Let’s be real, it’s so much more convenient to just use plastic water bottles, invest in fast fashion, and just all together ignore the fact that we’re trashing the planet and things are heating up. But, to continue with the realness, we all know that we should probably be doing a little bit more. I’ve been obsessed with ways to help the environment for a couple years now, and I present my favorite things to help the planet. Now, these are just the things that have made the biggest difference in my life, and they may not all work for you. But, I hope you learn something from one of the many links in the post and I would love if you tell me your favorite things to help the planet.
- What do you actually need?
Bea Johnson has been called “The priestess of waste free living” in her Ted talk, she discusses her 5 rules zero waste. Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, rot. The best way to decrease waste is to simply have less stuff. So start looking around and thinking about what you really need. You can listen to her entire talk here.
This one is so simple and easy. Instead of big bulky plastic bottles of mouthwash, this mouthwash comes in tablets, packaged in a glass bottle. You simply drop one tablet into 20 ml of water, wait for it to dissolve (about 3 minutes) and BOOM you have mouthwash. This one also has enough for 2 years! Also, sooo much easier for travel (not that we’re going anywhere these days).
- Reusable bags
This is a no brainer, but bringing your own bag to the grocery store or the mall is a super easy way to decrease plastic waste. Most stores are asking that you leave reusable bags at home during the pandemic, but if you use self-checkout or offer to bag items yourself they’re usually ok with your reusable bags.
- Glass recycling
Glass is super recyclable as long as you properly recycle it. My family has one big basket where we put any glass that we don’t want to reuse. When it’s full we take it to the glass recycling station about a mile away from my house. You can find your own glass recycling station with a quick google search .
- Fall in love with your reusables
Some people like to make fun of metal straws or hydroflasks. But, the truth is reusables are a FANTASTIC way to reduce waste. One reusable water bottle saves at least a couple hundred plastic ones, one reusable coffee cup can save at least 500 disposable ones, one metal straw diverts somewhere around 550 plastic straws from landfills, the list goes on.
- Switch to using a menstrual cup.
According to National Geographic, the average American woman will throw away 10,000 tampons in her life. That’s a lot of plastic. A lot of awkward runs to the grocery store. According to the Huffpost, the average american woman will spend about $1,173 over her life on tampons alone. That’s a lot of $$. Menstrual cups can be reused for up to 10 years! Each one costs about $30, but some are cheaper. Do you hear that? Spend $30 on a menstrual cup and you don’t have to worry about it for 10 years!!! If i can convince one person to switch to using a cup, this whole blog will have been worth it. I get that it won’t work for everyone, but here are the reasons it works for me:
- I have 5 older brothers. I don’t want to have an awkward conversation every time there’s a tampon wrapper in the trash or we have to swing by the feminine care aisle. Of course, I am all for breaking the taboos surrounding menstruation but this is just easy and discrete.
- Menstrual cups are a lot better for your health. Instead of absorbing your flow (like a tampon) a cup just catches it. This maintains your delicate PH and bacterial balance. This also means there is no risk of toxic shock syndrome! If you are switching from tampons to a cup it will take a while before your flow adapts (it was about 2 cycles for me) but after that, your flow will be in its natural rhythm.
- I never have to worry about packing enough tampons and pads for a trip or school. It’s just one little thing that keeps you covered.
- Eat less beef
This youtube video explains it better than I ever could, but in a quick summary, the process by which cows digest creates a lot of excess methane in their stomachs (methane is less in VOLUME, but far greater in how much heat they trap in the atmosphere) the cows burp out a TON of methane which settles into the atmosphere and contributes to climate change. By not supporting the beef industry you help the planet and create demand for more eco friendly and plant based foods.
- Do your research
There are tons of documentaries, books and articles to help you figure out the best way for YOU to do your part. I like the “Everyday-Eco Newsletter” presented by pela case. You can sign up with your email on the bottom of their website.
Package free was also created by Lauren Singer. This is her shop where she sells zero waste alternatives.
Zero waste home is Bea Johnson’s website where you can find links to all her books, talks and products.
Lilah B is a beauty brand that allows you to recycle unwanted beauty products.
Zero waste store is another online marketplace for eco friendly alternatives.
Ethique sells solid bars of conditioner, moisturizer, shampoo, deodorants and cleansers.
Madewell allows you to recycle your jeans into housing insulation.
And I’m always posting my favorite articles and more resources on my pinterest.