On a trip to Portland, Oregon earlier this year, I fell in love with the way the whole state takes care of it’s environment.
If you read my travel post on Oregon, you’ll know that I raged about the greenery, the soil, the friendliness of everyone and how everyone recycles and composts!
I came back home recharged and ready to help the environment any way I could. Many of you do not know me personally but when it was time to enter middle school, I was accepted into an Environmental Science Academy. The school taught me all about nature, ecosystems and not only about the environment but how to take care of the environment. From my early teen years, I learned how to compost, what to recycle and recycling categories, I even learned to take pH scales in surrounding bodies of water.
Since then, I have been composting, gardening and recycling all these years. I’m even a member of the Dolphin & Whale Conservation but I want to do so much more so I started looking at my life to re-evaluate some things like: How could I live on less? What can I make or grow on my own? How much time do I consume on things that do not benefit my health, mind, or spirit? How can I reduce plastic and waste? What impact am I making on this planet?
After researching and watching countless vlogs, I decided I would challenge myself to a Low Waste lifestyle. A little less intense than the Zero Waste lifestyle. I put in a request at my local library (saving money instead of buying the book) and picked up ‘Zero Waste Home’ by Bea Johnson and it has been a game changer! It is very practical and down to earth, I really felt a connection with this book and it has been such a great read! I highly recommend.
Even though I am not able to become completely Zero Waste at this time, here are a few changes I have made:
- I use bamboo cutlery now. (The majority of plastic cutlery cannot be recycled. It piles in a landfill. It is very convenient but over all pricy and a waste if compared to investing into metal or bamboo cutlery.)
- With my bamboo cutlery set, there was a bamboo straw that was included and a straw cleaner. Shop my cutlery set here.
* Reusable straws: Here in the U.S, we use about 500 million straws daily. Plastic straws do not biodegrade.
- I have been using reusable bags for years now but I have added reusable produce and bulk bags to my grocery shopping routine. I found my reusable produce bags here and they are perfect!
*50% of the plastic we use, we use just once then throw away. The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year.
80% of all marine debris found in the ocean is land based and 80-90% of the marine debris is made from plastic.
- I now use a Swell stainless steel water container. They are a bit pricy but are so worth it! My water stays cold for hours, even up to a day! Invest in one.
*We throw away 35 billion plastic water bottles every year.
- I tossed out my plastic Tupperware and moved into glass containers. Pyrex is my favorite brand. Here is the set I am currently using.
I also use a Cal Tiffin for leftovers when we dine out.
*One million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans.
Plastic chemicals can be absorbed by the body – 93% of Americans from 6+ test positive for BPA (plastic chemical).
- Along with my bamboo cutlery set, I use stainless steel straws and take them with me to restaurants when we dine in.
- I have abandoned pads and invested into a menstrual cup. THE BEST DECISION I COULD HAVE EVER MADE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, MY WALLET, AND MY BODY!
There are many different menstrual cups out there and while I haven’t tested them all, I do use the Lena Cup and it has been a miracle worker for me! More to come on the next blog post about this specific subject.
Those are a few of the changes I have made that have put my conscious at ease and I aim to continue on this low waste style of living.
What changes have you made for the environment? Do you have any tips to share with me?