Tag: tips

Tips for eating more sustainably

Sustainability has become more and more important, especially as awareness has increased over the past decade or so. More and more people have come to the conclusion that they have an obligation to make the world a better, healthier place – or at least not actively make it worse. That obligation has been largely internalized, meaning that more and more people are trying to figure out what they can do as an individual to make the world a more sustainable place. One of the most immediate impacts one can make is directly related to how and what they eat. Here are some suggestions that anyone can do to help make the world a more sustainable environment for everyone. 

Become a Vegetarian

It may be uncomfortable to hear, but it is none-the-less true: Our reliance on meat is not particularly environmentally friendly. Many reports have noted that the processes involved in meat production – the manufacturing, emissions, water use, and more – are all devastating for the environment. As such, people who are looking to eat more sustainably should start with their own consumption by shifting to a more plant-based diet. It doesn’t have to happen all at once – you can start by just reducing the amount of meat that you actually eat in small steps. The good news is that this also comes with health benefits, and much less expensive although it may involve more preparation time.

Increase Your Variety

One of the little-discussed ways to eat in a more sustainable manner is to increase the variety of what you eat. Eating the same thing – and the same thing as everyone else – can damage nature and create agricultural problems for future generations. By eating a more varied diet, you’re committing your wallet to practices that are more environmentally sustainable and friendly. Make sure to do your research and find what other foods may work for you. Like becoming a vegetarian, you don’t have to move all at once: Instead, substitute out one common mass produced item for a different option to help shift the focus.

Reduce Waste

Up to 30% of all food is wasted. This, of course, is a tragedy on many levels, including from agriculture, food security, and financial perspectives. As such, you should do whatever you can to reduce your food waste. There are many things that can help you accomplish this goal. First, buy smaller products – particularly those that will expire quickly. This may mean more frequent trips to the grocery store, but at least you will save money on wasted food and help sustain the environment by not wasting resources. Second, develop a good system for tracking your leftovers. This will ensure that you don’t put something in the refrigerator and forget about it. It may mean that you need to plan better, and more often, but it is a good thing to do for the planet as well as your wallet. 

Grow Your Own Food

There is no better way to ensure the sustainability of your food than to grow it yourself! Of course, this doesn’t mean that you will be able to grow every meal, but if you can even grow some fruits and vegetables, you will reduce the burden on your wallet and on the agricultural system by just a hair. This is a good thing environmentally and can help you become more comfortable at growing your own food supply.

Buy Fair Trade Products

Fair Trade means that a product has been certified as being environmentally friendly and sustainable. There are many types of Fair Trade products that you can purchase, such as coffee. There are also more than a few Fair Trade certifications, so make sure that you do your homework about what each different certification means and how it can be beneficial to you. When it comes to Fair Trade, keep in mind that the benefits of this type of food practice also applies to how a company treats their workers. This is obviously an added and important bonus!

Do Your Homework

If sustainability is a big issue for you, you should take the time in order to do research into the brands you are purchasing regularly and the types of stores you are buying from. What are their sustainability practices? Do they have any special certifications that can allow you to buy their food with comfort? What types of agricultural products do they sell, and what types of practices do those brands use? There are also some apps that you can download – like Giki – that can give you additional information on certain brands and what their practices are. This can be time-consuming, but it can give you a much better idea of how sustainable your products are. 

Cut Out Wasteful Products

Remember, sustainability in your food practices is about much more than what you buy, but also pertains to the packaging of what you buy. The environmental damage caused by plastic has been well documented. Do whatever you can to cut plastic out of your food shopping. This means monitoring the packaging of what you buy in order to ensure that it isn’t plastic. It also means bringing your own bags from home or buying those reusable ones from grocery stores and actually reusing them. There’s at least one easy way to start: Don’t buy water bottles anymore. Instead, purchase a reusable mug or thermos that you can reuse over and over again. You can also stop buying disposable silverware and pack your own, even if it means buying travel-friendly items. You can also bring your own cups to coffee-to-go places, like Starbucks.

Cut Out the Paper Products

There are some paper products – like napkins, plates, and paper towels – that can be hugely wasteful. Cut them out if you can and switch to reusable alternatives. This will help to cut down on the amount of waste that you generate.

As you can see, living in a more sustainable manner is about more than just the food you literally put into your body. It can be a large lifestyle change, and it may take some time and effort to turn into a habit. However, there’s no doubt that it can be very, very beneficial to your peace of mind, your wallet, and the planet. 

Tips for reducing “throwaway culture” – repairing, repurposing, donating items

In today’s society, there are too many people who participate in the “throwaway culture.” We purchase things because we think they are going to use them and then we simply throw them out. Many of us buy things and use them for a month or two and then realize there is something better out there. So, we throw the old thing away and get the newest and best thing on the market.

