7 Small Everyday Choices that Lead to Big Changes
What if we all stopped producing waste? Sounds lofty and idealistic, certainly.
Generally most of us know we can do better, but then we get wrapped in getting through the day and … we just hope to do better tomorrow. Changing a habit is hard! Especially when it doesn’t feel like society overall is making it any easier to reduce waste.
What gives me hope
The plastic bag ban forced us in the California Bay Area to either guiltily reply “yes” to the checker asking “would you like to buy a bag for 10 cents?”, or proactively remember to grab the reusable bags from the back of the car. While it took some time to get to the point where I didn’t feel annoyed at myself every time I got to the checkout line and realized I forgot my bags in the car, I now proudly remember 99% of the time. And I have noticed a significant increase in people from all walks of life remembering to do the same. So it IS possible for us average folks to change our everyday habits! We just have to be forced, or have serious motivation and discipline.
These collective small steps in the right direction can create a tide change we will all benefit from for generations to come.
So if you haven’t switched to reusable shopping bags yet, do it now! Because I promise, you can do itâ€“and it feels great!
Beyond reusable shopping bags
We’ve rounded up seven other everyday changes we can all make to further reduce our environmental footprint:
Plastic Straws â‡’ Re-Usable Straws
Not only do we now have cute and fashionable paper straws we can buy to ease this transition, but metal and plastic straws are also rising in popularity. So much unnecessary plastic waste is produced from plastic straws, an item that is so easy to just eliminate from our daily habits altogether really. Just order them now, so the next time you go to grab a straw, you can feel good grabbing of the re-usable variety.
Zip Locs â‡’ Reusable Sandwich Bags & Tupperware
We have so many plastic-free options now – so ditch the zip locks and try a re-usable Sandwich bag like Stasher Bag, or stock on some fun tupperware options.
Cases of Waters â‡’ Reusable Water Bottles
Thank you Hydroflask for making drinking water from a cool bottle a fashion trend! The reduction in plastic water bottle waste is significant already, but we have so far to go before we can truly begin to reverse the damage our accumulated plastic waste has created. Stopping now from contributing any further unnecessary waste is the best starting place for all of us though. I’ve found having 2 bottles in my car, 2 at work, and ample at home leaves me with good odds I’ll always have one on hand when needed without having to unnecessarily purchase a water-and (hopefully) stay more hydrated too!
Paper Products from Recycled Materials
Toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, printer paper – we use a lot of paper products if you add it all up! How much harder is it to just buy the “From 100% recycled materials” option? I can honestly say at Grocery Outlet and Trader Joes, the price difference is consequential, so it’s totally feasible without becoming a major financial burden.
Shop Recycled & Repurposed Materials
With all the waste we have been accumulating over the years, not only is it of the upmost importance that we reduce our waste moving forward, but enjoying products that are cleverly designed to incorporate recycled waste is another great way to reduce the our environmental footprint.
Shop Fair Trade & Ethically Sourced
It might take a little more time and effort, but the options are out there to choose better than supporting companies with wasteful and environmentally harmful business practices. Expecting companies to employ fair trade and ethical business practices isn’t a tall order, so lets support those that do and avoid giving our purchases to those who don’t wherever possible.
Shop Give Back Brands
Its an uplifting new trend for brands to build social good and giving back into their business model, so we should be supporting those brands to both encourage others to do the same while making our dollars do more good. For example, for every Nolah Mattressthat is sold, one wildlife animal is adopted, and for every pair of Warby Parker glasses sold, a pair is donated to someone in need.