In today's society, sustainable living is not only becoming more popular - it's literally blowing up. We are becoming more educated about what sustainability really means. With the threat of increased effects of climate change and the ongoing issues surrounding the world we live in from over-consumption, mass productions and convenience-based consumerism, it's only fair that we take a look at the impact we are making as an individual. After all, we need to start somewhere. And the best place to start is at home.
During the last two years it has been more evident to me than ever that I was using way too much single-use plastics, purchasing takeout too often, over-spending on things I never used and creating more waste than necesary. It got me thinking hard about the type of person I was becoming. Do I really want to leave the world in a worse position than when I got here? Absolutely not. I started thinking about ways I could make a positive impact in my home, my environment and my community.
At first it seemed overwhelming. There were a million and one articles about bamboo this and eco-friendly that. Where does it begin to make sense and how do I find information that is beginner friendly? These sites are designed to get you spending big money on things that aren't even considered an eco-consious strategy to living sustainably. Or they provide links to products that do inevitably help the environment, but arent necessarily high-impact.
Here is where I started pondering about making an even bigger difference. I thought, if this is so overwhelming for me, it must be overwhelming for others! That is when I decided I wanted to make it easier for others to begin their sustainable living journey. I decided I would get to work researching the truly impactful and environmentally friendly items and changes that you can make in your daily life that don't cost an arm and a leg, and are generally more beneficial to our eco-systems and planet.
I have made a few lists to help you make small changes to start, and slowly begin a more eco-friendly lifestyle without feeling overwhwelmed and over-spent! The first list is just a few reasons why living sustainably is not only beneficial to the planet, but better for your mental and physical health, and overall wellbeing.
- Eco-Friendly Products Make Amazing, Thoughtful And Environmentally Concious Gifts - People Love Getting Items That Encourage Positive Environmental Impact.
- You'l Feel Good Buying It, Using It And Gifting It. By Supporting A Zero-Waste Lifestyle You Support Change For A Better Future, A More Healthy Lifestyle And A Cleaner World - And That Is An Incredible Mentality To Have. You Should Feel Proud!
- You Make A Difference. By Supporting Eco-Friendly Companies, You Are Supporting Global Change And Sustainable Development Which We Hope Will Drive Out Unsustainable Products And Companies And Pave The Way For More Beneficial Renewable and Sustainable Resources Being Used.
- Show Your Friends And Family How They Can Easily Live Sustainably With Just Some Small Changes. It Only Takes One Person To Help Someone Understand How They Can Better Support Climate Change. By Providing Them With Invaluable Information And Products, You Are Contributing To The Greater Good By Helping Them KickStart Their New Sustainable Lifestyle.
- You Care About Your and Your Family's Health. Eco-Friendly Products are More Natural and Less Harmful To The Environment.
- Eco-Friendly Products Are Made With Minimal To No Toxins or Unnatural Ingredients. They Are Sustainably Sourced So They Do Not Negatively Impact The Eco-Systems They Are Derived From And They Are Able To Produce More By Not Over-Harvesting.
Sustainability Starts With Us. This Is Attainable.
Here Are Some Beginner-Friendly Items And Actions You Can Incorporate Today That Costs Little To No Money:
- Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Upcycle. This takes us back to the basics, but it is such an important piece to start with. In order to start your zero-waste sustainable lifestyle, you'll need to properly implement this strategy. First - Reduce. Reduce the amount of waste you are contributing to landfills by buying items in bulk, going to the local stores instead of getting items shipped, and supporting local farmers and makers by getting your produce, meats and supplies from farmers markets and small businesses. Second - Re-Use. Re-use as much as possible. If you do happen to get items shipped to you, use that box for gifting, storage, gardening and other DIY projects. Re-use your table scraps in your compost bin for a high-nutrient soil. Boil your vegetable stalks to make your own veggie soup stock. Re-use paper-towel rolls to make decorations and ornaments. Re-using doesn't have to be extravagent or difficult. It just takes a couple small changes that will inevitably be better for the environment and save you money. Third - Recycle. Recycle your items properly. This keeps waste out of landfills and helps to repurpose the containers to make new items, resulting in less manufacturing and saving resources like water and energy usage. Recycling also helps to keep our water-ways clean. Four- Upcycle. Before tossing something, try to come up with ways to make it in to something you can use, or something that can be gifted.