The throwaway culture also has many of us purchasing everyday items, like straws, bags, and more. These items are only used for a day or a few minutes and then they are discarded. They are left to fill up landfills and never thought of again. While these items have helped to make our lives more convenient, they are causing irreversible harm to your planet and future generations.

The throwaway culture has created harm that many of us never thought possible. In the past, we truly believe that we were just creating innovation to make life better and easier. Today, we are starting to see the many repercussions of our actions. If you are looking for ways to stop the throwaway culture and change our world for the better, here are some simple steps you can take.

1) Find Alternatives To Everyday Items

One of the best ways to help reduce your overall waste is to find alternatives to the everyday items that you use. For example, straws are one of the most discarded items that cause pollution and harm to animals. These things are used for only a few minutes of your day and are not actually necessary. Try to eliminate straws by asking for no straws or bringing your own reusable metal straw with you.

You can also use reusable shopping bags instead of the traditional plastic bags you get at a store. These are terrible for the environment and are already starting to be phased out of many states. Bring your reusable bag with you. This may take an extra thirty seconds for you, but it will be well worth the small amount of time.

2) Donate Clothing

We live in a culture where people have closets and dressers full of clothes that they will never get the chance to wear. If you have more clothes than you could ever wear in a month, it is time to start thinking about donating your clothes. Do not put them out on the curb for trash. Instead, think about where you can donate them. There are millions of people around the world that do not have enough clothes to wear. You can help society by donating your clothes. Try giving them to local organizations or even requesting that someone come to your house to collect them for you. If you have any sheets, blankets, or pillows, that you want to get rid of, you should also consider giving these items to a local animal shelter.

3) Shop At Secondhand Stores

Another great way to help stop the culture of throwing away perfectly good items is to shop at secondhand stores. Not only will this help give life to others peoples goods, but it will also help save you money. You can find anything from clothes to baby toys to home decor and more. There are an endless number of items you can find and give new meaning to.

The items that you buy can be redesigned and rebuilt to add functionality and character to your home. For instance, you may decide to purchase an outdated bookshelf and turn it into a work of art that can serve as a bookshelf, entertainment stand or dresser. Look for the numerous possibilities that come with shopping at a secondhand store. You can save money and help reduce waste.

4) Compost

Another great way to reduce waste is to start composting. If you take on this journey you will be able to better understand how much you and your family really waste. It will help you appreciate what you have and may encourage you to do more for others.

When composting you can take your leftovers, scraps and unwanted food and add them to a garden. The soil will absorb some of the nutrients and help you grow a better garden. It allows you to reuse the nutrients in a different way and give life to new food that will benefit both your mind and body in countless ways.

These ideas are just some of the ways to help get you out of the throwaway culture.

Tips and tricks for shopping secondhand clothing

Each month the average person spends about 160 dollars on clothing related items. If you are looking to save money and better the environment, you may want to consider shopping for clothes at a secondhand store. Here are some of the top tricks and tips you can use to help you get the best clothes for the best price.

1) Try Clothes On

One of the best ways to ensure you get the clothing that you will love is to simply try them on before you purchase them. Remember used clothing is different than new clothes because they have been worn and washed before. This means that the sizes could be a little off and may not fit you like you would anticipate. Make sure that you try on the clothes before you leave the store so that you can save the money and only walk away with the items you truly love.

2) Don’t Feel Pressured To Buy

Remember, if you do not find something you like you do not need to buy something just to buy something. Some people feel the need to purchase something when they go shopping simply because they cannot walk away empty handed. Do not let this be you. Save your money until you find something you really want or need.

3) Know What You Have

Another thing that you need to be aware of before you go shopping is what you have in your closet. Know what you have, and more importantly, what what you actually wear. Try to find simple items from a secondhand store that you know you use with the items you already have in your closet. It is unlikely that you will be able to find an entire outfit you love at one secondhand store, so shop for separates.

4) Know Your Style

Another way to get the best deal at a secondhand shop is to know your style before you even start shopping. Know what you like and how it fits your body. Look for unique pieces that will fit you well and look great on you. If you find something you like, but are unsure if you will actually wear it, walk away. Go home and think about what you want and if you would really use it or if will just sit in the closet. It will likely be there the next day so you can go and buy it then.

5) Shop Around

There are several secondhand stores in all towns and cities. Shop around and make a whole day out of shopping. Enjoy the day and take your time going from store to store. If you don’t find something at one place, you may find it at another.

6) Bring Friends

To make shopping fun and to make sure you get what looks good on you, you should bring some honest and fun friends with you. They may know your style and clothing better than you. They can help you figure out what looks best on you and help you find unique and one of a kind pieces you will be proud of.