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How to be More Environmentally Friendly: An Everyday Guide

Wherever you are, take a look outside at the sky and the birds, and breathe in the beautiful fresh air. It’s hard not to be in complete awe of the planet and its beauty, right? Over the years, we’ve become increasingly aware as humans of the pressure we put on the earth to cope with our constant demands. There are extensive ways to help with the climate crisis, even just by making small efforts in our daily lives. It may sometimes feel impossible alone, but if we all work together to live more consciously, our power is infinite. Enjoy our 9 tips on how to be more environmentally friendly every day.

1. Build an Environmentally Friendly Wardrobe

Rule 101 for how to be more environmentally friendly is to always:
Recycle. Reuse. Repurpose.
This is something we can do very easily when considering our clothing:

Look after the items you already have

Look after your clothing by washing it carefully and using a sewist (or learning yourself!) to mend holes or sew new buttons. You could even repurpose your clothes as entirely new items by changing the collars, dying a new color, or cutting your old jeans down into summer shorts.

Wash your clothes less.

This might sound a bit gross, but it’s a great way to prolong the life of items (especially pieces like jeans that aren’t meant to be washed anyway). By washing clothing less, we use less water and keep our clothing looking fresh for longer. If you do get food on your clothing, consider applying lemon juice on the area to remove the mess and leave your clothes smelling citrusy-good!

Buy consciously

If you do need a new item, only buy what you need and consider the lifespan of the item. Switch out your favorite brands for environmentally friendly, vintage, or thrift stores. You’ll save money and be doing your bit for the planet.

Zany&Shy Environmentally-Friendly Jewelry

Donate your clothing

Recycle your old clothing by donating it to Goodwill or another local charity. If you’re looking to make a bit of cash, sell your items on eBay or platforms like Depop. This way, your item goes to a new home where it will be worn and loved, rather than going into a landfill. Plus, you’ll make a bit of money too!

How to be more environmentally friendly: When you do go shopping, always try to buy in person (especially if you can walk to the shops), rather than online. Brands can be very sneaky about their shipping details; how many times have you ordered clothing online only to find it arrives 6 weeks later from a far-away country? Cutting out the process of driving, shipping, or flying your clothing can really help fight the climate crisis.

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2. Shop for Your Groceries Consciously

Changing the way we shop is a simple way to be more environmentally friendly in our day-to-day lives.

Shop locally!

Start by shopping locally - buying your groceries from your local greengrocer, farm, butcher, or deli. What’s nice about shopping in this way is that you can learn so much more about your food and form new connections with your neighbors. Always check where your food is sourced from too. That delicious-looking avocado might have flown thousands of miles from South America before dropping in your cart.

Grow your own food

If you really want to be the most environmentally-friendly possible, you could start to grow your own fruit and veg. It’s a little more effort, but it’s excellent for your garden and your health, and it’s so satisfying eating something that you’ve just picked from the garden.

Plan your meals

Plan out your meals so that food doesn’t go to waste from your weekly shop. It’s easy to be tempted by 2-4-1 discounts, but if there’s a chance you won't eat it by the sell-by date, then don’t buy it. Any leftovers that you do have, you can use to make soups, jams, and sauces and freeze them for future use.

Get tech-friendly

There are loads of incredible apps that you can use to help the planet now, from sustainable clothing apps to carbon footprint clockers. When it comes to grocery shopping, use apps like Too Good to Go, which partner with local stores, restaurants, and cafes to offer leftover food at the end of the day. You could pick up your favorite deli sandwich for a fraction of the price, support a local supplier, and reduce food waste all at the same time!

Bring your own bag

Plastic bags have fast become enemy number 1 when it comes to protecting the planet. Bring your own reusable bag to the store, as well as any other containers that may be of use. Many of the major stores now have zero-waste dispensaries where you can refill your jars and containers before checking out.

3. Ditch the Coffee Pods

Raise your hand if you’re a coffee addict? Yep, coffee is life, but having your morning caffeine boost can be bad for the planet. Many of us use plastic coffee pods, throwing them away and creating more waste for overflowing landfills. Think about ditching the coffee pods and investing in a coffee machine that you can use ground coffee for instead. It may be an expensive investment, but you’ll save money and help the planet in the long run. To get your coffee, take your jar to a zero-waste store or ask your local barista if you can buy directly from them.

