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Three Sustainability Kit Hacks that are in My Bag Right Now!

My thought process and intention for sharing this with you are to convey that you can be sustainable no matter your income. It only takes little steps to achieve less waste. For myself, I get the urge to buy something that seems to “Save the World,” but in truth, if you didn’t need it before, chances are you don’t need it now. There is also things around your home that you can use, and items you can buy that is under $10 that will help achieve less waste.

As you go through these photos, please remember that another way to help is by contacting companies or following companies that have a reputation for being wasteful. It cost almost nothing to send a photo to their DM or write to these companies. In the end, it’s about getting larger companies to stop their wasteful practices. They are the main culprits of plastic and other waste in our oceans and land.

I have three kits. One is for eating out, another for drinks, and one is for grocery shopping. Most of the items shown were repurpose from other uses or purchase for a small fee. I try my best not to buy plastic, but if it comes down to it, my kit will last me more uses than a single-use item. I feel it’s worth it, especially if your budget does not allow you to buy fancier items. It’s more about the statement that you can be sustainable without given into the companies requirements for consumption and to add a quiet protest to their pollution impact on the planet.

First Hack: Eating Out Kit

I found this satchel and thought it would work quite lovely for this kit. It gave it a new use and time. In it, it contains a tea towel, a collapsible silicone straw, and a spork.
The tea towel was getting old. I didn’t want to throw it away, so it became my on the go napkin or seat covering. It works well, and it is easy to clean. I have saved myself from using too many paper towels or asking for paper towels because I have this is always with me.
The spork was something I found in our local donation bin. Our building allows people who place useable but no longer needed items into a small area. I saw this and jumped right on it. I found I was in luck. The plastic is environmentally friendly and non-toxic to me as it is made with 100% recyclable and recycled material. I know it isn’t entirely eco-friendly but for a starter it, it’s a piece of gold. I will continue to use it until it has been worn out.
The collapsible straw I found on Amazon. It is made with safe plastic and very inexpensive. I struggled with this as I heavily rely on straws.
I have physical issues that make it hard for my head to go back to drink completely. This item works well, and it is easy to clean. It is contained in a case, so I don’t have to worry about leaks or getting it dirty. I love this straw very much.

Second Hack, My Drinking Kit

I love Mason Jars. I particularly like the blue jars. When they were on sale, I bought four. I use them every day to drink or to eat from the jars. They are fantastic for on the go person like me.

However, I have an issue with drinking. The lids are not friendly for drinking liquids. I certainly did not want to go out and buy different containers for all of my needs, for example, smoothies, ice coffee, soup, oats, and water. It was just easier to have it all in one. This is where I found my answer to my lid issues.
This lid is pretty amazing. I thought this type of product did not exist, but there is was, on Amazon, for less than eight dollars. I bought with the assumption that it may not work. However, it has proven me wrong. The seal is tight, and the mouthpiece stays closed. It is a real gem to have this as a convenience but also as being sustainable and practical that keeps me in my habit.
However, there is also the issue of condensation. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, your jar will sweat. It also can get scorching with soup and coffee. I realized very quickly but did not want to buy a sleeve. I thought about it. I remember that I keep my odd socks in a drawer. I do this because sometimes they show up. However, sometimes, they do not.
Some of my socks are too cute to recycle, so “ding!”
I repurpose my sock to be a sleeve and a mouth protector. It works well to control the dewiness and heat from the jar. It also works as a layer of protection in case the mouth opens in my bag.
If you don’t have a mason jar, you can always use a jar that you have at home. I would make sure that it is heat resistant, but this empty jar is an instant coffee container from Trader Joe’s, and it works well.
I have used it in the past, and it fits enough to get me through the day. It is also much lighter than my mason jar, so on days that I need to travel light, I will reach for this jar.

Third Hack: Grocery Shopping Tote

Living in NYC, having an extra tote in my bag almost seems intuitive. Plastic bags can get clunky and can be hard to move in the subways.

The most significant change happened a few years ago when I realized that I did not have to use plastic bags. I can use my tote. It has been a game-changer for me. I can fit more in my bag, and some stores offer discounts for bringing your bag. It’s pretty awesome.

The bag I currently use to do my shopping is a bag from H&M. It was on clearance and it only a $1. This seems to be the right tote for me. I have used it ever since. It is sturdy, but light and can carry a massive amount of food. I love it.
My produce bags came from Amazon. I got them for an excellent rate. It is the same brand that I have found in eco-friendly stores around the city but for a fraction of the price.
I couldn’t resist it. I use them every time I buy food.

