So, my main goal for this post is to help those who are looking to be more sustainable realize that it us much easier than the hundreds of thousands articles online make it seem. I know that I was utterly and completely overwhelmed when I first started and I will admit that I definitely didn’t do it the right way – and yes there is a right way and a wrong way. But I don’t want to give too much away on the beginning so lets get started …
Right quick, I share a lot of products and links in this post and I do not make any compensation from these links, if I shared them, I genuinely just love the product 🙂
Terms you need to know –
This is something that for the longest time I didnt deem as something of importance, however, there are so many words and phrases thrown around in the online sustainable community, that I wish I had spent more time with them. These are the top 5 words I see most often and what they mean:
- Sustainable – “something that can be maintained at a certain rate or level” (Oxford Languages)
- Eco-Friendly – “not harmful to the environment” (Oxford Languages)
- Zero – Waste – The conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.” (www.zwia.org)
- Climate Change – “a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.” (Oxford Languages)
- Green Washing – “Greenwashing is the process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how a company’s products are more environmentally sound. Greenwashing is considered an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company’s products are environmentally friendly.” (https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/greenwashing.asp)
A lot of people will define these a little bit differently, however, in the end they all mean the same thing. For me, Zero Waste was an unattainable goal and I was getting really depressed because I literally couldn’t do it – no matter how hard I tried. One thing people don’t realize about being zero waste is that unless you live in a city with a zero waste/refill store, have no kids or pets, and/or live on a farm – there is a 90% chance you won’t be successful – so make sure that you are setting attainable goals because it is not fair to your mental health to compare yourself to these people who are succeeding at being ZW. Also, the idea that you can fit all your garbage into a mason jar, is garbage.
Seeing that I couldn’t sustain being ZW – you see what I did there? – I decided that a sustainable path was better for me – and boy am I glad I made that decision. Being sustainable for me means that I make things last as long as I possible can and reuse things whenever I can! I also always try to buy the glass version of products when I am shopping – it is better for the environment and I can reuse them for a large number of things. I fix clothes that have holes in them, I save plastic containers to send home food with friends (so they don’t steal my glass ones;)), save packaging for wrapping gifts, support local farmers markets, we make our own sauces and reuse old jars to store them, and so much more.
And none of the things above happened over night, it took my almost 4 years – one thing I wish everyone could grasp right from the get go is, being more sustainable and eco-friendly is not a race, it is not a competition, it is a journey and one that you can’t do alone!
Look for Good & Accurate Sources for Knowledge
With that being said, it is so, so, SO important to find good, reliable sources that align with your journey! I have listed a few of my favorite blogs and accounts that have truly helped me learn and grow in my own journey to sustainability.
And some of my favorite Instagram accounts are:
And that’s just to name a few – there are so many great options out there it is hard to narrow it down to a few, but these accounts are great for information and knowledge, not just product promotion.
Think About You and Your Lifestyle
Being Ecofirendly, Sustainable, or even ZW should never be something that happens overnight. And another important thing to remember is that what works for others might not work for you – so do what you can.
For example, my boyfriend and I buy our groceries once a week and we keep meat in the freezer for the week until we are ready to use it. Several people would say that by eating meat, I am not being eco-friendly – which to some degree I can understand and I am working on reducing the amount of meat that I eat, however, I have struggled severely with IBS in the past and for the first time in a long time, I know what I can and can’t eat to make my stomach happy – and meat is one of those things. We also use plastic bags to separate them – we tried to use glass tuba-ware before but it took up so much space in the fridge and would sometimes break when we started to thaw the meat out. We also tried and still sometimes use reusable ziplocks, but they are extremely hard to clean and I don’t know it just gives me the chills when I would use the bag for chicken on week and then beef the next – I might be crazy but like I said above, you know what works for you and your lifestyle and it is okay not to be perfect. Another food aspect that we are trying to be more eco-friendly in is waste – we have started to try and grow produce that is almost past it’s eat date – this way we don’t waste it and we get more food 🙂 However, living in a third floor apartment complex, it is difficult to do large scale gardening, so we do very very small scale 🙂
Another area of my life that isn’t 100% eco-friendly is my skin care. It took my damn near 22 years to figure out my skin care routine. I have sensitive skin and a lot of fragrance’s and dye’s drives my skin up a wall – so through trail and error, I have found the products that work for me. I use a wide variety of different products from a few companies*
*I just want to add that unless the product caused redness, severe & persistent Acne, or discomfort – I finish it before trying another brand.
Make-up Remover – I am not someone who wears a lot of make up but when I do I use Arbonne’s RE9 make-up remover. I will use this one up and then probably switch to my friend Bailey’s brand EarthyB Living Make up removing cream – it literally melts your make-up off !
- Use my code ‘TGF5’ for a discount – I do not make any money off of this code, she’s just an amazing person and offered me a code to share
Face Wash – I currently am almost finished with my Arbonne’s old Calm line facial cleanser, I like it a lot but the new formula is not for me. I am going to switch to One Love’s Botanical B Enzymes Cleansing Oil – It is an eco-friendly option and it is designed with sensitive skin souls in mind
Exfoliator – I currently use Tula’s exfoliator and while I love it, I want to look into supporting a smaller business that has more eco-friendly options, I will update you all on the search.
Eye Cream – I have an eye gel but I don’t like it so I am looking for a new one currently
Glow Serum and Lip Mask – I use EarthyB’s Glow Serum and Lip mask (which might not be out yet but you’ll want it once she launches it) and I LOVE THEM! The glow serum is my all in one product that I never travel without! You can use it for face brightening, to spice up your face mask, and you can even use it on new tattoos – It is amazing! And the lip mask is also so good, especially if you live in a place where the weather is forever changing and your lips can’t keep up.
As you can see, my skin care routine, while filled with wonderful eco products is not perfect, but that is 100% okay.
Remember, everyone’s lifestyle is different, so everyone’s journey should look different. And if you don’t want to make big changes just yet, start small – pick up trash you see while walking your dog, eat meat 6 days of the week instead of 7, shop local, read articles/websites/ anything on sustainability so that when you are ready you have a good place to start – there are so many things you can do to be more eco-friendly in your life!
I really hope that this post helps someone out on their journey to sustainability and if you have any accounts, businesses, or products you would like to share, please comment them below!