Hi everyone! Hope you’ve been well! Jane here again to share a few words/thoughts…
I need you to know that I’ve been huffing and puffing all summer long and sweating uncomfortably this September and trust me – it has NOT been cute. Every morning, I pray and hope for temperatures below 70 and dream of wearing a cute sweater and duster but guess what? I can’t. Why? Because it’s still so freakingggggg hot outside and every morning it seems like I’m dressing for another day at the beach even though we all know we should be experiencing “close to fall like” temperatures.
What’s my point? Well, I just got back from Italy last week and we picked those travel dates a year in advance because it was supposed to be a lot cooler and somewhat chilly but instead, it was still very warm out and I came back with 70+ mosquito bites. See evidence/minor-complaint-but-not-really-a-complaint because I was still vacationing in Italy on my Instagram here.
Meaning?! Climate change is all too real and our temperatures are continuously rising higher and higher every year. I can’t help but think about how much damage we’ve already done to our earth, all the pollution we create every day (whether we’re conscious of it or not) and all the waste that’s just piling up with nowhere to go.
So, in efforts to do better and become an overall better human being, I’ve made a conscious decision to try and reduce my carbon footprint even if that means spending a few more dollars on eco-conscious items and spending a few more minutes to think about bringing my own reusable goods before I head out for the day.
Aside from the obvious things I can’t do like limiting my single-use plastic usage, bringing my own water bottle, and carpooling… here are some ways I’ve gone more green in my everyday lifestyle and know you can too!
Disclaimer: I am nowhere near being an environmental activist at all but I think Mother Nature, our ecosystem, my home and community all deserve better. Don’t you? I mean… not to get all META or anything but she feeds us, provides oxygen for us, nourishes us and heals our souls. Have you ever gone hiking all stressed tf out and once you’ve finished, you feel all healed and stress-free? Yeah, that’s Mother Nature working her magic on you. ✨
CREATE A COMPOST PILE
Instead of throwing your excess food in the trash, make a compost pile! It’s a great way to put your food back into your garden/plants/life/universe and keep everything full circle!
ADD SOME PLANTS
Not only do plants look great, but they purify the air, reduce carbon dioxide levels, reduce levels of certain pollutants, reduce airborne dust levels, help keep air temperatures down… AKA reduce stress in your house/life. The color green also calms you down when you look at it. Ever wonder why they use the colors red + green at the optometrist? It’s because when you look at those two colors together, they actually make you feel calm and relaxed.
When heading to the store or farmer’s market, don’t forget to bring your own bags! I’ve been using this Apolis Market Bag for over 6 years now and it’s still been working hard for me! Not only does it look super chic (this I know because I alwayyyss get compliments on it), but it’s extremely heavy duty, can hold all my wine and food, and it does good work by providing jobs and healthy living conditions for workers they employ in Bangladesh! Another thing you can bring when dining out is your own glass Tupperware for leftovers if you generally like to bring food home (I love leftovers for breakfast).
KNOW YOUR INGREDIENTS
Women, in general, are exposed to more chemicals at a higher rate than men because we are targeted more as shoppers. On average, women use a lot more products than men do thus exposing ourselves to more chemicals! I found some helpful ingredient information on Seventh Generation (my go-to laundry detergent as of late) and found it super helpful on what particular ingredients to stay away from and why:
- Triclosan: Potential thyroid-disruptor, linked with concerns about skin cancer, may potentially make bacteria resistant to antibiotics. The FDA started cracking down on its use in 2016.
- Parabens: Potentially disrupt the endocrine system.
- Phthalates: Potentially disrupt the endocrine system and could be linked to birth defects.
- Formaldehyde: Though typically used in small enough doses that it’s less of a concern than some other ingredients, formaldehyde has been linked to asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity.
- Synthetic fragrances: Any combination of 3,000-plus chemicals, including hormone disruptors and allergens.
Opt for cleaner, more natural products like Seventh Generation, Method, Mrs. Meyer’s and Honest that have fewer toxins in them. They get the job done and are better for you + better for the environment. A win win.
LIMIT YOUR SINGLE-USE PLASTIC USAGE
Along with straws, coffee stirrers, plastic bags, and soda bottles, water bottles are made of single-use plastic which means that they are only used once before they’re thrown away or recycled thus creating more unnecessary waste. We produce tons of plastic each year, most of which cannot even be recycled. Try reaching for more sustainable products and brands that use plastic efficiently.
Another thing you can do is get a water filter like a Soma or Brita for drinkable water in your home. Although it takes some time to get your drinkable than a water bottle does, it tastes great and creates less waste. I like to stick my filtered water into a Swell or BKR bottle and keep them cold in the fridge for those days I’m in a rush and need to take my water to-go.
PLAN YOUR MEALS AROUND WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE IN THE FRIDGE/EAT LOCAL ORGANIC FOODS
Food generally has to travel really far to get to you and a lot of hands have touched what you’re eating by the time you finally eat it. Try making a habit of going to your local farmers market when you can. It will be the freshest way to get your food and the farmers generally save the best crop for the market. Another good thing is to look to see what you have left in the fridge and plan your meals around that so your food doesn’t go to waste. If you need some fresh ideas on what to make, check out our girl, Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest for endless foodspiration.
As a consumer, your money talks and so does your purchasing power. Do your research and see what brands are emitting fewer toxins when creating their products. Do they have a philanthropy mission? Are they using recycled cotton? Is their packaging recycled? These are all things to think about before buying something new. It’s 2018 guys. We have access to SO MUCH INFORMATION and there are more options now than we’ve ever had before. All we have to do is put in a little work!
Now, I haven’t gone 100% clean beauty, but I have incorporated more clean products into my routine. Your skin is your largest breathing organ you have, so the fewer chemicals your products have, the better it for your overall skin/well being. To read more about clean beauty, click here.
I wrote this because I felt that a lot of you, like me, want to be more green but don’t really know where to start and that’s OK. I also feel that the message was important now more than ever because of how quickly we have access to buying things nowadays.
The reality is that we have access to things appearing at our doorstep with the mere touch of an app. Therefore, we’ve inevitably created a higher demand for packaging/pollution/waste that consumers are not necessarily thinking about. There are so many things we’re doing that are extremely harmful to the environment that we can cut down on and help reduce.
We, the people, have the power to create the change we want to see and change is the most powerful when we come together. Let’s try and create less waste together and love our mother a little more.
♻️ What are some things you’re doing to go greener in your lives? @ me and let me know in the comments below! Would love to hear from you! ♻️
If you missed some of my other stories, feel free to read my thoughts on being Too Big For Fashion, Thoughts on CBD, What To Do When Your Skin Freaks Out, How to Achieve The Perfect Winged Liner, Comfort Being a Privilege.
Until we chat again!