5 Ways To Be More Sustainable In Honor 

Of Earth Day

We are so lucky to have such a beautiful and incredible planet that is able to provide everything we as humans need to survive.  Earth provides so much for us, which is why it's so important that we take care of her too.  While we can't change everything just by cleaning up and celebrating the Earth for one day out of the year, we can start to make changes to our everyday life in order to do our part in living more sustainably and making it better.  Yes, it is important to clean the Earth up around you, but there are so many other ways to do things or simple changes we can make to have an even more substantial effect.

  1. Use re-useable/multi-use items

One of the simplest and easiest ways that we can help our Earth, is to cut back on pollution.  While we will probably never be able to fully cut back and create no pollution, we can do enough to make a difference.  For example, instead of using a plastic water bottle where the average person uses 156 bottles a year, you can switch to a reusable water bottle.  Not only do you stop all of those single-use bottles from going into and polluting landfills, but you will ultimately save a lot of money too.  While the average American spends an extra $260 per year on plastic water bottles as compared to about $10-$50 for a good reusable that will last you years and years. I have a 32 oz Hydroflask that has lasted me a good few years now and it's great because it can also keep my drink nice and hot or cold depending on what I put in it.  Another way is to use reusable zip lock bags, beeswax wrap, or reusable containers instead of single-use plastic wrap or single-use ziplock bags. Once again, you'll be helping the environment AND saving money because you will be purchasing much fewer products.

2. Sustainable Clothing

Purchasing sustainable clothing is a great way to help the environment.  While it can be easy to just look at the price and go for the cheaper option, the cheaper item probably won't last as long, technically making it more expensive.  Now, I do understand that many of us have restrictive budgets, so I'm not saying to just go out and spend all of your money on clothes.  What I'm saying, is to be smart about it and be conscious of everything that goes into it.  One thing that I prefer to do, is to look at the cost of clothing from a "price-per-wear" perspective rather than a "total cost" perspective.  For example, if I like 2 shirts and one is $10 but is cheaply made and I may only wear it a few times and the other is $50 but it is well-made with durable material and I know I will wear it often, I will opt for the second shirt.  When you break it down, let's say I wear the shirt 10 times, that's $1 per time I wear it and if I wear the second shirt 50 times then it becomes the same price as the first and if I continue to wear it, the price continues to go down. Yes, I still have a few cheap shirts...we all do, but for me, it's more important to fill my closet with long-lasting items, that I love and will wear time and time again.  

The brands can also make a big difference in sustainability.  For example one of my favorite brands, Chaco, has an incredible program called their "Re-Chaco" program.  This program was created to provide their products with a longer life after they have been very loved.  Their shoes are incredibly durable and will last you years, but when the sole is eventually worn down, you can send them in and have them re-soled.  In this process, they will take the sole off of your shoe and replace it with a new one at a low cost. They are also able to replace the straps or buckle if either of those become damaged in the duration of the product's life.  They offer this at a low cost so that their products can be used to their fullest potential. If you've never heard of them, I definitely recommend checking them out.

Another awesome way to purchase sustainable clothing is to go thrifting and in return, sell or donate your old clothing.  This way you aren't feeding into the "fast fashion" industry and you are able to use clothing to its fullest potential. I swear, some of my favorite items I own, have been thrifted.  You can always find some great long-lasting items for a fraction of the price, while also giving that clothing a second or possibly third chance at life.

3. Purchase Natural/Eco-Friendly Products

There are a couple of things I mean by "purchase natural".  The first is to reach out to local farmers and go to local farmer's markets to purchase as many of your all-natural products and fresh foods as possible.  This also means learning to make your own food from scratch so you aren't consuming and/or supporting the processed food industry. I love to do this in general because you can usually get some great deals, your food is sustainably grown and not sprayed with a bunch of chemicals and most importantly you are able to support local farmers in your community.  

The second is to purchase and use the least amount of harmful chemicals as possible. Many cleaning and personal hygiene supplies today are filled with chemicals that are harmful to both our environment and our overall health as humans.  So with this, I encourage you to be conscious of the ingredients in your products and do your own research to find what products work best for you and those around you. I really love the personal hygiene products from Booda Organics. They are an awesome sustainable and all-natural company that puts emphasis on only using "clean and healthy" ingredients.  A great way to check the ingredients and if a product is bad for you is to use an app called "Think Dirty".  This app allows you to scan the barcode of an item and it will pull up the ingredient list and point out bad/harmful ingredients as well as a rating on how good or bad the product is for you.

4. Start a Garden/Plant a Tree

Starting a garden and/or planting a tree is a great way to give back to Mother Earth!  There are so many perks to having a garden and being surrounded by plants of all varieties.  Plants work hard to provide so much including, but not limited to, food (fruits, vegetables, and nuts), a positive impact on mental health (beauty and smell of fresh flowers), containing medicinal properties (teas, salves, and much more) and they work hard to clean and purify the air around us.  Have you ever wondered why air quality is so bad in big cities? Yes, because there are a lot of cars, factories, and litter/pollution, but also because there aren't enough plants to filter and clean the air in those areas.  We as humans require a lot of oxygen to exist and that, my friend is the #1 thing that plants have to offer us.  The more plants there are in an area, the better the air quality will be.  Even if it's just a small plant here and there, they can definitely help create a difference in the environment around us.  If you do happen to have the space, trees are an excellent plant that can help maintain and nourish the environment around you even more.  Just make sure to do your research to see what plants are okay and will survive in your area, we don't want to disrupt and cause harm to the ecosystems surrounding it.

5. Use Natural Resources 

Using natural resources is one of the best ways to help Earth flourish.  For example, utilize natural light as much as possible instead of just using lights all the time.  Studies have proven that not only is this good for the environment, but is has a substantial effect on your mental health. Natural light contains a multitude of vitimins and other vital nutrients that we as humans need.  Without it, our immune systems are weak while our physical and mental health suffer because of it.  Humans were created as simple creatures to be one with the world around us.  Everything we truly need, can and will be provided by Mother Earth.  We need oxygen... our atmosphere is filled with it and plants work hard to provide even more.  We need fresh water...the earth has plenty of water and the plants in the surrounding ecosystem works hard to clean and purify it.  We need food...plants bear fruit, vegetables and nuts and animals provide eggs, milk and meat all to help nourish our bodies.  Plants and animals contain all of the nutrients we need not just to survive, but to thrive.

While I know that there are many many more ways to live sustainably and give back to the Earth that gives so much to us, these are some of the big things that I have implemented in my own life.  So I encourage you to try some of these and continue to find even more ways to give back and take care of this beautiful planet that we have been given.  

What other things do you like to incorporate into your everyday lifestyle? Are there any ways that you can improve your current lifestyle to live more sustainably? What amazing things does Mother Nature do for you?  What can you do for her to say thank you and show her some love?