hi guys! today, i wanted to talk about a bunch of different things that all kind of fall under the same category. there are so many things on the planet that i’d like to help with & that i want to be better about each day & i want to share those with you & challenge you to consider them as well!
i think that while one person alone can’t save the planet or all of the people on it, there are tons of little things that we can each do every day to help create a better world!
there’s global warming, millions of tons of waste being produced each year, plastic polluting our earth, carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere & child slaves producing millions of garments & products on supply chains. heavy, right?
how do we even begin to make a difference? isn’t this all so overwhelming? yes! it definitely is. i used to feel like i couldn’t tackle everything & didn’t know how to begin, so i thought i’d share some tips for sustainability + ethical, healthy living that i like to implement into my life each day.
1. canvas totes & farmers market bags
i like to use only canvas bags when grocery shopping! (i linked my favorite kind!) there is absolutely no reason to ever use plastic bags — portland actually prohibits them & only offers paper. i've developed a habit of keeping the bags on my door so that every time i leave the house i bring them out to my car! here is the farmers market bag i got. you can usually grab them at the checkout line, too! this helps save so many plastic bags from freely flying into our oceans, sewage systems & streets.
2. shop local
whenever possible, i encourage you to shop at your local farmers markets, co-ops & grocery stores. these are all supporting individual families, farms & your community as opposed to a CEO living in one of his 5 homes somewhere in Southern California. your dollar is benefiting the lives of those around you whenever you're purchasing local goods & groceries! organic is always the call when you can make the choice. this way, you're staying away from GMOs & scary pesticides.
shopping local is a big one for clothing as well! tags that say made in USA are generally being carefully crafted & typically created ethically (not always, though). i'd look into where everything you're purchasing is being manufactured, but if it's made in the USA or your home state, you're definitely off to a better start purchasing those than goods made in China, Bangladesh or anywhere else overseas. this one really means a lot to me! buying a sturdy, long lasting $28 tee shirt from Reformation that’s being made with our planet & the livelihoods of the manufacturers in mind makes an actual impact, as opposed to buying a $12 shirt from ASOS that will fall apart after you’ve worn it once. Not to mention fast fashion brands’ like ASOS’ working conditions – you can read more here.
3. use re-usable
get a HydroFlask, glass storage containers, reusable zip bags for snacks, GoToobs for your carry-on liquids & toiletries, steel mugs, canvas bags for grocery shopping, metal straws, use glass jars for bulk food essentials & refill them at your local co-op. all things that i am working on myself! i personally love Stasher!
perfect for meal prep, snacking & traveling!
4. do your research
find out who you're buying from! this is so easy to do when online shopping. check out the company's "about" page. if there is little to no info, it's safe to assume they're producing their products in China, Vietnam or Bangladesh on unmonitored supply chains, paying unfair wages to their employees, typically in unsafe working conditions. you'll know that a company is treating employees fairly & are conscious about their environmental impact when they're vocal about it. read about Reformation's practices & ABLE's practices to get a good look at what an ethical + sustainable company is.
5. use the think thirty app
i could go off on quite a tangent about this one, but all of the mainstream products we use each day are full of carcinogens, fragrance compounds, pesticides, hormones, and even toxins that damage our reproductive systems. of course, none of these massive companies have to inform anyone of these damaging chemicals. so many companies are even switching over to "Green" or "Natural" lines of product, though they aren't much better than the originals when you do some digging.
think cleaning supplies, hand soap, hair spray, all of your makeup products, your body washes, your hand sanitizer. the more ingredients a product has on the label, generally speaking, the worse it is. you can use the app Think Dirty to seek out alternatives to brands like Clorox, L'Oreal, Dial, Mrs. Meyers Clean Day, Shout!, All Free & Clear, Gain, etc. I've switched all of my home cleaning products over to Seventh Generation, soaps to Dr. Bronners, and beauty products over to all natural brands like Schmidt's, Pacifica, Tom’s of Maine, & Rejuva Minerals. it's so insane what kinds of chemicals & toxins are in all of our daily use products, not to mention what's in foods + drinks like Kraft, Gatorade & every soda in existence – full of corn syrups, toxic dyes & heaps of sugar. It shocks me that companies aren't required to disclose the harmful effects of their products. But luckily, as consumers with the internet & more technology than ever on our side, we're able to take a look into what we're using & what goes into the making of those products.
i encourage you to inform yourself & be aware of what you're putting on + in your body! every little thing can make a huge difference if you let it.