4 Ways To Reduce Your Everyday Plastic Use

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So, news just in: plastic is bad. Like, really bad. And we use a lot of it. Sometimes without realizing. For example. I drink coffee every day. literally, every day. and I never really gave much thought to the fact that every day when I get a coffee to-go I am getting a plastic cup and sometimes a plastic straw, which, even in my unaware state, is TOTALLY contributing to the plastic problem we all face today. No. Bueno. Taren. 

No. Bueno (but also, like, no need to be hard on yourself. knowledge is power, and I’m about to give you a shit-load of power.)

*yes I know

"But I didn't know we had a plastic problem" 

Totally cool, and no shame. Lemme give you a little rundown of whats happening on our planet. These are just a few of my favorite, horrifying plastic facts. For more check out this handy dandy fact sheet. 

  1. Humans buy about 1,000,000 plastic bottles per minute in total. Plastic bottles take around 450+ years to decompose, and only about 23% of plastic bottles are recycled within the U.S.

  2. About one trillion single-use plastic bags are used annually across the globe. That’s nearly 2 million every minute.

  3. Half a million straws are used in the world every day. Straws take Upwards of 200 years to decompose.

  4. 40 percent of plastic produced is packaging, used just once and then discarded.

  5. Single-use-plastics frequently do not make it to a landfill or are recycled. A full 32% of the 78 million tons of plastic packaging produced annually is left to flow into our oceans; the equivalent of pouring one garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute. This is expected to increase to two per minute by 2030 and four per minute by 2050. By 2050, this could mean there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans

Okay, so.. if you are anything like me, all of this (which is just scratching the surface really) is really overwhelming. But, good news! There are a few simple ways to reduce your single-use plastic usage and create a more sustainable future for you and our planet!

4 Ways To Reduce Your EVERYDAY PLASTIC USE

1. Get on the Reusable Mug Bandwagon

I have two of these Stanley mugs because, well, one in the car and one in the sink. I basically buy coffee every day, and every shop I’ve ever been to will serve it to you in your own mug. I’ve DRASTICALLY cut back on my single-use by bringing my own mug with me. If you want some sweet suggestions check these out!


2. Ditch the Disposable Cutlery

Instead of feeling bad every time I got lunch out, I started keeping a set of HumanGoods reusable cutlery in the glovebox of my car. One more easy step toward sustainability.


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3. Embrace the Glass

Do you take your lunch to work? Ditch the single-use paper and plastic and embrace the glass! It’s reusable, durable and looks way cooler anyways.


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4. Say Yes To Metal Straws!

The first time I said “I’ll just have a water. No ice, no straw please.I felt pretty silly. But the more accustomed to it, I became the more proud I felt. Now, along with my reusable cutlery I keep a metal straw in my glovebox so any time I order an iced drink to go I have the option of using a straw!


Do you have any quick tips for sustainable living? Drop them in the comments!
+ For more ideas on how to create a sustainable lifestyle, check out these lists! +

5 Dope Reusable Mugs For Your Everyday Adventures

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I just wrote the most bangin’ intro to this post, and then promptly— ACCIDENTALLY — deleted it. Sucks to suck, man. But, it was something along the lines of “hey, plastic is bad. especially single use. so, stop it.” And, yes. I made sure to mention how I was talking to myself, first, because “we are all learning and growing and I’m not trying to offend anyone, but we need change.” Etc. Etc. Etc. Anyways.

Single-use plastic.

That means to-go cups. Those lids? Yea, Plastic. That means iced latte’s, and hot mochas on the run. They’re all contributing to the problem (which reads something like: a full 32% of the 78 million tons of plastic packaging produced annually is left to flow into our oceans.) But good news, there are some really great options for reusable mugs that will put you one step in the sustainable-future direction. And they’re cute. And they won’t burn your hands. And some of them even fit in your car cup-holder!

I know what you’re thinking, “but I always forget my mugs, bags, ___, ___, ___” Yea, I get it. I did too. My success rate with remembering to bring my reusable mug at first was trash! but the more I did it, the better I felt about myself and my contribution to our sustainable future. And the more I cultivated that habit, the more important it became and the better I felt about myself. now it’s part of my ritual.

So, jump on the band-wagon. Look rad. Save the planet. Feel good. Get a mug. You can thank me later.

FIVE DOPE REUSABLE MUGS FOR YOUR EVERYDAY


 
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If you want to kick waste in the butt, these dudes make it easy. Check out this starter kit from my friends at Klean Kanteen (who give 1% for the planet because they’re RAD!) Not only does it include a reusable straw, but this tumbler keeps your hot stuff hot for up to 4 hours, and your cold stuff cold for something near 20 hours!

—> $32 BUCKS ON AMAZON

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This double wall vacuum insulated stainless steel coffee mug is my favorite for espresso on outdoor to-go trips. It’s just big enough to hold a latte and just small enough to fit in your backpack-side-pocket. The lid it spill and leak-proof and everything pulls apart for easy cleaning. It also fits in your car cup-holder and wont burn your hands!

