Ciao! Happy Earth Days! As crazy as it sounds, the past quarantine and lockouts might have helped with the climate crisis. As terrible as it is, one somewhat positive thing came out of the coronavirus. With everyone quarantined and stuck in their homes, pollution decreased significantly. The pictures of polluted cities before and during the quarantine are insane. But we couldn’t stay in quarantine forever. The state of the environment is still a crisis. It is up to our generation to help combat the global crisis. While we can’t all be Greta Thumburg, there are small things you can do to help the environment. For earth day I gave put together a list of little and easy things I do (and you can do) to make your life more sustainable.
Unfortunately, fashion in my chosen career is one of the worst polluting industries. There are ways to combat this, however. You can shop for sustainable fashion brands and limit how much you buy at fast fashion brands. It’s like quitting any bad habit; it’s hard to do at first but gets more comfortable. I started by putting certain stores on a do not go-to list (like forever 21, etc.) and started switching many of the stores I usually frequent to more sustainable brands. You can also begin by shipping H&M’s conscious line. I will post a full list of sustainable fashion brands below. The only downside is that the clothes from sustainable brands tend to more expensive than their fast fashion counterparts. However, you will spend less money. At school, I once spoke to a woman who ran her own environmentally conscious fashion brand. She said she spent less on clothing per year while shopping sustainably than when shopping in fast fashion stores because she bought less, better quality items.
I also use the apps “Done Good” and “Good on you.” They list brands and stores that are environmentally friendly and warn you about brands that are not. They can even help if you are looking for a specific item. Another slight downside is that a lot of these clothes from these particular brands tend to be quite basic, not trendy, and rather dull. Which is why another way to shop is to thrift. Thrift stores sell gently used clothing that has been sold or donated. I am a frequent thrifter. You have to dig, but you can usually find some lovely pieces, if not jeans and cool graphic tees. If you have more money to spend, try vintage and consignment shops. They hold the real hidden gems. Thread up is another useful app. It’s an online thrift store, but I will talk more about that later. I will compile a list of my favorite thrift stores below. Since I’m not sure if they have some of these stores outside of New York, you can always google thrift stores in your area.
If you wear makeup, have an extensive skincare routine, or even wash to its face, switching to sustainable products is environmentally sustainable and will be better for your skin. First, do some research and make sure the brands you buy are vegan and do not test on animals. Also, make sure your products don’t have microbeads. For a mini-lesson, microbeads are plastic beads usually in face washes used to exfoliate or as fillers. They are then filtered through the drain system, end up in the ocean and get eaten by fish and eventually end up in our bodies from fish we eat. If your face wash has an ingredient called polyethylene (micro-beads), don’t use it. You can also visit the website beat the microbead to check out brands that don’t use microbeads or use their app to scan products and make sure they are micro-bead free.
If you are looking to shop clean beauty but don’t know where to start, start by evaluating your current products to see if they are clean. Don’t start by throwing out all of your products because that creates more waste. Use up what you have, then by new. Shop Sephora’s clean at Sephora line, and make sure it has that green seal. Another brand I love is love beauty and planet. They have hair products for every type of hair, even color shampoo, and conditioner. I also shop at the store Follain. They only have a few stores across the country, but you can also buy online. They have many different products, from makeup to skincare and Haircare. You can even bring your used bottles to the store to have them recycled.
Sustainable Home Products
Another place to make changes is in your home. Wash your clothes with environmentally friendly detergents like Seventh Generation or using subscription service drops for laundry pods. Love beauty and planet also has a home line called Love Home and Planet with home products like detergents and surface cleaners. It’s obvious, but make sure you have a recycling bin in your home, and you can even create a compost bin. Check below for a list of sustainable cleaners and home products.
Sell/Donate Your Old Clothes and Junk
Throwing away your old clothes is not only wasteful but not economically savvy. But don’t horde all of your old clothes. Instead, first try giving them away to a younger family member or donating them to your local goodwill, charity, or religious institution. If you want to make a little money off of your clothes, try selling them to your local thrift store or trade them for new clothes! You can always sell them on selling apps. I use Poshmark to take pictures of my clothing, post them, and sell them. Although contrary to what the commercials say, you will make money, just not enough to pay off your wedding. Curtsy is pretty much the same premise. With thread up, you can send them your clothes and do all of the work for you while you make money, although it’s better for shopping rather than selling.
Shop Local/ Organic
Shopping local farmer’s markets in your area helps the environment and helps support local businesses. Buying only organic foods is better for the environment because they are naturally and organically grown, usually without harmful chemicals or unnatural ingredients. Start by shopping the natural/ health food section of your local supermarket or at stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. You can also help by limiting the number of processed foods you eat and switching to organic foods. It’s good for your body as well as the environment.
Remember that old saying you learned as a kid? “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.” It’s super cheesy, but this is another easy way to help the environment. Purchase tote bags to take grocery shopping with you and use those instead. Maybe even take some when you go shopping at the mall. It might also help you save money as some states now charge for bags as an environmental safeguard. For your daily Starbucks fix, use a reusable coffee cup or cold tumbler and a reusable water bottle. I found these gorgeous ones on Etsy so that they can be pretty! Carry your daily lunch in a reusable bag (brands like Kate Spade make nice ones) We know the metal straw trend has caught on lately, and this is a super-easy way to help the environment. Yet the metal straws actually cause more pollution to make than the plastic straws. I recommend using paper, bamboo or acrylic. You can find cute ones almost anywhere now for not too expensive.
I know these ideas may seem insignificant. But its the smallest actions that can have the most impact! I hope this post inspired you and maybe gave you some ideas about how to make your life more sustainable! If you have any ideas that I missed I would love to heat some in the comments below! Let’s work together to create a better future!
Sustainable Fashion Brands:
Rent the Runway
Polo Ralph Lauren
Sustainable Beauty Brands:
Clean at Sephora
Love Beauty and Planet
Apps to Buy and Sell:
I’ve also linked my profiles!
My Favorite Thrift/Vintage Stores:
L Train Vintage
Cloak and Dagger
Sustainable Home Brands:
Love home and planet
Tote bags: https://www.verabradley.com/us/product/4-Pc-Market-Tote-Set/24013
Reusable Cups on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/beaM3rbabydoll?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=744199597