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8 Easy Ways You Can Live More Sustainably

As our society has evolved, we have adapted to live in this toss-and-go lifestyle. We buy a coffee then throw away the cup, top and cardboard sleeve when we are done with it. Although this lifestyle is very convenient, many of us do not see the full effect of what we are doing. 

1. Be aware of how much you are consuming

The easiest thing you can do to live more sustainably is to become more aware of how much you are consuming. Look in your bedroom and bathroom. Take a look at those receipts lingering at the bottom of your purse. How many of those products do you still use? How much of what you own is junk? How much of the things in your room do you actually use on an every day basis? If the answer is everything, then go you. If the answer is not much, then realize that you don’t need these things.

2. Bring your own cup/bag

Less than 20 percent of plastic water bottles get recycled. This problem is very easily avoidable by using your own reusable bottle. At most chain coffee stores you get a discount for bringing your own, like Starbucks. Starbucks rewards you with a 10 cent discount. This eventually adds up for those coffee lovers. 

3. Recycle plastic, cardboard, etc.

So many things can be recycled, and take very little effort to do so. The problem is, many people are not aware of what can and cannot be recycled. Below is a picture depicting what can/cannot be recycled. Take a look and make sure you are not throwing away recycled in the garbage.

4. Buy locally

Buying from your local farmer’s market can help you live sustainably in many ways. If you live in a city or close to a farmer’s market and can walk there, then you are cutting down on pollution by not using a car. Buying locally supports small businesses and are usually the healthier option. 

5. Order less takeout and make more of your own food

Buying locally, like at a farmer’s market, reduces the options of frozen TV dinners becoming your main dinners. Farmer’s markets contain lots of fresh, in-season fruits and veggies and other fresh foods. By buying these, you will be more likely to cook your own food using these rather than relying on frozen TV dinners and ramen noodles. 

6. Buy products that don’t have packaging

Products that have packaging produce an enormous amount of trash because the entire packaging usually becomes trash once the product is bought. To prevent this problem, try buying items that do not have packaging. Most of these items can be found at farmer’s markets. Others, can be found at all natural stores, like Lush Cosmetics. 

7. Switch from plastic to glass and aluminum

Mason jar it up! Use mason jars instead of plastic bags that get easily thrown away. Not to mention mason jars are super trendy. 

8. Compost

Once you use food, reduce trash by composting it! Composting is as easy as throwing away the peels and pit of fruits and veggies outside to rot and decompose back into our earth. Anything that rots can be composted. 

All of these are just suggestions. Just doing one of them can reduce your footprint on Earth. If anything, do number one and just become more aware of how much trash you are producing and think of ways you can cut down. Many of these ways cost nothing, and actually save you money in the long run.

Photo credits: Cover photo, 1, 2, 3 

Meagan is a Junior at Virginia Commonwealth University obtaining a degree in bachelor of Science (B.S) with a concentration in Health Science. Meagan would describe herself as a free spirit whose goal in life is to be happy. She is interested in natural and organic beauty products and enjoys fashion and makeup. Although she does not label herself as vegan, she tries to eat mostly plant-based. Meagan's career goal is to be a health and wellness writer for a company. She will be graduation in the year 2020. Currently, Meagan is an active She enjoys all things natural beauty and sustainability. She was born and raised in Northern Virginia where she lived with her Mom, Dad, and older brother who attends Virginia Tech.
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