- Invest in re-usable cleaning supplies such as spray bottles and wash cloths. These products allow you to buy bulk refill options instead of disposable bottles that end up in landfills and do nothing but harm to the environement. Later in the blog, I'll provide some businesses that offer products that are zero-waste and eco-friendly.
- LADIES - Invest in a diva cup. This will save you SO much money in the long run and will help you to cut back on waste, resources and finances. Its a win-win for everyone! They come in various sizes and colours so you can choose the one that is just right for you.
- Buy less. In order to help curve the climate crisis, we need to seriously consider our personal needs and wants. When you see something you want (yes, wants and needs are very different!) wait two weeks. If you still want it, weigh the pros and cons, and consider if this is something that will benefit you, bring you joy and make your life better in some way. If it isn't one of those things, consider passing on the item.
- Say no to utensils and straws when ordering take-out. Cutting down on waste and consumption can be as easy as saying no!
- Instead of buying water bottles, invest in a re-usable water bottle and refill it throughout the day!
- Donate clothes, toys, kitchen items and other lightly used items to charity or shelters. This reduces waste and helps people in need.
- Plant a garden. Eating from your own garden is so rewarding. Not only does it save you money, is saves on consumerism, packaging, and actually tastes much better than store bought produce. PLUS - regrow your kitchen scraps. Yes! You heard that correctly. There are many fruits and veggies that you can re-plant and they will grow again to provide more food. Things like onions, potatoes, tomato seeds, chives, carrots, celery and more are easy things to replant and get more bang for your buck.
- Choose paperless options for your bills and statements. Many, if not all institutions now offer paperless billing. This is a zero-cost easy transition to cut back on waste and production of paper.
- Use boxes at the grocery store instead of bags. Did you know - it costs more to produce cotton reusable bags and is more damaging to the environment than plastic bags? This is just one of the "eco-friendly" gimmicks that are out there. Instead, opt for boxes. They hold more, are better for the environement, and you can reuse them!
Now that we have an idea of where to start - here are a few producst from companies and small businesses that have incredible items, who will help make living sustainably more achievable. In supporting local eco-friendly businesses you are making a difference in the world and in your local community. Way to go! These links will help simplify your eco-friendly shopping. Check out:
- Tru Earth - Provides amazing sustainable products for personal washing, household cleaning, food storage and more. Plus, they offer free shipping and a 100% money back guarantee.
- The DivaCup - Provides reusable menstrual products for women.
- Biodegradable Straws - A biodegradable option for drinking straws, made in Canada.
- Ardent Earth - eco-friendly, low-waste and plant based, this Canadian Company provides household and personal care products.
- Ola Bamboo - A Canadian Company that makes many different bamboo products such as makeup removers, cotton swabs, tooth brush's and more.
- Patagonia - Canadian Made outdoor clothing and gear, this company is focusing on tackling environmental issues and partaking in environmental activism.
- Boho & Hobo - A Canadian eco-shop, retailer and wholesaler commited to sustainable and eco friendly products
If you would like to work for a company that is among the best Green Employers In Canada, here is a link to the top 100 Green Companies:
And finally, I have compiled a list of blogs for you to do more research on your own. I know how overwhelming and exhausting this change can be since we are all so used to the convenience that mass-consumerism has provided. But I promise you, once you begin this journey - you'll never go back! Check out these amazing links for some truly inspiring information:
- Trash Is For Tossers
- Green Moxie
- The Zero Waste Collective
- Meg Haywood Sullivan
- The Girl Gone Green
- Going Zero Waste
- Clothed In Abundance
I hope you found this blog helpful and that it helps you in one way or another in either education or resources. It has been an amazing switch for me so far, and I am only just beginning. I hope to learn more as I progress through this new lifestyle and will be giving more information as I become aware of new and amazing ideas, changes and habits to incorporate into my daily life.
I appreciate you being a part of my community and for reading my blog. And remember - At Design Studio, we care about our planet and are commited to sustainability and renewable resources.
For every item sold, one tree gets planted. Shop Locally, Impact Globally.