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Eco-Journey: Room to Grow

At EarthHero, we know that the switch to an eco-friendly lifestyle is a journey, and that everyone is on different points along that journey. That’s okay! That means that there are new people joining the sustainability movement every day, and there are also people who have kept up with sustainable living for years.

We have the information, tips & tricks, and the products you need in order to make this transition as smooth as possible! We’ve put together three blogs that will help map out a path to bump your sustainability to the next level. Don’t know where you’d fit? Take our super simple “How Zero Waste Are you?” quiz to get an idea of where you might be!

Level 1: “Room to Grow”
Level 2: “Getting Greener
Level 3: “Eco Expert

So, who is this “Room to Grow” blog for? If you want to have a positive impact on the environment but you don’t really know where to start, this blog is for you! Wanting to make a change is the first step to begin your sustainable lifestyle journey. You might be overwhelmed by the idea of changing lifelong habits to correspond with your newfound desire to make positive change, but don’t fear! EarthHero is here!

While reading, keep in mind that this blog is a tool for you. Make it yours! Already know something we’re sharing, or do something we’re recommending? Skip to the next section! We recommend using this to find ways to improve that fit with your journey. Feel free to read all 3 Eco-Journey blogs, and just take away bits from any of them that you can implement in your life. Then, a few months later, reread, and see what else you can try next!

Level 1: Room to Grow

This blog is going to circle around one central topic: zero waste. Despite the name, zero waste does NOT mean all or nothing! Instead, zero waste is the idea that you make mindful changes that help you re-think trash and how it’s created, allowing you to reduce where you can.

EarthHero, sustainable journey, sustainable, eco friendly, zero waste, room to grow, environment

You don’t have to make all of the changes at once. In fact, that’s usually how people give up. Gradually changing your habits to become more sustainable allows you to be successful in each of the small changes you make. You’ll be building a strong foundation based off of changing habits, not just forcing unnatural change!

Books to read:

Zero Waste Home
101 Ways to Go Zero Waste

Part 1: Reusables

A big part of the zero waste lifestyle is about shifting from disposable products to reusable products. Right now, you might grab a quick lunch out or stop by a coffee shop on your way to work in the morning. These seem like harmless actions, but many times to-go food is packaged in plastic and comes with plastic utensils and straws.

A simple thing you can do to lower your waste is asking for your food without utensils or plastic straws, and having your own reusable options on-hand. Try out a reusable coffee mug for your morning coffee run, and carry around a reusable water bottle if you don’t have one already!

With a little forethought, your zero waste lifestyle doesn’t need to mean sacrifices. Instead, upgrading that paper coffee cup to an insulated alternative that will keep your coffee hot for hours! Swap out those plastic grocery store bags with larger, more durable reusable bags. No sacrifices here!

EarthHero Blog Zero Waste

Blogs to read:

16 Zero Waste Essentials
Plastic Free Travel Essentials
Which reusable straw is right for you?

Products to discover:

Sustainable Starter Packs
Reusable Water Bottle and Mug
Travel Utensils
Reusable Straw
Grocery and Produce Bags
Silicone resealable bags

Part 2: Say no to plastic

When looking for everyday disposables that you can swap for reusable, keep an eye out for plastic. Plastic takes over 500 years to degrade in the landfill, and even then it leaves behind microplastics, which are polluting our waterways. Plastic straws, bags, and utensils are all very easy swaps! It’s estimated that 500 million straws and 275 million plastic bags are used each day in the US.

Cities and companies nation- and world-wide are taking initiatives to reduce plastic use–but you don’t need to wait for your city to do so. Every little step counts, so start looking at what you throw away daily, and see how you can swap (or refuse altogether!) Later on, you can look into swapping out your shampoo bottles, toothbrushes, and toothpaste to non-plastic options, too!

When faced with a choice, we recommend glass or paper over plastic. Choose that glass jelly jar at the store, then reuse that jar for food storage! If you forget your grocery bags at the store, opt for paper bags, and try to remember your reusables next time.

EarthHero Blog Zero Waste

Blogs to read:

Why is Plastic Bad?
7 Steps to Ditch Plastic
The Lifestyle of a Plastic Straw
What Are Microplastics?

Products to discover:

Shampoo Bars
Toothtablets
Lotion Bars
Laundry Powder
Dishwashing Detergent Pods
Dish soap block

Part 3: Recycling

Did you know that there’s a wrong way to recycle? When you recycle items that shouldn’t be recycled in your local facility, it can cause the entire batch of good recyclables to lose value. Some cities will go as far as tossing all of your recyclables into the trash if they see too many items that will cause contamination. Our tip? When in doubt, throw it out!

Sometimes, there are special recycling places that you can take items that are hard to recycle (including plastic films, styrofoam, and appliances!) Do a quick web search to see if you have one in your area!

Remember, recycled products need to be recycled into something. So, keep an eye out for products made with recycled materials next time you shop! This build up the market for recyclables, which allows for better infrastructure and facilities, and reduces our reliance on virgin materials!

EarthHero Blog Zero Waste

Blogs to read:

Rethinking Recycling
Upcycling vs Recycling
Recycled Products that Change the Way You Look at Trash
7 Surprising Things You Can’t Recycle

Products to Discover:

TerraCycle Zero Waste Recycling Boxes
Alchemy Goods Upcycled Backpacks
SolMate Socks (made from recycled factory scraps!)
Green Toys made from recycled milk jugs
Girlfriend Collective leggings made with recycled waterbottles

Part 4: Food Waste

Globally, we throw away 1.3 billion tons of food waste every year. That’s about 1/3 of all of the food grown! In wealthy countries, like the United States, that statistic jumps to 40% of all food grown.

Living sustainably means living more mindfully, choosing things you buy carefully. That doesn’t just mean plastic and disposables – it means food, too! There are a ton of ways to reduce your food waste, from meal planning to proper storage and organization. Some food waste, in the end, is inevitable, and we’ll go into that in the next section!

EarthHero Blog Zero Waste

Blogs to read:

4 Steps to an Organized Kitchen
Reduce your Food Waste

Products to discover:

Frego Food Storage
Stasher Silicone Bags
Food Huggers
BioBag Compostable Resealable Bags

Part 5: Composting

Did you know that there’s a greenhouse gas about 30x more potent than carbon dioxide, that’s released when you trap organic materials in the landfill? When you seal food and other organic waste in an anaerobic environment, it releases that greenhouse gas: methane. The best way to responsibly dispose of your food scraps? Composting! This allows for healthy degradation of those organic materials.

Not only does composting divert this organic waste, but compost is great for gardening! Interested? Learn more with the blogs below!

EarthHero Blog Zero Waste

Blogs to read:

What are Carbon Emissions? (and why do they matter?)
Compostable vs. Biodegradable
How to: Compost

Products to discover:

Compost Supplies

It is important to remember that sustainability looks different for everyone. We all don’t have access to the same resources and can’t do EVERYTHING that is suggested for sustainable living. This is okay! Every action from every individual matters, so just keep looking for solutions that work for your life and don’t be discouraged if you aren’t able to do everything. Let us know how you plan to shrink your environmental footprint below!

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