I am taking steps to get to understand my impact on the planet. These three habits are available in my bag that are staples in my routine. For me, they are the easiest way to start. It takes a little creativity, but I bet that most people can find one low impact habit that does not cost money and can be reused, recycled, and reduce your waste.

I hope you found this blog post helpful. Please let me know some of the ways you worked into your life to reduce waste.

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Plastic Straws, What’s the Hype and Why?

Starbucks says by 2020 it will eliminate plastic straws, turning to biodegradable straws and a newly designed lid. These new lids are made from polypropylene that can be recycled. The issue I see is would this not produce more plastic into the environment? Like the idea of reducing plastic straws, it is a thought, it is an action, it is a conversation to the bigger picture of conserving our environment.

So why are plastic straws bad for the environment?

Society has an over-reliance on single-use plastics, and the fact is that a lot of the stuff is ending up in our marine environment.

In one 2017 international coastal cleanup, 643,000 plastic straws were picked up around beaches and waterways all over the world. Straws only make up a fraction of our plastic waste. However, it is the easiest thing we can change now. It opens the door to understanding the impact of plastic, and it impacts on the environment.

All plastics ultimately sort of break down and fracture into smaller and smaller bits of plastic as a result of being tossed around by the waves, and the sunlight basically makes the plastic brittle. It creates what we call microplastics.

Microplastics are found on everything from the forage fish that are at the base of the food web up through the kinds of fish that we end up putting on our dinner plate.

Americans use an average of 1.6 straws per person per day that translates into 7.5 billion straws year. By the year 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. It takes 500 years for a single straw to decompose. In that time the plastic could potentially leak pollutants into the soil and water. Every year an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic go into our oceans, and it’s harming wildlife.

We need to be more thoughtful about how we use plastic. For starters pay closer attention to your personal practices. Get into the habit of carrying your own cup, fork, bag, and straw. That’s what I have in my bag at all times.

Decisions to make environmental friendly items or not use environmentally harmful pieces can make a positive impact. So, though the one straw may not make a real impact, the decision you make to not to use straws will change the awareness to the environment and how much a carbon footprint you leave behind.

Resources:
Business Insider, “Why Plastic Sucks,” https://www.businessinsider.com/why-plastic-straws-suck-ocean-pollution-sea-turtle-starbucks-2018-7

Ocean Conservatory: https://oceanconservancy.org/trash-free-seas/international-coastal-cleanup/volunteer/

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Sustainable Fashion: Beginner’s Thoughts and Guide

My actions alone will not change the world. However, I like to think that it can influence someone to make a decision to help in the sustainability of the environment. If I start to make small changes, it’s like a revolution to my habits and ideas of the world.

As I mentioned in a previous post, fast fashion is currently the second biggest cause of pollution. Unmistakably, from the manufacturers of fabrics into the consumer’s closets, there is a responsibility to think about how we buy and dispose of clothes. I think it’s time for people to take action in their own lives we could all make little changes. There is no easy answer, so there is no way to be perfect. We just need to make small changes. If we all made little changes, it really would make a significant impact on the planet and our wallets.

Fast fashion is the production of an exorbitantly huge amount of garments. Fast fashion has to be a fashion no. It’s about looking at what we have and how to use it to create our own style in individuality. We have to think about what already exists. Some pieces have already been made that we can continue to enjoy healthily.

It’s about becoming smarter in your choices. It’s about thinking of the greater good and interweaving your mark, your style, your lesson while decreasing your dirty carbon footprint on the planet. It’s about buying kinder clothes that represent the people who created them, cut the fabric, sewed them together and then lands on you. The piece of item has a story, and the energy that comes from kinder pieces feels better than one created in a harsh environment to wear for a season or two.

  • I think about how can I look after that item more sustainably since I became wiser to the destruction of the fashion industry:
  • It’s refurbishing and mending a piece to give that item like a new lease of life.
  • It’s washing it at a cooler temperature is because of the majority of the energy the washing machines uses is just on heating the water.
  • It’s about recycling, regifting, or selling the clothes you no longer need or use.
  • It’s about thrifting instead of buying fast fashion. Try your best to keep it from hitting the landfills.

It’s about finding your style and not what the fashion industry tells you what’s in season. It’s an anyone fashion type world, and it’s here to make you feel good.

Through the search for ease and convenience, we’ve kind of lost that sense of human instinct which guides us to our creativity. Take something that’s already in existence and change it to make something new. The small steps you take now could lead to a better world and more sustainable life and can bring us back to the ebb and flow of creativity to survive. It’s already started, but you can join when you are ready. The earth and life on it will be grateful for your participation.