—> $29 BUCKS ON AMAZON

This mug is my every day mug. We have a couple of these in our house and they’re the best. Not only do they fit in the car cup-holder, but they fit in my bike’s water bottle holder, and the lids are super reliable. They pull apart for easy cleaning, and have a solid seal. You can trust that this bad boy wont splash out in the car, while walking or even if you trip. which I do, pretty frequently.

—> $27 BUCKS ON AMAZON

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So you like cute latte art and you don’t want to give that up. Good news, you don’t have to. These rad reusable mugs were designed by two former baristas for the ease of pouring. And they boast a wide array of attractive attributes, like: they’re BPA free; non toxic; recyclable; microwave safe; lightweight and made hard-wearing materials.

—> $27 BUCKS ON AMAZON

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If you’re looking for a cool, causal desk mug for work the YETI is pretty great. Its sleek, sexy and has double-wall vacuum insulation so your stuff stays hot/cold and you wont burn your hands.

—> $25 BUCKS ON AMAZON

 

pro tip:

Ask your local coffee shop if they provide a discount for people who bring their own mugs. Saving money is rad. If they don’t, consider suggesting it! Encouraging people to help save the planet (and keep THEIR cost down) is rad, too!

xo

Earth Day Challenge — N.3: Contribute

EARTH DAY HAS ARRIVED! 

And what a sweet day it is. If you need a quick rundown of what we've been talking about in this post series leading up to earth day (or a bit about Earth Day itself) check out the first post in this series!

As I was sitting here wrestling with these posts, asking myself questions like “why is this even worth writing about?” and, “what do I hope to accomplish with them?” I just kept hearing the word Longevity. 

What is the point? Longevity. 
Why is it important? Longevity.
What’s the goal? Longevity. 

We live in a world with a ‘here and now’ mentality. It’s all about what we want in the moment and we often give little thought to the future, or the impact we are having on it. When was the last time you stopped and asked what the world might look like for your children? or your children’s children? Or even for you in 50 years?

The negative impact we are having on our world can be overwhelming to think about, but I like to remind myself that it’s not the end all be all. Big process in made with little steps. And with each little step, we have the ability to take action and make change, for the good, which is what Earth Day is all about. 

So, for part three of this post let’s take a peek at our last Good Life Bucket: Contribution. 

Jonathan defines your contribution bucket as being about “contributing to the world… in a way that is meaningful, in a way that matters and allows you to feel like you matter.” So, how are you contributing? And how can you contribute in light of Earth Day? How can you take one step in the direction of change? 

One thing I like to remember when it comes to implementing/choosing change to choose action that is, well, actionable. If you know you won’t follow through, than it’s probably not a small enough step for you. And small is ok! PLEASE KNOW THAT SMALL IS OK! It’s helpful to remember that a minute change in trajectory now will always create big change in the long run. And, the good news is it’s easy! It might take a bit of intentionality to move into a new habit, or create a bit of change in your every day, but it’s worth it if it alters the flow of your future and the future of this planet. 

In light of Earth Day and our challenge to fill our buckets with things that help drive the message of Earth Day; connection, sustainability, awareness...

here are a few small steps you can take to help get you in the spirit of Earth Day, Every day!
 

Pick Up Trash

Our buddies over at Keep It Wild Co, which we mentioned in our last post, are hosting wilderness cleanups all over the place and if there isn’t one in your area, they can help you host your own! But it doesn’t have to be a big deal every time. Have you ever paid attention to how much trash you walk by every day? What if instead of cringing as you walked past, you grabbed that water bottle, or that chip bag and threw it away! That’s one small step in a VERY beautiful direction.

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Use Reusable Bags

I want to write a whole post on this bad boy, but for now, I’ll start here. Honestly, it was sort of a sweet little wake-up call when I started my research on reusable grocery bags. I'm a big fan of reusable bags, but I also, almost always, forget them at home and opt for paper at the store. It's a feel-good thing, thinking I'm doing the earth a service by choosing a biodegradable, renewable resource. Which would be fine and dandy, if that were the long and short of it. 

Turns out that the production of paper bags is actually more harmful than the production of plastic bags. It requires more energy, more water and creates more air pollutants to make paper bags than to create plastic ones. You would have to use your reusable bag somewhere around 200 times to offset the negate the environmental impact of using a plastic bag. Which seem like a lot— which IS a lot— but, judging by The Great Pacific Garbage Patch alone I think it’s fair to say that we owe it to ourselves, and our planet, to be a little more intentional with our existence. 

Don’t hear me wrong, this isn’t me advocating for plastic bags, they suck. and they’re an aesthetic nightmare. What I am saying though is that if we take a second to get educated, and to follow through (and not just do what’s easy), we could make a serious impact for the good. Buy your reusable bags, and USE them!

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Think Sustainable

Buying Tupperware? Try Glass. Need a water bottle for your hike? Try buying a reusable one instead of grabbing a plastic one at the store. Little swaps like this make a big difference.
 

