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At times, it may seem like an environmentally friendly lifestyle is completely unattainable. Or you may worry that green life fixes are expensive and time consuming. But the smallest (and cheapest!) of fixes may actually make the greatest impact around your home.
On Earth Day, we asked sustainability expert Ashlee Piper for her tips on easy ways to make everyday life a bit greener. She shared easy-to-implement changes that everyone can make and six clever products that will help you do so in style.
Scroll through to discover six easy ways to revolutionize your personal sustainability, from cutting back on food waste to decreasing the amount of water you use.
Food is a natural material that can break down. But when you throw it in the trash, it won’t end up doing that. Compositing requires light, oxygen and other conditions which are lacking in the landfill. Composting food waste will help you cut way back on your resource usage and landfill waste.
If you’re looking for a countertop composter, this minimalist one from Bamboozle is one of the chicest options on the market. All its parts are made from completely biodegradable bamboo and it’s dishwasher safe. Pro tip: keep your composter in the freezer to keep your kitchen from getting smelly.
Slow the Flow
The taps in our kitchen and bathroom sinks often put out way more water than we actually need. Installing an aerator can help slow the flow and save anywhere from two to 16 gallons of water per day — almost enough for the average shower.
An aerator is a super inexpensive way to cut back on your water use. This one will only set you back $6.49. (Although you can get any aerator at most hardware stores.) It’s also incredibly easy to install and should take less than five minutes.
Filter Plastic Free
We’re all trying to hydrate more these days. (The health benefits of water are endless!) But often, our water consumption can create plastic waste. Even if you’re using a filter pitcher in your home and refilling reusable water bottles, that process can still create plastic waste. Luckily, there are plastic-free options that will keep your tap water tasting great.
Kishu makes the world’s only completely plastic-free water filter. You can buy filters that fit into the Brita pitcher you’ve already got at home but rest assured knowing you’ve got the most environmentally friendly option. The filter is made from Japanese activated charcoal and will eliminate any lead, mercury, copper, aluminum, uranium and molybdenum found in your tap water. If you're an on-the-go drinker, the brand also makes a stick that can be placed directly in your water bottle or pitcher.
Make your grooming naked & reusable
Plastic packaging creates more than 161 million tons of waste per year, much of which is attributed to the beauty and grooming products we use every day. Opt for “naked” packaging (or non-existent packaging) in your products and you’ll make a major dent in your plastic consumption.
Step away from the plastic of traditional toothpaste tubes with these “tabs” from Lush, which has a whole category of "naked" products. Crunch one of these tabs between your teeth to create a paste then wet your toothbrush and scrub as normal. The tabs come in delectable flavors like spearmint, cola and creme de menthe.
More than 2 billion razors and refill blades get tossed out in the U.S. this year. Switching to this plastic-free option from Leaf can save you more than $120 per year. This elegant razor comes with refillable blades and a lifetime warranty (so you can use it for the rest of your days). And, with many customers saying it gives them the closest shave of their life, you may never want to switch back to traditional razors.
Make the switch to renewable energy. Opting to charge your devices with solar power is a nifty way to live off-grid and reduce the amount of electricity you’re using. It’s especially helpful for camping trips or any other time you want to keep your devices powered when you’re far away from an outlet.
This elegant hanging solar charger was designed to look like a work of art in your window. The built-in USB port will charge your devices — phone, speaker, smartwatches and more — with the power of the sun. It has a rechargeable battery that stores energy so you can charge day or night. And it’s made to be repairable. So if it ever breaks, send it back and Grouphug will replace any pesky parts.
For more stories like this, check out:
- Would you try a reusable cotton swab? I did and I'm never going back to Q-tips
- From swimsuits to cleaning products, 8 eco-friendly essentials to shop