Everyone is talking about ways to improve yourself right now, but how about improving our lifestyle so it’s more ecologically sustainable? I want to show you 5 easy ways how you can immediately make your life greener.
Those steps take a little change in consumer behavior – which at first might require some extra thought to stick to it, but after a few times will be second nature to you and you won’t look back. Even if you can’t commit to it 100% all the time, give your best! It will not only help our planet by reducing (packaging) waste, it will also improve your own life quality. Do you want to know how?
5 Easy Ways to make your Life Greener
Switch to loose leaf tea!
Are you a tea drinker? What kind of tea do you drink? If you are like most people, you will gravitate towards the convenient packaged tea that comes in little single serving pouches. Have you ever considered in how many layers of packaging they are wrapped? Oftentimes tea is packaged the following way: The single serving tea bags are covered in a layer of plastic or paper, put in a cardboard box and wrapped in another layer of plastic. Why? There is so much unnecessary packaging involved that you can skip when buying loose leaf tea. This kind is usually only packed in one single layer. On top of that, the quality of loose leaf tea tastes so much better. See it like this: loose leaf tea usually has to have a much higher quality of product, as you actually see it – in those little remade packets, you often get more product dust than actually whole tea leaves or herbs. If you really can’t be bothered with portioning out your own tea, try to at least switch to tea that still has minimal packaging and no metal.
Get yourself a reusable strainer and start doing our environment and your tastebuds a favor by switching over to loose leaf tea!
Stop buying single use water bottles!
Are you one of those people that constantly get thirsty when they are out and about? How many bottles of single use water bottles have you already bought this week? Why not switch to a reusable bottle, that you can simply pop into your bag before you leave the house? There are so many different kinds of reusable bottles, there has to be one for you in there as well. Just make sure it’s free of BPA, so it can’t leach toxins into your drink. To be very safe, I would recommend glass (like my Lifefactory bottle) or stainless steel, but if you want the bottle to be very lightweight, why not get a bottle like my Vapur, that you can roll up after use? Here in Austria, tap water is perfectly fine to drink without filtering – but you might need to filter your water depending on where you live, or even use water from a drinking water tank. Everything is better than buying numerous small plastic bottles!
They are not doing our environment a favor, and also add up to quite a few Euros or Dollars a month – just try to calculate how much you usually spend on water in a month and you will see that the money you spend on getting a reusable bottles is actually not that much compared to what you spend on those bottles.
Refuse plastic bags!
Imagine your average shopping day. Let’s say you go to a drugstore, two grocery stores and probably stop by to get that cute t-shirt that you wanted for such a long time. How many plastic bags have you acquired already? Four! Then, you probably go to the bakery to get something sweet to take home with you for dessert and at night you get take out. Imagine how many plastic bags you accumulate this way. Crazy right? Most of them are not even recyclable that easily and end up in a landfill. Sure, if you use them for your trashcan, you reuse them, but can you really make a dent in your stash doing so? Yeah, I didn’t think so. You are probably accumulating more bags in a week than you need for your trash.
Simple solution: reusable grocery bags! Put one in every handbag you own, a few ones in your car and you will hardly ever need to accept a plastic bag. There are so many different kinds of reusable bags now that you are bound to find your ideal match. I have really thin foldable ones, big sturdy ones for heavier loads and many of the standard cotton ones. On top of saving the environment and clutter at home, you are also no longer a walking advertisement for the store where you bought your stuff, unless you bought the reusable bag there as well 😉
Stop the napkin mountain!
This one feels especially relevant to the USA to me. I have never been to any other country, where I’m swamped with such a wad of paper napkins at every restaurant, bar and bakery. Just say “no thanks” or “I only need one” if you have to get one when eating something out. Or, how about carrying a fabric napkin with you? If folds down small and you simply put it in the wash when it’s dirty.
Do you ever prepare your own meals to take with you? Do you put a paper towel or napkin with it? How about using a fabric napkin instead? It’s such a simple switch and on top of saving us from a mountain of throwaway paper napkins, they look much more elegant and nicer too!
Ditch the plastic straw!
Another habit I have mainly encountered in the USA – whenever you order a drink, it will come with a plastic straw. Why? Have people forgot how to drink out a glass? Sure, I get it for fancy mixed drinks and for bubble tea, they are way more fun to drink with a straw. But it’s not necessary to get a plastic straw with every single cup of water.
Just ask your waitress to omit the straw and/or bring your own resusable straw!
I love my Glass Dharma straw – it’s easy to clean, I can see what’s in there and it doesn’t take on any kind of taste. Bamboo or stainless steel straws are also good reusable options, even though I haven’t tried those myself.
What are YOUR tips on how to make your life greener now? Are you already incorporating those little things in your life? Let me know!