How to be more environmentally friendly: Out for coffee today? Buy a reusable mug to take with you to coffee shops. Many of the provided paper cups are actually coated in plastic that is not recyclable.

4. Cut Down Your Plastic Use

There are some simple ways to cut down your plastic use at home. Particularly if you live in a country where the water might not be sanitary to drink directly from the faucet, consider buying a good water filter. This stops us from using unnecessary plastic bottles that pollute our landscapes (more than 5 trillion tonnes of plastic is already floating in the ocean).

When you’re out and about, always remember to bring your reusable water bottle. Many places around cities and towns now have refillable stations where you can access drinking water. You’ll even find them in airports (a good reason not to use the tiny plastic cups provided on airplanes).

How to be more environmentally friendly: Sensitive teeth? Buy yourself a reusable straw made from bamboo or metal that you can take in your bag wherever you go.

5. Make Composting Cool

Composting is something we can all do at home! There is a compost collection service in many countries, where the garbage trucks will collect your food waste and take it to a local composting center. If you don’t have access to a service like this, consider creating compost in the garden. Add your food waste, and as it decomposes, you’ll be able to use it for the garden; it’s excellent for helping to grow plants, flowers, and more food!

How to be more environmentally friendly: What material is your phone case made from? Most phone cases are made from silicone or durable plastic material. Many of us throw it away when it's broken, adding another plastic pressure to the world. When you next need a phone case, choose a company that makes compostable cases. This way, when it’s reaching the end of its life, you can throw it in the compost instead!

6. Look Out for Trash

The lifespan of plastic ranges from 450 years to forever. That’s a long time for packaging to be hanging around. Whenever you leave the house, take a reusable bag with you to collect any trash you see as you go. It’s a small but simple activity that can really help protect the nature and wildlife where you live ( by 2050, it's said that nearly every seabird species will be ingesting plastic). If you want to join a community effort, look out for your local trash cleanup or beach cleaning initiatives like this one.

7. Switch Out Your Bathroom Faves

Winding down at the end of your evening with a relaxing cleansing routine can be one of life’s simplest pleasures. However, we might unknowingly be using harmful products for the planet. Consider making these changes:

Say goodbye to cleansing wipes

Cleansing wipes are single use (after we use them they are thrown straight into the bin). Instead, use your favorite cleanser with a washable cleansing pad or cloth. It may be more expensive to buy your washable cloth initially, but it will last a long time and is far more environmentally friendly.

Check your cosmetics are eco-friendly

Are they made from natural ingredients? For example, many products are made using palm oil. The demand for this substance contributes massively to the issue of deforestation across the globe. We need trees to live!

Learn more about deforestation

Go plastic-free!

Switch to a safety razor and stop buying disposable razors. Choose products that come in reusable or natural packaging, like bamboo, compostable cardboard, or metal tins that you can reuse.

Change your sanitary products

Buy menstrual underwear that you can wash and reuse (they’re comfy too!), or consider buying a menstrual cup. There are also many eco-friendly tampons and sanitary towels on the market that are bio-degradable.

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8. Use Your Body

Get healthy and save the planet! Instead of jumping in the car, ride a bicycle or walk to your destination. It’s a great way to exercise and see what’s going on around you. The main benefit, of course, is that you’re lowering your carbon footprint. When you need to drive, consider taking public transport or car-sharing.

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9. Turn Down the Heat

Winter is here, and of course, when we’re cold, we quickly turn the heating up at home. However, think twice. Put another layer on and get better protection from the elements by insulating your house or getting thick drapes that help to keep the draught out.

How to be more environmentally friendly: Research the companies you’re using for electricity and gas - how environmentally friendly are they? Are they trying to reduce their carbon emissions or have eco-initiatives in place?

10. Donate to an Environmental Campaign

Do your bit to help the earth by donating to an environmental campaign. Small everyday efforts are very important, but the scale of the climate crisis requires a little financial effort too. For example, donate to an organization like Plant for the Planet and your money will go towards planting trees in locations all over the world. A 50 Euro donation plants 50 beautiful trees!

Donate Now

Living consciously is a vital part of our lifestyle and work culture here at Zany&Shy. It’s important that we strive for sustainable materials and processes in our environmentally friendly jewelry business. However, it’s also essential that this flows into our home life as we make efforts to heal and care for the planet. We hope that these top tips can help you learn how to be more environmentally friendly as we move towards a better future for our world and future generations.

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