6 Simple Sustainable Living Swaps You Can Make Right Now
Happy Earth month! Living sustainably may seem like a daunting and unattainable task, especially with so many lifestyle changes that come with it. Although there are extremist methods for sustainable living, there are also minor swaps that are easy to integrate into your everyday life. Sustainability can still be effective if a lot of people are taking the same small steps together. Here are six simple sustainable living swaps you can make right now (and where to find more)!
1. Reusable Cups
Emotional support animals may be cute and cuddly but have you ever heard of an emotional support cup? Yes, if anything positive came from 2020 it was the incorporation of an emotional support cup as a standard practice for so many. Whether it be a reusable Starbucks tumbler or a fully-stickered Hydroflask, having a reusable cup to take with you everywhere you go is a key sustainable living swap to make right now.
The main sustainable benefit of a reusable cup is to minimize the production (and waste) of plastic water bottles, cups, and straws. All these things are not only harmful to the planet but put many animals within our ecosystem at high risk. Luckily, this sustainable sway is affordable, easy, and can be really fun to decorate and bring with you everywhere!
2. Washable Cotton Pads
Being a skincare junkie not only requires a thoroughly planned skincare routine, but it more often than not requires you to have an unlimited supply of round cotton pads. Of course, at the moment you may only be using 1-2 at a time, but think about those numbers multiplied by a whole year. The number of cotton pads you are using will add up when it is just not necessary. Washable cotton pads are washing machine-safe alternatives that minimize the waste of disposable ones while also being just as effective for your skincare and environmental needs.
3. Thrift Shopping
This may be a personal bias but thrift shopping is easily the best sustainable living swap. I mean who wouldn’t want to help save the planet while simultaneously revamping their entire wardrobe? Thanks to TikTok, thrift shopping has resurfaced as a trendy outlet for the perfect vintage wardrobe on everyone’s mind. Thrifting is also a great way to avoid shopping fast-fashion which is an industrialized route of shopping that is extremely harmful to the environment. The fast-fashion industry is wasteful in resources and production while thrifting is a great alternative to slowing down this highly sought-after industry.
4. Non-Meat Alternatives
Although non-meat alternatives may seem like more of a dietary concern and not one regarding sustainable living, the meat industry has a major impact on the environment. The meatpacking industry is responsible for using a lot of resources such as land, crops, water, and energy. In short, industrialized meat produces carbon dioxide-equivalent gases that are devastating for both people and animals. (1) There are safer meat options that are environmentally conscious, but a really easy way to still get protein in your diet is through non-meat alternatives such as tofu, beans, and fish.
5. Eco-Labeled Beauty Products
Eco-labeled beauty products are those that pass certain environmental performance qualifications and are deemed eco-friendly and “clean” beauty products. Eco-labeled beauty can be best interpreted through the EWG (Environmental Working Group), a cosmetic database that rates and evaluates products so that you don’t have to. EWG can help you better understand if a product is clean for both your face and for the environment.
6. Eliminate That Plastic!
Eliminating plastic in sustainable living can easily go beyond a reusable cup. Eliminating plastic can be seen through reusable straws, silverware, storage, zip blocks, grocery bags, plates/bowls, and so much more. Whether you integrate these swaps gradually or in one swoop, the result will mean eliminating unnecessary waste in your personal day-to-day and for the planet long term. Sustainable swaps are not meant to major and life-altering for your average day and can be a really fun journey if you allow it.
Brands To Know
- Fair Indigo
- Uncommon Goods
- Wearth London
- Habit Cosmetics
- RMS Beauty
- Aether Beauty
- Yay for Earth
Who To Follow
As a Hawaii native, Skincare By Hyram understands the fragile nature of our planet. He is also a massive skincare guru who can best be described as TikTok’s personal dermatologist. Hyram often notes environmentally conscious and sustainable skincare brands in his videos and can be a great resource on all things sustainable skincare.
From food to fits, Sustainable Sabs is all things well, sustainable! She is a vegan, social activist who aims to spread her knowledge and personal practices. She is also the co-founder of Intersectional Environmentalist, an environmental resource and media hub with over 200 thousand followers on Instagram.
Elizabeth Teo, or Zero Waste Cutie on Instagram, is a sustainable influencer here to educate her followers. She is here to take us on her sustainability journey and guide us with her everyday experiences.
Jazmine Rogers is a sustainable fashion and lifestyle influencer who will feed your Instagram timeline with the perfect colorful Y2K vibe that will make sustainability irresistible.
Jenny, who is also known as Wear I Live on Instagram, is a fashion-forward New Yorker with all the ins on sustainability through New York fashion. Her Instagram is flooded with food, resources, thrifting, and interview content all through her organic aesthetic.
Ultimately, sustainable living swaps both big and small, all contribute to bettering our environment. Understanding the harm that has been done to our planet thus far and what continues to be done is half the battle. Enforcing sustainable action into your daily practice will help push the health of our planet (and self) forward.
Written by Daniela Rodriguez