What is the definition of sustainability?
Sustainability is the quality of not bringing harm to the environment or exhausting natural resources, and therefore maintaining long-term ecological stability or equilibrium.
Does cutting down on plastic make a difference?
The answer is yes, it is possible to have a positive impact.
Every time you make a purchase you are voting for the continued manufacturing of that item you purchase. Let's say you purchase a pack of styrofoam cups to use at your picnic. The company that makes those styrofoam cups will continue making those cups thanks to your support. Unfortunately the environment will continue to suffer as a response. The most important thing anyone can do is to stay aware of what goes into manufacturing, and the possible negative effects common materials like plastic can have on the environment.
How much plastic is produced each year?
According to a report from the Guardian, an estimated 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced since the 1950s — that’s equivalent to the weight of more than 800,000 Eiffel Towers. Sadly only 9% is estimated to have been recycled.
How do we eliminate everyday waste?
More than ever, people are taking notice of their own habits. We understand as individuals, we can have an impact on this unprecedented amount of waste continuously accumulated. If everyone is to opt for sustainable, eco-friendly habits, we can make substantial strides towards a cleaner earth. As consumers, we should aim to select products that will allow us to reduce, reuse and recycle. This means looking for items made responsibly and that will not end up in a landfill after one use.
We know...stop using straws. Sound familiar?
One of the most overused examples of consumer sustainability is eliminating the use of straws (which are becoming banned in more and more U.S. cities by the way). It's a start, but it does not go far enough.
Currently consumers in the U.S. account for using 500,000,000 plastic straws per day. That is in the U.S. alone. Imagine now that we go beyond that, and eliminate plastic disposable water bottles, styrofoam cups, plastic cutlery, disposable plastic wrap, plastic bags.
All of the sudden we are talking about having 5x the impact against items that can be easily replaced or reduced with sustainable alternatives. We have to expand these environmental values beyond straws if we ever want to have a significant impact.
Here are several great products that will replace the use of disposable plastic products.
Reusable Water Bottle
Nalgene Water Bottles
We love the classic Wide Mouth Nalgene Water Bottle - 32 Oz. It's a great size and if you are like me then your water bottle will be covered with stockers from all over. It may be a simple design but you cannot beat the cost of these water bottles. Plus the fact you can use one of these bottles for a lifetime. Say goodbye to the disposable water bottle and save money and the environment by switching to a Nalgene or any reusable water bottle for that matter.
How many plastic water bottles is replaced by one reusable water bottle?
Since the average person needs to drink four (4) plastic bottles per day, you would be saving 1,460 plastic bottles every year by using one reusable bottle. Even if you only purchased one plastic bottle per day, you’re still wasting over 365 non-reusable plastic containers that end up in a landfill, all spared with one reusable bottle.
Backpack Made With Recycled Bike Tubes
These backpacks are incredibly unique. Made from 100% recycled bike tubing. These packs are naturally water resistant and durable to keep your contents secure and dry. They are great for biking under any weather conditions. The best part is they look seriously cool, and you will rest easy knowing that your backpack is made from 99% post consumer content.
Dog Leash Made With Recycled Climbing Rope
One of the best way to eliminate waste is to repurpose old materials. The reason these dog leashes are great is that they utilize repurposed climbing rope. Naturally the climbing rope these leashes are made from is highly durable as they are meant to hoist people over the sides of mountains. The come come in several wildly vibrant colors to match your pups personality.
Reusable Tote Bags With Carabiner Clip
One of the seemingly hardest parts about living sustainably is sacrificing convenience. The Chico Bag was designed with this in mind. It’s super compact pouch lets you conveniently store it in your purse, pocket, or attach it to your bag. They each come with the carabiner to clip wherever you'd like. They also come in a rainbow of colors. You have to love the simple yet elegant design of these tote bags. It's one of the essentials of any shopping trip.
Garden Hand-Tools With Walnut Handle
What better way to live sustainably and Eco-friendly than to grow your own garden. With the Barebones line of hand tools you will be able to cultivate and mend your garden with Barebones tools that are made highly durable, and will last you for years to come. Depending on where you live and what you can grow, most gardens you can start with as little as a few planters to get you started, and grow from there. There is nothing like the taste of fruit and veggies that you have grown yourself. The reward of growing your own garden is truly priceless and is becoming more and more popular in in urban and suburban areas alike.
