10 Simple Steps to a Greener Life

If you are not a part of your free Facebook community, it is time you join the party! In our group we discuss various topics regarding simple living. We address zero waste habits, sustainable living, capsule wardrobes and more! The greatest benefit from being in a group is to get to interact with other like-minded people around the world. This past month we went through a series of simple tips that you and your family can practice to live a greener life and make a difference. 

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Tip #1 ✨ BREW PLASTIC FREE COFFEE & TEA
One of the best ways to make your coffee or tea everyday is by using a French Press. The French Press is versatile, makes just the right amount and produces no plastic or paper waste. You can use loose leaf tea or bagged tea. Any other French Press lovers here? ☕️ Find my favorite Bamboo French Press through this affiliate link: http://amzn.to/2HBAAD8

Tip #2 ✨ USE YOUR OWN GROCERY BAGS
II am the worst at remembering to bring my own bags to the grocery store but when I do, I am glad for the following reasons:

🌿 There is less clutter to bring home. Whether you store the bags or you thrown them away they just add to the clutter of your home or the world! 
🌿 You can get a discount for bringing your own bags! Yes, there are stores out there that will pay you for using your own bags. 🙌🏼 including target, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, Kroger, Safeway... among others. I’ve heard that if you ask Wal-Mart will too.
🌿 You won’t need to double bag. When you use your own bags you won’t have to worry about double bagging for heavy items (which is less waste) because your bags will be more sturdy and durable. 
🌿 You’ll need less bags and you will make less trips carrying in groceries. YEAH! That’s right, your bags will be able to carry more than the average grocery store bag making your loading and unloading so much more efficient.

Find my favorite reusable & eco friendly bags through the following affiliate links: 

+ Plain Canvas Totes 3 Pack: http://amzn.to/2pjjKBw
+ Designed Cotton Bags 3 Pack: http://amzn.to/2pni1fp
+ Organic Cotton & Jute X-Large Totes 3 Pack: http://amzn.to/2HEw72l

Happy Eco Shopping!!

Tip # 3 ✨ SAY NO TO PLASTIC STRAWS

This small change can have a huge impact. It’s been reported that Americans use 500 million drinking straws every day, this fills 125 school buses 😱🙅🏻‍♀️ We really don’t NEED them but I do understand your concern for germs. So for those who cannot give up straws completely, there are glass and metal reusable straws that you and your family can use instead. There are travel pouches available for people who would like to be extra-conscious and take their personal straw with them. It’s worth it! 

+ Find my favorite stainless steel straws here:  http://amzn.to/2FND9Wk
+ Find my favorite glass straws here: http://amzn.to/2HMA59m

HAPPY SIPPING!

Tip # 4✨ DON’T BUY TRENDS 
Trends are tempting but they are short-lived, cheap and create so much waste for you and for the earth! 

Trendy clothes are usually:
🌿 cheaply made
🌿 low value/cost
🌿 run out of style quick
🌿 designed for certain types of body
🌿 usually displayed in the front of the store. 
🌿 always found on clearance aisles

The alternative to shopping trendy is to shop slow fashion/ timeless. These items are usually plain, solid colors and so versatile. These items are rarely on sale and are found in the back of the store (that’s if they sell any). These items will stay in your closet awhile and some examples include jeans, black slacks, stripped tee’s, cardigans...etc. 

Tip # 5 ✨ USE CLOTH OVER PAPER
This can be one of the hardest changes to get used to because paper is just so “practical & easy.” Let’s start with napkins. Cloth napkins are much better for the environment because they are reusable and normally enough for one person. With napkins sometimes people use a minimum of 2-3 at a time🙅🏻‍♀️ 
Another change you can make is to use cloth cleaning rags. If you find the right material these will be awesome. The secret to keep them from smelling bad or gathering germs is to let them dry and wash as often as possible. I prefer to use white ones for this reason. 

Tip #6 ✨ BRING YOUR OWN CUP
Any drive-thru lovers here? Whether you like hot or cold drinks- how often do you buy some? I’ve done this before and though I always get a weird looks most baristas they happily agree. I have not tried doing this at any fast-food drive-thru’s just coffee shops. By doing this you’ll bring less clutter to your car & home and reduce plastic waste. Standard coffee cups are are 8oz (short), 12oz (tall), 16oz (grande) and 20oz (venti). If you are in the market for some, here are affiliate links for my favorite to-go cups for hot & cold beverages. I like secure lids and I stay away from anything that breaks easily because I’m clumsy. 

+ 10oz Bamboo Stainless Steel Mug. http://amzn.to/2G9G0ci
+ 12oz Bamboo Stainless Steel Thermos. https://amzn.to/2I6nr5e 
+ 16oz Tumbler. https://amzn.to/2I5oPVz
+ 20oz Contigo Travel Mug. https://amzn.to/2I44foE
+ Bamboo Travel Mug. https://amzn.to/2GwZnew

Tip #7 ✨ GIVE GREEN GIFTS
During holidays like easter, valentine's day and Christmas we are tempted to buy and give candy and other plastic filled/wasteful gifts that may be unnecessary and add clutter to your home. As you celebrate the holidays, make it green! You can gift plants, books, or other sustainable gifts! More value & less waste. Gift giving can be the toughest when we try to gift material things but become so easy when we add more meaning. 

Tip #8 ✨ CLEAN GREEN

So what items do you use to clean with? We are all used to buying plastic scrubs & brushes and highly toxic products like bleach 👎🏼 not only bad for your health but also highly unsustainable. A few switches you can make are using bamboo brushes + using natural cleaning solutions like baking soda, vinegar & essential oils.  See the following affiliate links for great ideas as you slowly use what you have & replace with these eco-friendly substitutes. 

+ My favorite dish scrubber: https://amzn.to/2pYHtHk
+ Long Handle Brush: https://amzn.to/2lmdtg6
+ Toilet Bowl Brush: https://amzn.to/2GMGILO
+ Toilet Bowl Brush with case: http://amzn.to/2q0JJ0J
+  Baking Soda: https://amzn.to/2H4XQdx

Tip #9 ✨ UNSUBSCRIBE FROM SPAM MAIL

I’m sure you don’t love getting all those credit card offers from 10 different financial institutions. Not only does it clutter your home, but it also wastes so much paper. Did you know that you can actually opt out? Here are a few steps you can take to stop junk mail. To be removed from marketing lists visit DMACHOICE.org or  To reduce credit card offers use OptOutPrescreen.com. Both services are independent of each other, so make sure to sign up for both. For more specific details, click here.

Tip #10 ✨ SHOP SECOND-HAND & DONATE

When shopping I’d encourage you to try second hand shops! These shops used to have a bad stigma, but that has and is fading away as a wave of conscious consumers rise and make an effort to upcycle used items & pieces. These stores are great for creatives who like a challenge. If you can’t shop second hand, buy quality items so that they last you a very long time. Stay away from disposable items! Finally, as you de-clutter and get rid of items, make sure to donate to your local thrift stores before sending them to the trash! One man's trash can be another man's treasure.