Five swaps you can make to live a more sustainable lifestyle

Big Bear Lake, CA. Alyssa Gervacio/Lariat

To honor Mother Earth!

We have all heard the phrase, “Reduce, reuse, and recycle,” but what does that truly mean and is it making a difference in this world we live in? By living with this principle in mind, we can minimize environmental footprints, which help protect the environment and the planet. Oftentimes, there are small environmentally friendly switches that can be made. 

Though the world is full of billions of people, it is important to note that even small changes made in our lives can greatly impact the world. With more and more people realizing the importance of sustainable living, the concept of becoming more environmentally friendly is expanding around the world every day. Making small changes such as these five can impact our Earth in amazing ways if we all commit to living a more environmentally friendly life. 

1.Switch to reusable shopping bags instead of opting for single-use plastic bags.

In the long run, switching to reusable, fabric shopping bags can end up saving a lot of money. Considering the single-use plastic bag ban effective in states across the country, buying a few reusable cloth bags would save us money in the long run. Currently, California charges a 10 cent minimum charge for each plastic bag purchased at stores. Luckily, reusable cloth shopping bags have become widely accessible, and shoppers can conveniently purchase these bags at their local grocery stores.

2. Invest in a refillable water bottle rather than using single-use plastic bottles.

Though this change may cost a bit more to enact, it is a change that is being made more and more every day throughout the world. Refillable water bottles such as Hydro Flasks, YETIs and S’wells have been gaining popularity in recent years. Switching to reusable water bottles could not only lead to minimizing single-use plastic waste, but it could help reduce the individual carbon footprints as well. 

3. Switch from plastic wraps to reusable food wraps.

Reusable food wraps are most commonly made from cotton fabric and coated in beeswax. The wrap becomes pliable in your hands due to the wax coating and serves as a terrific alternative to single-use plastic wraps. These food wraps can also be cleaned very easily with soap and warm water. This switch is gaining more and more popularity and is helping people save money due to the fact that plastic wrap does not have to be purchased frequently anymore. 

4. Switch to a more sustainable wardrobe.

Switching to a more sustainable wardrobe may be way easier than you think it is. One huge principle of dressing sustainably is to simply buy less. How many times have you purchased an outfit for one event and worn it one single time? One of the biggest problems with fashion is the act of buying too much and not wearing it enough. 

Another way to engage sustainably is to donate and shop secondhand. Instead of tossing out your old clothes, consider donating them to a secondhand store so they could make their way to another owner. 

In turn, you could also be shopping second-hand and find unique pieces that are special to you. Every day, brands are switching to more sustainable practices as well. From the types of fabrics used to the way the garments are made, many clothing brands are starting to notice their impact on the world and change their practices to help the environment. 

5. Swap chemical cleaners for organic alternatives.

Chemical cleaning products include harmful toxins and pollutants that make their way into both indoor and outdoor environments. Oftentimes, chemical cleaning wipes are one-use and can lead to tons of waste when used collectively. Opting for more natural and eco-friendly alternatives helps improve homes and the environment. 

Many organic cleaning product brands are making their way into supermarket shelves and are more readily available than ever before. All-purpose cleaners can be made from things found in homes, such as vinegar and baking soda. 

With every small step taken in our lives towards a more sustainable lifestyle, differences are being made around the planet. Making these five swaps in our daily lives could help us start our journeys in living in a more eco-friendly way that could help the Earth.