So you want to be more sustainable? Whether you just ditched the single-use plastic water bottles yesterday or have been encouraging your friends and family to recycle for some time, we could all be more mindful of our environment. Here are some quick tips to help you hit the ground running on your conscious lifestyle:
1. Look at labels
Consumers are demanding more accountability from the products they buy and brands are responding by incorporating clean, green, and ethical practices into their production. With so many claims on the packaging though, It’s important to watch out for greenwashing - “an attempt to make people believe that your company is doing more to protect the environment than it really is”
Luckily, there are many organizations working to vet each claim of ethical practices, so start learning what labels mean what and start checking on the brands you consume to see if they’ve been giving the stamp of approval. You can find a full list of labels and what they mean here.2. Less is more
There are always new products, the latest fashion trend - we are inundated with ads making us want to buy more and more stuff. A cluttered life though, can lead to a cluttered mind and more stuff means more waste in the environment. Not to mention, every time you move homes you question why you have three half empty containers of body lotion...just me? Instead, use that body lotion to the last drop before you replace it.
Even further, start to build out a capsule wardrobe (which will make getting dressed everyday so much quicker). When you do need a closet updated, head to the local consignment or thrift store and sell/donate your old stuff to make way for the new. For more tips on a minimalist lifestyle, read our previous post.
3. Be kind to yourself
While certain aspects of a sustainable lifestyle seem easy (check out our plastic free swap suggestions) it’s daunting and near impossible to shift from everyday consumer to green superhero overnight. Don’t get frustrated and give up when you use a styrofoam to go cup one time, just remember the wise words of Anne Marie Bonneau (@zerowastechef),“We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” It starts with small lifestyle changes and can grow into so much more. Through our collective actions, we can make a difference and consciously build a brighter, cleaner future.