It's easy to get intimidated by climate change. Looking at such a large issue can be daunting to just one person. Oftentimes, a lot of the clothes and products we see in the mainstream media advocating for this crucial environmental change are quite costly. I'm here to show you that you don't need to have money to make a change, and in fact, a lot of times the environmentally sustainable option can save you money! Whether you're already environmentally conscious or looking to get started, this list includes ideas for aficionados and beginners. Here are a few ways that anyone can make a difference!
1. Start off with a metal razor
Razors are some of the most disposable pieces of plastic! We are constantly buying new ones and throwing the old ones out. Next time your razor gets dull, check out EcoTools. It's just one of many websites that sell cute, chic metal razors. For less than $30 you can get a razor with multiple heads, a great shave, and chic up your bathroom decor.
2. Save money by switching to a Diva Cup
The average woman uses nearly 10,000 tampons in her life. Now multiply that by the millions of women using tampons right now and you'll see what a huge source of waste and pollution they are. Not to mention — they're pricey. A cheaper, more eco-friendly version that is often more convenient since you can leave it in longer is a menstrual cup! Often known by the brand name of Diva Cup — these cups you insert can contain a lot more blood than a typical tampon and you can keep them in longer. You can purchase them for anywhere from $15.00-$40.00 which will save you around $100-$150 on disposable tampons.
3. Get crafty with newspaper from around the house
When it comes time to wrap up that birthday, mothers day, graduation, Christmas, or whatever it may be gift, make yours stand out. By using newspaper to wrap your gift you eliminate wrapping paper whose only purpose is to be torn off and you make use of something that would otherwise just end up in the recycling. You can even take it one step further and cut out personalized, cute, and funny magazine clippings to add on to your gift. Give the gift of saving the earth this holiday season.
4. Don't give up straws — bring your own cup to Starbucks
Everyone knows about the secret menu hacks at Starbucks, but did you know that you can bring your own reusable water bottle and have them put your drink in it? That's a great way to be able to sip with a straw while cutting out even more single-use plastic and enjoying your delish drink.
5. Swap out that plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one
Stand out at summer camp this summer! Buy four bamboo toothbrushes for $7.00 on Amazon. These cute and affordable brushes can replace the plastic ones you buy just to throw out in a few months when the bristles get destroyed. Keep a couple in the cabinet in case a friend stays over, and be ahead of the trend with this unique eco-friendly hack.
6. Remind those around you
Help encourage those around you to stay eco-friendly as well. Whether it's by, setting an example, suggesting eco-friendly alternatives, or reminding your friend to ask for the "no straw lid" rather than the one they typically get you can extend your impact beyond just yourself. Passing up on that unnecessary plastic feels good — encourage someone else so they can get that same rewarding feeling of doing a little good deed every day. The best part about this: it's free! So remember to do it as much as possible.
7. Save in the long-run with a reusable or glass storage container
Another long-term money saver is swapping out your ziplock bags for Tupperware. If you don't want to reuse your ziplock bags then grab a glass Tupperware. They're very good for on-the-go snacking and the costs of those grocery-store sandwich bags outweigh this one time purchase. Lastly, in my experience, the kids with the cute Tupperware always had the best lunches.
8. Ditch the plastic water bottles
Ok, I'm sure you've heard this one a lot. But I thought I'd include it because all the plastic water bottles I keep seeing get purchased indicate to me that some people still haven't gotten the message. Not only are reusable water bottles 100x more eco-friendly than the plastic bottles but they're cheaper! In addition, re-useable water bottles are so cute! You can personalize them with stickers, that are cute and mean something to you. So stay on trend with a cute, decked out, affordable hydro flask, Camelbak, s'well, or whatever floats your boat!
9. Be more conscious
Start to pay attention in your daily life! Did you grab the snack from the grocery store with extra plastic packaging? Switch it out for one with less. Don't just pass up on a straw and call it a day — find little ways to cut out the plastic from your life. You'll start to see all the times you use plastic when it's not necessary and magnify the impact of your eco-friendly attitude. You don't need to be rich to be eco-friendly but it all starts with you! Yeah, you! So go out and get started.