From a young age, many of us were taught to “reduce, reuse & recycle.” While we hope you’re recycling (especially our packaging!), here are a few ways to think about reducing and reusing throughout your day. Consuming less is critical to the health of Mother Earth...and most of the time just plain feels good.
1. Examine convenience
The #1 thing we can all do to live more sustainably is to look at the impact of convenience in our everyday life. From excessive driving to packaged foods, if it’s convenient, it’s probably not sustainable. Take a look at all the little things you do to save time. Do you have other options that are more earth-friendly? Could you implement a new system to lessen your environmental impact?
2. Use the library
Libraries aren’t just for story time and studying anymore. Not only do libraries give you free access to your favorite printed books, they now offer audiobooks and ebooks, available for download on your devices. Before checking Amazon or Audible, be sure to scope out your local library or the Libby app.
3. Find or create a Buy Nothing Group
The Buy Nothing Project is a network of hyper-local gifting economies. Gifting economies encourage neighbors to give or lend what they no longer need, and make requests for anything they’d like to receive or borrow. Generosity, sustainability and community-building are at the heart of the mission. Each community is organized through a private facebook group. Find yours today!
4. Do a spending fast
A spending fast is a period of time during which you only spend money on essentials. While a spending fast (or spending diet) is a great way to save money, it also illuminates just how many unnecessary, disposable purchases we all make. Often, we buy items because they’re in front of us and illicit an “I want it” reaction. When you decide to limit spending to the essentials for a time, you realize just how much you mindlessly consume.
5. Carpool, bike, take the bus or work from home
If you’re currently solo commuting by car, pick a day each week (or all 7) to commute sustainably. Who knows…”work from home Wednesday” may become the highlight of your week.
5. Organize a clothing/gear swap
Get your neighbors, moms group, adventuring crew or book club together for a clothing or gear swap. Bring all of your unwanted, gently-used items together, and breath new life into the things you no longer use.
6. Host a mending party or Nikwax night
We’re so excited to see visible mending becoming more popular. Invite friends to bring a damaged clothing item, thread, embroidery floss, fabric scraps, etc. and mend a piece of clothing. If you’re into skiing, host a night to wax skis together. If you like to hike or backpack, host a party to re-waterproof your gear! By paying attention to items you already own, you practice both gratitude and sustainability.
8. Throw on a sweater
Turning up the heat a few degrees doesn’t seem like much, but over time the effects add up. The next time you’re in the mood to be cozy, grab your favorite sweater or snuggle up with a hot tea.
9. Use less water
Do you keep water running while you’re brushing teeth or washing dishes? Could you be more mindful with your laundry? We recently heard a tip about keeping a small bucket in the corner of your shower to catch water for houseplants. How can you intentionally consume less water?
10. Go paperless
We’re not just talking junk mail here. Using rags instead of paper towels, breaking out cloth napkins for dinner and carrying a thermos for your coffee can make a huge difference.