Are you ready to be more sustainable in 2024?
When thinking about an eco-friendly lifestyle and sustainability, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
The environment? Clean oceans? Plastics? Buying less? I’ve been thinking a lot about ways to be more sustainable at home and in my community, starting with small goals but still making a difference. Here are some tips and ideas to practice a more eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle.
Photo courtesy of Camden Caley in Englewood, CO
Rethink Plastic Consumption and Recycle
Single-use plastic products are convenient, but with the damage they cause through production, distribution, and litter, they are a major threat to environmental and human health. The open burning of plastic waste, consumption of plastic-contaminated seafood, and creation of harmful microplastics are reasons why these single-use products should be phased out.
o Replace plastic bottles with reusable bottles.
o Educate yourself on your favorite grocery brands and evaluate what they are doing to be more sustainable.
o Talk to your favorite takeout restaurant about alternatives to current packaging for your take-out meals.
o Recycle properly! Here you can find Waste Management’s three basic rules on how to recycle correctly.
Photo courtesy of Camden
Reduce Chemical Exposure by Using Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products
Unlike foods, beverages, cosmetics, and other personal care products, cleaning products are not required by federal law to a list of ingredients. Odds are there are harsh chemicals being used in our homes that are affecting our health and the environment.
Look for a Safer Choice Label when buying your products. This will guarantee that what you are consuming and it’s ingredients meet strict safety criteria for both human health and the environment, including carcinogenicity, reproductive/developmental toxicity, toxicity to aquatic life, and persistence in the environment. More information about the Safer Choice Label is here. I am also listing some brands that are complying with requirements:
• ECOS Laundry Detergent Liquid
• Tide Purclean Honey Lavender Liquid Laundry Detergent
• Charlie’s Soap all-purpose cleaner
• Clorox EcoClean
• Simple Green All Purpose
• Palmolive® Ultra Pure+Clear® Dishwashing Liquid
• Ecos Pump Bottle Lavender Scented Hand Soap
Increase Your Awareness with a Minimalist Approach
At its core, minimalism is adopting the simple, sustainable lifestyle of consuming only what you need. Food waste, for example, is a significant issue in the United States and worldwide. Americans waste about 80 billion pounds of food annually, about 30%-40% of the country’s food supply, and an average of about 220 pounds of food is wasted per person!
When food shopping with a minimalist and sustainable approach in mind, reflect on a product’s plastic packaging and portion size, evaluate eco-friendly options like buying from local sources, smaller portions, or visiting local farmers’ markets where they tend to use more sustainable alternatives like paper and locally sourced products.
For more ideas on sustainable living, Camden residents can access a Green Resident Guide on their MyCamden resident portal!