The Beginners Guide to Sustainable Living
- Whatever it was that led you to start learning more about sustainable living, I’m glad you’re here! My journey started a couple years ago when I looked in my bathroom and saw plastic everywhere. I couldn’t unsee it! I always considered myself “eco-friendly”, I brought my own bags to the grocery store and my own reusable mug to Starbucks. But, how eco-friendly was I with all these plastic bottles in my bathroom?? Shampoo, conditioner, face lotion and wash, a separate hand lotion, make up, the list goes on and on. I wanted to put a stop to how much waste I was contributing and hence, started my journey.
- Leading a Sustainable and eco-friendly beginners lifestyle is becoming more and more crucial, but it can be hard to know where to start. In my blog I will document mine and my family’s journey to lessening our carbon footprints.
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What is Sustainability?
- Sustainability has many names. Carbon footprint, eco-conscious, zero waste, etc. They all lead to the same general ideal of being aware of the products we bring into our lives, and what happens to them when we are through using them.
- When you first searched one of these terms you probably came across thousands of blogs and products on what to do, where to start, and how well others are doing in their sustainability journey. Don’t get discouraged! There are a ton of people out there that can keep their trash in a mason jar, and exclusively shop on Facebook Marketplace or bulk stores only. Everyone has started somewhere, if the only thing you get from my journey is that you will always continue trying, then I will feel I have succeeded.
How to get started reducing your carbon footprint
What do you need to get started? Not a lot honestly! The better question would be what don’t you need?
- Use what you already have first. It would be much worse to dispose of unused items just because they are wrapped in plastic
- From there find eco-friendly alternatives. Try a shampoo bar, invest in metal straws and reusable mugs.
- Be conscious of your commute, do you need to drive? Or could you walk or bike to your destination? Do you need to fly? Or could you drive or take the bus?
- Share your story with others! Encourage those in your house to join your journey, then your close friends and family.
- Get involved in your community! From riverbank clean ups to signing a petition to ban plastic bags, there are countless ways to make a difference in your city.
Tips for Success in Sustainable Living
- The biggest piece of advice I have is to remember this is a journey! Will a waiter bring you a straw when you forgot to say “no straw”? Yes. Don’t get too hard on your self, they’re a tons of opportunities, to change and reduce your carbon footprint. The best thing is to just start and don’t stop trying.
Common Questions/FAQ About Sustainable Living
- What should I do with all of the plastic that is already in my house?
- Keep using it! It would be far worse to throw out a perfectly fine item because it’s plastic. Use it until it can no longer be used and recycle it properly, or give it to someone in need depending on the item.
- What can I do to help make an impact on global warming?
- Continuous education is key. How does the way you travel, the clothes you wear, and the food you eat add to carbon emissions?
- How can I make my everyday life more sustainable?
- Again, education is key! Research, research, research. There are so many great items people sell secondhand, and so many “eco-friendly” alternative to common everyday items. And this blog will be a great resource to help you answer your questions 😉
- What is the biggest contributor to carbon emissions?
- Short answer, the burning of fossil fuels.
- How can I make a difference in my community?
- I encourage you to research events in your area! Throughout my blog I will make recommendations on how to start events, and smaller personal things you can do as well.
- What happens to my garbage when I throw it away or recycle something?
- Sadly, this is a very big question with not a great answer. Food scraps, plastic gift wrappings, a soda can versus a soda bottle. They all go through a different process and a different end point. I hope to help answer this question through posts along my journey. By doing so, my goal is to not only reduce the amount of “trash” my household produces, but also help you do the same.
- I also wrote a post on what happens to recyclables, you can find it here.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about reducing your carbon footprint
- We’re in this journey together! Sustainable living is a lifelong process, that hopefully ends with us making the world a better, cleaner place for our children.
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