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7 Commonplace Life Hacks That Put Sustainability Within Reach

“Thoughtful, Committed Citizens,” Indeed

In the recent past, suburbanites thought nothing of littering in public spaces. People would throw empties out their car windows without a care, or leave their paper picnic plates and napkins, and other trash in public parks for someone else to clean up. After a while, we got tired of it, and anti-littering campaigns popped up here and there, particularly in the mid-seventies. These mostly disconnected efforts turned into one big cultural shift, and now littering is widely considered to be a no-no.

The same can be argued of the sustainability movement. Home recycling has become almost a given for many families, thanks to things like deposits on beverage bottles, the upcycling movement, grocery discounts for shoppers who bring reusable bags, and even good old-fashioned peer pressure from your tree-hugging grandkids.

Japan has embraced recycling like a boss. Here in the U.S. we’re catching up. Municipal recycling made its debut in New Jersey in 1980 thanks to a Girl Scout, and grew in the 90s, with California predictably leading the charge. This article provides a nice little timeline for your fact-checking pleasure. And that was all just the start. Since Y2K, home recycling has become a part of an ever-growing whole.

Social Media Strikes Again, But In a Good Way This Time

In March, an Algerian activist and conservationist posted a snap of himself in a littered wooded area, and an accompanying selfie of the litter having been collected up into nine bulging trash bags. The pair of pics sparked a viral campaign, a TrashTag call to action encouraging bored teens to follow suit and post their own clean-up efforts. The ensuing activity across platforms was certainly an improvement over people eating laundry detergent or whatever other silliness social media users are getting up to these days.

Of course, this, like any viral event will run its course, but there are things we can all do at home and in our professional lives to make a difference.

For Your Consideration

  • Fair Trade Products: If you need an excuse to feel good about your environmental accomplishments while enjoying a rich cup of coffee with a chocolate covered banana, the Fairtrade (apparently it’s one word!) movement has you covered.
  • Recycled Content Paper: By now, many paper products are labeled with their post-consumer (recycled) percentage, making it pretty easy for the eco-conscious consumer. As for your business activities, we’ve got that all hammered out. Marketing so rarely requires pristine stock that you can pretty much go as green as you like with our cards, and be certain you're making a quality impression. Click To Tweet
  • Reusable Bamboo Straws:  These little packs of personal straws you can get on Amazon are the bee’s knees!
  • CFL & LED Lights: These are really getting popular, so they’re not as expensive as they once were. The beauty is that they’re energy efficient without sacrificing illumination.
  • Reusable Shopping Bags: Many markets will take a nickel off your groceries for every reusable bag you bring, and if you keep these things stashed in your car, you’re likely to find they’re handy for all sorts of uses.
  • Community and City Single-Use Plastic Bans: Vanautu, a tiny South Pacific nation surrounded by a very large ocean has completely banned single-use plastics for good reason, and to great effect. These bans are cropping up in towns and cities across the U.S. Talk to your local lawmakers and find out if such a movement is right for your community, or just institute a ban of your own in your household.
  • Wind Power: This one’s a little trickier, you can’t always choose where you get your power from. Having said that, you can find products and use services powered with wind and other renewable energies. You’ve found us, so you’re halfway there!

 

 

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