Small Changes You Can Make to Be More Sustainable

Written By: Amelia Kennedy

  1. Buying thrifted or used clothing

Cutting down on your carbon footprint and consumption is extremely important, especially in the fashion industry. The clothing and shoe industry often uses unethical and harmful practices on their workers and the planet. About 100 billion clothing items are produced each year and 60% of that will end up in a landfill (Clean Clothes Campaign). Hand-me-downs are also a great option. By buying used clothes, water, materials, and transportation won’t have to be overused to go on a shopping trip.  

  1. Switching to zero-waste makeup and skincare

Plenty of women (and men) love to look their best and get ready in the morning starting with skincare and a fresh face of makeup. Although, most products are non-recyclable and non-vegan. Try makeup brands such as RMS beauty, Axiology, and Elate Cosmetics that use recyclable packaging, are vegan, and contain ethically sourced ingredients. One enormous contributor to beauty waste is makeup wipes. It is estimated that 7.6 billion pounds of makeup wipes are thrown away each year. Compostable makeup wipes have recently surfaced, offering an easy switch to those who just want to wipe the day off. 

  1. Try to incorporate more plants to your diet

Having a balanced diet is extremely important to your mental and physical health, as well as the environment. While you don’t have to completely eliminate meat from your diet, it’s a great idea to have more plant-based food than meat or processed foods. The meat industry produces many greenhouse gases and the energy to raise, feed, and take care of animals is much greater than the energy for plant agriculture. More often than not, processed foods come in non-recyclable packaging that is also harmful to the environment. Cutting down on meat consumption doesn’t have to be complicated and plant-based meals can be delicious!

Credit: Eating Well
  1.  Avoid using single-serve or K-cup coffees

One thing most Americans (and most college kids) love is a nice cup of coffee. A large portion of coffee places use single use containers that get thrown out once you’ve finished your morning coffee. Brewing and making your own coffee can cut down on the amount of coffee filters, single-use plastics/papers, and water used. Keurig cups or K-cups are “mess free,” single-use ground containers that are non-recyclable. These are causing more of a mess in landfills, with over tens of billions of them covering our earth. Making the switch to brewing your own coffee will not only contribute to eco-friendly practices, but it will also save you money! 

  1. Pack lighter for vacations

Everyone loves to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle, so next time you’re packing for your trip to Paris, Bermuda, or anywhere else, be mindful of how much you’re bringing. Whether traveling by car, plane, or ship, the heavier a suitcase is, the more gas will be used to transport everything. If everyone flying in a plane packed one less pair of shoes, the fuel saved by reducing the plane’s weight would be equivalent to removing 10,500 cars from the road each year (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions). Everyone can contribute to a small change in their daily travel habits, which can point the earth’s well being in a better direction. 

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