Living A More Sustainable Lifestyle: 5 Easy Ways To Reduce Your Environmental Impact

Maybe you’re someone who is interested in the environment, but don’t know exactly where to start making a difference. Or maybe you’re someone who is already implementing a few practices — recycling and bringing your reusable tote bag to the grocery store–but want to do more. Both of these mindsets make all the difference because the goal is to become more educated on the subject of sustainable living and start somewhere. And in my book, anywhere is always a good place.

First off, there should be no judgement when choosing to implement more sustainable practices in your life. I think the more we become an encouraging and uplifting society around eco-friendly choices, the better outcomes we’ll see on a massive scale. There are so many helpful resources found online (some I’ll reference below) for ways to start forming better eco-friendly habits. Everyone has their own journey with the process, and you’ll find out quickly, the more you do, the more you’ll want to take on.

Below, are a few easy and accessible ways to start (or continue) to minimize the environmental impact of your daily choices.

  1. Remember the 3 Rs we learned in school: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? Well, they added two more, and you should know them. You read it right, 5 Rs representing the following: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, and Recycle. Keep this in your memory in that exact order for ways to navigate decisions on purchasing or consuming products. The closer you are to the start of that list, the better option you’re choosing.
  2. Pizza Delivery: We all love it, and I can smell it right now — a piping hot, extra cheese pizza in a massive box waiting to be devoured. But did you know that parts of a pizza box can’t be recycled? The grease on the box from pizza ruins the recycling process as the paper fibers are broken down. Food is one of the worst contaminants in the paper recycling process, so make sure you know what items are safe, and which ones are not. Find a helpful list here.
  3. Brushing your teeth: please don’t stop doing it, but maybe consider the brush you’re using to clean those fangs. There are too many used plastic toothbrushes floating around in the ocean. I recommend the Brush with Bamboo, a plant-based Bamboo Toothbrush, and all components (bristles, handle, wrapper, and box) are made from plants. Eco-swoon!
  4. That’s a wrap — Bee’s Wrap that is. This one is new for me, and TBH it was a bit hard to let go of my saran wrap. However, Bee’s Wrap came highly recommended so I made the jump. I have to say, they really work and are the natural alternative to plastic wrap.
  5. This last one is specifically for the ladies. A gift from the universe to women: the Diva Cup. If you’re not on that train already, I highly recommend it. Cleaner, safer, and cheaper in the long run when you get a visit from the crimson tide. I am telling you, you’ll kick yourself for going this long without one.

Every ounce of effort goes a long way, and the more we are all talking about this, the more impact we will have for the long run. If you have any further ideas, please share them below in the comments so others can read. I’d love for this conversation to continue with additional resources that can help us all make better choices for now and our future.

This article was first published on Medium