A Beginners Guide to Sustainable Living

You know that blogger you see that has a massive lettuce farm built into recycled coke bottles they found on the side of the street while doing volunteer work for a nonprofit you’ve never heard of on a Thursday morning? Are you intimidated? I was.

It seems like there are a million people out there doing great things…or at least posting them. It can make knowing where to start and not knowing how to do it without moving to Norway and building your own solar farm seem like an impossible task. But the truth is that every little bit helps. There are a few items that are easy to find that can help you move forward and start your journey to sustainable living easy and stress-free. Yes, it may take changing a habit or two, but once you walk back to your car once in 16-degree weather or the pouring rain for those reusable bags, you will probably be less inclined to forget them.

Metal Straws: Oh the great straw debate. Really this shouldn’t be a debate. People are always talking about why it makes a difference but even if it’s only a little difference, shouldn’t you be able to drink out of a glass, metal or paper straw. Yes, I will admit that you have to get used to putting these in your purse but is it really that hard?

Reusable Bags: Countries all over the world are getting on board with this. In Chile, if you are found with a single-use plastic bag you are fined…for each one. They are cheap, they are easy and they are cute!

Water Bottle: Again not a hard one. In fact, I really wouldn’t buy plastic water bottles at all because why waste the cash when you can just refill these babies and put your cute stickers all over them. I am team hydro flask but a yeti and even a cheap dollar store one will save you and the environment a ton!

Reusable Coffee Cups: Goes without saying and let me tell you, as a barista, we go through tons on coffee cups. In the long run, they cost us more than a cup of drip coffee too. Most places will even offer you a thermos discount if you bring your own cup. I prefer Keep Cups of my cup from Live24k which is a Jojo.

Bike: I made a commitment to myself that no matter where I went in the doable weather, if it wasn’t raining or snowing, I was going to ride my bike to anywhere in three miles. For me in the suburbs this includes the grocery store, the library, and often the gym. Good for me, good for the environment, good for my gas bill.

Menstrual Cup: So we have talked about straws, bottles and single-use bags. Plastic is clearly bad. So what makes you think that the plastic applicator on your tampon is any different? Not only will a Menstrual cup create less waste but it also avoids the pink tax and cuts down on the amount of toxins you are putting into that very very delicate part of your body.

ReusableTowels:  Cutting down on plastic?  Think about cutting down on paper too. One roll of these babies will make up for 6 months worth of paper towels.

Lunch Box: You can really use any lunch box but I prefer these tight-fitting bento style boxes for compartments and the fact that they are leak proof and you can store your reusable flatware in them.

Bees Wrap: Not a big fan of bento or lunch boxes? Well, then Bee’s wrap is the next best thing. It’s thicker, more attractive and just generally better than any plastic wrap you can think of.

Fountain Pen: As per my writing section, you can probably tell that I like pens. And they are really easy for my to go through but the truth is that they create a lot of waste (Plastic). Fountain pens aren’t perfect but they do create LESS waste. And let’s be honest, you look pretty scholarly using them.

Pela Case: We think about our plastic bottles and all of that but think about how often you change your phone case. Every time you get a new model you have to, we go through screen protectors like candy. So much plastic. Pela is a 100% biodegradable phone case that won’t sit in a landfill forever.

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