5 Things to Know Before Going Zero Waste

Ecoly Blog

5 Things to Know Before Going Zero Waste

    Zero waste is all about setting a new standard of living to save the only planet we call home. With land, water and air pollution reaching alarming numbers, it’s not only important to consider changing our lifestyle. It’s critical that we do.

    There are a lot of misconceptions and pressure that come with making the switch. Zero waste to you may mean differently to the next person. We’re here to make your journey easier, and as effective as it can be.

    Here are things to know before going zero waste.

    1. Understand that zero waste is a privilege

    Just because you’re going zero waste, doesn’t mean you must shun those who haven’t. Keep in mind that not everyone has access to compost, let alone recycle areas. Not everyone has the money to shop at sustainable and natural stores. Furthermore, each person has different access to different resources. Consider the current pandemic as well, there are more people who are struggling now more than ever.

    There is no one-size-fits-all rule when shifting to zero waste. Understand that it is a privilege and if you are able to do it, then it’s an essential step to take.

    2. See what works for you

    It can be daunting at first. There are a handful of things to give up, better decisions to make and ultimately, a change that hopefully becomes permanent. That means giving up certain habits that you’ve known all your life.

    It may feel like a lot at first. That’s why it’s so important to remind yourself to take it slow and see what works for you. Tailor the zero waste lifestyle with your own, unique situation. Otherwise, it’s only going to be an excruciating chore that won’t stick.

    3. Be ready to do the work

    Preparing for what’s to come is another thing you need to know before going zero waste. This lifestyle is a commitment. Mother Earth doesn’t have the luxury of the time. In fact, our planet is a ticking time bomb. So be ready to do the work.

    Once you discover things and take different steps in this new journey of yours, you will realize how many habits you can easily break and make. Moreover, you’ll notice how things can get easier once you commit to it.

    4. Be open to mistakes and challenges

    Going zero waste doesn’t happen overnight. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re falling short or having a hard time adjusting. It will take time for you to get used to this change so forgive yourself when you falter at times.

    One thing we can suggest is to keep a log. Jot down the days as you progress and achieve your goals a day at the time. This way, you can easily see your strengths and areas of opportunity.

    5. Keep an open, learning mind

    You’re not alone in this journey. Remember that there are plenty of ecowarriors out there going on the same path as you. Whether reading their stories online or connecting with them directly, keep an open and learning mind. This is one of the most crucial things to know before going zero waste; that those who are already doing it can help you as you start your own journey.

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5 Simple Ways to Be Sustainable Parents

Ecoly Blog

5 Simple Ways to Be Sustainable Parents

    Parenthood is one of life’s greatest joys. As we become more aware of the alarming ways we impact the planet negatively, it’s only essential that our sustainable lifestyle echoes in childcare.

    Becoming sustainable parents can be challenging. However, it is also very rewarding to go against the curve of fast consumerism and balance it with everything that comes with raising kids.

    The good news is you can achieve earth-friendly parenthood in simply yet effective ways. Here are tips to to be a more sustainable parent.

    1. Remember the 5 R’s of the zero waste movement

    For new parents who are only beginning their journey towards zero waste childcare, the core belief to remember are the 5 R’s:

    • Refuse
    • Reduce
    • Reuse
    • Rot (compost)
    • Recycle

    Between all the diapers, gifts, toys and food packaging, it won’t be an overnight change. However, keeping these R’s in mind will help you stay in the right direction. For example, don’t be afraid to refuse gifts for your children. Reduce the amount of baby products you’re using. Invest on reusable diapers and long-lasting toys. Place all those veggie scraps from your homemade baby recipes into your compost bin.

    2. Go for hand-me-downs and pre-loved items

    Part of being sustainable parents is committing to the idea that you don’t need to buy new things all the time. Baby clothes are among the biggest contributor to fast fashion pollution. Going to thrift shops and local clothes swaps will lead you to baby clothes that are not only more earth-friendly but can also be equally endearing.