Stainless Steel Sandwich Lunch Box with Bamboo Lid
The benefit of packing your lunch is saving money. It will keep you from buying fast food, and you will naturally start eating healthier. Notoriously - fast food, Uber eats, Grubhub, Postmates all arrive packed with excess plasticware and disposable packaging. This is "no bueno" for the planet. Opt instead for the Black & Blum reusable Stainless Steel Lunch Box. It keeps your food the freshest!
Pannier Bike Bag Made With Recycled Advertisement Banners
Another great example of using otherwise trashed materials. The material they use for banners is actually perfect for these bike bags., It water resistant, durable, and will protect your belongings while you are on your bike. These baks even come with a shoulder strap to transform it into a cross-body bag when you are not biking. The best part about these Pannier bike bags is that they are all so unique. You will recognize the ad banner used from anything from your local bank to to your favorite restaurant. Definitely one of our favorite gifts for that person in your life who is into biking. These particular bags have a 22 Liter Capacity for hauling everything you need on your bicycle.
Beeswax Food Wrap
Instead of using plastic wrap or tin foil, Beeswax Wrap is a convenient food storage solution. It will preserve produce, cover your leftovers or store your snacks on the go. The wax coating on the cloth material is malleable and holds it's shape around fruit, vegetables, left over pizza...it is surprisingly versatile for such simple design. It comes in a pack of 4 and includes 3 different sizes (small, medium, and large). The best part about Zero Waste MVMT is that they use very little packaging, and when they do, it's 100% recyclable. Perfect if you are looking for an opportunity to save money on purchasing single use plastic wrap. This is a high quality product, very durable, and environmentally friendly. Follow the link to order below.
Solar Powered Collapsable Lantern
Solight Solar Puff
Batteries and electricity production have a toll on the planet. These solar power lights only need the sun to produce hours of light. They are collapsible, waterproof, float, and have a Velcro strap to attach wherever you want. You will be surprised how bright these little lanterns can shine. The Solar Puff lanterns are the perfect alternative to battery powered lanterns.
Reusable Ziplock + Freezer Snack Bag
A big source of waste for families is using disposable plastic freezer bags. Using reusable bags you will save money in the long run. They are easy to clean and much better for the environment. They are leak proof and great to freeze or take with you in your lunchbox.
Perfect for Carrying with you when you are on the go, or in the wilderness. You will never need to use plastic cutlery when you have one of these sporks with you! They come in bright vibrant colors and are a fork, spoon, and a knife all in one. What more could you ask for?
Organic Mesh Produce Bags
A simple measure to reduce plastic waste, is to bring a reusable produce bag with you to the grocery store. These easily washable bags are a much better option to the plastic bags offered at many stores. Many stores are choosing to no longer offer plastic to customers and these are a perfect alternative. They also work as great laundry bags to wash your delicates.
Reusable Stainless Steel Straws
Eliminate single use straws and take these stainless steel straws with you instead. This is a drop in the bucket for eliminating waste, but it is a great way to get started and something everyone can implement. More than ever, cities are banning plastic straws at restaurants and fast food establishments. We keep a pack of these in the glovebox so we always have one in our vehicle wherever we go.
Up-cycled Sail Cloth Wallet
The Flowfold Sailcloth Wallets are naturally water resistant and durable. They can seriously take a beating. The nice part about these wallets is how lightweight they are, compared to similar capacity leather wallets. They come with a lifetime warranty and are perfect for those who believe less is more. They are designed with a slim profile yet spacious enough to hold plenty of cash and cards. The two most popular versions of this wallet is the bi-fold wallet, and the card holder wallet which is comprised of a non-folding pouch to store all your cards. It's hard not to love the mesmerizing colors of these wallets and the texture built to withstand storms. They make great gifts as well.
Cork Yoga Mats
Compared to mats that are primarily latex and rubber, these yoga mats are much more eco friendly. Cork is considered a renewable resource, which makes these a better option for Yoga mat in terms of sustainability. Cork Yoga mats are in fact preferred by many over the traditional rubber mats, and can give you a great deal of cushion for your workouts and stretching. The Eco Strength Yoga mats are a great option and are made with high density cork of some the highest quality materials. They still do contain some rubber, but it is kept at a minimum as these mats are primarily made of cork.