2020 Sustainability Goals

Whether you composted straight out of the womb or you’re just starting to give that plastic water bottle in your hand the side-eye, sustainability is a vast spectrum and no one, I repeat no one, has all of the answers. We see a lot of shade being thrown about (ahem, social media) by a lot of folks when it comes to individuals’ eco-conscious practices (or lack thereof), and I’m of the opinion that something is always better than nothing, and no one can do everything. My approach to sustainability practices in my own life has been: one at a time. Take one thing, learn about it, and try to do it better in a way that’s sustainable within the framework of your own life so that you keep doing it. Whether that means shopping organic, ditching the takeout habit, or simply trying to walk more and take cabs less, I’m all about making a wish list, prioritizing it, and slowly but surely working your way through it. I’m going to walk you through what my wish list of sustainable practices looks like for 2020, how I’m implementing changes, and some of the things that I’m using to get me there. Some of these goals are for the benefit of the world around me, some of these goals are for the benefit of yours truly, and a lot of these goals cover both territories. You may have done these things and done them better than me, so I’m all ears for any and all crowd-sourced suggestions for how I can continue to get better and do better. Sharing is caring, after all, am I right? 

 

  • Tea Party
    • Problem: Do we have any tea drinkers in the house? I drink tea on the daily, sometimes 2x per day (hello turmeric and ginger!), and one day I looked down and had a think about those tea bags that I was tossing in the garbage. Then I had a Google. It turns out that yup, there’s plastic in those tea bags, and nope, most of them are not biodegradable or compostable. 
    • Solution: My solve is that this year, I’m doing away with tea bags. I replaced them with this stainless steel infuser and will be purchasing loose-leaf teas so there’s no need for the tea to come in a container of any sort. Spots like Sullivan Street Tea & Spice Company have a huge selection of loose teas, and you can bring your own reusable bag to pick them up in, too. 

 

  • Not a Special Delivery
    • Problem: Although it’s been nice being spoiled by the likes of Amazon et al with next-day delivery, do we really need to do this for the sake of comfort and expediency? I’d rather save that packaging and cut those transportation costs to the environment, personally.
    • Solution: Instead of ordering everything, walk and pick it up. Need a new moisturizer at Sephora? Go there next time you’re in the hood. Looking for a fish oil supplement? Pick it up at Whole Foods while grocery shopping. I’m consciously trying to limit deliveries of any kind. 

 

  • Period, End of Sentence
    • Problem: Tampons and pads create an incredible amount of waste, period. 
    • Solution: Use a menstrual cup and eliminate the need for all period-related waste. I’ve been using this one by Lunette and it has honestly changed my life. Get the pink cup and they’ll donate one to a girl in need for every cup purchased, via The Cup Foundation

 

  • Phone It In
    • Problem: I bought a new iPhone last week, and realized I needed a new case for this new size phone. The issue? Most of the cases out there are, you guessed it, plastic.
    • Solution: I scoured the inter-webs and found this incredibly company called Pela, who makes their cases from compostable materials like flax straw. When done with the case in the coming years when phone sizes inevitably change again, I can either upcycle my case into a new Pela product, or compost it. 

 

 

  • BYO Utensils
    • Problem: If I do happen to be somewhere who doesn’t have real silverware, I’m stuck using plastic utensils that are often additionally wrapped in a layer of plastic.
    • Solution: I bring my own water bottle and coffee cup, so why not bring my own utensils? These are small, portable, and will be so easy to keep in my bag.

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