It’s Earth Day, and at the risk of sounding hippie granola, I hope we all can take some time today to reflect on our daily habits and the impact they may have on our planet. In today’s modern world, it’s easy to take the approach of convenience, of keeping our heads in the sand when it comes to the state of our natural resources. It seems daunting; how can I, just a single person, combat these problems that are so huge?
The truth of the matter is that we can, and should, do our parts in keeping the world we live in clean, safe, and spinning along. We don’t have to sell all of our belongings and live in a tent sans running water. We can keep bathing regularly and type on our computers and watch our T.Vs. But we should enact small changes to our routines that have the double purpose of simplifying our lives and keeping waste down to a minimum.
These changes may seem obvious to some; but I think many of us appreciate the idea (of COURSE I’ll bring a reusable water bottle!) but slip up when the time actually comes to put it into action. I’m guilty of this myself. So let’s use this Earth Day to reset our resolution to do better.
Some changes to ponder:
- Stash a reusable tote in your every day bag, and decline shopping bags when you make a purchase
- Do your best to avoid single use plastic. This means things like takeaway coffee cups, straws, plastic produce bags, bottled water, etc. When grocery shopping, try to purchase things that don’t come in plastic. You can’t avoid it completely, but you can certainly cut back.
- Resolve to never EVER throw clothing in the garbage. Even if it’s the mangiest used sock, many companies (such as Thredup and Madewell) will take used clothing and recycle it into housing insulation.
- Shop secondhand whenever possible. You don’t have to commit to exclusively purchasing used clothing, but the next time you need a new pair of jeans or a dress for a wedding, consider trying consignment or thrift options first. Personal favorites of mine are Buffalo Exchange, Beacons Closet, ThredUp, and Consignment Brooklyn.
And because I definitely don’t have all the answers, I thought it would be helpful to compile some tips and stories from those more qualified on the subjects of sustainability, environmentalism, and all things earth related. I hope reading leaves you feeling motivated, thoughtful, and hopeful.
28 Sustainable Fashion Brands You Should Know (Refinery29)
Why We Should Care About Plastics (The Economist)
Renewable Energy Optimism (National Geographic)
Photo by Emily Barbeau