Welcome to Part 2!
If you missed Part 1, you can check that out here.
Let’s get right into it.
#5 Vote with Your $$$
Every time you purchase something, you are contributing to its demand. This is simple economics.
Put your money towards products and companies that you believe in. If it is important to you that your items are produced using renewable energy, then support companies that do.
For instance, there is a fair trade shop just around the corner from our apartment and it is currently struggling, so after work today I popped in and used my dollars to buy wool dryer balls and Bee’s Wrap. My dollars did not just get me faster-drying clothes in the dryer but they made a statement that I support these kinds of shops and want them in my neighborhood.
#6 Your Pantry and Fridge
Open your fridge.
Now open your pantry.
How much of the stuff in there is going to end up in the trash can/landfill? I am not just talking about food packaging and wrappers, but food waste too.
Keep this in mind when you are at the grocery store. I am not asking you to only shop in the bulk aisle of Whole Foods, but just start noticing.
Once you do it is hard to shake it.
Resources for Cutting Back on Packaging:
- The Zero Waste Chef- How to Store Produce without Plastic
- Wild Minimalist- 5 Tips for a Plastic-Free Minimal Fridge
- Going Zero Waste- How to Stock a Zero Waste Pantry
- Treading My Own Path- The Definitive Guide to Storing Food without Plastic
#7 Wait it Out
When I find something that I want (not need), I bookmark it in my browser under a folder called “Things I Want to Buy.”
And then I leave it there for days, weeks, and months.
If I am still thinking about it long after I saved it, then I will consider it further. If not then it gets deleted, and to be honest, not many things have survived the “Things I Want to Buy” folder.
Basically, avoid impulse buys by having a waiting period for each item. You might find that you didn’t like it as much as you thought, or get home and realize you already have 5 black sweaters.
#8 Put Some Effort into What You Already Have
Did something break? Then fix it.
Do your jeans have a hole in them? Sew them.
The #8 overlooked way to create less waste is also known simply as taking care of your stuff! Wash and dry clothing according to the directions. Store equipment in the proper place. Use a coaster. Give your car regular maintenance. Fix the soles of your shoes when they have worn through.
Putting a little extra effort or elbow grease will make your stuff live a longer life.
#9 Buy Secondhand/Previously Loved
If you’ve followed this blog, you know that the majority of our furniture is secondhand. Everything pictured below has either come from Craigslist, a garage sale, or family/friends.
Not only is it way cheaper than buying anything new, but it keeps pieces out of the landfill. Beyond furniture, I do have some pieces of clothes that are secondhand, but the majority of my wardrobe is not. It is something I am working on.
Resources to get your secondhand shopping on:
- Business Insider- 15 Things You’re Better Off Buying Used
- Green Indy Blog- A Zero Waste Guide to Thrift Shopping
- Grist- 5 Reasons to Shop at Thrift Stores
#10 Don’t Give into Trends
The fashion world likes to tell us that we need new styles of clothing every few months. If it is not the 70’s bell sleeves, the chokers, or those “cold shoulder” shirts, it will be something else tomorrow. That way you can buy, buy, buy.
Don’t give into that crap. You don’t need any of it. I like to think that the clothes I purchase will be something I wear for a long time, so I stay away from trends and keep my closet pretty neutral.
Whatever the next ridiculous trend is, pass on it, and just wear your regular sweater that covers your shoulders with pride!
- Huffington Post- 17 Reasons to Stop Following Fashion Trends
- Forbes- Fast Fashion is A Disaster for Women and the Environment
- Chicago Tribune- Fast Fashion Can Kill Your Wallet and the Environment: Here’s How You Can Help