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35 affordable ways to live an eco friendly lifestyle

Looking for some easy ways to live a more eco friendly lifestyle?


After reading this, you'll learn about some easy tips to reduce your waste that will help lower your carbon footprint, and contribute less to the landfills.


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The waste problem


In this post, I'm going to be talking a lot about waste.


Waste is anything you throw away, recycle, or compost. Its generally anything that you don't need to use anymore so you discard it in some way.


Waste is a huge problem for the planet. It takes up a lot of space, it contributes to greenhouse gasses, and we simply just don't have the means to deal with as much waste we are contributing.


Incinerating trash produces toxins, pollution in the air, and contributes to acid rain.


Trash is actually wasteful.


It wastes the materials that were used, the energy, time, and resources it took to create that thing.


If we reduce our waste, we can reduce our environmental impact.


What you can do


As of now, there's no end to our trash problem, and instead is just getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

One thing we can do as individuals is just contribute less to the trash crisis.


Maybe it feels like you can't make that big of a difference by yourself.


But if we each person is a bit more mindful of every product we buy and our potential impact, we can make a big impact as a collective.


It just takes some good product swaps, and small changes in habit.


Start with one or two things, then move on to other parts of the list and slowly shift your habits to more sustainable ones.




Buy eco friendly products... when you're in the market for it.


Keep in mind, when you buy products that are more eco friendly, we are using our buying power to tell companies that we want more eco friendly, and less wasteful products.


So if you're at the store and you have a choice between recycled toilet paper or non recycled, choose the recycled because businesses will follow demand trends.


If consumers are buying more eco-conscious, they will start to make more products that are eco-friendly.


However, sustainable living isn't a trend, it's a lifestyle.


So don't think this is a call to purchase every item on this list.


In facts, that's less sustainable because of the packaging, fuel, and other resources it costs to bring you these products.


But if you're in the market for some of these products already, then definitely opt for the eco friendly alternative.



In the store


1. Buy products that are package-free or packaged in paper, cardboard, or recycled materials.


2. Bring reusable produce bags like these mesh produce bags or these cotton mesh bags (shown below) instead of the plastic ones at the store.



3. Fill up from the bulk aisle - Whole Foods & Sprouts has great bulk food options from coffee & tea to nuts, rice, oats, and even candy.


Just bring your own bags or jars and pay only for the product, not the packaging!



4. Shop from zero waste stores.


In Las Vegas, I really like Minimal Market LV - they have a really great selection of zero-waste products that you can get delivered. They also have pop up shops to refill your laundry soap.


Do a quick search to see if there's something like that near you.


Dining out


5. Bring your own coffee mug and drink cups! I like this one for hot drinks because it's a glass mug and has the stopper on top.




6. Carry this utensil & straw kit.


It's compact, and fits easily inside a large bag or purse. The kit comes with a foldable spork, 2 collapsible straws, and 2 straw cleaners.


I carry it around with me in case I get anything to go. That way, at least I'm saving a fork, spoon, or some straws from being used and thrown away.



7. If possible, choose to dine in or drink your coffee inside instead of taking it to go. Dining in means less plastic containers, cups, and straws.


In the kitchen


8. For dishes, I personally love this natural loofah dish sponge. They're great for cleaning and they're compostable!


9. For tougher scrubbing on skillets and pans, I use these bamboo dish brushes and they work amazing!




10. Swap out plastic wrap and use beeswax food wrap instead. They are washable and reusable so you can use again and again.


11. Use silicone reusable ziplock bags instead of the plastic one time use.


12. Use loose leaf tea with tea infusers instead of individually wrapped tea bag - I like to get tea from the bulk aisle in Sprouts.


13. Clean up spills with a cloth rag instead of grabbing a new paper towel each time you wipe your counters.


14. Or you can also get these reusable paper towels.


15. Use silicone baking mats instead of foil, wax, or parchment paper.


In the bathroom


16. Use shampoo/conditioner/soap/lotion bars instead of liquid ones in plastic containers


I recommend Moon Valley Organics Herbal Shampoo because of their super natural ingredients and they support pollinator habitats (save the bees!)


17. Switch to bamboo toothbrushes.


Did you know 1 billion toothbrushes are thrown out every year? Bamboo toothbrush handles are compostable and these come in cardboard packing.



18. Use reusable makeup remover pads to wipe off your makeup. They're washable, all natural, and made of bamboo.


I like these ones because they come in grey. I've used white ones that just get stained with mascara and no longer look very clean even after washed.


19. Buy toilet paper made from recycled materials - the recycling process has no use if we don't actually buy products made from recycled material!


20. Or try bamboo toilet paper! Bamboo is more sustainable because it grows quickly and more abundantly than trees.



21. Ladies, it's time to ditch tampons & pads.


Try a menstrual cup! I've made the switch, and I love that I no longer have to spend money on products that are just wasteful and toxic to your body.