    Don’t hesitate to accept pre-loved clothes, toys and other baby care products from your family and friends. This cycle of maximizing what is available without doing more damage is exactly the mentality earth-friendly parenthood is all about.

    3. Make your own baby food

    There’s a ton of waste generated from food packaging, baby food included. Often, they come in plastic pouches, which take forever to never to decompose. Our advice? Learn to make your own baby food.

    Find the best vegetables and fruits you can get your hands on from a local market or zero waste grocery. Blend into purees or soups. Not only are you cutting down on your waste. You also know exactly what can be found in your baby’s food.

    4. Make children’s parties more eco-friendly

    A lot of Earth-killing products can be found in parties. From disposable cutlery to bags used for take-home goodies. The trick is to organize parties that are both fun and eco-friendly.

    Think of food that children can comfortably eat with their fingers instead. If you want something for them to take home, opt for a book or fresh fruit instead of a bag of plastic-wrapped candies.

    5. Be an example of sustainable living

    This practice of being sustainable parents will only take on its highest meaning if you can teach your children to live sustainably too. Let them learn from you. Show them that it’s not a chore to choose Mother Earth’s survival. Allow them to participate and get involved in various activities and learnings that will awaken the ecowarrior in them.

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5 Easy Eco-Friendly New Year’s Resolutions

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5 Easy Eco-Friendly New Year’s Resolutions

    This year has been strenuous, to say the least. The global pandemic has overwhelmed us in indescribable ways. That’s why we can’t help but wish the year 2021 would come sooner, with the hopes of becoming a much better time for all of us.

    The new year isn’t just a reminder of new beginnings. It’s also a room for new habits. At the rate our planet is going, the next few years will be a challenge, but every bit of help counts. Here are easy eco-friendly new year’s resolutions to save Mother Earth.

    1. Live by your reusable items

    From your shopping bags to water bottles, there are countless reusable options available everywhere. Use them every chance you get. Studies show eight million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans each year. Plus, it takes 400 years for waste to decompose in a landfill. So always opt for better choices wherever you go.

    2. Reject fast fashion

    Insanely cheap clothing often sounds too good to be true because they are. In fact, fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world. What happens is perfectly healthy soil is ravaged and turned into millions of cotton acres, wherein the precious ground water source is also depleted. Furthermore, cheap clothing is rich in toxic fabric and burns off far too much fossil fuels in the process. Let’s not forget about countless underpaid, unprotected and often overworked factory workers.

    Forget about fast fashion. Choose clothes from sustainable and conscious brands. Invest on good quality that will last you a lifetime. You can even shop second hand and appreciate preloved yet very fashionable choices.

    3. Support your local businesses

    Vegetables and fruits local business

    Just the sheer amount of carbon emissions from transporting goods from point A to point B is enough to devastate the environment. Plus, many of these manufactured and farmed items are buffered with chemicals, both of which are harmful to you and Mother Earth.

    Another easy eco-friendly new year’s resolution is to shop local. Not only are you supporting your community’s farmers, sellers and makers. You’re also doing your part to save the environment.

    4. Skip the meat as often as you can

    We understand that it can be tough to make the absolute switch to veganism. However, the air, land and water pollution caused by farming is wreaking havoc. The first step is to reduce your meat intake, choose where you buy and opt for plant-based options.

    There’s no shortage of non-meat but equally delicious good brands out there. Moreover, there are farms who carefully and mindfully raise their animals to lessen emissions and do their part for the planet. Make the better choice and invest your money on responsible businesses. What’s more, you’re putting the right, nutritious food in your body to sustain your well-being. Try a “meat free Monday” for starters!

    5. Learn more about saving the planet

    Perhaps the most important eco-friendly new year’s resolution you can make is to continue learning. There are so many small steps you can take to ensure our planet has a second shot. There are also plenty of conservation projects you can get involved in. It’s no longer enough to simply be aware. Taking action is what makes a difference.

