Over the last year we have been trying our best to be more conscious of our choices and the impact they have on the environment. What we eat, wear, buy, and do can affect the world in so many ways. You probably already know that being vegan helps to decrease your negative impact on the environment. Animal agriculture produces a lot of toxin chemicals and uses a lot of resources. However there are many small changes that everyone can make to live a more sustainable life.
From reusable bags to glass straws and changing the way you shop, these simple changes don’t take much thought but have a big impact on the environment. If you’re looking for more ways to reduce your impact, here are our top ten small changes you can make to be more sustainable in your day-t0-day life.
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Swap out plastic straws for reusable ones.
Reusable straws are all the rage right now – and for a good reason! Straws are super damaging to our oceans and honestly just unnecessary. Some business have already started switching to paper straws, which is amazing. However if you go somewhere that hasn’t made the switch yet purchasing a set of glass straws or stainless steel straws are a great solution.
No tumbler, no coffee.
As Canadians we love coffee. You will rarely see a commuter in the morning without a cup of coffee in their hand. Did you know those cups aren’t actually recyclable? Even if they were, why not buy your very own reusable cup? They only cost around $10-$20 and forever (plus you usually get a small discount on your coffee when you bring your own mug). My general rule of thumb is no reusable cup, no coffee. Once you refuse coffee to yourself once, you’ll never forget your cup ever again. Or have your coffee for here and use a mug!
Ditch the produce bags.
Why are these even necessary? Unless you buying a lot of something small, you don’t need to use produce bags. If you insist, there are amazing reusable options that can be found online! I have these for smaller produce items like mushrooms, chilis, and limes. Low cost and you can help save the planet, win-win.
Why do plastic bags even exist anymore?
Similar to what we mentioned above. Reusable grocery bags have been around for so long it’s a wonder why plastic ones are even still being produced. Plastic helps no one, so bring your reusable bags every time. It helps to keep bags by the door, in your car, and in your purse/backpack so that you’re always prepared. My rule is if I forget the bags, then I am carrying everything home in my arms. Ensures I never forget them again.
Shop with a set list and a plan.
Food waste is a big issue all around the world. Our fridges and plates are bigger and therefore we feel the need to fill them, even if you won’t eat it all. An empty fridge looks sad, but we say embrace the empty fridge. Make a plan before you go grocery shopping that lists exactly what you need and how much. The list helps hold you accountable to food waste. You save money and save the planet.
Skip fast fashion, thrift and flip.
What is fast fashion? Stores that are constantly producing new clothing. Stores like Forever 21 or H&M are fast fashions companies. Their clothing is designed based on fads, meaning it’s designed to go out of fashion in a couple months and bring you back into the store to buy something else. This industry has a lot of negative impact on the environment. Instead try visiting the thrift store for your next shopping trip. You get new clothing, without the negative impact on the environment.
Say no to plastic water bottles.
Another one of those why-are-these-still-a-thing things. Plastic water bottles are just no longer necessary in most situations. Find yourself a nice reusable water bottle and bring it with you everywhere!
Buy in bulk.
Bulk food stores are some of our favourites, because we’ve said it before and will say it again – we save money! Most bulk stores will also allow you to bring your own containers which means you don’t have to use plastic bags.
If you aren’t already getting all your bills online, time to switch that up. There are no bills that are only available cash anymore. So give each place a call or go to their website and find out how to switch over your payment plan to electronic only.
Eating out is not only expensive, but’s also pretty wasteful. Unless your bringing your own tupperware, takeout boxes have a big impact on the environment. There are two ways to fix this. I’ve mentioned the first already – bring your own containers and cutlery! The second – make your lunch at home. Save money, time, and the environment by simply making your lunch at home.