Life is difficult, everyone is busy. I am aware that some people have to deal with such struggles that sustainability does not come off as their first priority. While I do accept to be described as an “ethical influencer” (I want to do a full post on the terminology), do not expect a “holier-than-you” attitude. No judge Judy here, I simply hope to provide and share pieces of information that allow you to do your own research and make your own choices. Without further ado, here are 5 doable, sensible steps to reduce waste without impacting your budget negatively or taking up your time.
Keep a glass straw, a tote bag and reusable cup nearby (#saynotoplastic)
Beauty Heroes came up with this brilliant idea to include a glass straw in one of their previous discovery boxes to familiarize people with it. In general, every little step to use less plastic is a positive step. Plastic bags and utensils are ranked as the greatest threats, especially for ocean pollution. Carrying a tote bag is also an easy way to avoid resorting to plastic bags in supermarkets. You can get those baggu bags (compact and foldable) that won’t take up too much space in your handbag. Feel free to check out Instagram and the hashtag (#saynotoplastic) for tips on reducing daily consumption of plastic and see which eco-habits would be easy for you to take up.
2. Don’t switch phone every year, keep your electronics for as long as you can
Every year, Apple Keynotes event fuels a growing exasperation in me. Releasing a new iPhone with only a few added tweaks and upgrades but nothing revolutionary seems like an utter waste of resources. Today, it’s impossible to keep track of all the new tech devices launching and gadget-makers seem unfazed by the ecological impact. E-waste is a real concern. If you’re looking for a mobile phone, an interesting option to consider would a Fairphone. Fairphone has an extended durability due. Another way to reduce waste is ditching those plastic phone cases and buy one made of recyclable materials. I bought a Pela case last year and it is still in perfect condition. Made with starch-based polymers and recycled flax straw, their packaging is minimal and they are 100% compostable. One case is sufficient, why give your phone a new outfit every month? 😉
3. Don’t leave the water running.
Chances are you’ve heard this one multiple times already but a reminder does not hurt. Little things – such as turning off the tap while brushing your teeth or washing your face, taking quick showers on days a bath is not a necessity – go a long way. Teaching these habits to children is even greater. If you’re interested in supporting brands focused on water conservation, I reviewed the aptly called soap/body care line, Stop the Water While Using Me. Their philosophy revolves around saving water and helping regions that encounter water shortage. To learn more info on water conservation, this website offers multiple tips (here).
4. Reduce paper waste
If you’re a child or a teen from the 00’s, then chances are that you experienced the magic of Microsoft Word self-made birthday/party invites. Looking back, I remember making my printer go crazy with unnecessary impressions. One of the most recent weddings I went to didn’t resort to classic paper invites but sent out everything via email. The organization went smoothly because people were prompt to reply. Sending an invite online can be personalized and look awesome. It is also budget-friendly since you spend less on envelopes, stamps, and shipping.
Paperless Post has this amazing service where you can create custom invites, flyers, and e-cards for any occasion. They gave me a few virtual coins to use on their website and I thought I’d just work on an imaginary Halloween party. These are screen caps of the result. The website is super intuitive and it is easy-as-pie to create a custom card. The cards are animated, incorporating famous gifs and a variety of fun fonts allowing you to unleash your creativity. I opted for the Morticia Addams gif and I put over a little caption. Even though I am a sucker for handwritten notes, I keep paper courier to a minimum. Whenever I can send out a form, a card or an invite online, I just do it.
5. Share the tips around you and get social
Get the conversation on sustainability going. Ask around. You won’t believe how much you can learn just from discussing with people. Your friends, neighbors, coworkers, family may be having top tips on how to reduce waste and be more eco-friendly. I recently found out through an acquaintance that there was another recycling center in town. Talking about sustainability is not necessarily tedious nor constraining, it is a fascinating topic, encompassing new technologies, culture, lifestyle, science and more. Next time, instead of asking, ‘how’s the weather’, why not try ‘how do enjoy recycling’ 😉
If you have any tips on how to reduce waste, feel free to share in the comments or tag me on Instagram @lizthegreenspirit and I’ll share them on my IG stories.