Spring is an opportunity to hit refresh. You can do so by cleaning out your closet, getting a new haircut, or what we recommend, making small changes to live a greener lifestyle. Incorporating sustainable practices into your life is something that’s totally approachable and can build up slowly over time. Really, it’s just about making an effort and being a bit more conscious in your habits. Today we’ve gathered some of the top tips that you can easily incorporate into your day-to-day life. These are things that will have minimal impact on your lifestyle but make a huge difference for the environment in the long-run.
1. Skip the plastic bags
Reusable bags are a wonder. They look better, feel better, hold more items, and to top it all off, they are so much better for the environment. Some places have already made the switch to not providing plastic bags and will charge you up to 25 cents to purchase one in store. The only catch here is remembering to tote one around with you. We suggest getting a small one that can pack down to fit in your bag or purse.
2. Buy locally and seasonally
When you buy local you help a business reduce environmental impact by cutting down on transportation, congestion, and pollution. So, in addition to supporting a local entrepreneur you are helping the environment! Shopping seasonally tends to go hand in hand with buying local. The best place to source the freshest seasonal produce and products is at your local famer market. Be sure to take a peek at our west coast spring produce guide to know exactly what fruits and veggies to snatch up.
3. Always choose the e-ticket option
We are living in the digital age, and there is little to no reason that you need a physical ticket. Most movie theaters, concerts, flights, and trains offer some version of a mobile ticket that you can save directly to your phone. Minimizing your paper waste is a great goal, after all, we need all those trees to pull the CO2 out of the air.
4. Volunteer at your local community garden
Volunteering at your local garden is a fantastic hobby to pick up in the springtime. It gets you outdoors and around like-minded, environmentally conscious people. An added bonus is that you get to reap the rewards of your labor and take home some yummy chemical-free produce. A quick google search will help you find your local garden and if you are feeling really ambitious you can even start one!
5. Bike, walk, or carpool whenever you can
Making this a priority in your life is a sure way to cut down your carbon footprint. It’s common knowledge that cars release a ton of harmful pollution into the air, so making a daily effort to reduce that is fantastic. Especially with the nice spring weather on the horizon, biking or walking is a great way to get some much appreciate time outdoors.
6. Wash your clothes in cold water
Switching your washing machine to use cold water will help reduce massive amounts of energy that is used to heat it. Cold water will still clean your clothes efficiently and even works better than warm water in removing stains such as sweat or grass. This is a great tip and can be used regularly. The exception being when you are trying to sanitize after an illness since hot water is more effective in killing germs.
7. Get a refillable water bottle
This is a tip that you can do today, and we promise, it’s a game changer. A reusable water bottle will be convenient in countless situations and help reduce your plastic use significantly. In addition to being the sustainable choice, they also come in countless designs and shapes so you can find one that suits your personal style. Good for the environment and a cool new accessory? How could you not.
8. Always upcycle
If you’ve gotten bit by the spring cleaning bug, or if you’ve watched Marie Kondo’s new series on Netflix, you might be wanting to declutter your house and wardrobe this spring. We totally get it, who wants to hold onto something that doesn’t bring them joy?! But just remember that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so be sure to donate everything that is still in useable condition.
9. Avoid single-use packaging
Single-use packing is convenient when you are on the go, but all that wasted plastic is devastating to the environment. Whenever you can, buy in bulk and transfer the larger quantities of products over to reusable containers. A ton of health food stores offer a wide variety of products in bulk bins, everything from cereal to cleaning products. Excess packaging is unnecessary and avoiding it whenever possible is a great way to make a difference.
10. Support companies with environmental values
Living in the age of the internet you can do a ton of research on the companies you are supporting with your business. Before making purchases be sure to research and make sure their values align with yours. Do a quick google search to see exactly how and where they are sourcing their products. Now more than ever it is important to be a conscious consumer, and support businesses that are making clean, sustainable choices.