Let’s face it: the world of eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle tips can be a little overwhelming. If you’re like me, you’re probably eager to make a difference and start changing aspects of your daily routine but don’t know where to start.
I’ve got some good news for you. There are actually really simple and cost-effective ways to create a more sustainable lifestyle! In fact, I guarantee that there are aspects of your daily life that help the environment without you even knowing it. Keep reading to learn about some super easy ways to positively impact the environment and how you can take your eco-friendly habits to the next level.
Reusable Water Bottles: A Girl’s Best Friend
One of the biggest things you’re probably already doing to help the environment is carrying a reusable water bottle with you. Whether it be to the gym, on a hike, or running errands, carrying your own water bottle is convenient, cost-effective, and good for the environment. Skipping single-use plastic and using your own water bottle can save as many as 1,460 single-use plastic water bottles from entering the landfill every year. Using your own bottle can save you money as well if it replaces bottled water purchases.
To make this practice even more eco-friendly, consider investing in a bottle made from eco-friendly materials like aluminum, stainless steel, or glass. The upfront cost of an aluminum or glass bottle is slightly higher than a reusable plastic bottle, but you’ll avoid plastic waste at the end of the waterbottle’s life.
Shop ‘Til You Drop, But Make It Ethical
According to a study by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the rise of fast fashion in the late 1990s and early 2000s doubled clothing production in a 15 year period. This explosive growth, coupled with the fact that many consumers claim to only wear clothing a handful of times before throwing it away, results in millions of tons of textile waste every year.
The secondhand apparel industry is not only a fast-growing retail sector but also a cost-effective method of combating the textile waste making its way to our landfills every year. With the secondhand apparel industry on the rise, there are lots of options to choose from. Shop in-person at chain retailers or local consignment shops, or browse your favorite brands with online retailers like ThredUP. Find that perfect wardrobe addition or get creative and flip some of your thrifted finds!
While purchasing secondhand and giving a slightly used item a new life will always be a responsible decision, it is important to leave some types of items at thrift stores for shoppers that need afforable access to them. It is also worth noting that sometimes thrifting isn’t an option, as a new item is required. When it’s time to invest in a brand new clothing item, consider purchasing from an ethical brand that values eco-friendly production and fair labor practices.
Don’t know where to start? Check out Brightly’s Brand Directory where you can sort through dozens of amazing brands to find exactly what you need for any occasion.
Food That’s Good For You and The Planet
Did you know that eating healthy, whole foods is not just good for you but is good for the environment, too? Brightly scout Kaitlyn Lowery unpacks the specifics in her article on the carbon footprints associated with various types of food, but the big takeaway is this: the types of food you eat are often even more important than where your food comes from.
The first step, a step you might already be taking for your personal health, is to focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods. Examples include whole grains, grass-fed meat products (if you eat meat), and organic fruits and vegetables. These foods are typically grown without the use of harmful synthetic pesticides and antibiotics depending on their labels.
If you’re really interested in reducing your carbon footprint and changing your diet, consider a more plant-based or vegan diet. The meat industry is a concentrated contributing source to greenhouse gas emissions. This is due to the land and resources devoted to raising livestock, the processing of meat products, and the eventual packaging of that product. Choosing to incorporate more plants and less meat into your diet is not only good for your health, but it is also an impactful change that you can make for the environment.
There are lots of different ways you can change your daily life to reflect your values and your desire to positively impact the environment. Those small, daily changes are what make the difference. Start with one of the changes listed above and slowly expand it into other areas of your life if you can. And don’t forget to share your new favorite tips with us at Brightly! We love cheering on our community of change-makers on social media and our app.