When you know you want to be more sustainable and eco-friendly, it can be a little overwhelming trying to decide where to start. The important thing to remember is that you have to start somewhere! Whether you’re just beginning your sustainability journey or you’ve been practicing for years, making a conscious effort to be more green is not only advantageous for the environment, but is beneficial to our daily lives. If you are looking for more ways to practice sustainability, here are some areas around your home to consider looking into:
There has been a lot of conversation surrounding plastic use and, specifically, plastic bags, resulting in a plastic bag ban in some states. If you are in a place that has not incentivized the change, take it upon yourself to make the switch to reusable. Having reusable bags for groceries, for holding individual produce items, and filling up loose, weighed products, in addition to the traditional carrying bags, will hopefully be the norm in the near future.
Additionally, have a large tote or shopping bag for any other shopping. Even if your favorite brand offers reusable bags at purchase, if you shop there frequently enough, those bags can pile up. Keep one large reusable shopping bag in your car or invest in a compact one that can fit in the bottom of even the smallest purse.
Extend this idea into the kitchen to replace your plastic sandwich bags with reusable silicone bags or consider investing in durable recycled plastic or glass containers.
Toiletries and Beauty Products
One of the reasons beauty and care products have such a bad reputation for sustainability is the chemicals in the formulas, but, there is also a big issue with parts and mechanisms that make products convenient and easy to use, but hard to recycle. The good news is that so many brands are taking the necessary steps to be more sustainable, not only in the ingredients in their products, but the containers and packaging itself.
For PiperWai, this means utilizing Ocean Waste Plastic that takes discarded plastic from our oceans, breaks it down, and gives it new life. This process not only reduces plastic in the ocean, but also reduces emissions and energy used and creates jobs. When you combine this with the natural ingredients of a product, like our Natural Deodorant Cream, you’re making a difference not only for your own body and health, but for the planet’s as well.
Another important part of making your routines more sustainable involves identifying products you use once and throw away. Common perpetrators include makeup remover wipes, cotton rounds, and q-tips—it’s estimated that 20 million makeup remover wipes are used and thrown away each and every day. Buying these items over and over again adds up financially as well! By making a one-time purchase for the reusable version of these single-use products, you help the environment and your wallet.
To bring sustainability to the kitchen, get rid of single-use items like the plastic sandwich bags from above, aluminum foil, parchment paper, wax paper, and plastic wrap. Swap these out for silicone lids and bags, baking mats, beeswax wrap, and reusable containers.
As for cleaning, where the convenience of single-use wipes is great for on the go, at home, replace wipes with a spray bottle that can be refilled and a cleaning cloth that can be washed. To get closer to the feel of wipes or paper towels, Swedish dishcloths are the next best thing.
If you’re ready for a substantial change, one of the biggest changes you can make at home is your appliances. Utilizing energy efficient appliances like Energy Star reduced 150 million metric tons of greenhouse gas in 2018.
The downside of this swap is that it can be a big commitment financially. Be sure to carefully research and compare appliances to find the best brand, function, and style for you, in addition to all of your financing options. However, if you aren't ready to commit right away, you can look into options to help finance repairs, rather than replacing for new appliances and wasting materials.
With more of the world opening up in the next few months, it may finally be time to leave our Zoom wardrobe at home. As tempting as it is to use this as an excuse for a whole new wardrobe, take the environment into consideration too.
Joining a subscription service will not only keep your wardrobe fresh and current, but will also help you nail down your style, so you can commit to pieces that you really like later. Some of these styles even end up for sale at heavily discounted prices when they get “retired.”
If you want to buy, make investments into well-made and timeless pieces. These types of pieces can still be trendy and cool, but make sure it can be worn multiple ways and on multiple occasions. Additionally, avoiding fast fashion and replacing them with thrifted items or items made from recycled materials can be a great, cheaper alternative.
When it comes to sustainability and helping the environment, even the smallest adjustments can make a great impact. While your own carbon footprint decreases in your day-to-day life, when you choose sustainable products and brands, your money goes to businesses that can have an impact on a much larger scale. You can check out more on our sustainability efforts and shop for our Ocean Waste Plastic products here.