My Favorite Sustainable Switches
Sustainability is one of the MOST highly debated topics and for good reason! There are so many ways to make changes at home that can make a huge difference in limiting the amount of waste — specifically plastic waste — that your household produces, which are a one time purchase and will last far longer than something single use.
Growing up, I was always taught ‘reduce, reuse, recycle,’ though it seemed that the focus was always on recycling, and less on reducing and reusing. Now, I feel that the order of the phrase has a lot to do with my philosophy (and the philosophy of many others) on how to best practice sustainability.
REDUCE // Focus first on what you can reduce. It can be overwhelming at first to begin purchasing items for a more sustainable future, but just start with cutting out more single-use and packaged goods before you purchase anything!
REUSE // Next time you’re going to throw something out or recycle it, think about how it can be used again! Tall glass jars from sauces in the kitchen can be used as vases, candle jars can hold beauty products, you can store plenty of cooked food items in other clean containers, etc. You absolutely do not need to make a ton of fancy glass container purchases to store bulk items at home, reuse what you’re already purchasing!
RECYCLE // There are likely things you’re throwing out that can actually be recycled, and simultaneously things that you’d think can be recycled but cannot. Stay informed on the recycling laws of your area, and figure out how to properly recycle items. A great resource is Terracycle, and I recycle all of my beauty/personal care empties through a Terracycle donation bin at Credo Beauty in West Hollywood.
A quote that sticks out to me about becoming more eco friendly is: “We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” I’m certainly not perfect, and am no expert on sustainability, but I do my best in the interest of the future of the planet. There are still a few items I have yet to transition to in my home which there are A few good resources and shops for sustainability/eco-friendly living: Om & The City, Steph Shep, Zero Waste Store, Package Free Shop,
Today, there are so many options for where to purchase your sustainable products and it can be a bit overwhelming! I hope this post gives you a few ideas on where you can start making switches in your home to cut down on the amount of single-use items you’re throwing out. While there undoubtedly needs to be reform at a higher level when it comes to the amount of plastic that’s being produced and not properly recycled, there’s still a lot of good to be done starting in your own home.
Iced Cup // My 32 oz. HydroFlask is my go-to for keeping hydrated with water throughout the day, but I’m loving this recent sleek purchase for grabbing iced drinks on the go!
Nut Milk Bag // I’ve been making my own cashew milk at home for about a year, because I was never able to go through an entire carton of a milk alternative, and this allows me to make however much I think I’ll use up for that week. I haven’t experimented yet with baking or cooking with the cashew pulp, but I’d love to hear how you use pulp if you’re also an at-home milk maker!
Produce Bags // For shopping at the farmer’s market or grocery store, skip the plastic bags and opt for a produce bag instead to transport all your fresh goods.
Stasher Bags // I wasn’t on the Stasher bag train until recently, and I’m now so happy to be here. These make transporting snacks, sandwiches, and more SO much easier on the go. These can be frozen, thrown in the dishwasher or microwave, and are so versatile. I only have a few of these, so we also have a set of Pyrex glass containers in several sizes at home which are used to store leftovers, fruit, etc.
Softy Straws // I always like to keep a straw in my bag just in case I end up going on an impromptu iced chai run and am in need of a straw! If possible, it’s an even better option to go with a drink tumbler and straw like the one listed above, since that cuts out single-use plastic entirely, but I love having these straws on hand for making iced beverages at home for my boyfriend and I.
Dryer Balls // I have been anti-dryer sheets for YEARS ever since hearing they could lead to breakouts as a teenager, and recently invested in a set of dryer balls (there were originally three, my boyfriend lost one behind one of our building’s dryers) to reduce static cling and dry time, plus soften my clothes and make them smell cozy thanks to the yummy essential oil blend.
Shopping Bags // Not pictured above because this seems like a total no-brainer to me! In California especially, where there are no single-use plastic bags from grocery stores, you are charged $0.10 per bag, so it saves you a significant amount of money over time to keep bags on you at all times! We have a few in our car so even if we’re not planning on going to the grocery store, we’re always prepared for a Target or shopping run. These don’t have to be anything fancy, either. All of my bags are from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s and have held up for the past few years.
I’m not covering my favorite natural/biodegradable/clean switches (paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning products, etc.) here but am happy to do so in a later post if that’s of interest!