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CHAPTER 3: REDUCE

Maria Auclair

by Janelle Rolke @sustainablestepswithjanelle

This is the third chapter from "Lead a Circular Lifestyle By Practicing the R's of Sustainability"

The amount we consume is excessive, so let’s slow it down.

 

Overconsumption is a real problem. Many of us have found ourselves constantly spending money on things that are not truly necessary and using too much product… I write this as I use WAY too much honey in my tea. Yes there are far worse things, but it’s a nice reminder to slow down and only use what I need.

 

I mentioned previously that the R’s of sustainability are connected.  By rethinking how we live and what we consume we will be refusing more and as a result we are reducing our waste and lessening our carbon footprint.

 

Over the past year I’ve been slowing things down drastically.  If I truly need something, I stop and rethink how I can get this item.  I refuse the easy way out (ah hem, Amazon) and I research the item I need with hopes I can reduce my carbon footprint. I’ve found that there is ALWAYS a more sustainable option, it just takes a little time.

 

Here’s an example; we desperately needed new sheets for our master bedroom.  This was years overdue, but with two kids this easily fell to the bottom of the list! I’ve also been wanting a duvet for years, but have always been intimidated by the high cost.  Instead of taking the easy route of going to Macys, Target, or Pottery Barn I took the time to research what my options were.  This took time and of course I found myself in a wormhole of trying to find products made in the USA, made out of materials that do not release microplastics, from a Certified B company, while also fitting within my budget.

 

I ended up purchasing sheets from All Cotton and Linen and a duvet and duvet cover made from Eucalyptus from Sheets & Giggles and am so happy with the products!

 

There are endless examples of how we can reduce, here are just a few:

 

  • Reduce the amount of water you use while in the shower; goal = 5 minute showers.
  • Reduce your energy consumption; turn lights off that aren’t necessary and use natural light as much as possible, turn your heat down by 1 or 2 degrees and add a sweater and cozy socks if necessary, and unplug your electronics when they aren’t in use.
  • Reduce the amount of paper your household uses and consider switching to reusable products (cloth napkins and unpaper towels ) or products more sustainable (Who Gives a Crap bamboo toilet paper)
  • Reduce the amount of new clothing, shoes, and accessories you purchase. Wash your clothing less and make repairs when needed. If you really do need something, look for it used first.
  • Reduce the amount of product you use (in your hair, on your body, in your laundry, dishes, and when you’re cleaning). Pay attention to the amount of toothpaste you use and of course consider transitioning to tab Zero Waste Tooth Tabs. How often are you purchasing lotion and shampoo? What are you doing with the empty containers once you’ve used the product?

Reduce Summary

I’m a true believer we can always be trying harder to reduce our carbon footprint. Slow down; fight the urge to buy more things and use natural resources like water and trees less.


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