Dieting and Sustainability
Our blog usually addresses dieting (i.e. reducing your “waist”). In honor of earth month and mother earth let’s talk about reducing your waste (“sustainability”). As you read, you may realize that many of the same concepts apply to both dieting and sustainability.
From our morning iced coffee to the weekend grocery bags, disposable items weave themselves into nearly every activity of our day. Plastics and paper products are simply convenient, recognizable and routine. So, switching to a waste-free lifestyle is not an overnight process. The change must come from making small, mindful adjustments implemented one at a time. Eventually, one change leads to another, adding up to a significant environmental impact while inspiring others around you to do the same.
With so many innovative products on the market, check out these easy ways to decrease waste in your daily life:
Switch to Reusable Shopping Bags
Replacing your single-use grocery bags is one of the largest and easiest ways to begin the shift to a waste-free lifestyle. Many reusable bags conveniently tuck into themselves, making them easy to carry, unfold, and quickly store after you’re done with an errand. Pop a few in your car, one in your purse and another right near the entranceway of your home.
Making the switch cuts out an average of 1,500 bags from your home each year.
Choose a Plastic Wrap Alternative
Non-recyclable items like plastic wrap stick around long after we store our leftovers. Plastics such as these can take up to 500 years to decompose in a landfill. Save money and waste by replacing all plastic wrap with a reusable alternative. Durable options include Bee’s Wrap, glass food containers, or cotton fabric bowl covers. Even DIY your bowl covers to match your home décor.
Cut Out Cutlery and Straws
Switching out your disposable cutlery and straws cuts down on the annual 6 million tons of single-use plastics discarded into the ecosystem. Some major organizations are even recruiting cafes to do away with plastic straws as a way to change the way people consume disposable beverages each day. Luckily, there are options. Carry a set of stainless steel or bamboo cutlery and keep a metal straw handy for your next iced tea at the local cafe.
Say Goodbye to Paper Towels
We’ve gotten used to the convenience of paper towels. But a study by MIT found that even recycled varieties of paper towels make a huge impact on global warming, land consumption and water use. Switching over to washable cloths saves a ton of money and significantly cuts your carbon footprint. Keep a stylish basket of hand towels in the kitchen and bathroom as well as a laundry basket for frequent turnover.
Take Up Composting
Once you get the swing of composting, the process removes an impressive 20% and 50% of waste going through your home each year. The trick is setting up a convenient composting system that works for you. Place a small composting container in your kitchen and refer to this list of compostable items when in doubt. Major categories include vegetable and fruit scraps, egg shells, coffee grinds, tea leaves and bags, cooked pasta and rice, and dead plants.
Live in a small space or apartment building? Tabletop composting uses the same science as outdoor composting but shrunk down to a manageable scale. By purchasing a properly lined container, understanding the basics of layering compost materials, and monitoring the decomposition process, all you need is a small spot in any size apartment.
In both dieting and sustainability lifelong change comes from small, manageable steps. Once you’ve made the switch to reusable products, they’ll simply feel commonplace. Begin by making one change in your daily routine and go from there. The impact on both your budget and the planet will not go unnoticed.