Carry a re-suable bag with you everywhere – In your purse, in the trunk of your car. Find a small one that folds up easy and doesn’t take up a lot of space. I don’t have to talk about how bad plastic bags are for our environment.
Say bye to plastic straws – When eating out or ordering drinks. Ask for no straw. If you must have one, invest in some glass or stainless steel reusable ones. Straws are a tiny bit of plastic that we don’t think about that wrecks havoc on our environment.
Say deuces to plastic bottles – Use the bottles you already have or invest in a stainless steel or glass bottle.
Kiss fast fashion good bye – I KNOW, its hard. No more Forever 21 or the Gap is asking a lot of folks. Especially if you are someone who enjoys shopping like me. Because of fast fashion, most clothing ends up in landfills.Before you make a purchase, ask if you really need it. If you do, try to buy it second hand, or from a more ethical company. This graphic from storyofstuff.org is a great way to think about clothing.
Lastly, Find unpackaged versions of things you use everyday. There are stores that sell unpackaged food in bulk that allow you to bring your own containers like mason jars or cotton bags. Find a local bulk store near you here – http://zerowastehome.com/app/
Let’s do our part to keep Mama Earth looking gorgeous.
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive compensation if you choose to purchase any of the items I have suggested.
When I first ventured out into the big bad world and got my own place, I was a sophomore in college. I survived on my pittance waitress wages and student loan stipend. Every item in my dump home was purchased second hand or very cheaply from Walmart (which I affectionately call Satan’s workshop… here is why). Of course, anything that I bought cheaply bit the dust within a few years. Handles came off pots, dinnerware chipped, my blender couldn’t chop through a banana. Even though the things were made cheaply and not of the best quality, I take partial responsibility, because I did not take good care of them.Cheap things are often made to be disposable and they often get treated that way too.
We have all heard that saying, quality over quantity and we know it to be true. But I definitely love seeing it in action.. A few years ago, I was on the hunt for a decent set of pots and pans. I was not yet a minimalist, but I knew that I needed to purchase something that would last. While I was searching, my godparents so graciously gave me a set of stainless steel cookware they had lying around. They had had them for years and didn’t need them anymore. I was grateful and thought they would be great until I had found something better (lol sorry Amai). Anyway, here we are a few years later, we’ve cooked hundreds of meals in them and the other day while scrubbing one of the pots, I thought about how easy they were to clean, and how much I enjoyed cooking with them. Feeling grateful, I messaged my god mom and we got to talking about just how she came to own them. Turns out this particular set is almost 50 fricking years old. My godmother bought them just before she married my godfather. She talked about how much of an investment they were at the time and how she had almost regretted the purchase ( lol I don’t). I was blown away. Quality over quantity for sure.
Cut to two years ago, I went back to Botswana for my father’s funeral. In the kitchen, I was transported back to my childhood. I was eating food from the same plates and cooking in the same pots I had begrudgingly washed every night after eating a home cooked meal. There was the mug my dad drank coffee from every morning without fail. These things were still in amazing condition. I don’t think I have anything from my first apartment anymore. A lot of the stuff I sold when I moved, but a lot of it fell apart or got tossed.
We live in this face paced society that encourages you to go out and get the newer, best, bigger, brighter thing and I have been guilty of subscribing to those values. Seeing my dad’s mug humbled me. I’m excited to slowly start investing in quality items for myself, from clothing to home goods that will last a long time and live long enough to be part of many happy memories in my home.