As a conservative, I believe that it’s my responsibility to conserve the earth that God gave us and do everything I can as an individual to protect the environment. Because of this, I’ve made it my mission to find easy switches to make in my day-to-day life that help reduce my carbon footprint, without compromising my lifestyle. There are tons of ways to do this without significantly changing the lifestyle you’re used to leading. Here are a few things I’ve found: 

Metal straws

The memes about straws and “owning the libs” were fun while they lasted. Did you know that the amount of plastic straws used in a single day in the US could fill over 100 school buses? That’s a lot of extra plastic that we don’t need to be using. Metal straws, like these here, are cute, easy to carry around with you and easy to clean.

Reusable grocery bags

People have been using reusable grocery bags for years and many states have outlawed the use of plastic bags. There are also many grocery stores that don’t offer plastic bags (I’m looking at you Aldi) so these are a great option. Just leave a few in your car and bring them into the store with you! Get some FFL totes like this one or some mesh ones that are great for carrying produce, like this. 

Menstrual cups

Okay, this one might have a little bit of a learning curve but once you make the switch from tampons and pads you’ll never want to go back. One menstrual cup lasts 5-10 years so you won’t be spending $10 every month on a box of tampons. But you’ll also be creating much less waste at the same time. If you need even more reasons to switch, they help reduce cramps, they reduce any smells associated with your period, they don’t use any icky chemicals like tampons do, and you only have to change it every 12ish hours. If you’re nervous to make this switch, try taking this quiz first to find which brand and size of cup is right for you, then read up on how to insert, remove and clean them! There are tons of great options out there but I got mine on Amazon.

Reusable plastic bags

Ziploc bags were another thing that I noticed I was using way too many of. In fact, they were filling up my trash can like crazy. A switch to reusable plastic bags like these is an easy one to make! All you have to do is wash them after use.

Reusable water bottles

If you aren’t using a reusable water bottle already, you probably realize how many plastic bottled waters and cups you go through in a day! Reusable water bottles are perfect to take to class, work, the gym or anywhere you might be going. I use a Hydroflask but there are tons of great options on Amazon, at Target and literally everywhere.

Reusable coffee tumblers

Even though Starbucks has switched to more eco-friendly paper products, there’s still a lot of waste that is created with your morning coffee. Most coffee shops allow you to bring in a reusable coffee tumbler that you can take home and wash on your own. Some stores, like Starbucks, will even give you a small discount for bringing your own cup. Some of my favorite coffee tumblers are this one, this one and this one.

Reusable coffee pods

If you use a single-cup coffee maker, like a Keurig, you know how quickly you go through coffee pods. Reusable coffee pods will fit in your coffee maker and you can use your regular coffee grounds instead of buying Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts pods for your Keurig. They can be cleaned and reused every morning so you can still have your cup of coffee without spending $15 on pods every week. I like these ones from Amazon.

There are so many easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Every small change gets you closer to living as a zero-waste individual. Imagine the impact we could have if every FFL reader just made one switch on this list! God gave us a beautiful planet to call home, let’s do everything we can to treat it right.

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Georgia G

Georgia Gallagher graduated from the University of Alabama in the summer of 2019 where she majored in Journalism and Political Science. She is currently working as a Cast Member at  Walt Disney World in Florida. In her free time she can be found advocating for pro-life policies and working with single or low-income mothers. She often says that her planner is second only to her Bible and she’s never caught without a cup of coffee in her hand.