Living Sustainably doesn't need to be hard.
In our increasingly busy lives, it's easy to slack off on living sustainably for the sake of convenience. But, don't worry! Eco-friendly living can be simple. Here's three quick ways I incorporate sustainability into my life.
1. Reuse & Upcycle
This one is easy. Every time you go to the grocery store, you buy many consumables (beverages, sauces, canned goods, etc.). Whenever possible, try to avoid plastic containers and opt for glass or metal - both which are infinitely recyclable.
Better yet, try to give these containers extra life by reusing/upcycling which is even better than recycling because it requires no additional energy. For instance, the pizza sauce I buy comes in a mason jar that I save and use for food storage.
My favorite thing to up reuse is an upcycled Dickens Candle (of course). I use them for several things, but my favorite thing to do is use them as a planter. They work great for succulents, or seedlings. In the pictured example, I filled the Dickens Candle with seed starter mix and sowed some mint seeds.
Send a picture of your reused Dickens Candle to email@example.com and I'll send you a promo code as a thanks for caring about the environment!
2. Support Renewable Products
When you buy a product that uses renewable resources (things that can be replenished/regrown infinitely) you are decreasing the use of nonrenewable resources like fossil fuel and minerals (e.g. oil, natural gas, coal) which are taken from the earth and can't be replaced.
Look for products that are made from cotton, wood, soy, grain... such as clothing, furniture, soy candles and of course beer :-) Like I said above, the easiest way to avoid using non-renewable resources is to avoid buying products packaged in plastic (made from petroleum).
3. Grow Your Own Food
Growing your own food can be a very rewarding and fulfilling experience. It is also a fantastic way to be sustainable. Here are just a few ways home gardening is good for the planet:
Reduce Carbon Emissions - Grocery store food travels on average 1,500+^ miles before consumption. Growing your own food reduces the amount of fossil fuels burned
Decrease Food Waste - By continually harvesting from your garden (taking only what you need) helps decrease the >30% of food waste* that occurs in the U.S.
Composting Reduces Landfill Use - When you compost your kitchen scraps you are keeping your scraps out of a landfill and fueling your plants with needed nutrients.
I grow my own garden by starting my seeds in a small greenhouse and grow light (see the picture at the top of the page). It was a fun activity setting it up and sowing the seeds with my kids. The greenhouse sits in my living room where my kids and I can easily water each morning.
Once the plants are large enough and the ground is warm enough, I will transplant them into my raised garden in the back yard. In addition to being beneficial for the planet, gardening is a fun activity for me and my family, it yields delicious organic food, and it saves me money at the grocery store!
If you'd like to grow your own food but don't know where to start, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm happy to give you some advice and share resources to get you started!