5 Ways to Be More Thoughtful: Easy Ways to Practice Sustainable Living

February 09 2021 – Caitlyn Farrow

5 Ways to Be More Thoughtful: Easy Ways to Practice Sustainable Living
5 Ways to Be More Thoughtful: Easy Ways to Practice Sustainable Living
When the carbon footprint calculator came out, I remember being shocked at how big my footprint was. I quickly became conscious of my choices, but when I started researching ways to minimize my footprint, I was quickly reminded that not all of those options were cheap and feasible. We can always be more thoughtful with our choices when it comes to putting the Earth and our homes at the forefront of our minds. While no one is perfect at practicing sustainable living, we can do better as we know better and as we are able. This list is an easy way to get started.
Here are 5 things you can do to be more thoughtful in your daily life to practice sustainable living:
Choose reusable over single use products.
1.) Make the switch to reusable products as you are able (upfront cost, but more cost-effective and sustainable in the long run).
--- My favorite reusable products
    + reusable snack and sandwich bags
    + menstrual cup
    + straws and silverware
    + cold brew coffee filter     
    + cloth diapers/ swim diapers
    + cloth paper towels
Shop local to minimize carbon footprint.
2.) Shop local to reduce carbon footprints and support your community.sustainable in the long run).
--- Reduce miles food travels (sometimes over 1500 miles to your grocery store) to reduce emissions from travel. This idea extends to non-food items, especially items made and sold locally.
--- Fresher produce: Produce gets to quicker with less travel time resulting in fresher food. It also limits food waste due to produce lost during travel and shelf life.
--- Protect local land and wildlife: Supporting local farmers limits developers from being able to purchase large farms that can transform and destroy the land. 
--- Supporting local workforce: By buying local, you keep community members employed and working. Increased demand creates more jobs and keeps local farmers, creators, and owners in business and able to help support the community economy.
--- Local businesses give back to their community: Recent surveys and studies show "small businesses donate 250% more than larger businesses to local non-profits and community causes, and a staggering 75% of small business owners donate an average of 6% of their profits to charitable organizations annually" to their local charities, youth organizations, first responders, service groups, food pantries, and volunteer with these organizations.
Find out more here: GoGreen SCORE Non-Profit
Reuse and recycle
3.) Reuse, upcycle, and recycle! Turn your wipe container into a to=go small toy box. Use your plastic spinach container as a small greenhouse for seedlings. Recycle products that you can reuse and donate what someone else might need. 
If you're looking for ideas or when it's best to reuse, upcycle, and recycle, check out this post here:
Reduce food waste
4.) Reduce food waste. Turn leftover chicken into a quesadilla. Turn remaining vegetables into a stir-fry. Bananas too brown? Freeze for banana bread. 
Plan ahead for your farmer's market/ grocery trip to buy only what you need. Check your fridge, freezer, and pantry when making your list to avoid purchasing what you already have. Plan meals that utilize leftovers/ scraps. 
For more tips to reduce waste and information on composting visit the National Resource Defense Council.
Support businesses that align with your values.
5.) Support businesses that support your values. Are the businesses you support focused on sustainability? Don't be afraid to ask! Thoughtful Hive strives to practice sustainability with our resources, products, packaging, and by supporting organizations that are doing the same.
Whatever options work for you, remember that the focus is #progressoverperfection. Like many things, sustainability doesn't happen overnight, but together, we can all bring the world a little closer. 
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