Happy Earth Day 2021! In honor of this very important day, we’re sharing 52 swaps you can do TODAY to live longer!
I know that a sustainable lifestyle can be completely overwhelming. Do you ever feel like you’re not doing enough? Or are you on the other side of the spectrum and thinking “well, I don’t use plastic grocery bags, so I’m fine”? As with most things in life, I aim to fall somewhere in the middle. I know I can always do something more, but I also realize that whatever I a m to do is to make a difference.
I think it’s important to recognize that small steps can make a huge difference and you don’t always have to do things perfectly. This is especially true when it comes to sustainability and a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
Here’s a full list of ideas to help you make changes! I don’t want you looking at this list and thinking you need to implement all of this TODAY. There may be a few simple changes you can make today, but keep that as a reference and focus on the areas of your life where the changes are achievable and meaningful. With that, here are 52 swaps for living more sustainably.
- Join a CSA – have products delivered to your doorstep by local farmers.
- Shop in season – visit your nearby farmers market to support local farmers, but also to buy foods that are in season and haven’t had to travel far, reducing your environmental footprint.
- Buy organic products when possible. Tip: at the very least try to buy organic for anything on the Dirty dozen listing.
- Buy in bulk – try to buy nuts, grains and seeds in bulk. Bring your own jars or containers to refill rather than using the plastic wrappers provided.
- Reusable shopping bags + Avoid plastic bags or shells.
- Be aware of how much meat you eat – aim for Meatless Mondays to start and grow from there. Vegetarian dishes are always delicious, we promise!
- Grow your own herbs and / or vegetables. I have a garden for the first time this year and love the experience!
- Reduce food waste – see Imperfect foods (use the code HEALTHYMAVEN to save 50% on your first box) or try reusing your leftover vegetables in soups or broths.
- Compost – most cities have compost programs that collect your bin like garbage and recycling. If you have an outdoor space, you can also start your own compost pile or compost bin.
- Use beeswax wraps instead of plastic wrap.
- Replace non-stick cookware with melting or stainless steel.
- Ditch the single-serve coffee or espresso machines and use a french press or espresso machine on stove rather.
- Use reusable shopping bags – again, take reusable bags when shopping or skip the bag if you don’t buy a lot.
- Buy quality items – although they tend to be more expensive, they also last much longer than cheaper items.
- Buy second hand – check out thrift stores and online second hand stores (like Poshmark!) Before you go to mainstream retailers.
- Repair items – how often do you just throw something away when it’s broken? Try to fix it before launching it.
- Gift experiences – everyone has enough “stuff” right ?! The experiences are more fun anyway!
- If you buy wrapping paper or reusable gift bags, use fabric wrapping paper or use newspaper that you have dragged around.
- Avoid fast fashion – avoid fast fashion and look for sustainable clothing brands instead! Again, generally more expensive but also better and more timeless than the Forever 21 dress you will wear once.
- Get a library card instead of buying books or investing in a Kindle.
- Cloth napkins – replace paper napkins and paper napkins with cloth napkins! A simple and cute switch.
- Unsubscribe from store catalogs and turn off other forms of junk mail. You can easily add your name to the junk mail list here.
- Reusable water bottles – stop buying single-use water bottles and invest in a reusable water bottle you love.
- Rags instead of paper towels – Cut up old towels and t-shirts to use as rags around the house rather than searching for a paper towel every time you need to clean up a mess.
- Use glass storage containers – for a zero waste solution, reuse leftover mason jars or jars of pasta sauce.
- Use Conscious Cleaners – You can make your own cleaners, but I’ve been obsessed with Basic principles of the industry recently. They send you the cleaning concentrate and glass containers and you mix your potions from there!
- Wool drying balls – did you know dryer sheets are deviously toxic? Replace them with woolen drying balls!
- Recycle – yes, this one is easy. Install a recycling bin to make it a priority!
- Dusting pad and reusable mop pad (instead of a Swiffer)
- Add plants to your home to help purify your air.
- Use energy efficient bulbs – the next time a light bulb burns out, buy energy efficient CFLs and LEDs instead.
- Diffuse essential oils instead of using Febreeze or other air fresheners.
- Replace toxic candles with soy or beeswax candles.
- Pay attention to your water intake – take quick showers, turn off the water while you brush your teeth and do the dishes.
- Air dry clothes outside or on a drying rack instead of using the dryer.
- Buy eco-friendly furniture made without formaldehyde or other chemicals.
- Choose energy efficient appliances when upgrading.
- Use multiple sockets and turn them off when not in use.
- File your taxes electronically.
- Turn off lights when you leave a room
- Open windows on a cooler day instead of turning on the air.
- Open the blinds in good weather instead of turning on the heat (and vice versa if it’s hot).
- Switch to a fuel-efficient vehicle (if you can) or try walking or cycling instead.
Sustainable personal care and beauty
- Use a menstrual cup instead of tampons.
- Switch to Natural Deodorant – I tested natural deodorants for over a year and collected my favorites here!
- Skin care doesn’t have to be complicated – use ingredients found in your kitchen or just natural products.
- Slowly start switching your makeup to cleaner, more eco-friendly products.
- Switch to a safety razor instead of disposable razors.
- Do-It-Yourself Personal Care Products – Need a little love? Try out these simple DIYs for a home spa experience.
- Change your shower gel to bar soap for a waste-free solution.
- Drop the plastic toothbrush and use bamboo instead.
- Switch to reusable cotton pads instead of disposables
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