Last Updated on October 5, 2023 by Carolyn
Suggestions for How to Shop and Live Green
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I’m sure most of us want to do our part for the planet but sometimes it’s easy to forget that every small effort helps. It’s important to remember the hierarchy of waste management: Reduce-Reuse-Recycle. Avoiding unnecessary consumption is the first step, and then avoiding single-use items is the next. This post will give you some tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint, for April, Earth Month, and the months beyond.
Buy Green Travel Accessories
Last month I went for a quick trip to Oregon. On the day we arrived, we stopped at Montelupo Italian Supermarket, and picked up some delicious Pistachio spread. If you’ve never tried it you don’t know what you’re missing. We also bought a loaf of bread and voila, we had lunch to take with us while we drove to our seaside destination. Except once on the road we realized we didn’t have a knife for the spread. Great. We ended up stopping at a convenience store and grabbing a plastic knife (which we used the whole rest of the trip). I was disappointed with myself and made a mental note to buy an eco-friendly travel set of cutlery, just a knife, spoon, and fork, that I can carry with me in my carry-on or backpack.
After doing some research, I have found there are a lot of options, some recommend buying a cheap metal set at goodwill (usually you can find each piece for about $0.25-$0.50. The problem with this solution is that metal knives aren’t TSA approved. I guess you could stick in a plastic knife? But for just $6.39 you can buy a 16 pc set of Reusable Wheatstraw Cutlery, with each set in its own travel container. And they are even kind of cute?
One travel accessory I didn’t forget to bring on my Oregon trip, was my Swell Sip Bottle. I always like to have water when I’m traveling but I absolutely won’t buy bottled plastic water. (And really, why would anyone want to pay for water?) I recently sought to purchase a GOOD reusable water bottle to replace my previous bottle which just fails to keep water cold. I read good reviews about the Swell bottles and found a little one called Sip that is just the right size to carry for flights and short hikes and fits in most car drink holders. And how cute is this? At $18.43 it seems a bit pricey for a water bottle, but I’m here to say, it’s worth it! I hike in Costa Rica for hours, and the water stays cold. No more tepid water for me! They come in many patterns (including Olaf from Frozen and Dinosaurs and, I’m sure you can find one to your liking. Wouldn’t these make nice Easter gifts instead of some plastic trinket that will be broken and in the trash before you know it?
One last item I like to take with me on trips is a shopping bag. I always end up needing one and they are also great for carrying your travel snacks in! These bags from Earthshopp are made from upcycled recycled fabric.
Buy Used, Share Your Used ITems
Most of us are familiar with thrift store shopping and Craigslist, but have you heard about the Buy Nothing Project? I just read about them a few months ago, and think they fit the definition of sustainable minimalism to the tee!
Buy Nothing. Give Freely. Share Creatively.
The Buy Nothing Project is a global network of community-based groups that encourages the giving of consumer goods and services. It operates on the adage “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure”. Once you join a group you can offer up items you want to give away or ask for something you need. Perhaps you need a little bit of paint to finish a project, ask and you’ll probably receive. Have too many chicken eggs? Offer them up, I bet some neighbors would be glad to have them.
From their website “The Buy Nothing Project began when two friends, Rebecca Rockefeller and Liesl Clark, created an experimental hyper-local gift economy on Bainbridge Island, WA, in July, 2013. Since then, it has become a worldwide social movement, with groups in 44 nations. Local groups form gift economies that are complementary and parallel to local cash economies; whether people join because they’d like to quickly get rid of things that are cluttering their lives, or simply to save money by getting things for free, they quickly discover that our groups are not just another free recycling platform. A gift economy’s real wealth is the people involved and the web of connections that forms to support them. Time and again, members of our groups find themselves spending more and more time interacting in our groups, finding new ways to give back to the community that has brought humor, entertainment, and yes, free stuff into their lives.”
Currently Buy Nothing Groups can be found on Facebook and they now have their own app (Apple app, Android App) and are a great way to give back to the community and environment, as well as a source to get things for free! You can find your group by visiting this page: Find Your Buy Nothing Group. And if there isn’t a Buy Nothing Group in your community, why not start one?
We all rely on plants for the air that we breathe. One of the best ways to give back to the earth is to plant something. Even those who live in an apartment can grow a houseplant, or perhaps a few vegetables on the patio. If you have a yard, why not consider a tree?
What Are You Doing For Earth Month?
What are you doing for Earth Month? Here are further earth day activities.
Please feel free to share your sustainable ideas by leaving a comment below.