The Earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations. —John Paul II
During a recent poll on my Instagram, a few of you wanted to learn how to live more sustainably.
You also shared you didn’t know where to start. Well, today’s article is for you, my friends!
Some of these tips may be a duh to you, but in case you’re new to sustainable living, check out these eco-friendly habits you can start using to help our planet.
Note, you don’t have to be an “environmentalist” — personally, I don’t consider myself one as I’m more about stewarding our blessings (and that includes where we live).
Any step is still a step!
- Shop high-quality. If you’ve been around She Sweats Diamonds, you know that I love high-end/luxury clothing. To me, if clothes are extremely well-made, it means more durability. And that means less buying. Less buying equals less disposing. And less disposing, means less waste. You know my motto: quality over quantity.
- Give consignment shopping a chance. I know some people are like, “Ew! Second-hand clothing?!” Well, friends, there are clothes in consignment shops that are brand-new, with tags, meaning they’ve never been used so…what’s the excuse now, hmm?? And let me also give you two words: dry clean.
- Choose sustainable brands. As sustainable living advocates’ voices are being heard around the world, companies everywhere are starting to join the movement. Clothing brands that are already on this train are: DL1961 (denim), Everlane (basics), Stella McCartney (high-end/luxury), and Reformation (mid-tier fashion).
- Wash your hair less. The equation is simple. Less hair washing equals saving more water. Besides, if you wash your hair everyday, the natural oils that keep your hair soft and shiny gets stripped. I try really hard to wash my hair twice a week, most of the time, three, but I’m trying to using less water overall. My solution is using a non-aerosol dry shampoo. You can also try this dry shampoo with biotin to help with hair health.
- Use refillable/recyclable products. Take advantage of this tip because some brands will give you a discount for buying refills! I know L’Occitane has a recycling program. Summer Fridays also has a recycling program where you send in 5 tubes you’ve finished and you’ll get a free travel-sized mask.
- Look for eco-conscious brands making cruelty-free products. I know research can be daunting on for this habit. However, that’s what I’m here for and blogs like Ethical Elephant who have already done the research.
- Eat less meat. Personally, I’ve chosen to eat less meat as it makes me physically feel better. However, I’m not here to tell you to go completely vegetarian or vegan as I understand everyone’s preferences, health, and lifestyle is different. You don’t have to make a complete lifestyle change. This is just one option on how you can help our planet. Doing #MeatlessMonday can help a lot. If you want to know more, I’d reach out to a friend who’s a vegetarian/vegan to open up a discussion.
- Stop single-use plastic bottles. This is probably the easiest to do of all eco-friendly habits to adopt. I love Perrier, but have completely switched from purchasing a monthly case of their plastic bottles to cans. Additionally, I was gifted a Yeti tumbler for my birthday recently and that thing truly works! I’ve been drinking more water because it of it too!
- Switch to glass food containers. Instead of plastic food containers, check out these glass food containers with a bamboo lids! Or if you’re into health and fitness, you can get these meal prep glass food containers.
- Choose to use no straws when eating out. Or bring your own. Straws are a huge waste problem. They’re too small to recycle so it ends up in our landfills and oceans. If you have to have straws, check out metal ones (I’ve seen some at Home Goods) or these sturdy glass straws. You can either get the bent or straight style or both. Most come in cases too. Check out this artist’s art installation made of straw to demonstrate how problematic single-use plastic really is.
- Choose reusable or no bags when shopping. When shopping at places like Target, either bring a reusable bag or put it in your cart to take to your car. No need for extra plastic bags. I tried it and I’m not going to lie. It wasn’t as hard as I thought, but it sure felt weird! If you start your eco-friendly habits by taking this step, let me know what you think!
- Compost instead of using chemical fertilizers. If you’re a gardener, try composting at home instead of buying fertilizers. I haven’t composted in years as I’ve lived in apartment complexes, but you can start by putting your dead flower bouquets in a pile in your backyard instead of throwing them in the garbage. Easy peasy!
A few other ways you can help our planet is educating yourself, stop buying over-packaged foods (who wraps bananas in plastic?!), and grocery shopping for what you need to reduce food waste.
I hope these ideas of eco-friendly habits will help you live a bit more sustainable lifestyle!