Five Ways To Be More Eco-Friendly

I’ll admit I didn’t really think too much about my eco-footprint growing up.  I remember learning about recycling and pollution but really didn’t think my life would be that big of an impact on the world.  But as I’ve gotten older and particularly starting my vegetarian diet did I really think about how my everyday life really does make a difference on the earth.  By just tweaking a couple simple tasks can be tweaked and can make such a big difference.

Upcycle & Thrift Shopping

As much as I love fashion, it pains me to know it is the second largest producer of waste in the world.  Synthetic garments when washed release over 1,900 microfibers into the water.  Fast fashion also contributes to an abundance of waste because only 15% of out of style pieces are donated.  As a fashion lover, I have been trying to be incredibly conscious about what trends I participate in along with finding good quality and mostly natural pieces to include in my wardrobe.  Not only will these trends be in season time and time again but also when I wash the pieces they will stay in good condition.  

I also love thrifting for new to me pieces.  Vintage is always on trend, and I find that pieces from the paste not only fit me better but they are far better quality.  It also adds a bit of exclusivity to find a mostly one of a kind piece at a thrift store. If you aren’t into sifting through packed racks at the thrift store there are also so many amazing online shops to check out.  Download apps like Poshmark and Depop to find designer and vintage pieces.  And there are also amazing Instagrammers you can show from like my girl Outlaw Vintage Shop and her amazing vintage and UliUlia for handmade upcycled pieces created with old denim and leather bags.  These bags are so chic functional and you are saving the planet.  

Reusable Coffee Cups and Straws

I don’t have to remind you that paper cups from the coffee shop are so bad for the environment.  Although many places are creating their cups to be more eco-friendly with recycled materials they are still creating so much waste.  So instead of getting your grande in a to-go cup pack your own.  I love carrying around my glass coffee mug but they also make collapsible ones that can be thrown in your purse. Along with a reusable mug if you’re like me and like to drink her drinks from a straw investing in reusable or metal straws is so smart.

Bring Cloth Bags to the Store

If you live in Chicago this is also a hack for your bank account.  In the city its an extra seven cents to get a bag at any store.  Bring your own cloth bag when grocery shopping or even when you’re shopping at the mall.  It’s more fashionable than carrying around a bunch of cheap plastic bags and on top of it you don’t have to worry about your groceries spilling on the ground when those cheap bags rip.

Use Public Transit or Ride Share

Since moving to Chicago in April I spent a couple months exploring the city and realized having a car was more of a nascence than a convenience.  With buses and trains I really only ever used my car maybe once a week if not every other week.  Instead, I took the train to work every day and if I needed to get across town would hop a bus or even use Uber.  Not everyone has the public transit system we are lucky to have in Chicago but trying to carpool or utilize Uber and Lyft when you can cuts down on the number of emissions and pollution in the air.

Eat Less Meat

This is another no-brainer for me, and I won’t bore you with the details of why being I think being a vegetarian is beneficial to your body as well.  But if you are someone who just can’t fathom giving up your sirloins my challenge to use is to just tweak your diet to have one or two meatless days a week.  By just decreasing your impact with the meat industry you are making a difference.

These are all very small things that can make such a huge impact on the environment without making a huge change to your lifestyle. Your daily life does make a difference in the environment and will it will only continue to grow as we continue to deal with greenhouse gasses and waste.  What do you do to minimize your eco-footprint?

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