I hate to admit this, but my condo building did not have recycling service for the first year I lived there. I know.. it is terrible. When I moved from Toronto, Canada to Detroit, I immediately noticed the lack of environmental initiatives in the city. It is just not the same culture here as it is back home. In the old condo building in Toronto, you would get fined if you put recyclable materials in the garbage. It was second nature for people to care and do things daily to help the environment. I grew up in a household that recycled I was taught to make these types of thing a priority. I wish it was more prominent in Michigan, but the good news is I am starting to see the changes now slowly which is great! And Thankfully, my condo now has had recycling services for quite some time, but it took way too long!
I am trying to make it a priority to do little things each day that can help the environment. I think if everyone did the small things, it would make a big impact. This is all within reason of course – I am not going to boycott Trader Joe’s because they package their food in plastic, but I can make a point to bring my grocery bags and produce bags. It is all about the LITTLE THINGS that we can do that make this whole thing
1. Ditch plastic water bottles (duh)
This is probably the easiest thing you can do. Just do not purchase plastic water bottles. It is simple. There are so many options and water options available for you if you do not. I personally bring my glass water bottle around with me everywhere – workouts, driving, walks and travel. It avoids me consuming 10s of plastic water bottles a month. Especially for those of us on the go all the time, this is such an easy adjustment. I have been loving my Soma Water glass bottle to bring with me around through all my travels, workouts and day to day errands. It has an easy grip and is easy to clean. Plus, it comes in gorgeous colors! I have the mint and love it. See image below.
2. Bring bags to the grocery store.
This past month, my goal was to bring my own bags to the grocery store! I am proud to say I did pretty well. I made a point to put 3 -4 bags in my trunk that I can bring to the store with me so I do not have to use plastic bags. Every time I walk in with my own bags I feel good about the small impact I am making. I know some grocery stores have brown paper bags, which is amazing, but not all the ones I go to have those so bringing your own does a lot. Think of how impactful it would be if each Kroger in the country used less and less plastic bags each day! It would be huge. These little things go a long way. I love how some places even charge for plastic bags (in Ontario at least) it makes it more motivating or people to bring their own.
3. Bring your own mug to a coffee shop.
This is one that I have been trying my best to do recently. Coffee shops go through tons and tons of disposable coffee cups and plastic lids each day and a lot of them do not use recyclable materials. To the ones that do – I think that is awesome! I have been trying to bring my own mug to coffee shops so I can help eliminate some of that waste. Also, coffee shops sometimes give you extra refills or discounts for bringing your own mug! Pro tip – talk about a win-win! I have been bringing my NEW Soma Water Ceramic Mug to coffee shops to fill up with a tea or some joe instead. What I also love about this mug is that it is ceramic, double walled and keeps the contents warm! It is comfortable to hold in my hand and looks super cute too.
4. Participate in Meatless Monday
I love the idea of #meatlessmonday because it really brings awareness to how much the meat industry impacts our environment. Although it is not the only industry that does, it is important to realize that our food choices have an environmental impact. If more people reduced their meat consumption by one less day a week, it would go a long way. As I have already mentioned, it is all about those small changes that add up to really impact our planet. There are so many creative ways you can enjoy plant-based food. I share a ton of recipes on my blog and Instagram – so follow along for some of those. Some of my other fave plant-based food blogs are Oh She Glows and Minimalist Baker. There are endless recipes. That is a great place to start if you want to participate in #meatlessmonday.
5. Reduce Food Waste
As a food blogger and recipe developer, this hits really close to home. Some weeks I honestly waste a lot of food and I have been really trying to be more conscious of this and make an effort to reduce this. When I know I am testing a bunch of recipes, I will plan it around inviting people for dinner or sharing with neighbors. For those of us who are not bloggers, reducing food waste comes with staying organized. Go to the grocery store more often and purchase less so you are not tossing things out all the time. I find sometimes if I do a massive shop that I get a little over ambitious and do not end up cooking it all. If you have a sense of your week, you can plan your shopping better by making a household meal plan and grocery list. A little planning ahead can also help you save the dollars!
That’s it for now! Thanks for taking the time to read and I hope you will embrace some small things to help the planet today.
Thank you to Soma Water for sponsoring this post and helping myself and so many other live every day a little better for the planet.