I’m on the way home from California. Big sigh. One of the things I love the most about the west coast is their active, healthy, clean and green lifestyle.
It always inspires me to recommit to embracing this in my own day-to-day. Want to get on board, too? Here are 10 small, yet impactful changes that you can make right now.
1. Shoes off in the house. As much as I love my shoes, have you ever taken a look at the bottom of them? Ewwwww. Wearing them inside can increase your exposure to dust, lead, bacteria, and pollutants. Not only is that gross, but it can lead to health problems. So, take ‘em off when you come in. Here are some tips on how to implement a “shoes off” policy in your home.
2. Put your reusable water bottle to work.
Plastic one-time use water bottles may be convenient, but they create waste when not properly recycled (and most aren’t). Plastic water bottles can also contain BPA which can cause health harm. So, recommit to your reusable water bottle. S’well and BKR are 2 of my personal faves.
3. Meet the Dirty Dozen. Fruits and veggies with a thinner skin have a higher risk of absorbing pesticides.
Check out the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list for fruits and veggies with the highest risk of pesticide exposure. Buy organic when you can!
4. Carry reusable shopping bags.
Plastic bags are destructive to the environment: they suffocate wildlife and jam up landfills wheres they never, ever decompose. Instead, hit the market with a sturdy reusable bag. If you are anything like me, and always forget your reusable bags, these mini ones are super handy and fit in your purse.
5. Take your own coffee cup.
Our L&L super-fans (my mom, Kerry), will know this was one of my personal commitments for the new year, as Styrofoam and even paper cups are not very sustainable. I now leave reusable coffee cups in my car and purse so I don’t forget one. Bonus: some coffee joints (Starbucks, Peet’s) will even give you a discount for bringing your own mug.
6. Clean up your personal care products and cosmetics. I know from my day job that harmful ingredients may be lurking in your lipstick, body wash and more. Check out the Never List™ to learn which ingredients you want to avoid.
If you are ready to make a switch, Beautycounter has a great line of safer products that are just as high performing than what you are currently using. Win/win.
7. Get glass containers. Switch out your kitchen plastic containers for glass ones. Kitchen plastics can leach toxic chemicals into your food. We have these and have never looked back.
8. Toss the spray sunscreen. Spray sunscreens can be inhaled, and may not provide a sufficient dose of sunscreen.
Instead, choose a sunscreen that uses non-nano zinc oxide to protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Non-nano zinc oxide sunscreens are also less dangerous to ocean ecosystems.
9. Ditch fragrance. Avoid perfume, as it can contain synthetic fragrances, many of which are common allergens or have links to hormone disruption. If you can’t live without your scent, try using essential oils, or a cleaner, safer perfume.
10. Take shorter showers. The longer you daydream in the shower, the more water and energy resources you are depleting. So, be speedy in the shower and Mother Earth will thank you!