1. BRING YOUR OWN: Whether it’s for shopping, drinking, or taking something to-go, there are a ton of seemingly convenient one-time use containers out there that we unconsciously use…and then trash. Although convenient to our everyday life it can become hazardous to our environment. If you’re going to shop, bring a large bag to carry everything out in. If you want to drink, bring your own refillable drink container! If you’re eating out, grab a glass container to bring your leftovers home in!
2. BUY IN BULK: Food products have increasingly become over-packaged, and, unfortunately, not all of it is recyclable! If you’re going grocery shopping, choose stores that offer your staples in bulk form, or are loose and you can just bring your own container! “Real” foods tend to come with little to no packaging and processed foods are the biggest over-packaging culprits.
3. SHOP LOCALLY: If your food, clothing, or any other item you’re ready to buy, was made or grown locally then it has a smaller ecological footprint, meaning less damage to the environment. (Find out your personal ecological footprint here!) There is no packaging involved since it isn’t shipped and you can ask for no bag on the way out! Plus, when you shop locally, you usually find the best quality, most unique, and coolest stuff!
4. COMPOST AND RECYCLE: Once something has come to the end of it’s lifecycle, find the best way to dispose of it! Since nothing really “goes away” you should find the best environmental option for it’s next life. If you have food scraps, find a way to compost! If you have plastics or other packaging, find the best way to recycle it! The best way to not have to do this is by being aware of the things you buy and making sure it has little to no packaging and/or using as much of what you bought as possible.
5. CHOOSE SECOND HAND: Thrift, consignment, vintage – do whatever it takes to find those second-hand treasures! Make it fun and host your own clothing swap party or just trade with your friend. When you’re tired of seeing an item of clothing in your closet make sure you donate it to a charitable organization or a friend. If it’s falling apart, make sure not to toss it – turn it into a rag for cleaning and wash for re-use!