Sustainability is the act of limiting the use of natural resources. This is a popular movement that has made momentous changes in many states in the U.S. in recent years. Sustainability is so important is because every single piece of plastic produced is still in the earth today, plus the waste on the world is a stupendous amount. To help reduce your carbon footprint here are some easy ways to minimize your plastic and waste:
1. Skip the straw
Not using a straw when ordering a drink is one of the easiest things that someone can do to limit their use of plastic. You might be thinking, “But the straw is already made, someone is going to use it anyways.” However, this thinking is completely wrong. If you do not take the straw that means that there is one less person demanding a straw. Although the straw that you might have used is already made and in the market to be used, consuming fewer straws lowers the demand of future straws to be produced. In doing so this shrinks the usage of plastic straws altogether.
2. Buy a reusable straw
If you are a straw lover like me and find it hard to pull away, I highly suggest buying a reusable straw. There are many different types of reusable straws that you can find all over the internet. The most popular ones are metal ones, however, some do not like them. In this case, there are rubber guards that you can slip onto the straw to mask the temperature or silicone straws that you can buy instead.
3. Bring your own cup
I know that this seems silly and most likely ridiculous, but bringing your own mug or jar for drinks at coffee shops or other places helps reduce plastic waste by a lot. The hardest part for me is remembering to bring the cup/mug and then also having the guts to ask the employee to use it. Most places are fine with using the cup you bring. Although it is scary at first, it gets easier to ask each time.
4. Buy reusable utensils
Purchasing reusable utensils is honestly one of the most effective ways to reduce plastic waste. Many restaurants use single-use plastic utensils. Bringing my own has cut down on hundreds of plastic utensils that I could have used. I found mine at Anthropology and absolutely love them because they are collapsible and so easy to travel with. They are also dishwasher safe, which is amazing! (link below)
5. Shop at Thrift Stores
There are two ways that you could go about responding to this suggestion; either you are already in the thrifting game or you are utterly disgusted by the thought of buying something someone else has previously had. Whatever your reaction is it doesn’t change the fact that purchasing used goods improves the environment in many ways. Not only is that one less item or good to be produced, but it is also one less item or good to be thrown away and disposed of, likely in the incorrect manner. Shopping at thrift stores decreases waste and other materials being used. Most items are in amazing condition and can be used for the same amount of time as something new. PLUS you can get it for 1/4th of the cost. Honestly, thrifting has been one of the many things that I love to do and the majority of my clothes are thrifted. Most stores have great things at an even better price. If buying used things isn’t for you I understand, but just as an added reminder, you can always wash things.
There are many other ways that you can become more eco-friendly besides these things that I’ve listed, I have just found that these are easiest when first starting. It is so important to take care of the earth that we live on. I hope you find these tips applicable to your life! One of the best, and simplest, things you can to do care for the earth is to even start consciously thinking about the impact you’re making. So if you take nothing else from this post I hope you remember that, to just start thinking.