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4 Ways Sustainability and Organization Go Hand-in-Hand

Sustainability has a lot of secret sisters, including organization. Here, Brightly founder Laura Wittig shares four hacks that save her time, energy, and unnecessary waste.

sustainability organization
Written by
Riley Baker
Living a more sustainable lifestyle is all about paying attention to your consumer habits—investing in products with a longer life and lower footprint, repurposing what you have, and generally buying less. But there are a number of habits or changes that, though less obvious, ultimately lead to a more mindful and environmentally-friendly routine.
"Sustainability has a bunch of secret sisters," says Brightly founder Laura Wittig. One of those secret sisters is the simple act of organization. Actually organizing your collections of eco-friendly items (from clothes to food to personal care products) is a crucial step to ensuring that you’re making the most of what you have and saving time and money in the process.
Here, four simple hacks for organizing your home for a more sustainable (and more seamless) lifestyle.

4 Organization Hacks That Make Daily Life More Sustainable

1. Organize Your Pantry

sustainability organization
Wittig recently overhauled her home pantry using
IKEA’s BODARP matte gray-green kitchen series
, made using renewable electricity and featuring a foil made of recycled PET bottles. Along with the aesthetic appeal, the redesign ensures that Wittig and her family are able to see and access the food they have on hand, reducing duplicate buying and
food waste
—and saving time.
Considering that the United States Department of Agriculture (
) estimates between 30 and 40% of the food supply in the country is wasted at the retail and consumer levels, changing your at-home habits is a crucial step.

2. Try Meal Planning

Another organizational hack:
meal prep and planning
. Taking the time to batch cook, plan out menus, meals, portions, and more helps to ensure you're purchasing only what you need, and making use of what you purchase.

3. Employ the 'First In, First Out' Method

sustainability organization
The 'First In, First Out' method is a chef's favorite. To avoid contributing to the EPA-estimated
63.1 million tons
of annual food waste, store your perishables by freshness! The most recently bought food should be moved to the back, while the food that hasn’t been used should be moved closer to the front.

4. Stop Folding Your Laundry

sustainability organization
"The 'no fold' method is exactly what it sounds like: you don't fold your clothes," says Wittig, who recently adopted this time-saving
laundry strategy
. Rather than painstakingly folding your endless stream of clean laundry, just separate items into categorized piles, stack neatly, and store.
Along with saving you time and energy, "no-fold" forces you to get real about what you have and what you need, as an organized stack leaves less room for cramming items in.
Bonus: The 'no-fold' method lets the kids get in on the organizing action, too.