Ways to Increase Sustainability in Your Home

As the climate worsens, the trend of creating a more sustainable world and lifestyle becomes more mainstream. Brands are continuously coming out with “sustainable” clothing lines or advertised as “made with eco-friendly materials” but without making their entire brand to be eco-friendly or sustainable. With the climate crisis, I think most people are making more of a conscious effort to keep Earth a comfortable, habitable planet. To achieve this, we as individuals should become more conscious of the waste we are producing in a day/week/or year to try and mitigate our waste. Limiting your own waste may seem like it won’t make a difference in the climate crisis or the overflowing of landfills but by committing to becoming more conscious of your lifestyle habits throughout your day, subsequently will build your environmentalism. Your sustainability starts in your home. Below, I have curated a list of things that you can do to increase your sustainability without becoming completely zero-waste or ridding your home of the things you enjoy most. Easy ways to improve sustainable practices in your home include limiting the amount of waste you produce in your kitchen, repurposing old clothes instead of having them be sent to landfills, and by shopping locally to reduce packaging waste.

Reducing the amount of waste produced in your kitchen is a simple way to increase your sustainability throughout the rest of your house. Switching from plastic bottled soaps and detergents to their solid form such as the Earth and Daughter solid dish soap, sold at Jones and Co, reduces unnecessary plastic waste by using the alternative solid form. To use the solid soap block you need is your scrubber, a little water to the block, then directly apply the scrubber to the dish block until you see soap bubbles. Once the soap bubbles on your scrubber, you can start cleaning stubborn grime and grease, the dish block can also be used to spot clean on carpets and clothing. The transition from packaged goods to their solid forms does add a few extra dollars short term but long term, it’s meant to last longer and therefore save you money. In the United States, one third of food is wasted by being thrown out or uneaten. To reduce this fraction, having a compost bin in your kitchen is the solution. If you’re like me, you may have a hard time understanding what to compost, recycle, and throw out but below I have put in a picture to make it easier for you to separate your waste into their designated areas. You can incorporate your compost in your garden by creating mulch, potting mix, and using it to amend soil!

Republic Services. (n.d.). Retrieved October 28, 2022

In 2011, there were 13 million tonnes of textiles in landfills, and in 2018 that number increased to 17 million tonnes with less than 1% of those clothes being recycled or repurposed. It’s clear that one person recycling and repurposing their old clothes isn’t going to solve the problem of overflowing landfills with textile waste, this waste is a part of a larger problem rooted in fast-paced trends and poorly made clothing. Individually, you can make a difference in your own home while earning some extra cash. I’m sure that we all have heard that you can repurpose old clothes to make rags, towels, and pillow cases but for the clothes that are more difficult to repurpose like as jeans and tank tops, there are credible online thrift shops, such as Poshmark and Depop, where you can sell your clothes at a price that you create. These online thrift stores are great for shopping too because it allows you to look for an exact piece rather than getting lucky in-store at a thrift shop. The perk of selling your clothes through Depop or Poshmark is  that your old clothes continue to be worn while making some extra cash.

Screenshot taken the Depop website 10/28/2022

Shopping locally and in-person encourages you to buy reusable bags while reducing the amount of packaging that you would normally receive if you were to order online. In 2020, this would have been an impossible and an unfair resolution to reducing waste but in the age of 2022 with almost everything open and having the option to wear masks, shopping locally, in-person with the option of reusable bags, is one of the best ways to reduce your waste in everyday life. BAGGU, found at Jones and Co, is an example of a reusable bag company that has dedicated their brand to sustainably made goods with the intention of minimizing waste in the production of their bags, that are made from recycled materials, as well as treating their workers fairly. In just last year alone, online retailer, Amazon, generated about 500 million pounds of plastic, 22 million pounds of which landed in rivers and oceans. To avoid contributing to this issue, shop locally at farmers markets for groceries and shopping in person with the intention of bringing your own bags to reduce the amount of waste both you and Amazon produce in just a year. 

Yahoo! (n.d.). 'trash islands' off Central America indicate ocean pollution problem. Yahoo! News. Retrieved October 28, 2022,

Convenience is worsening the climate crisis that each of us are facing at different magnitudes. The readiness of packaged goods, Goodwill centers, and online shopping continues to be the biggest contributors to the amount of emissions and waste produced by corporations and individuals. To become more sustainable on your own without adding extra time in your routine or using more money in your budget, I encourage you to switch from bottled soaps to soap blocks that can be found at Jones and Co that are easy and quick to use. With the textile waste that you produce, you can sell in online thrift stores such as Poshmark and Depop that are dedicated to reducing clothing waste while helping the circular economy. The last way to be more sustainable in your home and lifestyles is by supporting your local businesses and shopping in person rather than quickly ordering from huge online retailers such as Amazon who contribute the most to carbon emissions and trash in the oceans, rivers, and landfills. These are simple, easy ways to make an individual effort into having a more sustainable home while becoming an environmentalist.

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