Wednesday, June 26, 2019

tips for how to start being eco-friendly

Hey everyone! Happy Summer! I am currently at my kitchen table eating watermelon and sipping a coffee that I made myself at home. Lately, I've been very aware of how much plastic I waste and money I spend on things that I will throw out immediately after I finish it. With all the talk about climate change and global warming, I question why I haven't made any lifestyle changes. Granted, the biggest causes of harm in our climate is from global corporations and the meat and dairy industries; but by not making a lifestyle change...humans aren't helping the situation.

I mentioned that I was drinking coffee because that's how I came up with this blog post because I am using my Starbucks tumbler that I bought for $10 in Vietnam. Here are some ways that you can be eco-friendly and work on reducing your carbon footprint.

1. Invest in a Reusable Cup from either Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, or a Coffee Shop (and also a metal water bottle)

It's so simple to bring your own coffee cup places. Lately, I will bring my Starbucks iced beverages reusable cup to every coffee shop I go to (even though it says Starbucks there is no issue), and tell them how many ounces it holds. This way, the coffee shop is not giving me a plastic cup that I will throw out not even an hour later. Once you get into the mindset of bringing the reusable cup places, you won't even want to buy a drink if you don't have it. There's also hot drink cups that are available for purchase. Corporate coffee shops, particularly Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, have discounts for using a reusable cup. Local coffee shops will even give you free refills with your own cup. The pros outweigh the cons of having to bring an empty cup with you.

*Starbucks even made temperature changing cups and also sell regular cheap reusable cups at check out.

Another investment is metal, refillable water bottles. Yes, Swell bottles and Hydroflasks are all the rage, but you don't have to buy a ridiculously expensive bottle. I bought two "thermoflasks" for $15 at Costco, and they are just as good as any other mainstream brand. Bringing your own water bottle is beneficial because 1) you can constantly hydrate yourself 2) you aren't buying single-use plastic water bottles. Many colleges have hydration station all over their campuses to reduce waste, and usually, restaurants and shops can fill up your water bottle if you asked them.

Here's more information on using reusable water bottles:

2. Bring a Metal Straw if you Can

Everyone has seen those photos of turtles with straws stuck in their noses. Plastic straws can't be recycled, so they end up in the ocean instead. Even if you personally have never encountered them in the oceans, millions end up there. No one will judge you for taking out a straw at a restaurant if they do... ask them why aren't they using one. There are also so many brands of plastic straws ranging from cheap ones at the dollar store to collapsable ones that you can put inside your bag.

*Final Straw is a brand that has reusable metal straws that even clip on to keychains, more info is here:

3. Go to Farmer's Markets & Bring Your Own Bags 

If you have a local farmer's market, start trying to buy produce there instead of a supermarket. Farmer's markets are usually cheaper for the bulk amount of produce, and let you pick out as much as you want. Also, buying locally grown food not only helps the economy but lessens the amount of produce that travels. Do you really need your fruit from Florida if you live in a different state? Also when you buy produce at supermarkets, it's usually in plastic that is just going to be thrown out once you make a salad or cook a meal. Why does our arugula have to be in a plastic container? There are more sustainable methods.

* The Environment Benefits of Local and Organic Food:

I have a dog, so we sometimes use the plastic bags given to us for when we take him on walks and have to clean up. For the most part, if you can bring your own bags to a grocery store instead of being given  10+ plastic shopping bags.

4.  Start doing 'Meatless Mondays' or trying to find a few days a week to remove dairy and meat.

I am not vegan or vegetarian, but every time I mention to someone who is like me the benefits of going meat and dairy free the responses are usually, "That seems too strict" or "I can't imagine doing that". You don't need to go vegan or vegetarian, but being anti-that lifestyle is not beneficial to anyone. Biologically, humans don't need to eat meat every day or even if at all. The issue lies within our meat and dairy industries that are destroying our environment.

Instead of going strictly vegan or vegetarian, cutting down the amount of meat and dairy will beneficially affect the environment and reduce your carbon footprint. It's not about cutting out all food and dairy but reducing the amount. There are plenty of alternatives as well, such as milk alternatives and fake meat, but also by adding in more vegetables and fruit. Meatless Mondays should not be a punishment, but more of a way to make a small lifestyle change.

On an ethical basis, there are plenty of arguments about going vegan because of animal cruelty. Especially with new developments such as the Fair Oaks Farm Scandal, where the cows are severely abused: A way of dealing with unethical dairy practices is to not buy products from the companies that abuse their animals if you can't give up the food group total. Educating yourself on the practices of the meat and dairy industry will help you become aware in your decisions and what practices to do.

Another thing to think about is the effects of raising cattle on the environment, and how it would be beneficial to cut the number of cattle raised. 

5. Don't Be Too Hard On Yourself and Others When Making a Lifestyle Change

Many people won't start using reusable products or cutting meat out if they feel forced to. That's an issue that's been going on forever and is the major criticism about trying to save the environment. The first step you should do is research the benefits of everything you're going to do. Don't see the point in using a reusable straw? Google it and read some articles about it instead of yelling at the person that suggested it. It's very easy to just listen to politicians that will most likely not be alive to see the Earth become a hazardous place to live (if we don't make a change). Also, if you mess up one day, it's not the end of the world. Forget to do Meatless Monday? Then just don't eat meat on Wednesday. You'll fail at a  lifestyle change if you're too hard on yourself. 

Here are some videos I found helpful:

( watch this if you want to help save the planet - (eco-friendly tips)) - Hailey Sani

My Morning Routine in the Year 2050 - Kristen Leo

Also, my friend, Francisca Rockey ( ) has a podcast on Spotify where she talked about the plastic straw ban, veganism, etc. It's called #honestyhour and you can listen to her latest episode here:

Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments (all you need is twitter or email!) about how you intend to be more sustainable and eco-friendly!
Christina Madeleine


  1. I loved that these are actually small things. So many of these posts tell people how to completely change their lives overnight and that's not at all realistic. As long as you're mindful and actually trying to improve, that's what matters X


    1. I think small changes can lead to big change! Thanks for commenting :)

  2. Such good ideas! I already do most of these. So important to all do our bit!
    Hazel x

  3. Bringing your own bags is on I really need to try harder on as I'm absolutely awful at continuously buying new plastic ones, thanks for sharing x

    Kayleigh Zara 🌿

    1. I have the worst habit of taking plastic bags too, so I totally get it! Thanks for commenting :)

  4. I love this post! I recently saw that Starbucks were selling reuseable cup for $2.00 in store and I immediately bought one.

    Samara // The Marshall Wardrobe

    1. Thank you! My mom just bought one for that price too! Since its 10 cents off every time you use it, it basically pays for itself in 20 times you buy coffee!

  5. Amazing post Christina! I have been trying to become more eco-friendly too and I even have a post that I've been working on the past few weeks coming out on Saturday about some eco-friendly swaps that aren't that hard.

    1. Thank you so much, Róisin! I'll check it out right now! I love getting the message out more about how simple it is to make small changes. xx

  6. I love your tips. I don't tend to drink coffee so that's never been an issue, but my water bottle is a lifesaver. I also rarely eat meat and I'm hoping to cut my animal product consumption down even further. I think people can get so overwhelmed with all the things they're being told to do, but even small changes are progress!
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

    1. What you're doing is great! Thanks for stopping by! xx

  7. This are all such useful tips! Switching to reusable cups and water bottles is such a simple and highly effective way to make an environmental difference! Thanks for sharing! :)



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