Most of you know that I used to own my own online clothing boutique a few years ago. I launched it straight out of college and I even brought in $13k in the first month alone! It was open for a little over a year and I ended up shutting it for a number of reasons, but there was a big one that I couldn’t articulate at the time other than knowing it began to feel against my values. Every time a shipment would come in I would notice and shake my head at how it was packaged. Every single item of clothing that I ordered wholesale for the shop would arrive individually wrapped in plastic. Each shipment would fill a garbage bag or two of plastic bags. The waste that came along with the back end of the business made me cringe. Sustainability wasn’t really talked about in Wisconsin back then…
Fast forward to last year on my birthday I was living in Australia and I did the iconic coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee. I had just made the move from Chicago to Sydney, so even though it was my birthday I walked by myself. Australia has some of the most insanely beautiful beaches in the world and because I was alone I think I was truly able to take it in and appreciate the beauty so much more. On my bus ride home I Googled, “What can I do better to help our environment?” Even though I’ve always loved the ocean (since I was little I’ve told my mom I’m going to have a beach house someday and I even painted the walls of my childhood bedroom light blue and decorated with seashells 🤣🤣) I still knew I wasn’t doing enough. This walk, along with visiting the Great Barrier Reef and hiking the south island of New Zealand really gave me a deeper and more profound love for our planet.
That was over a year ago now and since then I’ve made some radical shifts in how I live. Since it’s just the beginning of Plastic Free July I wanted to start sharing some of my love for sustainability on here and social media. It truly lights me up to learn about new things we can do and although I’m no expert on saving the planet, hopefully I can give you some inspiration or tips and tricks to reduce your carbon footprint too :)
I say that I’ve made radical shifts because I look around and think how far I’ve already come since starting this journey, not because I’ve had to dramatically alter every aspect of my life. It’s really just been many small changes over the course of time that have become habits. The biggest change I’ve made is cutting out meat and most dairy from my diet. I buy long-life alternative milks in cardboard rather than plastic containers. Bringing our reusable bags when we do any kind of shopping has become a natural habit along with bringing reusable straws and water bottles pretty much everywhere. We also have started saving all of our jars and using them at bulk refill stations in our area (you can do a quick Google search to see if there are any near you, but if not don’t fret. I have no doubt this will be the norm in the very near future). Below I’m linking some of my favorite sustainable products that I use and love!
Reusable coffee cup by Robert Gordon
Canteen by Rifle Paper Co. + Corkcicle
Menstrual Cup by Saalt
Reef friendly sunscreen by All Good
Silicone dish sponge