Having grown up in Northern California, not too far from Santa Cruz and Berkeley (the land of all things organic and natural), I have always been aware of a healthy lifestyle. The one part that I hadn’t thought about was sustainability. Yes, I always recycled and brought my own reusable bags to the store, but I didn’t think too much beyond that. Not until the beginning of 2018, when I read a couple of books that really made me start to think about a lot of things differently. And, when I looked at my lifestyle I noticed that there were some small changes that I could make that could have a positive impact.
I am not talking about a major overhaul here; just small simple steps to be more sustainable. Here are seven simple steps for you…
01. Buy Weck Jars. They were an enormous game changer for me. And, I must admit I do feel good when I use them and no longer use plastic bags. Once you start using them, trust me, you won’t want to stop. They have a variety of sizes and work great for storage in the fridge, in the freezer or on the shelf. I was amazed the first time I put half of an avocado in one and it was still fresh and green the next day. To me, that alone is worth the small investment. I purchased all three sizes of these from Williams -Sonoma.
02. Invest in a Berkey. This was the other big game changer for me. I purchased the Big Berkey and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I purchased a pedestal for mine, and with its stainless steel exterior and black details, it is nice enough to leave out in plain sight. Since the water dispenses at room temperature, I have a glass pitcher in my fridge that I fill it up so I can have cold water when wanted. Not only do I use this water for drinking water for me, but I also use it to fill up my dog’s water bowl, and to fill my pots with water for cooking and baking.
03. Recycle. I know you know this but think about going beyond cans, bottles, and boxes. I recycle everything I can…my glass jars that my beauty products come in is just one thing. I just rinse them out and toss them in the recycle bin. Please make sure to follow your city’s regulations on what can and cannot be recycled.
04. Homemade all natural cleaners. You would be amazed at what distilled vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and hot water can do for grout! With just a handful of items, you can make something to clean just about everything in your home naturally. I make all my own cleaning products. I love that I only had to spend a couple dollars on spray bottles that I use time and time again. Not sure how to start? Pinterest has some of the best ideas around.
05. Use cloth napkins and unpaper towels. I use cloth napkins not only at home but when I am packing a lunch too. Simple and easy. And, for some reason, I think everything tastes better when cloth napkins are involved. If you haven’t heard of unpaper towels…Google it. Usually, unpaper towels are thinner than normal kitchen towels, but kitchen towels work just as well.
06. Buy in bulk. Less plastic involved and things look so pretty stored in glass jars (see #1).
07. Bring your own bags to the store. No more plastic, please. You can buy a couple of inexpensive bags and take them to the store with you each time you go. Being from California, you learn quickly to not forget your bags when they start charging you for each one. My way not to forget them – as soon as they are unloaded I always put them back in the trunk of my car. Also, you have less threat of breakage when you’re not using plastic.
I truly think it’s important that we all do our part to be more sustainable. What do you think? Are the items above something you can do to?