It’s actually really easy! Everyone can do it.
Being environmentally conscious can be a daunting subject to discuss. It has a huge stigma attached to it that it requires a lot of effort, is inconvenient, or costs a lot of money.
That is just not true, in fact it usually saves you money!
We need everyone to do little things, in order to make a big difference!
I have some very basic (and easy!) habits that you can implement in your daily life to give a little more love to the planet.
I have created an easy-to-implement eco-friendly starter guide to help you do little things, that make a big impact on the environment!
I am in no way AT ALL suggesting you should take on every single one of these ideas immediately. Try 1 or 2 things, then another, then add another etc etc. If you take on too much (of anything) straight away, you are likely setting yourself up for failure. We don’t want that. Habits take time to stick. I am certainly not perfect at this, and still trying to figure it all out and do my best as well. Just make an effort 🙂
You don’t need to go from 0 to 100 in 3.5. It’s all about the little things.
Alright, that’s enough, let’s get to the good stuff!
Single-use items are a very detrimental problem to the environment. But you already know that, it is pretty common knowledge these days. Here are some really simple things to help you choose re-usable over single-use!
Skip the takeaway cup the coffee shops give you and get yourself a quality keep cup. It will keep your coffee hotter for much longer (especially if you are a slow drinker like me), and it looks so much cuter too! Some coffee shops will even give you a discount if you bring your own cup. More incentive…
OR forget takeaway all together and have your coffee in house. Sit down for a few minutes and have your drink at the coffee shop in a real mug! Whoa, ground breaking, right??
Slow down, enjoy the moment, do some people watching. It’s a whole experience!
Re-usable shopping bags are catching on these days. But we are all forgetful sometimes, or we need to pick up some things last minute on our way home. Keep a few in your car at all times for these situations, or near the front door.
Pop a nice tote folded up into your purse or backpack. This is especially useful for those occasions we go to the mall and treat ourselves to a couple things. Skip the single-use bag the store gives you, and toss it in your cute tote! That is one less bag used, and minimising the stores need for more!
There is almost no need to buy plastic water bottles anymore. Truly. It is really easy to carry a re-fillable water bottle with you. There are so many options out there. Buy a cute water bottle to have with you on the daily. I honestly feel like I even drink more water when I have a bottle I really like to drink it from!
Fashion & Shopping
Now I know this is a HUGE topic to cover, but it is one that I am most passionate about so let’s just scratch the surface. Fast fashion is one of the leading waste generators. It can be VERY tempting to buy that $20 new top, but I guarantee it will not last more than a season (or 1-2 wears…), then end up in the landfill.
Like I said, let’s not talk too much about this now. The general rule of thumb: avoid buying fast fashion items!
This includes places like H&M, PrettyLittleThing, FashionNova, Shein, Zara, Mango, Boohoo, Forever21. I could go on and on and on.
- Taking a look at what you already have! Styling is everything. Put a new spin on an existing piece in your wardrobe. It’s free too! Winning all around.
- Buying local. This option is usually more ethical / locally made, ie a more informed purchase.
- Purchase second-hand (thifting yaaaaas)
- Have a clothing swap with your friends. Something they don’t wear anymore could be your next favourite!
- Invest in quality items that will last for years to come and are versatile. I am talking Little Black Dress vibes. A piece you can choose time and time again, that you know you will always love and feel good in.
I am going to be making more posts dedicated to this later.
So, more to come on this topic at a later stage.
In The Bathroom
Wash your hair less
Okay, I know this sounds really weird, but hear me out!! There are so many benefits, not only for the environment, but for you too!
Your hair will be healthier if you wash it less. Let those natural oils come through, let it get a little dirty! Not only will your hair will grow longer & thicker faster (this goes for the men too!), but it is SO much less work. The ladies out there know the struggles. Shampoo, condition, brushing, drying… SO MUCH WORK.
Save some time and train your hair to go longer between washes. I highly recommend checking out @jasmineraehairco on instagram. Watch her Hair Training highlight bubble, it will change your life.
Training my hair helped me grow it back from a disaster of a dye-job in Paris. I’m talking hair falling out as she was combing it. It ended in chopping it all off months later. And now look!!
Bleached blonde > shoulder length > natural & long
ALSO, shorter showers by skipping the hair wash mean less water used, and thus cheaper water bills! What will you do with all this extra money and time?!
Switch to Bars
Make the switch to a shampoo bar which has zero waste. The packaging is usually compostable, or even package free if you buy in-store (LUSH Cosmetics for example)! These bars are generally a lot better for you with less chemicals and harsh ingredients on your hair. They also last a lot longer getting you more washes out of it than from the bottle. This is a very easy switch and super cost effective!
