As a mala bead brand, mindfulness plays a big role in who we are and what we do. And that includes being mindful about how our actions affect the world around us and the beautiful Earth we’re grateful to call home. That’s why we use all-natural gemstones + sustainable wood beads in our handcrafted designs, and why we’re striving every day to be a little more eco-friendly.
And with Earth Day coming up on Sunday, April 22, we bet a lot of you have sustainability on the brain, too. So whether you’re a sustainability pro or new to the whole eco-friendly movement, we put together a list of 15 simple life hacks that can help you live a little bit more sustainably. Have some other tips + tricks? Share them with us in the comments section!
1. Keep it clean: Whether you’re someone who loves to clean or absolutely loathes it, chances are you have to do your fair share of tidying up around the house. But instead of using store-bought cleaning products—which tend to have lots of chemicals that are harmful to the environment— try making your own by using natural ingredients like lemon and vinegar. Here are few recipes to get you started.
2. Buy secondhand: Rather than always buying brand new clothes and home decor, try to buy gently used items to help save some money and the environment. Doing so can reduce landfill waste, as well as lower the energy that goes into producing new items.
3. Eat local and in season: By enjoying fruits and vegetables only when they’re in season—and from local farmers and suppliers—you’ll not only eat them when they taste most delicious, but you’ll also help the planet. Eating locally cuts down on the fuel used to transport products, and also helps support the producers in your neighborhood.
4. Put your green thumb to use: It doesn’t get any more local than growing your own food at home. And the best part: You don’t need a huge yard to get started. Even in a tiny space, you can create a window herb garden or grow a vegetable or two.
5. Reuse your H20: The average person uses way more water on a daily basis than they could possibly imagine. Cut down on some of that waste by collecting leftover water from cooking, washing hands, brushing your teeth or showering, then use it to water your plants or help grow your herb garden.
6. Put it in airplane mode: Fun fact: Charging your phone while it’s on airplane mode not only uses less energy, but also charges your phone at lightning speed!
7. Light up with LEDs: Switching out your regular lightbulbs for an LED version can cut down on your energy consumption and save on your electric bill at the same time. Even better: They can last for up to 10 years, so you’ll also save money on buying replacement bulbs.
8. Go paperless: Bills are no fun, but at least you can make them a little greener by switching to online versions rather than getting paper bills in the mail. Contact your providers to make the switch ASAP.
9. Bring your own bag: Planning on doing some shopping? Don’t leave home without a few reusable bags, which help cut down on the amount of plastic that pollutes waterways and public areas. (Better yet: Stash a couple in the car so you’ll never be left without them). Bonus: Some stores will even give you a small discount on your purchase when you bring a reusable bag.
10. Join the Meatless Monday movement: We all know that eating meat isn’t the best thing for the environment. But if you can’t commit to going vegetarian or vegan (no judgement!), then at least try to go a day or two each week where you don’t eat meat at all. This will help lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions that can contribute to global warming.
11. Give green gifts: Have a gift that needs wrapping? Try reusing an old newspaper, magazine or paper grocery bag as gift wrap instead.
12. Ditch the bottled water: Not only is tap water cheaper (and generally super safe), but it also eliminates tons of environmentally damaging plastic. Get yourself a refillable water bottle and take it with you everywhere you go.
13. Load up on laundry: Try to only run a load of laundry when it’s completely full, and use cold water rather than hot to save on energy. And while you’re at it, avoid the dryer by using a clothesline or drying rack instead.
14. Unplug: Any time you aren’t using an appliance or device—especially if you’re going on vacation or leaving your house or office for an extended time—unplug them rather than leaving them on standby to conserve energy.
15. Recycle your devices: Upgrading your phone or computer? Make sure to dispose of your old one the responsible way by dropping it off at a designated electronic recycling station. A simple Google search will tell you where the nearest one is.