swap to products created by green brands.
It can be such an educational process to discover new products and services that will serve both you and the planet. Plus, we bet that you’ll soon find how rewarding it feels to know that you’re helping out mother nature simply by clicking the checkout button.
03 —Waste Not, Want Not
The way that we dispose of our goods is ultimately the source of the earth’s environmental issues. When we throw out anything from paper to plastic to waste, it is often disposed of in an unethical way. The result? The pollution of our soil, oceans, water sources and more. Recycling is one of the easiest ways to be environmentally conscious about your waste practices. Start to be more aware of the products you are going to throw away — which ones can you easily pop into the recycle bin? Over time, you’ll start to realize which disposable products you can likely live without and opt for a reusable commodity instead.
04 — Take the Scenic Route
Depending on the city or town that you call home, we know that it’s not always possible to opt out of a car ride. We do encourage you, however, to take a closer look at the various commutes in your schedule and pick out the areas where you could start incorporating greener alternatives. Invigorate your morning routine with a walk to the local coffee shop or hop on that seldom-used bike to meet your friends for a well-deserved end-of-day cocktail. As you spend more time outside in natural surroundings, you’ll gain more of an appreciation for this beautiful world that we live in.
05 — Reenergize Your Home
Filling your home with good energy can be taken both literally and figuratively here. The CDC reminds us that sustainable homes not only are better for our planet but offer the opportunity for great cost savings. Restructuring your entire home to be energy efficient isn’t viable for everyone, but there are still many small ways you can conserve precious energy. Here are a few tips and tricks to get started:
- Open windows to invite a breeze in instead of blasting the air-conditioning all day
- Turn the lights off as you move room to room
- Minimize the time you stand in front of the open fridge — go in with a plan!
- Unplug appliances that you aren’t using — this can even mean your computer at the end of a workday
- Opt to hang your laundry for an air-dry session instead of running the dryer
- Send out positive vibes (just because <3)
06 — Paper Is of the Past
The lifecycle of paper leaves a footprint on our forests, emits carbon emissions in production, pollutes water sources and fills up our landfills after use. At the Environmental Professionals Network, experts offer a ray of hope by shining a light on the media and tech that the 21st century has brought us. With companies shifting to embrace the tech-friendly world we live in, there are more opportunities to reduce paper waste than ever before. You can now ask for your receipts and tickets to be emailed instead of printed, pay bills online and sign up for online bank statements. Already on the right track? If printing is unavoidable, be sure to print on both sides of your paper!
It won’t take just one big change to save our planet. Small, intentional gestures like these truly do matter when it comes to setting the environmental scales back to equilibrium. Whether you’re supporting environmentally friendly businesses, switching off the AC when you leave the house, or handing over your own to-go cup to the Starbucks cashier, know that you’re doing your part to help make the living world a little bit greener.
Jessie Bosley is a contributing writer with specialties in health and wellness, CPG products and brand strategy. She enjoys loads of sunshine, traveling to beautiful places, making playlists and reading a good book.