REDUCE—REUSE—RECYCLE! My elementary school had us chanting that like we were in an Earth-Dedicated cult. While those words are seriously all I see when I think back to elementary school, incorporating sustainable items into my everyday life didn't happen until years later.
While the mainstream world has been making slow-but-semi-steady steps in an effort to become more sustainable, there are still so many things + items we own or consume that are not only highly unnecessary, but also extremely damaging + wasteful to the planet! Here are some bits + bobs that will help you to become a more eco-friendly human without breaking the bank!
I'm Sure you're highly familiar with the whole straw ban. While it's cool that we're trying to reduce our plastic waste, the replacement—paper straws—are TRASH! Seriously, idk anyone who likes a paper straw. They easily break up in your mouth, and are still kind of wasteful? This is where steel drinking straws come into play! I purchased some about a year ago for household drinks and absolutely LOVE THEM. I've started to notice that people are bringing them to their local coffee shop/restaurant/cafe to use in replacement of any plastic or paper straws and think it's such a good idea. The straws aren't expensive (all range from around $3-$15 depending on how many you buy) and are a great way to be sustainable.
This is probably the most popular (and already in use) item, but I still wanted to include it! You can find these bottles everywhere, in any size, and some of them (like this one) can keep your drink as cold or as hot/warm as you want. This particular one sold on Amazon doesn't sweat, and comes in a variety of colors. This pink/blush one is my fave! While any reusable water bottle is great, if you to use a plastic one, I encourage you to switch to a metal one! Over time, your plastic one will deteriorate, you'll have to toss it and that means more plastic.
Period-proof underwear can seem and feel kind of daunting. I mean, it is kind of scary to put all your faith into a pair of underwear to keep you nice, clean and dry while you're on your period, but THINX has mastered it. Whether your period is light, regular, or heavy, THINX has all styles of underwear (yup even thongs) for you, + you can customize your set for a more mixed cycle. THINX is also cool because they're helping to educate young people on their bodies, as well as donating products to areas and people that lack the resources to purchase period-products.
Net grocery bags have always been a thing—at least for city people and those lovely little old ladies—but recently they became a more fashion piece rather than what they're originally intended for: GROCERY! You can buy these bags in a variety of colors, and they also double as individual produce bags (like instead of grabbing a plastic bag to put your bananas in, use this! The cashier can see what produce you have, and it's sustainable!) I do wanna note, I'm also a huge fan of the canvas bag as well! I know sometimes it can be easy to forget to bring your bag to a grocery store, but I like to have mine hanging by the door so I can grab it when leaving, as well as keep some in the trunk of my car so I really can't forget.
I have to admit, I rarely purchase coffee or tea from cafes as I prefer coffee from home, but sometimes I find myself in situations where I need to take my coffee to-go. I used to go for the paper to-go cups, but those are seriously so wasteful and kind of expensive? Instead, I like the Keep Cup. These boys are so affordable, come in a bunch of sizes, and honestly? So chic. They're glass so you can easily wash them, and are good for cold or hot drinks. It also comes with a cork wrap-around so you don't freeze/burn your hands! Also, you can bring these into your local cafe and ask them to put your drink in this instead of a paper/plastic cup!
First I just wanna say I find these so satisfying to look at. I'll be the first to admit I'm a sucker for ziplock bags. They're easy, convenient, and overall just an item i'm always gravitating towards to hold my snacks, and everything else in between. What sucks though is that eventually I have to throw them away, and that means more plastic find itself in landfills. Instead, why not switch towards reusable silicone bags that'll hold your snacks, Glossier products, and doggy treats? I've found so many different brands that sell this, and some sell up to 18 bags for like $19.