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Fast Fashion – The Horror Story

So, on my decluttering journey, I realized that I owned a heck of a lot of clothes, half the items I never really wore and kept because I didn’t want to admit that I wasted many. As I continued with my journey, I wondered what happens to the clothes we donate, discard or don’t buy.

The fashion industry is putting too much product out there, millions of ton of clothes end up in landfill every year—it’s one of the fastest-growing categories of consumption in our society. Termed, “fast fashion” allows consumers to purchase extra, but consumers are wearing these fashion pieces less often and disposing of them at an abnormal rate. How can the fashion industry proceed to produce while not approaching the environmental requirement for people to purchase fewer clothes?

If you don’t believe me, here are some facts:

  • In 2015, the world produced roughly 155,000 square miles of fabric (about the size of California)
  • 80 billion items are manufactured every year
  • Globally, sorting plants like this only deal with around 25% of discarded clothes
  • On average only 20% of clothes are worn on a regular basis
  • Every year, we send about 85% of the textiles we purchase to landfill
  • The artificial fibers often preferred by fast fashion brands, such as polyester, nylon, and acrylic, are primarily plastic made from petroleum. This indicates that your discarded clothes could take up to a thousand years to biodegrade.
  • Fast fashion accounts for 10% of the planet’s greenhouse production
  • Each year 1.3 trillion gallons of water is used for fabric dyeing alone
  • Fast fashion is in second place as the dirtiest and most pollutant industry after oil
  • The US consumes about 1.2 million tons of clothing waste which is equal to 15 percent of the clothing sales in the country
  • On average, the global water footprint US is enough to fill over 1,200 bathtubs per household
  • The number of garments produced globally exceeded 100 billion for the first time in 2014
  • Over 50% of workers within the fashion industry are not paid the minimum wage in countries like India and the Philippines. Most workers are slaves or work in sweatshops and have very little human rights
  • Approximately 300 million people who produce cotton are still living in poverty

There is so much out there the support that fast fashion is horrible for the environment, yet we pretend that it isn’t a real problem. What can we do to help lessen the burden on the environment? It’s straightforward, here is what I suggest below:

  • Recycle or repurpose your old clothing
  • Choose quality over quantity—avoid cheap garments made from synthetic fabrics
  • Participate in clothes swap events, or exchange old clothing with friends and family
  • Spread the word about Fast Fashion impact on the environment
  • Simply do not buy from brands that participate in harming the environment or human rights
  • There is nothing wrong with thrifting for clothes, and you will save money too!

I hope you found this article insightful. If you have any suggestions or facts to add, please add them to the comments below.

References and Resources:

Fast fashion: How to make clothes last longer and save the planet (https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-47292087)
Fast Fas is harming the earth, MPs say (https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-45745242)
What Is Fast Fashion? (https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/what-is-fast-fashion)
Fast Fashion Is Creating an Environmental Crisis (https://www.newsweek.com/2016/09/09/old-clothes-fashion-waste-crisis-494824.html)
By the Numbers: The Economic, Social and Environmental Impacts of “Fast Fashion” (https://www.wri.org/blog/2019/01/numbers-economic-social-and-environmental-impacts-fast-fashion)

#ecofashion #sustainable #style #fbloggers #sustainablefashion #sustainability #ecofriendlyn #sustainablity #fashion #ethicalfashion #fastfashion

Two Impactful Goals for 2019

Can you believe it?

2019 in less than a week away!

This year, was a pretty good year for me as I learned to change many of the habits that have held me back. With 2019 right around the corner, everyone is thinking about their New Year’s resolutions. I am seeing it on social media and even on the local news. No matter what you envision for next year, you probably have a few significant lifestyle changes in mind.

One of the things that I am passionate about is the environment. Climate change looks pretty scary when you read about it, and I for one started to take small steps to reduce my carbon footprint in this beautiful word. I have a daughter, and one of the best things that I can do for her is to give her skills to help salvage our environment.

One capsule I am trying to organize is my “Go Green” way of life. Last year, I reduced the amount of stuff I was buying, starting to composting and reused anything that could before discarding or recycling it. I also tried my best to buy things that were recyclable or biodegradable. I want 2019 to be more of the same only adding to my efforts to have a cleaner environment.

There is always something you can do to make the planet a better place.

To help you on your quest to be a little sustainable, I am going to share with you two environmentally sustainable resolutions I am committed to in 2019.

Stop Buying Fast Fashion

Fast fashion Is literally ruining our planet. Stores like H&M, Target, Zara, and Topshop participate in an industry known as fast fashion. Unfortunately, this creates an outrageously easy way of throwing out clothes that are cheaply made or just not in style for the new season. Throwing out clothes is the second most wasteful habit. The fashion products that we consume take up much as much of the landfills as other waste materials, like plastic. Some fast-fashion companies even participate in practices that are unethical to their workers.

