Thanks for visiting With the Specs, an affordable style and sustainable living blog based in Omaha, Nebraska. This post contains affiliate links, which means that I get a percentage of your sale (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase something that I recommend. This post is also sponsored by Panda, a company devoted to sustainable products. I will never recommend products that I don’t love.
GIVEAWAY! See below to get the details!
Guys. I’ve been spiraling a bit lately. Did any of you see that UN report that came out saying that we have just 12 years to make some major changes before there are catastrophic, irreversible changes caused by climate change? Things that include food scarcity, disastrous storms, and, even scarier, beer shortages?
I get it. Changing our everyday habits can be costly and difficult. We live in a world that’s not set up to be green. Everything in our world is about convenience, with the plastic packaging to match. And it’s hard to make changes when 12 years seems a long way away and there are so many other issues in front of our faces.
So I’ve put together a list of just two easy, inexpensive changes that you can make right now that will help make the world a greener place. Because here’s the thing - as consumers, we vote with our dollars. If we start buying greener products, disposable, one-time use products begin to fade from the shelves, and the price of our sustainable goods are driven down as the cost of production goes down with it.
We can all commit to two simple changes, right? Just two? Here we go.
Ditch Plastic Straws
Plastic straws suck. They can’t be recycled, so they just exist for hundreds of years, winding up in landfills and the ocean forever.
My friends at Panda have teamed up with me to give you a set of these beautiful bamboo straws that will make you want to ditch your plastic ones. They come in a cute little pouch that make them easy to store in your purse or backpack (I keep mine in my car for those days when I have to make a drive-through run). They also have a cute little cleaning brush included, making it even easier to re-use them time and time again. I love how sturdy they are, and they make my drink so much prettier!
To enter, follow Panda’s Instagram, find the above photo on mine, and comment “Done!” Tag friends on the photo for additional entries!
But here’s the best news - even if you don’t win, this is an inexpensive switch to make, and you can purchase four bamboo straws that will last you a lifetime for under $10! Find them here.
Say Bye to Plastic Bags
Though I have the occasional shopping trip where I run out of room, or have to make a purchase I wasn’t expecting, I’ve pretty much eliminated plastic bags. And honestly, after purchasing a set of square totes, I will never go back. They hold up sooooo much better. The handles never bust, break any cartons, and leave me crying over spilled milk in the store parking lot.
I especially love these, which come in a set of three and have a ton of different colors and patterns to choose from. Some sets include an insulated tote perfect for cold groceries. I don’t have this one yet, but I may be buying one soon!
At the very least, you can also save your plastic bags, keep them bundled, and take them to a store that has a plastic bag recycling bin. I know that Omaha doesn’t allow you to recycle them with the rest of your goods, so this is what I do for those plastic bags that I just can’t avoid.
My Plea to You
I’m not perfect, and I’m not even close to living a zero waste life; however, I am trying to mitigate my impact on our planet. We only have one, and I would love for my future family members (and myself, frankly, because this is within our lifetime), to have a nice, safe place to live.
You don’t have to turn your world upside down today or tomorrow. But start here and make just two simple lifestyle changes (that, honestly, I think you’ll end up liking even better anyway). I’m not saying it’s easy to change your habits. It’s not. It took me so long to remember to put my totes back in my car and to remember to clean my straws. But after some time, here I am, one step closer.
Can you make this small commitment? Do you want even more small step posts to make your life a little more green? Let me know in the comments. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!