Over the past few years, living sustainably and responsibly has been increasingly important to me. I’ve developed a lifestyle with sustainable and eco-friendly habits that is comfortable, but this year I want to do more. I want to push myself out of my comfort zone. Living an earth-friendly lifestyle isn’t always convenient or easy, but it’s worthwhile. So, here are the ways I’ll be striving to be “greener” in 2018.
1. Reusable cotton rounds
It’s occurred to me before how wasteful single-use cotton rounds are, but I never had the AHA! moment until recently. I was standing in front of the packages of cotton rounds at HEB and found myself thinking “man, there has got to be a better way!” I did some googling and I found out there are actually reusable cotton rounds, made out of materials like terrycloth or linen. I purchased some off of Etsy, and I am so pleased with them. They are perfect to remove makeup or apply toner! I’m sure they’re good for even more uses, but these are my main ones.
2. Composting to divert waste
I’m finally doing it! Every time I make juice I feel so guilty putting the pulp and produce waste in the trash. I’m so excited to start diverting a portion of our waste by composting instead of sending it to the landfill!
Along with my composting, I want to start growing my own veggies! I’ve talked about doing this forever. But this is the year! I’m going to have Matt help me build raised beds where I’ll plant cucumbers, tomatoes, and some other veggies. My parents grow a lot of their own produce in their backyard garden, and the stuff they grow is some of the most delicious I’ve tasted. I’m very excited about how this will reduce my carbon footprint, because hey, your backyard is as local as food gets!
4. My MightyFix subscription
I am the biggest fan of this subscription service, I cannot sing its praises enough! At $10/month, MightyFix sends you one item a month that will enable you to move towards a more sustainable, healthy, and responsible lifestyle. If I’ve learned anything during my journey to an eco-friendly lifestyle, it’s that you can’t do everything all at once. Especially at the beginning. The best way is to change one habit or product at a time. Once you’re comfortable with that one change, then find another. Repeat, repeat, repeat. MightyFix is a great encourager because you get one item per month. My first ever MightyFix was a set of reusable wool dryer balls, meant to replace dryer sheets (which are made from synthetic fibers and don’t degrade). I got the hang of using these, and the next month I received a stainless steel takeout container, which I now take with me to restaurants in my purse for any leftovers. Another month I received bamboo utensils, which I use in the place of plastic cutlery when eating out.
Getting my MightyFix in the mail is one of the highlights of my month! I highly recommend it to everyone who wants to move towards a more sustainable lifestyle. If you want to try the MightyFix, use the promo code DRYERFIX2018 so you can get three reusable wool dryer balls with your first month for only $3! Or you can get two sheets of Bee’s Wrap (an alternative to saran wrap) for $3 with for your first month with promo code BEESFIX2018.
5. Buying only fair trade clothing
From now on I want to make the conscious decision to purchase fair trade, ethical clothing over fast fashion. I want to start using my money more responsibly when it comes to ethics of the products I purchase, and clothing is a huge issue when it comes to social sustainability. Purchasing products that are fair trade certified can reduce poverty, encourage environmentally friendly production methods, and safeguard humane working conditions. While fair trade clothing is more expensive than simply opting for Old Navy, I hope this will force me to take a look at my consumption habits and be more thoughtful with how I’m spending my money. Not just in terms of personal budgeting, but also what ethics I’m supporting (or not supporting).
6. Purchasing more intentional and eco-friendly products
If I’m going to be putting more thought into what clothes I’m buying, I might as well start putting more thought into my other purchases and products. I want to use my money to support companies who are working to better this world in some way, whether that’s through working towards social justice, gender equality, poverty alleviation, or environmental sustainability.
For example, have you ever put thought into what you’re supporting with the money you use to buy a phone case? My new favorite company is Movement. They have an amazing vision for cell phone cases of all things! In 2016 the world purchased enough phone cases to wrap around the earth FOUR times, and to cover more than 80,000 football fields. For every phone case purchased, Movement will recycle your old one. And they even donate a portion of their proceeds to conservation organizations with the goal of reducing plastic pollution and marine debris.
How amazing is that? By doing something as simple as buying a case for your new iPhone, you can make a greater impact! I want to actively seek these purchasing opportunities out from now on.
7. Shopping with reusable produce bags
I’ve got the reusable grocery bags down, and I never make a grocery run without them. But I’m not as good at bringing my reusable produce bags. I recently ordered more mesh produce bags, and I will bring them with me every time I go to the store. I always feel like such a hypocrite when I check out because I bring my reusable grocery bags, but then load them up with fruits and veggies stored in those stupid single-use plastic produce bags. Not this year! I’m kicking that plastic habit, one item at a time.
How are y’all going green in 2018? I’d love to hear your goals for the year!