A big conversation everywhere is the environment, and in the grand scheme of things it may seem like you doing anything may not help combat the battle to change it, but it does. You may seem like a single person and you doing your part CAN help. I think that 7.53 Billion people trying to make the environment better, Fuck even a quarter of that, can make a difference. Here are some tips to help you do your part to make the world a little bit greener.
Get a reusable straw
I Honestly never used plastic straws unless it was already in the drink, but I was reading about how drinking liquids through a straw help prevent staining. So I bought a metal reusable straw. It is honestly the most amazing thing ever. I literally use it all the time (mostly if I am drinking out of a can or for a glass of water ( it really helps when being a lazy ass and laying down). One of the reasons it took me so long to buy a reusable straw was because I use to take smoothies in a metal Starbucks tumbler, and at the end of the day there would be shit stuck up the straw (no matter how many times I washed it) and I figured that it was not sanitary. After that happening many times with the “reusable” straws I gave up, but then there were straws that would come with a cleaner. This was just a more durable pipe cleaner that crafts were made of when I was a kid. I was sold! This was going to make my skepticism of the sanitary straw obliterated. So I bought a straw and I am never looking back. If you live in Saskatoon, reusable straws and cleaners can be found at Thrive Juice co, the better good, the Remai Modern art gallery shop, and the bulk barn (which is the cheapest at 1 dollar a straw and 50 cents for a cleaner!)
Don’t get the plastic bags at the grocery store
So I have completely switched over to reusable bags at the grocery stores. This is for the ones that carry the groceries out of the store in and the ones that you would put produce in, yep if it has a plastic bag for it at the grocery store… I got a reusable one. I feel like most people probably have gone the way of the reusable carryout bags, but the produce ones maybe not so much based on my interactions with people at the grocery store. I mostly go grocery shopping once a week so it is easy for me to grab my bag of bags (yes it is a bag to hold all of my bags) and head to the stores. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes I run into the store for one thing and come out with many that require a bag to carry. For this reason alone I just have a reusable bag hanging out in my purse/backpack or I will just shove everything into whatever bag I happen to be carrying. So this is another thing that has changed my life especially since plastic bags can no longer be put in the recycling bins in your home (at least in Saskatoon). I have linked the specific ones that I purchased on Amazon, but if you live in Saskatoon I know that the better good sold reusable produce bags.
Do not use k-cups or t-disks or whatever the fuck they are called
So when I moved out this past year I needed to get a coffee machine but I was the only one out of my partner and me who drinks coffee. Well, I drink about one coffee a day at home, work supplies the rest of my coffee fix, so buying a 12 cup coffee maker really didn’t make much sense for me. While we were packing things up at my partner’s house, his mother said that she had a Keurig that she no longer used and that I was welcome to have it (score!) and she also had reusable pods that I could put whatever coffee I wanted in (double score). The funny thing about this was that my partner was attamit that I not get a Keurig because they are so wasteful and promote single-use products. Which is true but if I didn’t buy it or give money to the company is it just as bad??? In the end, I have the Keurig and use the refillable pods everyday and I walk around a little more guilt-free about my carbon footprint. I have linked the amazon reusable k-cup if anyone is wanted to purchase it.
Skip the plastic wrap (use containers to hold food)
OMG, this is one that I hold near and dear to my heart! Before I was ever super into environmental stuff I would hide the saran wrap from my family. They loved to use it! And I do not know why. Like they would put food into a container that had a lid but just put saran wrap over it instead of getting the lid. Like holy Fuck this annoyed me. So, I hid the saran wrap in my room. This forced them to use the lids of the gazillion and one container my mother had collected over the years. Now that I don’t live at my parents I cannot say if they still don’t use it or not but I know that I don’t. Even using an empty yogurt container is better than saran wrap (still not great but better). Moral of the story is DON’T USE SARAN WRAP! Fuck don’t even buy it.
Use glass containers
Just using reusable containers is a big one, but I feel that taking it to the next level and using glass containers is even better! But Devan why is glass better? Well as much as you would like to think that the plastic container is great it does pick up smells, it can warp, and I have noticed that a few kinds get this weird melty kind of stuff on it? I have no idea what it actually is but it weirds me out. Also, plastic can only be recycled a few times before they become unusable any more. With glass, it doesn’t lose its quality as it is continuously recycled. This means that you can keep recycling the glass containers/bottles over and over and over again and it doesn’t make a difference in the quality of the product that gets produced. With plastic, depending on the type, you will only get no recycle-ability or only a few times. So overall using a glass container, in the bigger picture, is better. It might not seem like you are making a difference in your household but you are
Bring your own containers when you go out for food
I had honestly read this on some other blog a long time ago but never actually thought anything of it until I was out for supper the other day and had to ask to take food home (this never happens). I told my partner how easy it would be for me to just have a container in my backpack that I could whip out and put my food into and not even have to worry about asking for a take-home box. My Mind was blown and I will always try and bring a container if I go out to eat.
Be cautious of what you are buying
This one is not really a way to reduce as more of to get you thinking about the stuff you may buy and not realize that it could be wasteful. Like anything that is a single use product or something that is covered in plastic. If you become more aware of what you are buying you might try to avoid using some stuff, which also reduces waste I guess.
Use jars for bulk
If you are a person who goes to the bulk store often, then you might benefit from taking a jar, hell even if you don’t go often still take jars! Just get the cashier to weigh them for you and you are golden! It sounds ridiculous but it is so smart, you don’t have to worry about the stupid bags especially if you have a marker to write on the jar. I find that it helps and is a reusable way to go get bulk items…. Even if it is just candy.
This one is a hard one for me because I love to write stuff down and making notes. I also use a day planner to keep myself organized. However, I have been moving more towards having everything on my phone. I have a shared calendar with my partner which helps a lot. I try to make notes in an app called keep it. This allows me to make lists and is easy to cross off and I love it. As much as I want to 100% move to electronic note taking and planning I think it will take some time, but as long as I am moving in the right direction.
Stop using brands that promote single-use products
This one goes hand in hand with the be cautious of what you buy and stop using K-cups. I feel like this one is the umbrella that these fall under. But still, stop using single-use products. I try and avoid stuff that makes me throw it out after one use. It is hard but if you really put your mind to it, it is possible.
Let me know other ways or ways that you try to reduce waste. I always love learning about other ways or new ways to be green!