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Creating a Green and Sustainable Home Office

Ecoly Blog

Creating a Green and Sustainable Home Office

    The pandemic has undeniably changed everything, including how we work. As cases rise and months of on-and-off lockdowns unfold, it’s clear that remote work is here to stay. With that, we must adjust and adapt in the best, most conscious way possible.

    Keep going green

    Despite the changes caused by the pandemic, another truth remains: Our planet still needs us to be as responsible, guarded and caring. Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean you must forget about being environmentally mindful.

    Today, we’re going to let you in on how you can create a green and sustainable home office. Whether it’s to lessen your energy consumption or clean the air around you, here are tips to get you started.

    1. Identify your needs

    In order to find out the best position, tools and items as well as the amount of energy you’ll need to consume, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions.

    • How big a space would you need?
    • Would you need a laptop and a desk or more?
    • Where do you plan to position your home office in?
    • Would you be in frequent communication with others?

    Once you have identified your major needs, it would be easier to understand what you must have in your home office. This way, you always make conscious decisions and responsible choices once you start dressing yourself and your area up.

    2. Eliminate waste

    Creating a green home office may seem daunting at first. However, it’s about practicing good habits that essentially become second nature, like eliminating office waste. This is finally the time that you can embark on your zero waste journey.

    Here are a pivotal switches you should do:

    • Ditch the post-its and printouts and stick to digital filing or white board writing
    • Switch paper towels and use reusable rags
    • Use a French press or reusable mesh instead of coffee filters
    • Stick to your reusable tumbler instead of disposable cups
    • Go for bulk-bought snacks instead of single-packaged food
    • Keep in mind composting and segregating

    3. Be on top of your energy consumption

    From computers and printers to lights and other devices, there’s a lot of energy consumed at home. If you want to create a sustainable home office, you want to be more conscious on how you can conserve power.

    Consider the following tips to lower your electrical bill:

    • Utilize only LED bulbs or solar lighting
    • Position your home office near natural light and window for fresh air
    • Turn off your devices when not in use
    • Make sure your appliances are energy-saving certified
    • If you can, make the switch from desktop to laptop to save more energy

    4. Surround yourself with plants

    Home office surrounded with green plants

    Plants provide cleaner air, more oxygen and ultimately, boost your mental health. They work wonders in a home office as they essentially improve your overall quality of life. So make your home office as green as it can be by making them your officemates.

    If you don’t have enough natural light in your home office, stick to these plants:

    • Snake Plant
    • English Ivy
    • Zebra Plant
    • Staghorn Fern
    • Echeveria

    If your home office receives ample amount of natural light, these plants will be a joy to work with:

    • Fiddle Leaf Fig
    • String of Pearls
    • Living Stone
    • Rubber Plant

    5. Support the right brands

    If you’re looking to purchase necessary items for your sustainable home office, support only the right brands. Study their advocacy, research about their efforts and initiatives and dig into their labor practices. This way, you can be certain you are investing on brands you share the same mission with.

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Your Guide to a Zero Waste Kitchen

Ecoly Blog

Your Guide to a Zero Waste Kitchen

    Going zero waste seems like an impossible feat at first. However, equipping yourself with knowledge and the right tools can be ultimately life-changing, and Earth-loving.

    One of the best places to start living a more sustainable lifestyle is in the kitchen. It’s arguably the biggest source of rubbish at home, from food packaging to leftovers. That’s why aiming for a zero waste kitchen is a big step towards becoming a true eco warrior.

    Here are things you can do to make your kitchen waste free.

    1. Always have a plan

    Going to the grocery without a list or a meal plan can lead to excessive shopping. You’ll often end up with too much food wasted or spoiled by the end of the week. Worse, there will be even more food packaging tossed to myriads of landfills across the country.

    Set goals and make lists before you buy anything. Create a meal plan each week to help you figure out what you want to get from the store, and how much of it you would need. Check your pantry before going to the grocery so you don’t keep getting the same thing you have plenty of stock of. This way, you are only taking what you need and steering clear from wastage.

