One of the most interactive and cost effective ways to switch out products in your home with more environmentally and health friendly alternatives is to make them yourself. DIYs give you control over what environmental exposures you put on your body and in your home as they allow you to control the ingredients, cost, and packaging of the product. Check out Green Jax Project’s blog post on Eco-Friendly DIYs!
Composting can be a fantastically frugal way to reduce your waste and your impact on the planet. Compost diverts waste from landfills and creates a highly valuable and nutrient-rich product that can be used in your own garden, or gifted and sold to neighbors, friends, family, etc. There are endless ways to compost, and although most of them are outdoors, composting can be possible indoors as well. Learn how to compost yourself, or check out the cool resources available to you on the Green Jax Project blog!
Holidays are a blast for many people around the world, no matter their religious affiliation or beliefs. Whether, it’s Easter, Hanukkah, New Years, or Beltane, holidays are a great way to spend quality time with your loved ones and eat plenty of delicious food. However, holidays can be some of the most wasteful days of the year. Between the food waste, the presents, and all of the plastic wrap, holidays can fill a trash can in a matter of minutes if you’re not careful.
Worry not though, as there are many ways we can all help to reduce our environmental impact, even when we’re celebrating. One of the biggest myths around environmentalism and zero/low waste is that reducing your impact reduces the things you can enjoy in life and that you’ll miss out on everything life has to offer. This is not true at all! You can have parties will very little waste, you can eat a varied diet, you can travel, you can have a family, and you can enjoy life to its fullest, all while avoiding waste where ever you can.
Reduce the waste and increase the fun by…
- Sending e-invitations over paper or plastic invitations
- Asking guests to bring homemade food instead of store bought
- Encouraging guests to use aluminum foil over plastic wrap
- Using real silverware and dishes versus paper and especially plastic
- Providing cloth napkins over paper
- Choosing beverages that are either naked or packaged in glass or aluminum containers
- Providing “experience gifts”, like gift certificates to do fun things, in place of physical gifts
- Avoiding wrapping paper and encouraging guests to use things like newspaper, brown paper, or cloth to wrap presents
- Better yet, giving naked presents over wrapped presents
- Avoiding plastic confetti, glitter, and balloons
- Making your own biodegradable confetti
- Focusing party games around activities that don’t require a lot of waste or around activities that you or guests may already own (board games, etc.)
- Cutting up whole fruits and vegetables for fruit/vegetable platters instead of buying the premade platters
- Making your own decorations, or inviting friends over and making a party out of that too
- Making more meatless dishes
Meet Brianna Kilcullen, a sustainability consultant who has worked with major brands throughout the U.S. Hear her story about her journey in sustainable fashion and how she started her own company in the sustainable textile industry. Visit the Green Jax Project site to hear what she has to say about sustainable fashion!
Often, when people talk about being more environmentally friendly and buying better products, they inevitably bring up the common misconception that environmentally friendly products are expensive, and therefore an environmentally sustainable lifestyle must be as well. This is far from true, as most environmentally conscious changes are actually cheaper and an environmentally sustainable lifestyle involves purchasing less, not more. Check out free or cheap environmentally sustainable changes you can make on a budget at Green Jax Project!
Whether by train, plane, or automobile, traveling is one of the things we do that can have the largest environmental impact. However, there are ways to lessen the impact of our trips. The biggest thing we can do is to avoid major travel via airplane and cars but we know that’s not always possible, and travel can be extremely beneficial to your mental health and world view. Therefore, the best ways we can reduce our impact during travel involves our choices while we travel.
Make travel good for you and the environment by…
- Choosing the lowest impact travel option (walking/biking instead of driving, driving instead of flying, or taking public transport if available)
- Offsetting your carbon emissions from travel
- Bringing a reusable water bottle and avoiding bottled water unless necessary
- Purchasing souvenirs and food from local, family owned stores
- Bringing reusable bags for those souvenirs too!
- Packing light. If your trip is two weeks or less, try bringing everything in a carry on
- Packing your own package free snacks for the trip to and from
- Bringing your own toiletries. Check out these body products in tiny aluminum containers
- Bringing small containers, reusable silverware, and cloth napkins for takeout and leftovers
- Googling places to compost your waste, recycle certain items, or places that offer zero/low waste options
Our hygiene is vital to a healthy life, however, the industries that provide us with hygiene “essentials” have tricked many of us into believing we need more and more chemically-laden products in order to keep ourselves smelling fresh and looking clean. Hygiene is a lot…
Sharing a living space is hard enough as is, and so it’s understandable that the prospect of having and the work needed to have an environmentally friendly dorm or shared home scares away most people. Although a daunting task, having an environmentally conscious living situation with roommates can be possible. The main thing you’ll have to keep in mind is compromise, along with baby steps of course. Making lifestyle changes is not easy to everyone, so it’s important to understand that it may take a while for the people you live with to adopt new habits. The best thing you can do is encourage them and support them in their achievements, no matter how small you may think it is.
Even though it’s better for the environment and for your wallet to make environmentally conscious changes, your roommates may not be up for changing anything. In that case, its your responsibility to accept their choices and let it be; focus on what changes you can make to your things while in that living situation. Whether you just compost your food scraps or you sort out the recycling from the trash, the change must not force your roommates to do something they do not consent to. Whatever you do, make the best of your situation and avoid worrying over the things you cannot change.
Below, I’ve listed out examples of different changes that can be made to a shared living space to reduce its carbon footprint.
How to eco your home with roommates:
- Grow herbs you use frequently if you have a particularly sunny window
- If not, purchase your herbs and spices in bulk
- Focus on your waste stream and avoid plastics and disposables
- Cook as many meals as possible from scratch
- Take shorter showers
- Turn off or adjust the A/C or heat when you’re home alone
- Sort the recycling
- Switch to more sustainable health and hygiene products
- Use resuable bags when shopping with your roommates to help them avoid waste
- Contact junk mail companies and tell them to stop sending your household junk mail
- Switch the bills you’re responsible for to digital
- DIY things
- Repair things that break
- Offer to take over the most wasteful responsibilities of the home so you can control how wasteful it is
- If a roommate if fond of using a certain disposable product, gift them a more sustainable one for them to see if they like it (but don’t force them to use it)
- When its your turn to purchase cleaning supplies, purchase more sustainable (but easy to use) ones
- Make a yummy Meatless Monday dish to share with your roommates