An estimated 14 billion pounds of trash — most of it plastic — is dumped in the world’s oceans every year, and somewhere between 10-12 billion tons of CO2 is emitted per year from consumption in the United States alone. It is time to recognize everything we buy has significant impacts; whether that is environmental, social, or health. It is never too late to start reducing your waste. This page — which will continue to be updated — outlines easy ways to re-approach our consumption, and assist with mindful purchasing.
Transition to Zero Waste
Shampoo & Conditioner
Ditch excess plastic bottle production and purchase in the form of bars. Bars last longer and are comprised of more natural ingredients. See great options here.
You can find collapsable silicone containers (freezer, microwave, oven, and dishwasher-safe) everywhere! Stasher Bags is hands down my favorite. See other options here.
Replacing one regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb will save 150 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
Something as simple as keeping your tires inflated properly can improve your gas mileage by more than 3 percent. Every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
Walk, bike, carpool or take mass transit more often. You’ll save one pound of carbon dioxide for every mile you don’t drive! If you live in a suburb, try to double-up on errands instead of spreading them out over time.
Paper cups are not recyclable because of the plastic liner and coffee contamination. If you like to purchase coffee, keep a couple extra reusable to-go cups in your car so you are never without!
If you enjoy using straws, purchase a couple metal straws to stash in your bags, car, and at home.
Bring your own containers from home and hit the bulk aisle for your non-perishables. If glass, staff will weigh your containers before you put anything in them, so you can pay the right amount.
Buy a few dark colored kitchen towels for spills and another color for washing your hands. You’ll be shocked how much this helps to cut back on paper products.
Cleaning solution should only consist of a few ingredients. Cut back on excess plastic and harsh chemicals in your home by making your own and filling reusable glass bottles.
Unplug your electronics when they are not in use. Idle electronics use 44 million tons of carbon dioxide per year.
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”– Jane Goodall
You will have more power as a consumer in sourcing local, supporting small businesses, and in return you will cut back on items producing the most carbon (like what you find on Amazon that likely comes all the way from China).
Don’t allow a company to deceive you into believing their products are sustainably produced because their label tells you it is. Look for third-party certification like these.
If you are shopping online, reach out to the vendor and ask to ship in minimal packaging. If you do order from Amazon, you can request zero excess (plastic) packaging by sending a quick chat note to customer service. They will create a permanent note on your account.
Avoid materials sourced from oil such as polyester, acrylic, and viscose. Instead, purchase from certified companies who source sustainably & use quality materials.
21 billion tons of textiles are sent to the landfill each year. Buy used to cut down on production emissions and waste. If you are shopping for a big event, try renting instead!
Think Before You Buy
Consider whether you need the item, or if it’s a one-time use item (i.e. a shirt for an instagram picture). Additionally, don’t buy just to make the switch to a sustainably sourced product. Use what you have first.