How to Live & Shop More SustainablyJuly 06 2021
When you truly want to do good for the environment, sustainability isn’t just a word, it’s a lifestyle. Sustainability seeps into your daily life and, since we all need to buy food and household items, we’ve put together a list of a few ideas to help you live and shop more sustainably in your everyday life.
Tip #1: Shop in Bulk
Shopping from the bulk section of the grocery store is not only a great way to save a little bit of money, but it is also a great opportunity to reduce your single-use packaging consumption. Bring your own containers to the grocery store to use for purchasing nuts, trail mix, granola, and anything else your store’s bulk section offers.
Before going, make sure you record the tare weight (the weight of your empty container) and mark it on your container. This will make sure that you don’t pay for the weight of your container at checkout.
Unfortunately some stores don’t allow you to bring your own containers, so when you find a local store that does allow you to bring your own containers, consider frequenting that one more often.
Tip #2: Bring reusable shopping bags
The selection and availability of reusable shopping bags has drastically increased in recent years. Not only can you purchase large reusable shopping bags and totes to consolidate the items you purchased, you can also buy reusable bags for fruits, veggies, and other “by the pound” items.
When looking for reusable produce and shopping bags, look for ones made out of material that can easily be washed if necessary and are made from material that is recycled, grown organic, or fair trade.
Credit: Sur La Table
Tip #3: Replace common household consumables
When you really start looking, our homes are filled with single-use items that can be replaced with sustainable alternatives. Here are a few to look for:
- Ziplock Plastic Bags
You probably use them for lunches or to store food, but single-use plastic bags are easy to swap with a reusable option. There are now reusable food saver bags that you can throw right in the dishwasher! Stasher Bags offers a variety of sizes that you can also freeze, toss in the microwave, or bake in the oven.
- Plastic wrap
Plastic wrap is SO convenient, but it’s also a very wasteful use of plastic. Reusable beeswax wraps are a common alternative. These wraps are conveniently washed, reusable, and once they have reached the end of their life (usually in about a year) many brands can be safely composted in your own backyard. Bee’s Wrap is made from only four natural ingredients and recommends that you either compost your wrap at the end of its life or use it as a natural firestarter.
Yes! There are eco-friendly, compostable toothbrushes now! It may not be something you commonly think about, but toothbrushes are a great way to lower your single use plastic consumption. Look for ones that are fully compostable, including the bristles, and made from sustainable materials like bamboo. Check out Juni Essentials for bamboo toothbrushes, travel cases, and toothbrush holders.
Tip #4: Buy from sustainably focused brands
We vote for the environment everyday with the dollars we spend, so focus on buying from brands that have the environment at heart. These may be brands that focus solely on sustainable products, like Public Goods or 4 The Greater Good. Or, they may be larger brands that have started sustainability programs like Nordstrom’s, where you can now recycle your beauty product containers, and Credo Beauty who has gotten rid of all single use products.
Use your dollars well and support brands that are committed to sustainability and earth-friendly products.
Yes, living a sustainable lifestyle requires a little more forethought and planning, but the results are totally worth it. Day to day activities become a little more enjoyable when you know you’re doing good for the planet.