While you are at it, skip buying a bottle of body wash, and use a bar of soap instead. I love buying mine at local markets and knowing exactly where my soap is made, (usually with love too!) and where the ingredients came from. Supporting local AND the environment!
Safety / Stainless steel razor
Ditch disposable razors and razor blades. Get yourself a stainless steel razor, and you’ll never go back. They will give you a MUCH closer shave, and are a lot more cost effective too. New blades are far kinder on your wallet than the disposable ones. Most companies will even have a great recycling program that sanitise, sharpen then re-sell blades. Yay recycling!
OR a really great investment that I have recently made is laser hair removal. This is of course a more pricey option, but wow does it do wonders! No more ingrown hairs, razor burn, cuts, or wasted time. But, like I said before, definitely an investment. Since it has picked up in popularity, you can usually find a great package deal at a reputable clinic.
Did you know that a regular toothbrush takes roughly 500 YEARS to decompose. Yeah, 500! That is more than 5 times an expected human lifetime.
This is such a simple switch. Bamboo toothbrushes are naturally decomposable and can break down in a short few months when put into your home or commercial compost. Just remember to pull out the bristles if needed (refer to original packaging).
In The Kitchen
Again, single-use is enemy number 1.
When you’re at the store, opt out of anything wrapped in unnecessary plastic. Veggies in bags, pre-made meals, meats in packaging (not easy to find I know). Simply try to reach for the fresh lettuce vs the pre-packaged option.
Skip the produce bags and bring your own. Or even better if you can shop at local famers markets! Fresher, tastier, eco-friendly, and supporting a local!
Of course, remember to bring your re-usable grocery bags too! Leave them in the car, or by the front door if you’re forgetful like me. Most stores have banned plastic bags, but often you can still purchase them. Paper bags are better, but also unnecessary if you bring your own totes.
Hopefully you are all already doing this, but a huge issue in this department is making sure it is clean. ALWAYS rinse/wash what you are recycling. If it has any food on it, you will contaminate the whole bin, and it will not be recycled.
This means no pizza residue on pizza boxes, no food on paper plates (side note: why are people still using these…), plastic containers must be cleaned, etc. I am sure you get the idea.
You will also be saved from bad smells that linger from unwashed recycling sitting in your house. Win, win!
Food Waste Bin / Compost
This isn’t always practical or achievable for everyone (I have to admit I am not the best with this at times), but it makes a big difference. When I do this, I notice how much of my waste is actually just food and can naturally decompose. That means no harm to Momma Nature!
Keep a small bin in the kitchen to slip food waste into. Make sure it has a lid, and you empty it often.
Empty it either into a home compost bin in your yard, or city often have an Organic Waste Management programme that you can get a big bin for outdoors.
Make it cute! Make it subtle. It can go with your decor, and no one will even know it’s food waste! Or you can hide it in a cupboard. So many options!
For The Ladies
This next recommendation is probably my favourite from this whole Eco-friendly starter guide!
If you haven’t tried a period cup yet, this is your sign! (have you heard this before?)
Period cups are so low maintenance, and was a huge game changer for me. I only need to tend to it once in the AM and once in PM. Boom done. I am worry free about leaks during the day, and sleeping soundly during the night.
It took me a bit to get used to it, and to figure it out for my body, but once I did I love it. I know it is not for everyone, but give it a try if you haven’t yet.
They’re easy to clean (just boil in water for 10 minutes), and you only have to buy it once. You’ll save on money, time, stress, and undies. If you know, you know.
Another great option that is widely available now are period panties. I have many friends that love these! They also come in really cute style and prints too. You can even use these in combination with your period cup.
Ditch those single use make-up cotton pads. There are some amazing options available now that you can use time and time again! They are really easy to clean – Just throw them in with the laundry. Most companies will provide a mesh bag for washing so that they do not get damaged in the washing machine.
They feel so much nicer on the skin, and the planet will thank you for it too.
These are just a few things that can make a big difference in the grand scheme.
With all that being said, I would never expect anyone to go and throw away everything they own and start over. That is not the idea at all, and not environmentally conscious either. Use what you have, and then make a better choice for the next time.
Run out of disposable razors? Perfect time to make the switch to a safety razor.
Finish all your tampons? Grab a period cup at the store instead!
Forgot your keep cup at home? Drink your coffee in the cafe that day.
Used up all the shampoo in the bottle? Choose a shampoo bar to replace it next!
I hope that these ideas seem easy to implement into your life, and that you are a little inspired to try and make more eco-friendly choices! Like I said before, a little goes a long way.