What does it mean to live a sustainable life? We use the word “sustainable” a lot in the food industry when referring to where we source our ingredients, but what does that word have to do with our every day lives?
Living a sustainable life is different for everyone, but the principle behind it is to be less wasteful and a more mindful of your purchases and lifestyle behaviors. That doesn’t mean you have to take it to the extreme, sell all of your belongings, move out to the woods and live off your own garden (although that sounds kind of nice).
Living sustainably doesn’t have to be hard, with practice it will become a part of your lifestyle but it’s through small and simple changes. Since Earth Day is on Sunday, April 22 we thought it’d be the perfect time to discuss some ideas on how to easily make positive changes for the environment!
Avoid Buying Plastic/Products that are Packaged Excessively
300 million tons of plastic are produced globally each year and only about 10% of it gets recycled. Out of the plastic that is thrown away, about 7 million tons ends up in the ocean each year. Plastic certainly is one of the main things we waste and it is everywhere you turn unfortunately. To help you reduce the amount of plastic you consume, try bringing your own tote bags to the grocery store. I usually just keep my bags in the back of my car so I can always have them when I’m on the go. You never know when you might need them!
At Savor we use BPA-free plastic containers which is free of bisphenoal (an industrial chemical used that is used to make certain plastics) and we encourage our clients to recycle them. Better yet, we have started offering our meals in Pyrex, glass containers.
When you’re at a restaurant or at home, avoid using plastic straws in your drinks. Simply opt for no straw or buy the metal straws that you can re-use.
Not purchasing water bottles is a simple yet powerful way to reduce waste. There are so many great bottles now (both canteen and glass) that you can use time and time again and that keep your water cold or your coffee hot.
Instead of using paper towels all of the time, try using a cloth whether it’s a cloth napkin to hold food or a washcloth for cleaning.
Another way to reduce your plastic consumption is to avoid purchasing products that have excessive packaging. Try to purchase from brands that you know use recycled materials. Beauty brands have some of the most wasteful packaging so the best thing to do is to find a brand that you know is ethical and eco-friendly.
Go Meatless Once a Week
You know we couldn’t share tips here without mentioning food. The mass production of meat is one of the more destructive things for our planet. It contributes to pollution, green house gas emissions and more. If you can limit your consumption of it all the better. However, we love meat and know you probably do too, so there’s always the option of getting meat from places like Niman Ranch, (one of our amazing suppliers!) that produce natural, humanely raised meat in a sustainable way.
“If everyone ate plant-based just once a week, we would reduce carbon dioxide to the equivalent of 500,000 cars.” —Jennifer Hauser, director of Wellness 360 at Edelman
Use LED Lighting or CFL Bulbs
We all know turning off lights when you don’t need them is a great way to conserve energy, but have you thought about changing the light bulb you use? LED or CFL bulbs are proven to last longer than incandescent lighting. Furthermore, they reduce waste because you don’t have to replace them nearly as often.
Use Natural Cleaners in Your Home
We recently wrote a blog post about how to spring clean your kitchen and none of it involved using store-bought cleaners. Most things in your house can be cleaned with water, baking soda and vinegar. Pretty cool right? The more natural cleaners you use, the less harmful chemicals will pollute our water systems.
Unplug Your Devices When You’re Not Using Them
This is a really simple change you can make. Keeping your laptops, chargers and other devices plugged in all the time not only increases your electricity bill, but uses up energy even when it’s just plugged in to the wall! Make it a habit to unplug everything when you’re done with it. Simple as that! If you aren’t using your laptop but still want to keep it on, make sure you switch it over to energy-saving mode!
Only Print When Necessary
If you have your own business or often print from home, make sure you only print what is necessary. I know we have a lot of documents to manage at our office, but we try to keep things digital as much as possible. Plus, it means paper will take up less space in your office!
There are so many other ways to live a sustainable life – these ideas just scratch the surface!
One reason our clients love us, is that we help them not waste so much food. How many times have you bought ingredients or food at the grocery store and never used it? Want to start a meal service as a way to live in a more sustainable way? Click here to learn more.