It’s easier than you think…
I don’t care what anyone says, if you haven’t yet considered how you could be living more sustainably and started putting it into practice, you’re behind the times and need to consider stepping up.
I know that comes off pretty agro, but I do feel strongly about this issue.
The world doesn’t need more garbage. We’re up to our eyes in plastic. The ocean basically has a whole new continent made of consumerist waste, and there are now microplastics being found EVERYWHERE, including the placenta!!! If that doesn’t concern you, we’ve got issues and you need to wake up.
“OK Giada, I get it, you’re upset. But what do you want me to do about it?” you might say…
Well, I’m glad you hypothetically asked, because I’m gonna actually tell you…
Here are some great and easy ways to start living more sustainably:
1. Save jars, then shop bulk.
Who doesn’t love a good jar? I guess some people don’t really think about it, but I think jars are wonderful. You can store all sorts of things, use them for art projects, put candles in them and even use them as drinking vessels.
Mason jars are a great way to go, but if for whatever reason that’s not an option, you can always buy a few big jars of preserves from your local grocery store. Things like pickles and sauerkraut tend to come in large jars, honey is another one you might be able to find, instant coffee too. Most people just toss their jars when they are finished with them, but I encourage you to wash, dry and store them.
Then, when you’ve got a good selection of them, start buying things in bulk.
“What kinds of things can you store in jars?”, you might wonder. I love storing grains in them. Everything from different types of rice to quinoa, pearl barley and lentils, maybe dried chickpeas, popcorn kernels? I also store all my nuts and seeds in them, like chia, poppy, sunflower, flax, hemp, almond, brazil, walnuts and so on. Many of these foods my be foreign to you, but don’t for a moment doubt their nutritional benefits. I add various combinations to a lot of my foods, like cereals soups and salads, and you should too!
2. Avoid single use products.
I really don’t think there is any reason to buy things like paper towel or gift wrap. Even single use pads should be a thing of the past, or at least, just for emergencies.
Hand towels are perfectly affordable, wash clothes too, there are all kinds of bamboo products these days, AND scarves from charity shops make great gift wrap.
These days you can find all kinds of great alternatives. From natural food wraps to replace cling film, to wash and reuse feminine hygiene products, even washable diapers.
3. Avoid plastics as much as possible.
I know I’ve already harped on plastic, but it’s so important I’ll say it twice. AVOID plastics at all costs. Instead, buy wooden toothbrushes, metal reusable water bottles, bars of soap instead of liquid soaps, they even have chewable toothpaste tablets!
How often do you get take away coffee? If it’s as much as me, you’ll know that you’ve thrown away a LOT of single use lids. So maybe invest in a good thermos, and start bringing that with you to the coffee shops. They will happily use your vessel instead of the single use cups, AND you may even get a bit of a discount.
Other ways to avoid plastics include: buying loose fruits and veg instead of packaged ones, buying laundry powder in cardboard boxes, buying condiments in glass containers, getting a good water filtration system for your home and bringing your own tote bags to carry groceries, instead of getting them from the shop.
Living sustainably isn’t difficult, the perceived difficulty is really just an illusion of habit. Once you can break the habit of buying your “go-to” products riddled with plastic, you’ll see there’s actually a world of options available to you, if you just take a minute to look.