We often make this whole sustainability thing seem like a rather complex issue that we, as individuals, have no reason to take action on. I'm here to tell you that even by just changing a few simple habits in your day-to-day life, you can make a lasting impact that saves our oceans and our planet's future! It's 2019 and it's about time we do something to give back to this lovely planet. Cheers to being eco-friendly and caring about mother earth, because she's pretty freaking great.

1. Invest in a reusable water bottle to use on the go

Amazon.com : Hydro Flask Water Bottle | Stainless Steel & Vacuum Insulated | Wide Mouth with Straw Lid | Multiple Sizes & Colors : Gateway

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Around 90% of water bottles end up decomposing in landfills rather than being recycled. If we all just make one small investment in a reusable water bottle that last way longer than one plastic water bottle, we can all make a difference together. Hydro Flask is one of my favorite brand of water bottles that lasts forever. Check out the wide mouth steel wate bottle with a straw lid above!

2. Buy a travel mug for coffee and tea

Amazon.com: Contigo Stainless Steel Coffee Couture AUTOSEAL Vacuum-Insulated Travel Mug, 14 oz, White Marble: Gateway

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This is another small investment that can make such an impact in the number of cups that end up in landfills at the end of the day. At the very least, try to stick to compostable cups when possible on the go. Or, even better, purchase a travel mug like this pretty marble Contigo one to always have your drinks hot or cold wherever you are. Some coffee shops even reward you for this and give you a discount for bringing in your own cup!

3. Say NO to straws

Amazon.com: Reusable Bent Glass Drinking Straws, Set of 6 With 2 Cleaning Brushes,Shatter Resistant,BPA Free, Non-Toxic, Eco-Friendly, 200mm x 10mm (Bent 8'' x10mm, Multi Color): Health & Personal Care

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This follows the one above and is so important for the lives of our precious ocean creatures! It's one of the easiest things to eliminate by simply not using them or, buying a pack of reusable straws. Here are some of the ones I've tried – they work great on the go or at home!

4. Use less water!

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This may sound like a really simple one, but we often use water mindlessly and don't even realize how much we are wasting. A few ways to use less water include turning off the water when you brush your teeth, shortening your showers, not running the water while you wash dishes, doing less loads of laundry… the possibilities are endless!

Start by trying to be more conscious of just how much water you are using every day.

5. Turn off the lights when you leave the room

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Again, this one may sound incredibly easy but it's sometimes the easiest, most efficient ways to live sustainably that we forget to follow. Turning off the lights when you leave the room can have a huge impact on your electricity bill along with mother nature which helps you, too!

6. Try having one vegetarian day a week

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This is one that I am new to trying out recently and I am considering continuing to add more days during my week… will I be a vegetarian eventually? While it may seem drastic to give up meat for life, it's a small step in the right direction to commit to one meat free day a week, and I've found it reminds me of how frequently we consume it as well.

It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef. If that doesn't convince you enough, each hamburger that comes from animals on ex-forestry ground is responsible for the destruction of fifty-five square feet of forest. If we all cut out meat one day a week, that alone can make a difference in our water usage and land conservation!

7. Use cruise control on the highway

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We often don't think of cruise control as having a significant economical impact, but as the driver of a hybrid (shoutout my Ford Fusion Hybrid – best car ever), it's crazy the difference it makes on your overall mileage.

Using cruise control regularly can increase your mileage by at least 15% and in doing so saves the environment from fuel emissions, uses less gasoline, and keeps more money in your pocket!

8. Reduce, reuse, recycle, duh!

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Okay, yes, duh! But seriously. It's so easy to say yes to single use plastics when we are constantly surrounded by them as alternatives that fit into our fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyles, and we easily forget how impactful each piece of plastic we use is on our oceans and our planet.

Plastic bags are not biodegradable or recyclable and we should avoid using them whenever possible. Your local grocery store probably sells reusable grocery bags and most likely gives discounts when you bring them in to use instead of plastic bags. If this isn't an option for you, ask for paper instead of plastic.

9. Always recycle glass

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Glass is a product that often has misconceptions around whether or not it is recyclable, leading to unrecycled glass taking up to a million years to decompose. With the way things are looking in 2019, we don't have a million years to fix this whole love for mother-nature problem. Always make sure to recycle your glass! It can reduce related water pollution by up to fifty percent and related air pollution by up to twenty percent.

10. Spread the knowledge, share the love!

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It's one thing to hold yourself accountable to taking steps towards living more sustainably but why not hold others accountable, too! If you are living at home or living with roommates, create systems in your home that allow everyone to be on the same page – reduce, reuse, recycle.

To learn more about easy steps to living sustainably, visit https://www.50waystohelp.com/