Climate scientists all agree that within the decade, climate change will become irreversible. It will take major changes to stop the damage done so far, but there's plenty of small changes we can make as individuals to limit the harm we cause to our environment and live a more sustainable life. Here are just a few ways to do your part:
It's one of the oldest environmentally-conscious phrases in the book. Separating your waste is simple, and reduces the amount of pollution caused by landfills. Buy an extra container or trash can for your recyclables, and follow the EPA guidelines to recycle in style.
2. Get A Reusable Water Bottle
You've probably seen these babies popping up everywhere. Not only are they excellent for reducing single-use plastic bottle waste, but they're also so dang nice to look at! Some of our favorite brands are Hydro Flask, CamelBak, and Brita.
3. Keep Reusable Silverware at Work
If your workplace has a sink, there's no better environmental choice than bringing your own reusable silverware to work. Keep the utensils at your desk or in the kitchen, and opt out of wasteful single-use plastic utensils.
4. Use Public Transit
If the place you live has public transit, reduce your carbon footprint and take the subway or bus! Better yet, if the weather and distance allows, walk to your destination and enjoy the city around you.
5. Use Cloths Instead of Paper Towels
Not only are these washcloths excellent at reducing paper towel waste, but they're also gorgeous décor! Use them to clean up messes and then rinse them in the sink or save them for laundry day. Sustainable living never looked so aesthetically pleasing.
6. Opt Out of Paper Receipts
Lots of stores now offer email or text receipts. Opt out of physical receipts and save the paper, they usually end up in the bottom of your purse anyway.
7. Use Reusable Grocery Bags
Invest in some canvas bags to carry your groceries. They help limit the waste caused by plastic and paper bags, and hold up much better anyway. Plus, they're adorable and chic. Sustainable and stylish!
8. Watch Out for Greenwashing
Careful, lots of companies are hopping on the sustainability trend. Do your research before purchasing items that are marketed as environmentally conscious, it may not be entirely true. The site Good On You has a brand directory for apparel companies, and gives them a rating based on their sustainability initiatives. They do the digging so you don't have to!
9. Start Thrifting
Thrifting is one of the easiest ways to stop contributing to fashion waste. Rather than buying new garments constantly, try thrifting and give some more love to someone's old closet! Plus, you'll find some unique and awesome vintage pieces.
10. Shop Smarter
When you support a brand with your dollar, you're supporting their practices too. Do some research into brands before buying and make sure you're confident their production practices are minimally wasteful and maximally ethical.