Don’t get me wrong, I buy from these stores. It’s a great way to get an item you need for cheap or to fulfill a need or want. In 2018, I reduce my need to spend as I felt I had everything I needed. After watching some documentaries and reading some books, I realized how much I was hurting the environment. This scared me to take action. It has taken me a year to commit to not buying fast fashion. I had to find a system that worked for me. Starting in 2019, I will no longer buy from fast-fashion retail chains.

First, disclaimer, do not throw away your clothes if you have the use for them. They are suiting you well. The point of being sustainable is to be resourceful with what you have in your closet. However, if you have too much and you are just not wearing them. Please consider selling, giving them away or donating your clothes.

Second, buy second-hand. I live in NYC, so I know which stores have the best deals and the best clothes for me. Generally, you can find a shirt and pants for a few dollars that you may actually want to wear. I always make a list of the things I need and try to find places that can give me the best price. By making this habit, it creates a buffer from the time I want it to the time you buy it. Sometimes, I may find that I actually didn’t need the item anyway.

Finally, few fashion labels use sustainable materials and eco-friendly production practices, some of these companies include Everlane, People Tree, Reformation, and Eileen Fisher. Although these brands and others similar are more expensive than those in the fast fashion, we need to understand that saving up to purchase is sometimes worth the higher price. Some of these companies have durable clothing so the item will last you a long time, this gives you more bang for your buck. It also creates a buffer to provide you with the time to understand whether or not you actually need the item.

Limit The Use of Plastic

In an article on the National Geographic website, it stated that “a whopping 91% of plastic isn’t recycled.”

It takes plastic 400 years to degrade, so most of it still exists in some form. This is scary when you think about it, I mean, where is all of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste go? In 2015, it was estimated that every year about 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in the oceans. This dumpage, in turn, affects wildlife, the coast, and ecosystems.

The goal for 2019 is to reduce my disposables consumption. A few easy ways that I am going to practice is to reduce the amount of waste by not using single-use plastic straws, grocery bags, to-go coffee cups, and plastic water bottles.

Reminder, this also took some time to get to this point in my sustainability lifestyle journey. I didn’t want to throw out what I had without using it first. I also had to get comfortable with asking stores to not give me a plastic bag for my sandwich or using my portable coffee cup instead of their throw away cup. Habits don’t form overnight, so if you are interested in doing this, I would say, take your time and do your research. The more you know, the better you will be at actively participating. Also, doing ger discourage if you can’t master this practice. Just trying each time in each moment is more than what others are currently doing.

So, what am I going to use to help reduce my likely hold of using these easily disposable items?

I made a kit. It is small enough to carry with me and to store or to take the items that I know I will be using for the day.

Here are the items in my kit:
1. a reusable shopping bag
2. a small reusable sandwich bag
3. a reusable water bottle
4. a reusable straw
5. a reusable coffee mug
6. a reusable hand towel

You can get all these things in many thrift stores. If you absolutely cannot find it, most of these can be found on Amazon or at your local store.

I do make it a point to carry this kit with me so I can avoid temptations of convenience. If I can avoid using these disposable items in my daily life, I know I can make a difference in the environment. It also makes a statement to the people who are around you. This means that customers, sellers, and your friends and family who see you using these reusable items may spark a conversation or give them permission to do the same.

I’m personally enthusiastic about the new year. I do think that the more we progress, the more progress we will see. I see it in my personal life. My small steps in change have become more significant, and these two goals of sustainability will have a positive impact on the environment.

Please remember to keep it simple and make an effort to sustain your practice in the long term. It takes hours of repetition to change old habits and ideas. Let me know if you have any advice on sustainability and what you are or will be doing to better your impact on the environment in 2019.

Thanks for reading!

Here are some more sites that you might be interested it reading:

Planet of Plastic? https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/07/plastic-produced-recycling-waste-ocean-trash-debris-environment/

35 Fair Trade & Ethical Clothing Brands Betting Against Fast Fashion https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/fair-trade-clothing

Embrace These 5 Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions For A Greener 2019 https://www.peacefuldumpling.com/5-sustainable-new-years-resolutions

Why fast fashion needs to slow down https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/blog-post/why-fast-fashion-needs-slow-down

#organic #ocean #conservation #energy #handmade #architecture #plastic #instagood #sdg #bethechange #reduce #globalwarming #climateaction #natural #reducereuserecycle #food #future #noplastic #health #upcycle #agriculture #technology #entrepreneur #ecology #zerowasteliving #climate #water #ecofashion #greenliving