    2. Bring your reusable bags and containers

    Reusable bag and containers with fruits

    We all know plastic is one of the worst pollutants. That’s why you should never leave home without a reusable bag.

    Once you figure out what you need, it becomes easier to organize the bags and containers you’ll bring with you. Metal containers or tiffins work great for buying meat and seafood. Alternatively, you can ask the butcher to wrap them in kraft-style paper. Glass jars are fantastic for seeds, flour, honey, and the like. The rest, you can all toss into your hardy reusable bags or paper bags.

    3. Buy in bulk

    Bulk stores have risen to popularity, and for good reason. It opens us up to smarter buying, and frees us from food packaging that contribute to our battle against trash pollution.

    Make the most of these bulk stores or hit the bulk aisle instead of buying food wrapped individually. Not only are they a big plus to a zero waste kitchen. They’re also surprisingly zen and much more calming to shop from.

    4. Make the necessary switches

    Take a look at your kitchen and you’ll quickly realize how much of what you’re using contributes to our planet’s alarming state. It’s time to make the necessary switch and dress up your kitchen with the most ethical items.

    • Ditch the paper towels and start using cloths.
    • Switch out your plastic containers with reusable glass ones.
    • Use beeswax wrap or plates to cover food in your refrigerator instead of cling wrap. Eco-friendly biodegradable pods are much better than toxic detergent.
    • Go for refillable glass bottles instead of using plastic bottle cleaners.
    • Reusable metal straws are much kinder to the environment than plastic straws.
    • Forget about the coffee filters already and opt for a French press.

    5. Be in the know

    From supporting the right brands to staying updated, learning more about how you can truly live a zero waste life keeps you and your efforts in check. Moreover, sharing this knowledge with others can help inspire them to make the change too.

    Keep these tips in mind as you make your way towards a zero waste kitchen. Remember to take it a step at a time and allow yourself to slowly but surely progress and fully embrace a more conscious way of living.

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A Guide to an Eco-Friendly Christmas

Ecoly Blog

A Guide to an Eco-Friendly Christmas

    The holidays are a time of gift-giving and food-feasting. While it isthe most wonderful time of the year, it can’t be denied that the Christmas season also embodies consumerism. Everything feels like excess, which often leads to a wasteful impact.

    This season doesn’t have to hurt Mother Earth. Here’s a guide on how you can have an eco-friendly Christmas with your loved ones.

    Shop with your reusable bags

    More and more shops have encouraged customers to bring their own shopping bags. Be one with the cause by taking your reusable bags with you everywhere you go. It saves you from using unnecessary plastic packaging. While you’re at it, bring along your reusable beverage tumbler too.

    Support conscious brands

    The climate crisis has created a big shift on how people consume and buy. We still have a long way to go. Fortunately, there’s been an increase in brands that are more conscious about production, manufacturing and packaging.

    Another step towards an eco-friendly Christmas is to shop from these brands. Go for those that don’t utilize animal testing, toxic packaging, and the like. Better yet, get in with local businesses that practice good green habits. Moreover, supporting those from your area means less carbon footprint.

    Adorn your home with sustainable décor

    Making the switch to LED lights helps conserve energy. You can also use solar-powered Christmas lights if you want to take it a step further. Foraging for pinecones and other natural decorations you could find during a nature walkabout also prevents you from buying Earth-destructive décor.

    People selecting real christmas tree

    Choose a real Christmas tree

    Others will contest that going for an artificial tree is more environmental-friendly. However, experts over at The Carbon Trust explains that a real Christmas tree possess significantly lower carbon footprint, provided they are disposed of properly afterwards.

    A 2m tree that has roots can be burned as bonfire after, chipped into pieces or even planted again after the holidays. This way, you are giving back what you have taken.

    Mind your wrapping

    Another way to have enjoy eco-friendly holidays is to be very mindful about wrapping gifts. Don’t buy from the stores. Instead, get creative and resourceful by reusing old magazine pages, newspapers, or other recycled paper you have. You can also use fabric scarves, brown paper or even previous wrappers you’ve used or received gifts in before.

