Over the past few years, I've made a real effort in becoming a more sustainable consumer. This effort is for many reasons, but mostly I just give a damn about the environment. At first, the idea of me becoming a plant-based vegan was a radical concept to my friends and family. Today, it's becoming a normalcy with most fast food chains offering plant-based alternatives for meat, or major makeup up brands like CoverGirl boasting that they are cruelty-free with signage in all major retailers across America. While all of those things are awesome for the greater good, that still leaves me with the question of what more we can be doing to become better consumers.
A key part of being a conscious consumer is not only buying things are better for the world and its creatures, but also reducing your waste in the process. Having a mainstream cruelty-free makeup option is great for those that need it, but if you're purchasing the makeup for only that reason, and not because you actually need, creates this vicious cycle on unnecessary waste.
I wouldn't call myself zero-waste by any means, but I am always actively finding new ways to reduce my environmental impact and be more sustainable. These are just a few simple swaps you can do today that will start to help you be a kinder consumer.
Reusable Grocery Bags
Single use plastics are a major issue that's plaguing the United States. Currently there is no effective way to recycle these items. Although we should all be opting for completely reusable bags for all groceries and produce, they come at a bit of a cost. If reusable isn't an option, always go for paper instead.
Compost your Food Waste
Did you know that 30-40 percent of all food in the United States in thrown away? It doesn't do any good to have food rotting in a landfill when we can compost our waste to become nutrient dense soil. Compositing can be done at home with kits you find on Amazon, or with local companies like Big Red Worms. Whichever way you choose to do it, you're giving your food a new purpose.
It's 2019 people, using disposable plastic water bottles is NOT cool. Instead of getting 24 packs of water bottles from the grocery store, buy a Nalgene bottle. It's lightweight, durable, and reusable. Or if you want to get fancy, you can get an insulated bottle that keeps your drinks warm or cool all day long. The planet will thank you for drastically reducing your plastic waste.
Although a lot of take out restaurants are opting for biodegradable plastic-ware, I always like to have a spare straw, spoon, or fork wherever I go. It definitely comes in handy when your Postmates driver forgets to bring any sort of cutlery for your burrito bowl.
I've been buying packs of plastic razors since I was 15 years old, never really thinking about what was happening to the razors when I threw them away. When I figured out that there was a one stop solution to my razor waste, it was all in. Safety razors are metal, and the only thing that ever needs replacing are the blades once they become dull. One single investment in a safety razor will be the last razor you have to buy for the rest of your life.
If you're looking for even more ways to reduce your waste and become more sustainable as a human being, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat.