The Journey Of Reducing My Carbon Footprint

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Something that's been weighing heavily on me is the environment and how much waste we produce every day. How often I'm taking the trash and recycling bins out in my home that five people live in. How at my office even if I throw one thing out at work that day when I walk in the next the garbage bag has been switched. How wasteful we are as a country, a planet and as individual people. It's become so easy to not think about how our waste is affecting their earth. I mean, we put our garbage bins on the side of the road and when we come home from work the garbage is gone and that's that. We don't consciously think of where the garbage will end up every time we throw something in the garbage. Most people don't think about the plastic bag they used for 15 seconds or the plastic fork they used to sample a bite to eat, or the straw they open to chug their iced coffee.

But we should. 

I've always cared about the environment. I was actually that annoying person in college who yelled at everyone to recycle their beer cans. I always yelled at my friends if I ever saw them litter. I actually once had a guy tell me he fell for me because he saw me freak out when I watched someone litter (caring is COOL). The earth is beautiful and littering is disgusting. 

I grew up in a house where we recycled everything in different bins. We had garbage, we had cans and bottles (I'm from NY so we got a 5 cent deposit back on all cans and bottle we returned, which I firmly believe should be the case in every state in this country, especially now since you have to pay a deposit fee every time you purchase a can or bottle), we had a plastic bin and we also had a paper bin. To me, it was extremely normally to recycle everything we could, it's just how I was raised.

The first time I ever saw someone throw a can in the garbage was when I was in college in PA and I was incredibly confused.

How could someone throw away a can when it's obviously recyclable? 

As I've grown up I've noticed the importance of reducing my carbon footprint and helping the environment one decision at a time. I've also learned how important it is to raise awareness. Just the other night at dinner I told my friends not to use their plastic straws and they asked me why. "THE TURTLES" I yelled and they didn't get it. If you don't know what I'm talking about here's a video

I've always talked about how to reduce your footprint and shared videos on Facebook but I haven't made any additional altering changes until today. 

Today, I watched this video and this video and I couldn't just do the minimum anymore. I knew I needed to start making more changes and reducing single-use plastic options. I looked up different options and sites to purchase items I use daily that are plastic-free and/or reusable. 

I am a small business owner and I know the importance of shopping small first hand so I avoided big companies as much as I could. Here is what I bought so far to reduce my carbon footprint:

  • 4 Brush with Bamboo toothbrushes for $20 
  • A clear glass straw from Strawesome for $4 (I rarely use straws but I do always keep one in my Nalgene so I figured one would be enough for now). 
  • Bottle-free shampoo and conditioner from GetLathered on Etsy for $20. 
  • 5 pack of natural reusable produce bags for $4.99

I also found this incredible website and am buying the products to create my own toothpowder. No more throwing away toothpaste tubes! 

Other things I do naturally are recycling paper and plastic, drink from a reusable water bottle, use reusable k-cups (so the only waste I have is the coffee grounds), shop from second-hand stores, save leftovers in glass Tupperware, don't use plastic straws or lids, etc. 

Reducing your carbon footprint is a journey and I'm excited to move forward with mine because I love this planet and our wildlife. I'm in no way perfect and I never will be, there's also no way to be completely zero waste, but I think it's important to make a conscious effort to work on bettering myself for the environment and that includes educating people, even when they don't understand why you're doing what you are. I've received a lot of shit from people for bringing plastic bags and straws to their attention but the only way to make a difference is to continue to talk about it so I encourage you to do just that. 

*This post is in no way sponsored, I just think these products are going to rock.