Happy Earth Day! Here Are 5 Easy Ways To Be a Better Zero
At thredUP, we’re always talking about the ways we can be better consumers. The conversation usually revolves around clothes, of course, but once you get into the whole conscious consumer mindset, you realize how many relatively easy ways there are to reduce our carbon footprint in every aspect of our lives. Earth Day is April 22nd, time to rethink and reset.
Becoming a zero-waste consumer is about making a positive environmental impact by using less, buying smart, and being aware. That’s why this Earth Day we’re hosting a #1in1out challenge: For every new piece of clothing you add to your closet, take out one you no longer wear and send it to thredUP. One in. One out. Zero wasted.
Here are a few more tips on how to be a better zero:
Bring Your Own Cup
By now, we should all be drinking our morning coffee out of our own cup. But still, 4 billion Starbucks to-go cups are thrown away each year. It might be a tad inconvenient to bring in your own cup and rinse it out afterwards, but this is a pretty easy place to start. Plus, most coffee shops offer a 10% discount if you bring your own. If there’s only one green thing you do this year, make it this.
Use an Eco-Friendly Lunchbox
Today, there are zero excuses for packing your kids’ lunch in a brown paper bag and filling up plastic baggies full of apple slices and potato chips. Our favorite zero-waste option is PlanetBox. It’s a stainless-steel bento box with individual compartments for up to five different food items.The best part? Each box is fully customizable and comes with a set of magnets to personalize the outside. The boxes are guaranteed to last for five years and clean up easily with soap and water.
Ditch the Plastic Bags
Now that a few US cities have banned plastic bags and even more are now charging for single bag use, BYOB is becoming more and more commonplace. But we still have a loooong way to go. Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide (that’s over 1 million per minute!). Even among the most conscious among us (who bring our own grocery bags every time we go to the supermarket), we still end up using plastic bags to hold our fruits and vegetables. By bringing our reusable totes and mesh produce bags every time we go to the market, we can save millions of pounds of unnecessary landfill waste.
Buy from the Bulk Bin
Ever notice how many boxes go down the conveyor belt on an average trip to the grocery store? Chances are, lots. Unfortunately, putting food in a box is the easiest way to transport it from the manufacturer to the store. But throwing away a whole cardboard box after you’ve had a couple of bowls of cereal just feels bad. With a little extra effort and planning, you can shop virtually box and bottle-free. Most grocery stores now have a bulk section that sells everything from nuts and cereal to shampoo and soap. Bring your own mason jars or Tupperware containers to fill up.
Use Cloth Napkins
This one is a win-win. You save the trees and get to fill your kitchen with a basket full of pretty cloth napkins. A little creativity with colors and patterns makes a simple design statement. Have stacks on hand for table setting, hand-drying, and quick spills.
This is our second favorite place to practice one in, one out. And it’s a great example to set for the kids. Every few months or so, go through the toy bins and pull out all the toys that your kids don’t play with or have outgrown. Pass them down to friends with younger kids, donate them to a non-profit organization, or sell them to a used children’s store. Remind your kids that every time they bring a new toy into the home, one toy gets removed. Besides reducing waste, it’s a great way to keep clutter at bay.