6 Small Changes That Can Make a Big Difference
So you think you're pretty eco-friendly with your flexitarian diet and your six pairs of Toms… Maybe you are! Sincerest congrats.
Today we're going over six habits that you can incorporate into your everyday life (if you haven't already!) We're talking about items that play a small part in our daily lives that make a big impact if you use the disposable versions.
Single use plastic has gotten completely out of control, and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch ( https://abcnews.go.com/International/great-pacific...) was recorded as being three times the size of France last year! It may seem kind of hopeless sometimes, and it's easy to forget that we have the power to help change this. The very least we can do is stop using plastic where it's not needed (as in, ever)!
1. Water Bottles
It's safe to say you probably own a reusable water bottle, but do you use it? It's easy to forget to bring your water bottle with you, or to say it's too big or too heavy.
Lots of companies are now making purse friendly mini and collapsible options. If you aren't using your old bulky bottle everyday, treat yourself to a new one that you actually will use (you can still use the big one for road trips and the gym).
Try filling it up in the evening and keeping it in the fridge if you prefer your water chilled.
2. Coffee Cups
It's a scientific fact, reusable coffee cups are even harder to remember than reusable water bottles. OK, so maybe there hasn't been a scientific study into this yet, but when there is, that's what they'll discover. Seriously.
If you are the kind of person who gets your coffee at the same place, same time everyday, then it shouldn't be as hard for you. You know you're gonna get that coffee, and a lot of cafés even offer discounts for bringing your own cup.
If you're the spontaneous type, consider investing in a collapsible coffee cup. Or, do as the French do, and sit down! At a table.That's right, there's often no need to rush quite so much. It doesn't take that long to sit at a table and drink from a real porcelain cup. In fact, it's often a much nicer experience.
Straws have become super controversial in recent years, and rightly so! Most of us have seen a video of a tortured turtle. You'd think this would be sufficiently disturbing enough to stop us from using so many tiny plastic tubes, but often convention wins and we feel embarrassed to specify "no straw" when ordering a drink in a restaurant.
Don't be embarrassed. Try it out. It gets easier every time, and the more we voice our disdain for plastic straws, the more restaurants, cafés, bars and hotels will listen. Paper straws have made a huge comeback, despite their tendency to get soggy! This is progress.
Of course, even more sustainable than paper straws are washable reusable ones. They come in glass and stainless steel. You can even get collapsible straws in little hygienic boxes for your purse so you can drink through a sustainable straw wherever you are!
4. Shopping Bags
Surely you have your own set of grocery bags by now. Most people do. The problem with shopping bags is (you guessed it) remembering them. What's the trick to it? Putting them back in your car, or leaving them by the front door is a good one.
Another way is to make sure you have a bag or basket you actually enjoy using. Our baskets are super practical for going to the farmers' market or even going to the mall. They are roomy and sturdy enough to accommodate a couple of butternut squash and/or a pair of shoes!
Throw your wallet in and treat it as your purse so you have less to carry. Keep some cloth bags and/or produce bags inside, in case you end up getting excited and buying more than you planned to (we all do it sometimes!)
5. Produce Bags
Once you start using reusable produce bags, you won't want to go back to the free, flimsy plastic ones. Your shopping cart will feel so much more civilized. Your fridge will look so much cuter. And best of all, you'll quit the seemingly innocuous habit of several plastic bags per week!
Think of how many people, just like you, go to the store with their beautiful reusable bags and the best of intentions, only to realize that their produce needs to go into an even smaller bag. And of course, we all want to eat lots of fruit and veg, so we need to buy a lot of produce.
Some supermarkets have started to sell their own reusable mesh produce bags, so you can pick some up with your next grocery run. Otherwise, head to the internet! They are inexpensive and so useful, you'll wonder why you haven't been using them for years!
You know when you go to a nice restaurant, and they have beautifully crisp, fresh feeling linen napkins? It's so satisfying, isn't it? Unfolding your napkin with a swoosh, laying it elegantly across your lap. If only we could do that at home.
Hang on… why can't we? Why aren't we? Many of us have gotten so used to the idea of cloth napkins being fancy that we only use them for special occasions. Paper napkins and paper towels have become so commonplace that a lot of people don't even own cloth ones. (Or if they do, they're decorated with holly and reindeer!)
Using cloth or linen napkins everyday is a habit that is not only chic, but also super sustainable and doable. The fabric is a lot nicer against your skin than paper, and a lot more efficient at absorbing anything that may end up on your lap!
If you don't have a set of table linen, check out our web store! We have a bunch of designs and sizes. They're easy to care for and they look beautiful on your table.
So why isn't everyone doing these things?
Good question. Once upon a time (not so very long ago) it was very normal to have your own shopping basket and napkins that go in the washing machine instead of the trash. Coffee to go is a relatively new phenomenon. Somewhere along the way, convenience and disposable became one.
In our world today, we can each only do our best, and any effort is a start. The good news is that we are more powerful than we often realize. Our habits add up and our actions influence others.
Six small changes are a hell of a lot better than no change at all.
Give them a try!