Easy, Sustainable Switches You Can Make Now

Recycling has been jammed into our heads from a young age and while it's a huge first step, being eco-friendly is so much more than recycling. Often our biggest sources of waste come from everyday items you don't think about. This Earth Day, let's give back to mother nature by making some easy, sustainable switches.

Bags

You may have already seen the reusable shopping bags that customers carry around Greenwise. These bags are only $1 and are a must when shopping, but did you think about all the other bags you use? How about when you go to the mall to buy a new sweater? Or when you're picking out avocadoes for your morning toast? Or when you pack a sandwich for lunch? Not only can you bring reusable totes with you when you go shopping, but you can also invest in reusable produce bags and sandwich bags! I get it, sometimes you slip up and forget your bags. Don't beat yourself up, you can still make eco-friendly choices. If you can opt for paper bags, they're biodegradable, and you can reuse them for crafts (like for minimalist wrapping paper). If the store doesn't offer paper bags, you can recycle your plastic bags at the designated bins in front of Publix (not in your standard recycling bin!) or reuse them as trash bags. Whatever you do, make sure not to throw them away after only one use!

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Bottles

It takes over 1,000 years for a plastic water bottle to decompose; that is if they aren't consumed by marine life first. With affordable reusable water bottles, there's no excuse why you shouldn't switch to tap water. Not only will using a reusable bottle save you money, but you can look stylish while protecting the environment. If you're still not convinced that tap water has the same taste as bottled water, you can jazz it up with some fruit. Lemon, cucumbers, strawberries, the possibilities are endless! Don't just stop there though, bring your reusable cups when grabbing your morning coffee. Most places, including Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, will even offer a discount for using a reusable cup. Don't forget you're reusable straw!

Courtesy: Gabrielle

Hygiene

Chances are when you think of being eco-friendly your brain doesn't automatically jump to brushing your teeth. But if you compile all the plastic used from toothpaste, to floss (especially if you use floss picks), to the actual toothbrush, you'll be shocked. Don't worry; I'm not suggesting skipping out on oral hygiene, just investing in more sustainable options. From bamboo toothbrushes to biodegradable flosstoothpaste powder, and mouthwash tablets there are lots of alternatives to make your hygiene eco-friendly!

Courtesy: Jury Clothing Shop

Buy in Bulk

Reusable bags aren't the only way you can reduce waste while grocery shopping; buying in bulk will exponentially decrease the amount of waste you consume. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of bulk stores in Florida, but you can still be mindful when grocery shopping. Instead of buying a bag full of almonds, go to Greenwise and fill up your mason jars with some from the bulk section. When storing your leftovers, you can use reusable plastic wrap to cut down your waste further.

Courtesy: Hey Katie

Food

There are many different eco-friendly diets you can adopt. For instance, choosing a plant-based diet will not only save animals, but it will also drastically cut down on greenhouse gases! There are plenty of online resources to help with your transition to a plant-based lifestyle. When your done eating your deliciously vegan food, make sure to compost. It is the perfect fertilizers, helps reduce what gets thrown into the landfill and so much more!

Courtesy: @blueollis

Clothing

Fast Fashion, an approach to the design, creation and marketing of fashion that emphasizes making trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers, comes with significant drawbacks (Merriam Webster). Not only are there severe humanitarian concerns, with unpaid and child labor, but also environmental concerns, toxins used to dye clothing polluted our environments along with thousands of products that get thrown away. Whether you decide to combat fast fashion by thrift shopping or just investing in high-quality, sustainable brands, your shopping habits can make a huge difference.

With switches this easy and trendy that also save your money, there's no reason why we all can't do our part in protecting our home! It's okay if you can't make all these sustainable switches, but every little part helps. I only listed simple eco-friendly switches but if you're interested in going low/no waste I would highly recommend checking out Rachel Aust, The Girl Gone Green and Sustainable Vegan on YouTube!