We're continuing the Earth Day love with some eco-friendly and nature loving tips from our team and our community. Read on for simple swaps and easy actionable things you can do to actually make a direct impact - yes, even while following stay-at-home measures.
Did you know that fashion is the second worst polluting offender in the world behind oil?!
Though there are industry wide systemic problems, the biggest culprit is fast fashion. We know it's often economical and so easy and accessible in the short term, but slowing down our fashion is one of the biggest ways that we can make a difference. These days opting for brands that prioritize sustainability and produce ethically and responsibly (human rights and working conditions included) is easier than ever before. Investing in classic/neutral/versatile pieces that are made to last means you can also maximize how often you can wear each piece, and taking good care of them (gently cleaning with eco-friendly products, for example) can extend their life as well.
On the higher/luxury end you have Stella McCartney which only uses vegan leather, then there's trend-forward Reformation, Everlane for basics and staples (denim in particular typically wastes a TON of water), and H&M's Conscious line which has eco-friendly alternatives at fast fashion prices. Better yet, seek out vintage, consignment, and resale. Host a swap (or virtual swap) with friends or check out Poshmark, The RealReal, Vestiaire Collective, Depop, and eBay. Be sure to donate any items you don't need, but can't sell.
There is now an eco-friendly and reusable option for practically every disposable/wasteful item in our kitchens and many for the bathroom as well. Invest in a refillable water bottle and thermos (ditch the to-go cup - once our favorite coffee shops reopen, they'll be happy to fill it up for you instead), glass or stainless steel containers (instead of plastic, or those with plastic lids), reusable silicone storage bags, cotton/mesh produce bags, cotton "un-paper" towels, etc. Don't forget the metal straws and bringing your own silverware along to use at casual dining spots (that only offer plastic otherwise) and on planes/at the airport (for when the time comes).
EVOLVher Andrea Lee aka Organic Beauty Lover had these swaps to share:
"One of my favorite eco-friendly swaps has been switching to using a menstrual cup. This reduces the waste created from pads and tampons and lasts years upon years! Another fantastic swap is switching from cotton face pads to remove makeup to reusable face cloths. My favorite is Croon Face Fibers because of how soft, durable and effective they are!"
We also tapped Lisa of This Organic Girl for her favorite current eco-swap:
"During this time, our surrounding grocery stores have put limits on the amount of eggs, milk and frozen pizzas each consumer can buy. I'm so glad we have an Almond Cow at home. This little device makes plant-based milk in just 30 seconds with minimal clean up. No cheesecloth, straining, blenders or bowls. The benefits run deep here. This is a sustainable practice because it's actually zero-waste milk when we buy the nuts or seeds in bulk. Plus we never run out of "milk" AND the milk combinations we are discovering are so so good. I'm talking strawberry/cashew, pecan/coconut, almond/fig, hemp/pumpkin/maple...I mean the list goes on and on. The best part is we are using these for our homemade lattes too. Code THISORGANICGIRL will save you. It's honestly my favorite kitchen gadget."
Bringing your own bags and bulk containers may not be allowed at stores at the moment, but when the time comes be sure to bring along your glass jars for things like oats, nuts, seeds, etc. - it reduces packaging waste and is friendlier on the wallet as well.
The Package Free Shop is an incredible resource for all things reusable.
As far as products go, shampoos, conditioners, and body washes/soaps containing chemicals are particularly bad culprits as they get washed down the drain. Luckily, we’ve got you covered on all three!
Pro tip: buying in bulk and reusing your containers whenever possible is an easy way to keep using the products you love without excessive packaging and more frequent shipments (if you order online think of all the waste and emissions avoided).
The best part is, you’ll save money and never have to worry about running out!
We offer each of our 3 shampoo and conditioner duos as value liters. Major performance, major savings, and major green payoff = win, win, win.
Pro Tip: If you buy travel sizes of any of our products, be sure to hold on to them so you can refill from the full or liter size and always be prepared for wherever your journey takes you (when it's safe to travel again).
Those of us with some extra down time may want to take the opportunity to begin a gardening/composting practice. Don't worry, you can start small - just ask Davida of The Healthy Maven:
"Experiment with gardening! You can always start small by planting a few lettuce seeds or garden herbs. Reach for organic soil when possible since it’s a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly choice. It also reduces trips to the store and helps you feel more connected to what you eat. Pro-tip: Got some leftover coffee grinds from your morning coffee? Sprinkle them onto your garden and rake them gently into your soil to act as a natural mulch and fertilizer. Don’t go too heavy though or you’ll stunt your plant’s growth. A little goes a long way and is a nice way to compost your leftover grinds.”
If you live near nature there may be an untapped bounty of wild edibles right in your backyard or along your (empty) hiking route. Research foraging and wild foods in your area and get to digging. Many chefs use foraged foods like dandelion greens, ramps, knotweed, garlic mustard, edible flowers, and of course mushrooms at fine-dining restaurants, so there's no reason why you can't incorporate them too. Just make sure to do some reading on the best preparations and compare your finds to photos/illustrations to confirm that they're safe. For the east coast @LauraSilverman is chock full of timely knowledge, and @SaladForPresident is inspiring those on the west coast to try foraging too.
Try eliminating meat and fish. Even just one day per week helps. For tips and recipes check out Meat Free Monday - a not-for-profit campaign which aims to raise awareness of the detrimental environmental impact of animal agriculture and industrial fishing. The campaign encourages people to help slow climate change, conserve precious natural resources and improve their health by having at least one plant-based day each week.
Let's make each and every day Earth Day, EVOLVhers!
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