Bring your own cup to your favorite coffee shop
This is such a simple but incredibly effective way to reduce your single use plastic/paper waste. By brining your own cup you are making a positive impact in more ways than you may think.
It has been reported that 16 billion paper coffee cups are used every year world-wide, and 6.5 million trees are cut down to do so. And oftentimes your cup cannot be effectively recycled, which means it will end up stagnantly sitting in landfills. These numbers can seem intimidating, but the good news is we don’t have to continue contributing to these statistics; we have control.
Many companies, such as ecoffee cup have helped consumers, like you and me, make the transition from single use to reusable coffee cups a no-brainer. They’re affordable, stylish, and most importantly, help fight against the effects of throw-away culture and single-use waste. Additionally, many coffee shops offer a discount when you bring your own cup which is an added perk!
Side note: I am hosting a giveaway in which you can win your very own reusable coffee cup that says “It’s cool to be kind” (to earth and each other!). Enter to win by tagging @simplysustainablelife in an Instagram post or story and filling out the form under the giveaway tab.
Bring your own Bags
This is a hot topic in the sustainability movement, and rightfully so. The numbers are alarming.
One report states that one-trillion single-use plastic bags are used annually across the world, which are a leading cause of ocean pollution. Unfortunately, once again, recycling is not the end all be all solution to this ongoing issue.
Many communities do not have facilities that can effectively recycle plastic bags, but some grocery stores have “takeback bins” which is where you can drop off your bags to be successfully recycled. So, keep your eyes peeled for those or if that isn’t a viable option, opt to reuse your plastic bags for as long as possible. Do what you can and earth will thank you for it!
Participate in Meatless Monday
Before we get into this topic, I just want to disclose that I am aware of the sensitivity that surrounds personal dietary choices and the consequences of those decisions. But, the idea behind Meatless Monday is not intimidating or accusatory; anyone can participate just one day a week!
Meatless Monday is a global movement that aims to increase awareness about the impact that the meat industry has on climate change by consciously choosing to not consume meat on Mondays. Report after report has shown that the large scale dairy and meat industry is a leading cause of environmental strife. This is in part due to the immense amount of water it takes to produce beef, and can also be attributed to the intense levels of greenhouse gases that are emitted during meat production.
One day a week may seem small and unlikely to make difference for such a large issue. But hey, we all start somewhere, and any positive change is worthy of celebration!
Ditch the Plastic water bottles
It’s about time we say goodbye to plastic water bottles and hello to the wonderful world of reusable ones. But first, I have to reiterate the detrimental effects of single-use plastic. Bad news first: studies show that Americans use 50 billion water bottles a year. But, the good news is that by simply using a reusable water bottle you have the potential to save 156 bottles from ending up in landfills every year!