I wholeheartedly believe that reducing waste is a good and right thing to do. Of course there are things that we have no control of and there are times that we have to eat out and use to go containers etc. My thing is that we can when we can and we don’t when we can’t. Your efforts make a difference whether we see it or not. Your choices to be a better steward of our planet will affect generations to come. I’m so thankful that our generation has become/is becoming so aware of the need for sustainable practices. (STAY WOKE FAM…haha. I had to)
How you can begin reducing waste
Plastic Bags→Reusable Bags
This is just one of many ways to reduce waste. Many people have already been doing this for some time. We absolutely love reusable bags especially the big ones, they make unloading the groceries easy peasy.
Here are a few reasons why reusable bags are a great thing:
Saving $$$ many stores offer a bag refund when you bring your own bags. In California single use plastic bags are banned from stores. Most stores carry paper for the times when you do forget your bags. There is a 10¢ bag fee though. We like to reuse these around the home when we do end up purchasing them.
Only 1% of plastic bags are recycled in the United States.
The petroleum used to make 14 plastic bags can drive a car one mile.
Plastic bags take anywhere from 15 to 1,000 years to decompose. Eeeeek!
It’s estimated that 1 million birds and thousands of turtles and other sea animals die each year after ingesting discard plastic bags. (Not to mention the havoc that these plastic bags are wreaking on our environment by simply releasing all of the junk that they’re made of.)
I usually carry a backpack with me instead of a purse. So even when I do forget my bags in my car or at home I am covered. There’s always the option of the reusable bags that fold up small enough to fit in your bag.
Recycle + Reuse
People not recycling is one of my pet peeves. It is likely due to not caring, laziness, or people simply not knowing any better. But like everything in life: Know Better Do Better.
It’s not hard especially once you get into the rhythm of it. It all becomes nature.
Glass containers make me so happy. Not only is glass safer in regards to your health but it’s better for the environment. Reusing glass is easy and everything tastes better in glass. It is easy to clean and doesn’t absorb any odors. So many reasons to reuse your glass containers. We try to buy everything that is bottled in glass containers when possible. We save everything from canning jars to glass spice jars. A close friend recently gave me an old sangria jug to reuse (she knows!).
BYOG: Bring Your Own Glass
We use mason jars for drinking and other canning jars that we’ve acquired through products that we bought that came in them. I love keeping one handy with me (or a mug) when we are out. This way I can get my drink in my own cup, reduce my toxin exposure (togo cups are lined with plastic. Plastic and heat are not a good combo. Cold to go cups are often plastic or similar to hot togo cups they are lined with plastic).
Last week I checked out two natural bulk food stores in the Santa Cruz area: Aptos Natural Foods & The Food Bin & Herb Room. I was in my element to say the least. It was so much fun for me to browse and just poke around. Unfortunately I didn’t come prepared as I kind of just decided to head out there on a whim. My first time visiting I purchased some dried valerian root. Since I’ve been starting work at 4:00am I definitely need all of the sleep support that I can get, to ensure that I am getting an adequate amount of rest before having to be up so early.
Well today I drove out to Aptos Natural Foods and refilled our bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Castile Soap, picked up some herbs, spices, a bundle of fresh organic carrots, and a few other odds and ends. Reducing your waste is a very rewarding feeling. I am sure that I only just scratched the surface on what it means to begin reducing waste/how to reduce waste, but I hope you learned a thing or two. If you live in the bay area go and check these places out! If not find something similar in your area. I promise you it is worth it. Our planet is worth it, local businesses are worth it, and of course you are worth it.
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