    Watch what you eat

    It’s no secret: One of the biggest contributors to our dying planet is the way we consume food. Making small changes during the holidays doesn’t only reduce environmental impact. It also encourages better and healthier eating.

    Eat less meat and source your ingredients carefully. Head to the farmers’ market instead of the grocery, so there is least amount of harmful packaging. Substitute a few meaty staples with vegetables instead. There are plenty of tasty recipes available online that won’t make the rest of your spread bland and boring. If you have any leftovers, remake it as a meal for the next few days or donate it to the needy.

    Let the spirit of giving during this season extend to Mother Nature. Keep this guide in mind so you can always have the greenest Christmas possible.

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8 Steps to Create a Green Office Space

Ecoly Blog

8 Steps to Create a Green Office Space

    Paper waste is destroying the environment. About 68 million trees are cut down to produce paper and products, which accounts for 25% of landfill waste.

    Much of paper waste is extracted from the workspace. If we want to keep breathing good air, be surrounded by majestic trees and thrive in a livable habitat, we need to make changes on how we work.

    Below are steps in creating a green office space the earth will be grateful for.

    1. Digitize where you can

    Surely, you don’t need to print those meeting minutes and office statements. Make the most of digital storage by uploading documents on shared files and emailing them to everyone. You must also consider implementing e-signatures more often. Not only are you helping save the environment. You’re also creating a system of better keeping certain documents. Not all departments may find this applicable but with every chance you get, paperless is the way to go.

    2. Reduce the number of printers

    Creating a green office space means lessening the number of printers you have. The more inconvenient it is to print files, the easier it is for your employees to make the switch. Ensure you equip them with more digital tools like PDF editors and online database subscriptions.

    3. Embrace natural light

    Office embracing natural light

    If your office space has access to natural light, welcome it. Not only does it help cut down your electric bills. It also conserves plenty of energy. Plus, natural light gives a boost of energy, increasing productivity in your office.

    4. Practice better recycling

    Recycling shouldn’t only be done at home. Workspaces must practice it too. Segregate your trash cans, particularly in the pantry and common areas. These communal spaces have a greater tendency for trash to be left unkept and unorganized. Provide the tools, and see how people’s habits change.

    5. Encourage the use of reusable items

    A green office space is only as good as the people who work in it. Apart from the tools you can provide, it’s also helpful to introduce certain habits like utilizing reusable items. Provide reusable storage of office supplies. Encourage bringing one’s own lunchboxes and reusable coffee tumblers. While you’re at it, invest on green office supplies that have eco-friendly certifications. For starters, try going for business cards made with recycled paper or compostable notebooks.

    6. Decorate naturally

    Livening up the office can boost productivity. Don’t decorate at the expense of Mother Earth by choosing to do it naturally. You can choose upcycled décor or invest on plants. They restore imbalance, purifies the air and some can take in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. Succulents are some of the most useful and easy to take care of.

    7. Raise awareness

    Dedicating times to educate your co-workers and employees can inspire them to be more conscious. Whether it’s a short presentation nowadays, having a guest speaker over or sending out memos about living a more eco-friendly lifestyle, there’s always something learn and more ways to do better.

    8. Give back

    Whether it’s holding a fundraiser for pro-environment causes, planting trees or donating to environmental organizations, giving back helps a green office space thrive more. These are enriching ways to make work outings more productive.

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7 Easy Ways to Live Eco-Friendly

Ecoly Blog

7 Easy Ways to Live Eco-Friendly

    Mother Earth loses 55 billion tons of fossil fuels, minerals, metals and bio mass every year. It also lost over 80% of its forests and at least 27% of its coral reefs have been destroyed.  These gut-wrenching statistics are alarming, and are a real threat to our existence.

    Making meaningful changes can help save our planet. Even in the littlest ways, we can start living eco-friendly and help ensure a habitat for all future generations.