Closet


According to remake world,


"Globally, 80% of discarded textiles are doomed for the landfill or incineration. Only 20% are actually reused or recycled."

22. Shop second hand - it's easier and better than ever to shop second hand. Check out my guide below on thrift stores


23. If possible, shop local and in person instead of online - shipping requires extra unnecessary packaging.


24. Donate gently used clothes to Savers & Goodwill to give them another life!


25. Textile Recyling - If you have clothes that are torn, or otherwise unfit for donating, bring in a bag to an H&M store for recycling. They'll even give you a 15% off coupon!


26. If you want to get crafty, upcycle your old clothes by giving them a makeover. Tie-dye, bleach, and chop your t-shirts to turn old into new!


27. Repurpose old clothes by cut up old clothes, undies, towels, and using as cleaning rags.


Check out this article on 11 things to do with old underwear instead of throwing them away. This is great inspiration on how to repurpose something like old underwear!



Related: How 2 sisters created an ethical & sustainable loungewear brand from the ground up


My go-to thrift stores

  • Buffalo Exchange - They have a nice mix of unique, vintage, and current trendy items. I love to bring in a bag of clothes to swap out and I usually end up with a free outfit!

  • Plato's Closet - They tend to stick to trendy clothes and pay cash for your clothes.

  • Savers & Goodwill - A great selection for second hand home decor, furniture, clothes, literally anything for a fraction of retail. You may not find something on every trip, but most of the time I find some real gems.

  • Poshmark App - Buy second hand directly from people all over the world on your phone! Make sure to check out my shop and use my code "judyrina" anywhere on the app for $10 off your first order!


Re-use


Even though you try your best, there's going to be times when you forget your reusable bags, order coffee on the go, or somehow acquire other plastic goods.


In those times, don't fret! I always try to reuse something a few times before putting it in the recycling or trash.


Common items you can reuse or repurpose


28. Reuse old plastic toothbrushes as scrubbers for cleaning shoes or other small items.


29. Reuse to-go containers as Tupperware at home.


30. Reuse the plastic coffee cup & straws for the next time you want to take your home made coffee to go!



Recycle


Some places have adopted recycling everywhere and is even mandatory. But in some places, like my hometown Las Vegas, there's not always an option to recycle. Especially if you live in an apartment complex!



31. If you live in a complex where they don't do recycling pick up, ask a friend who is part of the local recycle program and see if they will take your recyclables for you.


32. For electronics that no longer work, bring them into a Best Buy for recycling. You can also do a quick search in your town to see where you can donate e-waste as they are hazardous in landfills.


33. Buy recycled products - in order for recycling programs to be effective, the recycled material have to be used for something else.


Buy recycled goods as much as possible to show these businesses that's what we want. That includes toilet paper, notebooks, paper towels, tissues, and anything else you can find made of recycled material.


Compost


Composting is the process of breaking down organic material and getting turned into dirt. It can either use worms to compost (vermicomposting) or without, and it will get broken down by microbes.


Many people think that if they don't live near a composting facility or they don't want to start their own, they just have to throw away their food scraps into the regular trash.


34. Start your own compost


35. Donate your compostable scraps to someone who will compost it for you.


I recently started my own compost with worms in a bin. Here's how I did it.



Worm compost is great if you have a garden or plants that you can use the castings (aka worm poop) because its really beneficial and works as a fertilizer.


There's lots of information out there on composting so you can decide if it's something that you want to do.


If not, no worries! You can still set aside your compostable material (food scraps such as banana peels, egg shells, coffee grounds, paper, cardboard) and donate it to someone who would love to compost that for you!


Composting for people who don't want to compost


Before I started my own compost, I used to take my food scraps to the local farmer's market where they had a compost and gladly accepted my organic material so they can have fresh fertilizer for their garden.



Here's how I did it, totally smell and mess free!

  • Get a food scrap bin. The one I have is no longer available but this one is close. It holds a lot so you don't have to empty it out so often. It's still small enough to fit in the fridge.

  • Get some compostable bags to line the bin. This will make it easier to gather all the scraps and take them to your nearest farmer's market

  • Collect organic food scraps, such as apple cores, banana peels, potato skins, and any other waste from produce that you would normally throw away.

  • Keep the bin inside your fridge so it doesn't get smelly.

  • When the bag gets full, tie it up and store it in the freezer until it's time to take it to a farmer's market


Final Tips


Overall, there's a ton of things you can do to greatly reduce your contribution to

the landfills.


The next time you reach for something that's single use, ask yourself if there's an alternative that is more eco friendly.


It just takes a little bit of awareness on how and what you are consuming!


We can all make a difference. It starts with changing one habit at a time, and after a year, you'll look back and realize what a big difference you've made in your waste consumption!


Check out these great articles also:

- How 2 sisters created an ethical & sustainable loungewear brand

- 4 delicious, easy & quick vegan meals to try

- How I manifested clear skin


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