Sunday, September 29, 2019

Sustainability: A Place to Start

I am super excited to share with you my newest passion: Sustainability. I've been dabbling in it since 2009, but this year, I've really ramped up my efforts in light of the looming climate crisis. I'm excited to do my best everyday to lower my carbon footprint and help out as best I can. I'm always learning and incorporating new routines into my life. Here is where I'm at thus far. Hopefully this can be a jumping off point for anyone looking to make some small changes!

At home:
*Kitchen - I think this is the easiest place to start and where I'm the most aware of my consumption. I've moved to re-usable baggies, Bee's Wrap, I LOVE them. And they last for one year, afterwards they can be composted. We use glass dishes for leftovers, the water filter on the fridge and re-usable water bottles and coffee travel mugs for my drive to work. I just purchased re-usable linen napkins from Target and re-usable paper towels! We've had a compost bin for the past three years, that will finally be going to use it in our garden next year! We do our best to recycle as much as we can but can defiantly improve! Next I need to look into the cleaning products we use. Spencer is really good at making 1/2 water 1/2 vinegar solutions for us!

*Bathroom - not great here. I just looked at all of my self care products this morning and I don't think one said it was recyclable. I also want to move towards items that are better for the environment and on my body. I recently started looking into bamboo toilet paper. That is an easy place to start. Along with looking at better cleaning products for the environment.
Shirt and pants from Goodwill!

*Bedroom - I purchased our bed from Thuma. Doing environmental research on companies is still something I'm getting use to. You can read more about Thuma's efforts on their site! I love their bed!
In my closet, I would say more than 1/2 of my clothing is from Goodwill. Items I'm ready to move on from, if still in good condition go back to Goodwill. Another great option is Rent The Runway! I used them on a few vacations now so I can have special outfits. When you are done, you just send them back! Easy peasy! Our rug is a hand me down, but everything else is new. This is the hardest area of the house I think. All we can do is our best everyday. If you have suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!

*Laundry - I'm looking into a company called Dropps for laundry soap. We already have the wool balls in our dryer and both machines are energy efficient. Spencer installed a line for us to dry our clothes outside, he's better at that than I am! A lot of my stuff I air dry, but not everything. There is defiantly room for improvement there!

*Lawn care (my first time owning a lawn!!) - I found a great article by the EPA on how to do better with lawn care. We are looking into installing a smart sprinkler system in the Spring, so I think that could really help with water consumption. We have an electric mower and the EPA says to leave the trimmings on your lawn! So recycling that back into the grass is better and less work! Love that!
Reusable bag made by my bestie Steph!

How I can do better? I want to work on watching our home's energy consumption. I think it will improve as the days get cooler and I'm slowly working on switching to better bulbs. We are also pretty good about hand washing a lot of our dishes. Last night I washed almost everything by hand and air dried them. Always a work in progress!

At work:

*Lunch room - I've put in re-usable silverware, plates and cups in the lunch room. We have a water filter on the fridge and a water cooler as well, which we re-fill every other week. We have majorly cut down on our water bottle consumption too! I'm most excited about that!

*My office - I have my reusable water bottle and tote for errands. My favorite thing is the light switch which is motion detected and saves energy for when I am not in there! In the bathroom, I've hung up towels for hand washing instead of paper towels.

How I can do better? I want to work on getting more Eco-friendly trash bags and cutting down the amount they are changed. Maybe my CEOs would be open to the bamboo TP too?!

On the go:

*In my purse - I've added my reusable straw. I need to put in a smaller reusable bag for times I forget one and I've ordered a Stojo collapsible cup (thanks to my friend Liora) for both Spencer and I. They come with straws and are 16 oz. They will be perfect for our weekend coffee runs.
Reusable Tote by Jordandene use code: meganelvrum for 15% off your purchase!

*In my car - I have ALL my reusable bags in my trunk and I'm doing better at taking one into EVERY store I go into. I find this a tough place to improve on as well. I just need to get in the habit. And I am more mindful of this activity. I have to drive 40 minutes to and from work each day so I hope that some of the other things I'm doing can help balance that out until I can get a hybrid or electric car.
*In my suitcase - The Stojo will be great for traveling as well. I could add a reusable bag in my suitcase for while I'm traveling and purchasing things. I did that when I went to Seattle. It was perfect for our shopping day at Pikes Market! I'm excited about a few hotels I've been to who have dispensers for their toiletries instead of the little bottles. Marriott just announced they will do away with their travel bottles and Arlo in NYC had dispensers now as well as the pictured Surf Hotel in Colorado.

How I can do better? None of us are perfect! I know I'm not. I just bought 2 new pairs of shoes for fall and looking at new purse. BUT....all we can do, is our research, be as consistent as possible and open to learning and adopting new habits!

I'm thankful for both Liora and Amanda for sharing their sustainable journeys on Instagram. It is inspiring! Hopefully they and I can get people thinking and acting! Share your actions and ideas in the comments below! Let's all help each other, help our environment! xx Meg


B. said...

It's hard but it all adds up! I think you're doing a great job so far.

Megan Elvrum said...

Thank you @B. I'm excited to see how I can continue to improve and share my journey! xx Meg

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