Wasting stuff freaks me out. I hate it. It really bothers me when food goes bad and I have to throw it away, and I cringe when I visit places that don’t participate in a recycling program. But just like everyone else, sometimes I waste food or throw away recyclable items out of convenience. After getting back to my roots in yoga and plant-based eating in 2017, I realized I also needed to get back to my roots and live more sustainably to be friendlier to the earth and reduce my ecological footprint.
While I still have plenty of vices — I use WAY too much toilet paper and paper towel — but I’ve taken big steps to be mindful about creating less waste!
I’ve been lucky to live in apartment complexes that participate in recycling programs. Everything I can recycle, I do.
Use a reusable water bottle
Along the same lines, another thing I’m trying is a set of lightweight wooden eating utensils that I can easily travel with. It’ll be convenient to always have them around when I’m on the go, and I’m hoping they will help me reduce the amount of plastic I use too. I realized this later, but a better choice would be a set of bamboo utensils like this because bamboo grows quickly and is a more renewable resource.
One of my goals for the year is to shop sustainably for all my clothing and housewares. That means only buying things that are secondhand or are produced sustainably. For me, it won’t be too much of a challenge because I already enjoy thrift shopping and antiquing. Despite that, it’s already saving me money on impulse shopping!
I was excited about partnering with prAna for this #mindfulprAna blog post because every clothing item they make is sustainably produced. That means prAna garments — like the Isaline bra and Shala pants I’m wearing above, sent to me for free from the new #prAnaSpring18 line — are made from renewable materials like cotton and hemp, and the workers who make them are treated and paid fairly. I feel good about adding these two items to my wardrobe!
If you’re looking for new clothing that’s comfy, looks great, and is sustainably made, shop at prAna! Get 15% off any prAna purchase between Feb. 20 and Mar. 20, 2018 with code MPLMS18. Excludes clearance & markdown items.
Reduce food waste
I’m lazy and sometimes find it irritating to have to plan out my meals for the week, but I’ve been doing it anyway in order to reduce the amount of food I waste.
I’ve been checking out what’s already in my pantry and fridge, picking out a few meals I want to make for the week that use those items, and just shopping for the things I need to fill the ingredient gaps. Then I posted the week’s meal plan on the fridge so I can never say “there’s nothing to eat”.
I also made a list of things in the freezer I want to use up before I move cities in about a month. It’s working!
One last thing I’ve reincorporated into my strategy to reduce food waste is stashing veggie scraps in the freezer. Once I collect enough, I’ll be able to make my own veggie broth! In the future, I hope to be able to compost things like this.
Next steps to live more sustainably
There are tons more things I could do to live more sustainably. These are next on my hit list:
- Use reusable produce bags (I have my eye on these)
- Choose products with less packaging
- Phase out worn-out plastic food containers in favor of glass
What steps do you take to be more mindful or sustainable in your everyday life?