Building a Sustainable Summer

Building a Sustainable Summer

Every time of year is a good time to go sustainable and help out the planet. Sustainability is all about ways we can both help the planet and take care of workers. It's where ethics and eco-friendly practices combine into something truly unique. It spans more than just what a product is made out of, as far as businesses goes. It is all of that and so much more. It covers production, the supply chain, workers, materials, and other resources. As you can see, it's an all-encompassing way of going about business. As far as individual sustainability goes, it involves making personal choices that impact the environment and supporting businesses who do things like take care of their workers and ensure there is minimal waste involved in production and packaging.

Summer just feels like the perfect time to step into sustainability because the weather provides ample opportunity to get out and make a difference. We thought now would be a good time to help you out in this endeavor. Now, by no means do you have to do something new every day, however, we would encourage you to do so if you're feeling adventurous. Here are 31 ideas, in no particular order.

  • Make your coffee at home: When you do this, opt for reusable coffee filters and loose coffee grounds rather than single use coffee pods.
  • Pick up litter: This can be done in your local parks or beaches or along the roads.
  • Swap out one plastic item for something reusable: For instance, we have reusable garbage liners. This can cut down on your waste.
  • Bring a reusable bag to the store: This can significantly cut down on your plastic usage, as single use grocery and shopping bags are so common nowadays. We have a multitude of options for you to choose from.
  • Cut down on paper usage by switching to digital bills: Again, paper bills are so common that getting rid of them can help cut down on paper usage.
  • Start a garden: This is a great way to go sustainable, as growing your own produce can cut down on your carbon footprint.
  • Buy local: Besides just supporting your local business, shopping local also helps support ethically made products.
  • Swap out red meat for veggies: Cutting down your carbon footprint is a big part of sustainability, and red meat is one of those things that contributes a lot in its raising and production.
  • Buy secondhand books: A lot of paper goes into producing books, so secondhand is a great way to ensure that that paper does not go to waste.
  • Thrift: Buying secondhand goods is a sustainable option because it keeps them out of landfills. By bringing new life to something unwanted, you are saving it from going into the trash and also getting more use out of something rather than buying something new.
  • Upcycle: Similar to thrifting, upcycling is taking what might go unused or unwanted and giving it a second life in a new form.
  • Donate: To round off the big three (thrifting, upcycling, and donating), donating is helpful in making sure that what you don’t want anymore don’t end up in the landfill.
  • Bring a reusable container to a restaurant to take home leftovers: This is another form of waste that fortunately can be avoided -- it’s just considered a little taboo to bring your own containers, but you shouldn’t really care what other people think.
  • Use both sides of a piece of paper: This is a really simple one, but one that can make a difference over time. It can help you cut down on your paper usage, especially if you use a lot of it for work.
  • Opt for sustainable businesses: Support businesses like Verte Mode whose mission is to take care of the planet and produce ethically made goods.
  • Share about sustainable issues on social media channels: Don’t have the money? Education is free and just as helpful because it allows us to push businesses toward a more sustainable outlook.
  • Start a compost pile: While you might not feel like you’re doing much -- simply putting unused food into a pile -- this enriches the soil, which benefits the ecosystem.
  • Host a clothes swap: Want to plan a fun get-together with friends? Consider hosting a clothing swap. It’s an enjoyable way to spend time with others while also finding new homes for old clothes.
  • Eat leftovers: Don’t let anything go to waste, because waste takes time to break down.
  • Re-purpose glass jars: They take up to 4,000 years to break down. I know, that’s crazy. That’s why we should find as many uses for them as we can. While it’s not realistic to be able to save all of the glass jars you come in contact with, you can save some.
  • Shorten showers: Waste doesn’t just include what goes into landfills. Water can be wasted, too.
  • Air dry clothes: This saves on energy,, and energy is used a lot in our society -- for everything and anything.
  • Switch to cloth napkins: You don’t need to use paper towels anymore, not when cloth options are available. We have some available for you to use.
  • Ditch the electronics and go for a walk or read outside: As simple as it may sound, choosing even an hour away from electronics is good for both you and the environment.
  • Conserve energy
  • Learn how to sew to repair torn clothing: Gone are the days of throwing out garments because of one or two holes. Learning how to sew can extend the life of any piece of fabric. Your wallet (and the planet) will thank you.
  • Close blinds or curtains on hot days: This can cut down on how much energy you use air conditioning your house or apartment.
  • Collect rainwater for plants: In that way, you can use less water to water your plants.
  • Buy organic: Organic produce doesn’t use harmful pesticides, which negatively impact the environment.
  • Opt for businesses who use less packaging: Packaging is everywhere nowadays. It’s something you can’t avoid without seriously reconsidering where you shop from. It can be cut down, however, and choosing to shop with businesses who use less packaging is a great way to make a difference.
  • Educate yourself: Similar to posting on social media because it also requires education, educating yourself on sustainable matters (even if you don’t shout it from the rooftops) can be the perfect way to make a difference. It means learning more about what you use and where you shop from. Change starts in the heart and in the individual.

Thank you for taking the time to go through all of the ways you can be a change for the better. There are so many ways to go about it, and we hope you will take the time to be the difference you want to see in the world.

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