1. Ditch plastic! An easy way to do this is by using mason jars (affordable, and can be used for drinking glasses and storage). Another way: did you buy something in a glass jar? Wash it out, and instead of recycling it, reuse it as a storage jar, or drinking container. It’s always fun to have different shapes and sizes of jars to reuse, and more often than not, people are more intrigued by what you’re drinking, so no need to feel embarrassed by a reused jam jar that doubles as a coffee cup.
2. Eat more plant-based (or add in a vegan meal once a week, or once a day), or aim to limit dairy and meat consumption. Beef is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases. Cars are also a big contributor to greenhouse gases, however, not all of us can stop driving, thus, altering your diet to a more plant-based version can help curb your impact on the earth. Meatless Monday is a great habit to pick up, or starting the day with some gRawnola, oatmeal, or a fruit bowl sprinkled with some sunflower seeds, almonds, or pumpkin seeds are great, delicious, and health packed options.
3. Use alternative transportation to run errands! This can be a fun one since you get to see the world in a different way. Since the weather is warming up (at least in Oregon), you get to see all of the flowers blooming, birds singing, people chatting, and you are able to notice mundane beauty in the world. Walking to the store is a win-win, since you get exercise, too, and it’s totally free.
4. Buy more things in bulk. Many grocery stores and food cooperatives offer a huge selection of goods that allow you to reuse your jars to purchase things like nut butter, grains, powders and spices without having to obtain another packaged item. Most often, this results in it being cheaper, too! For example, cinnamon (very lightweight) costs $1.99 at Trader Joe’s, but if you buy in bulk at your local food cooperative, will likely cost well under a dollar. Buying in bulk is an easy way to help reduce waste and save money.
5. Visit the farmers market! Frequenting farmers markets is a great thing to do for a multitude of reasons. You are supporting local farmers, your food is fresher, fruits and veggies at the market do not come wrapped in plastic, and you can get quite a bit for your money. Some farmers markets even offer SNAP benefits to customers, so that all can have access to healthy food. Check in at your local farmers market to see if that’s an option for you. The nutritional density of farm fresh foods is much greater than getting veggies at a box store because they are picked close to the market day. Of course, eating veggies, no matter where you buy them is a win in our book, but if you can buy at the farmers market instead of a store even once a month, the food won’t have to travel as far, you’ll certainly notice the difference in taste, and it’s a fun experience seeing all the foods that grow so close to you.
As you read through this list, hopefully, you can see that helping reduce waste and your environmental footprint on our planet can not only be enjoyable but can cost less, too. Living sustainably and consciously is something we all can do, and that’s the great thing about it. Small things really do add up, and these tips can also bring more joy to your day.
Until next time - nourish your body + keep learning. In the wise words of Maya Angelou:
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
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