Good Morning Friends! Today is EARTH DAY! And in honor of ~mother Earth~ I wanted to share a big way that I’ve been working to lessen my impact on our planet. Growing up, I always read the standard guidelines: turn off the water when brushing your teeth, utilize your City’s recycling program, turn off the lights when leaving a room, and so on; however, as we continuously learn more about our planet and the way we are harming it, there is an obvious change we can make to ensure that our planet is thriving for the next generation: reduce our use of plastic! To me, part of living a healthy lifestyle means being conscious of the impact I have on the earth and in an effort to reduce my foot print this is what I’m doing to eliminate plastic from my life:
Why Plastic is so terrible:
Have you ever taken a second to think about how much plastic we use and dispose of every day? Plastic bags for your sandwich, plastic forks to eat your fruit salad, the plastic bag that held the fruit when you purchased it at the store, the straw and cup from Starbucks for your afternoon pick me up.. it all adds up people!! All of that plastic is eventually disposed of and (depending on the type of plastic) it can take up to 1000 YEARS to break down. Are you kidding me?? And sure, we can recycle what we can but recycling isn’t a cure all. Simply put, we need to reduce the amount of plastic we are using.
How I made a change:
First off, I would like to thank my friend, Rebekka, for always posting such informative information on social media. She is truly the reason I became more aware of my environmental impact, and watching her eliminate plastic while traveling the world has been a true inspiration for me (If you would like to follow along and see how Rebekka is changing the world, she can be found on Instagram). To start, I needed to figure out just how much plastic I was using, and more specifically, what kind of plastic products. Over the course of a week I took an inventory of all the plastic I used and threw away by recording it in my notebook. From there, I saw that my biggest issues were: plastic water bottles for the gym, plasticware when eating lunch at work, Ziploc bags for storing cut up food and plastic bags used when buying produce. After determining my problem areas, I did some simple googling to find out how other people were reducing their use of these products. Surprisingly, Youtube was an amazing resource!
What I Replaced My Most Used Plastic Items With:
- A Metal Water Bottle: I’ve had water bottles in the past, but have never stuck with them and always gravitated back to buying water bottles when hitting up the grocery store. That is until I discovered S’well bottles. They are a little pricey, but this is the first water bottle that I’ve consistently used so I think it’s totally worth the price. I’m not sure if it’s the size, the way water stays cold for so long, or the colorful design, but I absolutely love my S’well and use it everyday.
- Silicone Sandwich Bags: I’ve considered buying re-usable sandwich bags in the past, but was always put off because I didn’t really have a good way to clean them; however, Stasher bags are a breeze to clean (you just throw them in the top rack of the dishwasher) and even stave off the dreaded freezer burn. I use them for storing slices bananas in the freezer to use for smoothies, and I bought a second bag last week to start using for when I have cut up fruit to bring to work.
- Bamboo Utensils: I purchased a set of To-Go Ware bamboo utensils on Amazon (link here) and they are so fun! Not only do they come with a complete set (a knife, fork, spoon and chopsticks) but they all fit in a convenient carrying case that I literally just throw in my purse and keep with me at all times. I would imagine this is a great item to have for camping trips as well.
- Mesh Produce Bags: The first step to these is remembering to actually bring them to the grocery store! But once you get into the habit of it (I usually just keep them in the re-usable shopping bag I bring) it’s awesome to see how much less plastic you are consuming. I picked up my pack of mesh bags from Amazon (link here) and I love that there are different sizes for different types of produce.
While I feel great knowing that I’ve made a positive change to my lifestyle that not only benefits me, but has the potential to benefit future generations, I still have a lot more that I can do. April 22nd is one day out of the year; however, we should be focused on preserving our planet every day. What can you do today to lessen your impact? Start simple! Even the little changes can add up to something big.
Happy Sunday! Happy Earth Day!