    To get you started, here are easy ways to live eco-friendly.

    Do your research

    “Eco-friendly” is a word that gets tossed around a lot, often losing its essence. That’s why it pays to do your research. Take the time to discover which truly eco-friendly products you should buy, and have a better understanding of their company’s ethos. Find brands and stores that carry with them certification, not only claims. There are plenty of authorized eco-friendly emblems such as the Green Good Housekeeping, USDA Organic, Fairtrade Certified, and many more.

    Be mindful of energy use

    A room with an open curtain

    Good energy use is a strong example of living eco-friendly. The smallest gesture of opening the windows to cool off, installing energy-efficient alternatives or turning off appliances that are not can mean a lot.

    Support local

    When you prioritize local farmers and shops, you help cut down the amount of fossil fuels used to transport goods across borders. You also have better control on where your food and other products come from. Moreover, you get to support your area’s small businesses, directly aiding them to provide employment opportunities and better community living.

    Invest in reusable products

    Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, only 1% of which is returned for recycling. Reducing your plastic use and making the switch to reusable products is another step to live eco-friendly. Whether you need to store leftovers in the fridge or go out for some shopping, there is no shortage of reusable items you can invest in. Sure, they may be more expensive than single-use. However, they will last you a longer time and can drastically decrease plastic pollution.

    Conserve water

    Washing dishes while the faucet is off

    It’s all too often that we forget about turning the faucet off when we brush our teeth of wash our hands. We also tend to be wasteful with water when we wash the car or dishes. Conserving water is one of the simplest ways to live eco-friendly. Reusing wash water to clean the car, installing a dual flush and remembering to keep the faucet closed are a few smll changes you can make.

    Start Meatless Mondays

    Livestock farming alone produces 18% of human-caused greenhouse emissions. That’s more than emissions made from transportation combined. We understand it can be difficult to give up meat entirely. The good news is dedicating even one day in a week to go meatless can make a huge positive impact on the environment. Meatless Mondays don’t have to be boring and dreadful. There are plenty of recipes to spice up meat-free ingredients that can equally satisfy.

    Plan your meals

    Food waste is at the forefront of Earth’s depletion. Taking the time to plan your meals help you eat better and consume smarter. So, find a day to sit down and think about how much of which food products you’re looking to eat for the rest of the week.

    Small changes make for big impact. Keep these tips in mind as we make it our mission to save Plane Earth.

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6 Low Impact Travel Tips

Ecoly Blog

6 Low Impact Travel Tips

    Aiming to be eco-friendly isn’t always easy, especially when traveling. We put our best luxury foot forward, wanting the most of what the holidays can give us. However, it’s continuously devastating Mother Nature no thanks to our carbon footprint. That’s why we should all be more responsible travelers.

    Keep these low impact travel tips in mind when planning your next trip.

    1. Support conscious airlines and agencies

    At the state Mother Nature is in, there’s no room for us to be complacent with agencies or airlines that don’t care about the environmental effects of traveling. The first step is for you to spend on those that have reduced their carbon footprint or created programs to help fight travel pollution.

    For example, Virgin Atlantic are taking steps to convert industrial waste to jet fuel. Air France has reduced their carbon dioxide emissions by 20% since 2020 started. United Airlines has recently introduced their 30/70 blend biofuel.

    2. Go for direct flights and economy class

    Economy class flight

    Another low impact travel tip is to choose direct flights over layovers when you can. Much of the carbon footprint generated by planes is during take off and landing. So if you can afford to skip long haul flights that have plenty of stops, go for it.

    Flying economy class also helps lessen one’s carbon footprint when traveling. Airlines utilize planes that have maximum seating capacity, thereby being efficient on the amount of flights it can take.

    3. Travel on land where you can

    Taking a road trip or riding the train over short flights across Europe is another way to be a more eco-conscious traveler. It’s much kinder on the environment, with energy-efficient cars being available for rent across continents. Bicycle tours can also be equally thrilling, if not more enriching.