Eat Less Meat

Okay, okay, calm down. I’m not suggesting you become a vegan (or am I?) but! according to a study led by Gidon Eshel of Bard College meat consumption has a bigger impact on our carbon footprint than cars. If you’re a raging carnivore, that’s a pretty big deal. One that might be worth considering how you can make a small change in your consumption on behalf of the planet. 
 

Practice Conservation (And Mindfulness)

For a long time I thought this was common knowledge, but I guess my mother was just a stickler for energy conservation (also known as not wanting to pay a million dollars because I left all the lights on.) I learned real young to turns lights off when I left a room or to turn the water off as I was brushing my teeth. You can also help conserve energy by unplugging devices when they are not in use! They’re baby steps, but they’re steps nonetheless! 
 

and, as always, stay wild xx

Earth Day Challenge — N.2: Connect

Hey Guys! Welcome to part two of three of our Good Life Bucket challenge leading up to Earth Day. If you want a quick rundown of what the Good Life Buckets are and what Earth Day is all about you can find it in the first post by clicking here. That said, let's get on with it! 

Our second bucket according to Jonathan is our Connection bucket. He defines our connection bucket as being about how we nourish relationships. This bucket is filled by participating in healthy connection with the world around us; when we give love and receive love without condition; when we feel we belong—we’re seen, understood, and embraced by friends with shared values, interests, and aspirations; when we are connected to something bigger than ourselves, be it natural or ethereal. 

Things, like being intentional with friends and family and making space and time for organic moments are big parts of filling this bucket for me, but another way I've found I feel connected is by finding brands and small-business that share my voice and my values. Life moves fast and there isn't always time to connect intentionally with every single person we meet, but we can sport clothing (and use products) that say the things we want to say. How great is it that we can give our time and our resources, but we can also represent ourselves and spread our message through our clothing.

So, as our earth day challenge is to fill your buckets with things that help drive the message of Earth Day; connection, sustainability, awareness, here are a few brands and small businesses that also help do exactly that! 

 

KINTIGO

I just recently got connected with these guys and I'm such a fan! Their slogan "with you, for you", is something I've been saying for years and seeing it in print makes me so happy! It's the perfect way for me to say "I see you, I'm with you, I believe in you and you're not alone." I'm stoked to get to sport clothing that highlights encouragement and connection. Plus, the crew at Kintigo is always focused on creating a culture of sustainability from start to finish. 

"Most people don't realize how the way they shop can have a negative impact on people and the world. At Kintigo, we make exceptional lifestyle products, care for the people who made them, and with each purchase we give a portion back to incredible causes. So, when you shop with us, you'll be joining a movement of mindful consumers who give a damn and shop with purpose." 

#fuckya #withyouforyou

 
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KEEP IT WILD CO

These dudes are the real MVP. Not only are they making feel-good goods, but they are also doing the work to keep our planet beautiful by hosting and funding their own cleanup efforts. Every purchase from Keep It Wild Co helps fund these local wilderness cleanups, and between now and the end of April (4.30.18), with every purchase, they're throwing in a free DIY Cleanup Kit as an invitation for you to join the community, get outside, and celebrate Mother Earth! And they don't stop there. 

"Keep it Wild is committed to ethical manufacturing. We only work with partners that respect the people they employee and the environment we all enjoy.  Nearly 100% all our clothing is manufactured in WRAP certified facilities."

YES. So. Much. Yes. 

 

PRANA

Prana is one of my favorite brands right now, for many reasons. I love that everything they make is high quality, durable and long lasting, but most importantly I love knowing I can trust that their process lines up with my values. It feels good knowing I'm taking on the great outdoors in responsible clothing. 

They seek out materials from sustainable sources, they make sure all of their people are treated fairly and they strive to use processes that IMPROVE their industry, not just get them to the top. They also partner with bluesign® systems to ensure that the fabrics they use meet the highest environmental and human safety standards  by managing the chemical input further upstream to create a holistic system that prevents contamination. 

img @katgaskin

 
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HURRY TO BE KIND

This crew is one of my favorite on IG right now. It's a joy to be scrolling through the gram and stumble upon a quote that reminds me to keep it simple, keep it kind. Their founder Kylee Jo is a little light and through the brand she aims to 'restore faith in humanity by alleviating the struggles of other individuals in the community'. I love that this brand is both a challenge and an invitation.
Hurry to be kind.   

 

BIRKENSTOCK

I mean, I've shouted Birks before on this blog because they're definitely my favorite all around sandal, but how cool is it that they're not just comfortable. They're sustainable too. I bet you didn't know that the sole of your Birks was made out of cork which is a natural and sustainable material, one that is reproduced and can therefore be harvested again and again without harming the tree.

For more information on the process go check out their sustainability page.

And while you're at it get yo'self a pair of biiiiiirks. You can thank me later. 

 

How do you fill your connection bucket? Are there any earth-friendly, connection-focused brands you love? Let me know in the comments! and, as always, stay wild xx