What even is sustainability? For me, sustainability means actively making choices that reduce my biological footprint on this earth. From buying habits, using reusable products, to shopping more locally. All of these efforts though, have taken YEARS to add to my lifestyle, they definitely didn’t happen overnight! Today on the blog I wanted to share some of my tips for making the leap to living a more sustainable lifestyle. From brands I love to products I use daily, all this and more has helped me live a more conscious life!
For me, it started with an undergrad project titled 3D Printing for Mass Production . This is where I fell in love with the idea that you can live a sustainable lifestyle using 21st century technology. But, that idea isn’t the most cost saving, which led me to more research. If you’ve been with me a while, you know I am an avid fan and promoter of Vetta Capsule, 5 piece wardrobes that make 30 outfits. These capsules are now staples that I carry season to season in my current wardrobe. I can get a season of looks for just over $500. And before you gasp at that number, think about how much you spent on all fashion goods in 2019. You may find that you spend more than you think! Starting with my wardrobe for me was easy, then I moved onto the bigger things in my life like single use plastics, straws, and transportation.
“To us, a simple way that we can all make the world just a little bit greener is by taking five seconds to look at garment labels before we buy something new. “vetta Capsule, A simple guide to eco-friendly fabrics
Start small, like your wardrobe!
A 100% sustainable lifestyle DOES NOT happen over night. It can take years! For me, I started by doing a wardrobe edit, which I will be sharing more of soon! The basis of a wardrobe edit is:
- If I saw this in a store, would I buy it RIGHT NOW
- If it doesn’t fit, it won’t fit in 6 months either
- Does this match my color palette/wardrobe style
- If you haven’t worn it in a year, give it a new home
This is just an easy starting point when it comes to cleaning your wardrobe for sustainable living. The first wardrobe edit I did, I sold, donated, and gifted almost 15 bags of clothing. How did I have 15 bags of clothing? I don’t know! BUT, my wardrobe now as a clear and concise theme, color palette, and vibe throughout it’s entirety.
Buying to replace vs. Buying on impulse
This was a hard one for me to conquer. I am SUCH an impulse buyer (hence the 15 bags mentioned above) One thing though that helped me, was replacing fast fashion items in my wardrobe with quality made, long lasting, and sustainable options. I used to buy 5 white T’s at Old Navy every season because after one wash they would get dingy and start unraveling. Now, I stick with my two Vetta Capsule white tops and Everlane T’s.
One thing that helped me was to unsubscribe from almost every retailer. I used the service called Unroll Me, it automatically unsubscribes you from any mailing list you’re on, and can send you a once a week email update of your favorite newsletters. SO EASY! This has helped my habits of impulse buying so much. Plus, I have a little extra money to spend on quality and ethically made items that will last me years!
Going Out To Eat vs. Cooking At Home
This may seem like an odd one, but eating out can cause quite a bit of stress on sustainable efforts! I read an interesting article the other day about the Top 9 Reasons for Not Eating Out and it was really interesting! One call out that was made towards sustainability was take out. Think about it, when you order take out from UberEats, there is the bag, the containers, the packaging, the excess napkins, utensils, cups, and more all bundled in your bag. All of this will end up in the bin, often times un-recycled. Now I know it’s SUPER easy (I mean heck we order UberEats every now and again) but when you order out or go out to eat, take the following into consideration!
- Is this restaurant sourcing locally grown produce and food? (You can google this!)
- To prevent waste, can I share an entree with my guest?
- Download any of these handy apps to help you choose a sustainable restaurant!
Just want to cut eating out cold turkey? 🍗
One thing that my husband and I have started doing is making week nights home cook meal nights, and it has so helped! We also tend to lean more plant based on the weekdays, meaning we are eating more vegetables and whole grains instead of processed meals and meat. I also invested in a couple of cookbooks that offer an array of recipes from 100% vegan down to comfort food for two. Having these on hand resources that are always on my counter has really helped me stay on track when it comes to cooking at home! My go to cookbooks are anything Thug kitchen, Eating from the Ground up, and Dinner for Just Two. You can shop these down below!
“Paper or Plastic?”
I feel like this debate is never ending, and can sometimes seem like the easiest and hardest thing to change at the same time. Especially with the rise of click and pull style of shopping, it can be tough to always remember to lug your massive reusable bags allll the way to the car then alllll the way to through the store. One thing that has helped me is to just put the bags in my car and that is their home. They live in my trunk so I don’t have to lug them up and down all the time. Another fun thing is the compact shopping bags that you can store in your daily purse. They come in a million and one colors, shapes, and sizes and are perfect for mall shopping, quick grocery runs, or an extra bag just in case! They even have some where you can presort your groceries in your cart and go from there! You can shop some of my favorite compact bags below!
It can seem like such a daunting task to remember how to live a sustainable lifestyle. One thing I constantly remind myself when I feel like I slip up is that learning takes time, and I am allowed to have an “oops” day. Do I always remember my metal straws? No. Do I sometimes have to order click and pull groceries and end up with bags? Yes. So I order take out on nights I don’t have the energy to cook? Yo bet. So don’t feel bad if you are a newbie to this! The fact that you are taking steps, no matter how small, towards sustainable living means that you are making a difference. So remember to take it one day at a time, one thing at a time, and you will be able to make new habits stick. Here are a couple other intriguing articles about sustainable living!