    It may take more time but these journeys can often be more scenic. There’s no telling what you can chance upon along the way.

    4. Learn more about where you’re going

    Every place has its own set of rules. When traveling to foreign countries, it helps to learn about what they value. Not only does it save you from trouble. It also encourages you to be more aware of how others take care of the environment.

    Reading up on wildlife laws and recycling rules is a start. Educate yourself and understand how you can be a responsible traveler wherever you end up.

    5. Bring your reusables

    Aiming for low travel impact also means being equipped with your array of reusables. From your beverage tumblers and cutlery to grocery bags, it’s essential to have them with you wherever you go. It will eliminate the need for single-use purchases.

    6. Consume smart – food, drinks, electronics, switching off lights, plant based

    It’s not just how you intend to travel. It’s also about how you will spend your time when you get to your destination.

    A part of low impact travel is to consume responsibly. Skip the buffet if you can and opt for plant-based choices. Switch off the lights when you leave your hotel room. Go for restaurants or stores that try their best to be ecofriendly.

    “Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time.” Let these famous words, along with these tips be your creed the next time you travel.

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Ethical Gift Giving: A Guide to a Sustainable Holiday

Ecoly Blog

Ethical Gift Giving: A Guide to a Sustainable Holiday

    Christmas is the time we show our loved ones how much they mean to us through giving gifts. However, we often get caught up with the noise that we end up stressed and knee deep in the fast-paced, Earth-destructive realm of consumerism.

    Beyond expense and extravagance

    Gift giving must not only be about thoughtfulness but also mindfulness. At the state Mother Nature is in, we need to take every step we can to ensure that we have a future wake up to—even when it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

    Many of us worry about getting expensive and extravagant gifts. We want to buy the latest, trendiest items off the shelves. However, many of the items we choose to put under our trees contribute to the increasingly worrying state of our planet.

    When we choose to be ethical and sustainable gift givers, we not only give Earth a better shot. We also have the opportunity to give something more personal and lasting to our loved ones.

    Road towards greener gift giving

    Acknowledging the need to be better, more responsible gift givers are already half the battle won. Now, it’s time to get started on your road to ethical gift giving this Christmas.

    1. Create a list

    Develop the habit of creating a list of possible gifts to give your loved ones. Taking the time to understanding exactly what they deserve to have and what could genuinely make them happy for a long time makes a difference. For example, a friend of yours who is into fashion may benefit well with a gift card from fair trade and sustainable stores like Everlane, Alternative Apparel, Patagonia, and many more.

    2. Embrace DIY

    DIY Gifts

    If we are to live in a better world for all living things, we must begin to fully embrace the idea that DIY gift giving is just as thoughtful as store-bought. Creativity knows no limits and with just a few items and a bucketload of brilliant ideas to pair it with can result to the most unforgettable Christmas.

    There are many ways to get crafty with gifts. You can upcycle old textiles into shopping bags, knit your friends and families sweaters and socks or even repack granola mixes and mix up the ingredients. Even when it comes to packaging and wrapping your gifts, there are so many ways DIY can take your ethical gift giving to the next level.

    3. Go beyond material things

    Donating for a cause your friend truly believes in is a thoughtful gift beyond words. Taking the time to be with your grandmother and spending a whole day with her can be a dream come true for her. Gift giving is not only about material things. If anything, time and effort are among the best gifts you can ever give someone during this season.

    4. Support local businesses

    When you shop local, you are saving the Earth a hefty amount of carbon footprint compared to having gifts shipped out to you from far away. Moreover, going local also shows your support for small businesses that need the help of their community now more than ever.

    Get a regional wine from a winemaker that just sells around the corner, or a houseplant from the nursery down the block. The joy you’ll spread throughout the neighborhood will be immeasurable.

    5. Research, research, research

    Knowledge is power. Equipping yourself with information about the current state of the planet, and what you can do about it is essential. Saving Earth must go beyond conscious shopping and ethical gift giving. Living sustainably means living it everyday.

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