I wrote this post oringally (seen below) almost a year ago – and it’s crazy to me how much life has changed. In the year since this post my boyfriend and I have moved into a condo (which we own!), adopted the cutest little kitten ever (HI RAMBO!), successfully reintegrated back to New York living, and still had time to explore Poland, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, & two US States (all while paying to offset my carbon footprint).
I’ve learned a few more things about living green, and trying to go zero waste in these past twelve months as well, and I’m here to share them with you.
- Jam Jars are a LIFESAVER! I buy a good amount of jam, and always in glass jars (because I obviously don’t like to buy plastic). These jars are a great and cheap storage option. I use them to transport my daily yogurt to work, or to put snacks in, or in a pinch as a water glass!
- The power of eBay. When I came home my clothes were pretty outdated, and I didn’t have the money to shop ethically the way I wanted, and I didn’t want to succumb to fast fashion. Luckily I was introduced to secondhand clothes shopping on eBay by a friend – and have been able to find such gems as an Eileen Fisher velvet top for $6 and even a Burberry dress for $35! (both in excellent condition).
- Reuse. Reuse. Reuse. The bed in my condo? A King size Tempurpedic given to us for free from a couple that had it for two weeks and didn’t like it. The cabinets/appliances in our kitchen? Beautiful cherry cabinets and Jenn-Air appliances that we retrofitted to our kitchen. There are so many ways to reuse what is already out
there. Just because someone decides they don’t want something anymore, doesn’t mean it has to be the end of it’s life cycle.
- … Reusable bags everywhere. It’s insane that I work for ECOBAGS® and yet 70% of the time I still forget my reusable bags at home, or I would, if I didn’t keep them literally (ok, figuratively) everywhere. In my purse? String bag. Behind the seat of my car? Tote & string bag. In the trunk of my car? So many bags. In my boyfriends car… also so many bags. In my desk at work, you got it,
more bags! I never have an excuse anymore to take a plastic bag, and I since I don’t take them, I don’t feel the guilt anymore.
- Speaking of plastic… you don’t have to use bags made of petroleum to clean up after
your pet. Try these bags that are made out of cornstarch.
I’m just now negotiating my way back into society after living as a nomad after 2.5 years. Living a green lifestyle has always been important to me – and something that was surprisingly easy while traveling.
I always had my klean kanteen in my pack, along with a water purifier, and only had to buy water in plastic bottles when I was in a country whose water was contaminated by lead. I kept a small reusable tote bag in my fanny pack for impromptu market shopping (I forgot my ECOBAGS® string bag in Italy), I always took public transport or hitched a ride. I generated little garbage, took short usually cold showers, I even carried around multiple bars of Dr. Bronners certified organic soap in my small 30L backpack, Dr. Bronners is packaged in paper, not plastic.
I did all this without thinking about it.
Reintegrating into the first world and staying green is surprisingly hard. It’s so easy to buy a coffee with a plastic lid mid-day, or use plastic saran wrap to help pack my lunch. Living green is a much more intentional lifestyle with first world conveniences all around me.
So, I’ve been doing more research into a zero waste lifestyle, and wanted to share some green living hacks that have really resonated with me; (almost all found after spending way too much time on pinterest…):
- Reusable food wrap (instead of aluminium or plastic wrap)
- Reusable paper towels (so much better than generating all that trash!)
- Zero waste lunch kit (you can always buy reusable bags, totes, and lunch accessories at ecobags.com)
- Reusable coffee mug & water bottle (klean kanteen is great, and will last you FOREVER,unless you lose it hitchhiking…)
- Beauty products, I love lush! Now that I’m wearing makeup again it’s great to find a greener alternative, that packages their products responsibly, if at all. You can always make your own, but I haven’t tried yet.
You can follow us on pinterest to see more green living/zero waste ideas!
Written by: Mollie Mac
Written by: Mollie Mac