7 Sustainable Habits to Adopt in 2021
So, you want to start living an eco-friendly lifestyle, but you’ve heard it’s expensive, time-consuming, and inconvenient? Think again. Living a more sustainable lifestyle can not only be less expensive than your current lifestyle but can ultimately make your life easier.
1. Switch your Shower Habits
Shortening the length of your shower and purchasing a low flow shower head like this one can save hundreds of gallons of water. Want to take it one step further? Go plastic-free with zero-waste bathing products from sustainably sourced companies like HiBAR or the package free shop. Bonus- you can opt to make your own soap bars from home.
2. Take Public Transportation
Increasing your use of public transportation reduces carbon emissions and improves air quality in cities around the world. A single person swapping their 20-mile vehicle commute for public transit can reduce CO2 emissions by 7,300 pounds per year- that’s a 10% annual reduction for a typical household. Not to mention it's far less expensive to take public transport in the long-term. Not ready to commit yet? Challenge yourself to take public transportation every other time you need to go somewhere- that alone can make a huge difference.
3. Refine your Produce Choices
Do your part to reduce environmental production and resource costs associated with food waste by planting seasonal produce. Growing your own food can improve your health, save you money, and it’s eco-friendly. Need we say more? If this option sounds too daunting, we recommend planting an herb garden or bringing reusable produce bags to the grocery store to cut down on single-use plastic waste.
4. Eco-friendly Sanitary Products
It’s no secret mainstream sanitary products have caused a lot of harm to the planet. In the U.S. alone, 5.8 billion plastic tampons were sold in 2018, a third of the global total- that’s a lot of unrecyclable plastic. Try a menstrual cup or leakproof underwear to help the planet and your wallet.
5. Start Composting
Composting is one of the most impactful habits you can incorporate into your lifestyle to reduce methane emissions. The benefits of composting are endless, but most importantly, it removes organic waste from landfills and drastically reduces greenhouse gases. Heard it stinks? Buy a roll of compostable bags and keep a bin in your freezer to avoid the smell. Unsure how to compost your compost? Check out a helpful guide here.
6. Switch up your Laundry Habits
A single load of laundry leaves a colossal carbon footprint on the Earth- about 2.4kg CO2, to be exact. That's the equivalent to charging 54 iPhones! Cut emissions and your electricity bill in half by switching to a clothing line or drying rack. Bonus- air drying is better for your clothes; here’s why. Also, reduce energy and help the longevity of your clothes by washing on cold.
Now, we do understand if you can’t give up your dryer cold turkey, so until then, we recommend switching to dryer balls instead of dryer sheets. We know dryer sheets are easy to use and convenient, but they’re expensive, full of toxic chemicals, and incredibly wasteful. Bonus points if they are made from sustainably sourced wool!
7. Switch to Plant-based Foods
The health benefits of switching to a plant-based diet can strengthen your brain, improve your cholesterol, and decrease the risk of cancer and strokes. Increasing intake of plant-based foods also alleviates hunger, saves water, and minimizes agricultural land use. Food production is responsible for up to 30 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, with animal products accounting for around 75% of these emissions. Future projections show that “vegan and vegetarian diets were associated with the greatest reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions.”
But, baby steps count! If going entirely plant-based is too much commitment for you right now, how about starting with your snacks? Some of our favorite plant-based snacks on the market are vegan jerky, coconut keto bites, veggie puffs. Fancy something else? We also enjoy easy at-home snacks like dried dates with almond butter, kale smoothies, and roasted chickpeas. Psst... Impact Snacks are also 100% plant-based deliciousness.
Committing to a more sustainable lifestyle may seem overwhelming at first, but you don’t have to incorporate all of these tips into your routine at once; remember, small, incremental changes make the world go round. So start small and work your way toward a more sustainable (and inexpensive) lifestyle!
Article by Impact Snacks Contributor, Rebecca Erlich