Top ways to plan for an eco friendly future

Top Ways to Plan for an Eco-Friendly Future

When people think of the future, nowadays there is preference towards sustainability. “Let’s leave the planet better than we found it.” “If we aren’t careful, our world will look like how it looks in Wall-E.” Sure we have created amazing things. But in doing so, we have also created substantial damage to the environment. To try and offset this and bring on positive change, many people try to incorporate as many eco-friendly lifestyle changes into their lives as possible. If being more eco-friendly in 2023 is something that interests you, here are several top ways to plan for an eco-friendly future.

Consider and plan what you want your future to look like 

The best way to prepare for the future is to plan ahead. These plans can vary and come in many different shapes and sizes. Whether it’s as big as building and living in a house with renewable energy, or as simple as where you get your groceries from. Your plans can also be much farther in the future. You could even look as far ahead as planning a sustainable funeral and looking into alternatives such as biodegradable urns. Didn’t think that existed did you? Every aspect of our life (and afterlife) can be involved in our eco-friendly future planning.

Get educated and be proactive with your contributions

There are plenty of initiatives and organizations being created to help with the improvement of the environment and impact on climate change. For example, it’s worth checking out Heritage Reforestation reviews to digest some of the helpful topics that might provide inspiration for your own efforts.

Invest in products that will last a long time

Have you ever thought about how many different things that you use in a day? Whatever they may be, all of these products are designed and manufactured by a company to help you. The problem is that some of these products are not very eco-friendly. And worse, many of them aren’t designed to last a long time. Just take the latest iPhone as a great example! Ever notice how your phone starts to slow down after a couple of years? They want you to buy a new device. Even Tupperware has stains after a few uses.

For a lot of people, cutting out or removing many of these daily-used products is not doable. However there are still ways that you are looking to make a positive impact for the future. For almost every product you use regularly, there is a sustainable alternative. They are primarily designed to be repaired and re-used rather than replaced. You could also invest in higher quality products. Even though they are pricier, they are generally designed to last longer than cheaper products.

Purchase bamboo products

There are a lot of products that you didn’t know can be made from bamboo. The amount of bamboo-made products in my house would astound you! As one the most renewable resources in the world, switching to bamboo products instead of normal wood-based on cotton products can help tremendously! You can get bamboo clothes and bedding sheets from Cozy Earth (use the code DONNAGAIL40 for 40% off!). And a simple search on Amazon can bring up tons of bamboo products like toilet paper, paper towels, toothbrushes, drawer organizers, and so many more. If you’re looking for something for your house, odds are there is a bamboo alternative.

Easy and low-effort steps

When people talk about being eco-friendly there is a lot of stigma around making sacrifices. There’s even negativity around putting in hard work for things that may not even be noticeable for many years. However, there are small and easy low-effort steps you could take every now and then to help. If you own a garden one example could be to grow some native plants and trees. You can even just compost your food waste rather than send it to landfill. This way over the coming years you will have significantly reduced your waste footprint and improved your local wildlife habitat.

Follow Industry Eco Champions

In the pursuit of an eco-friendly future, it can help to look towards those who are already leading the way. Following industry champions who ardently promote ecological values can provide guidance, inspiration, and insights into actionable strategies that can be incorporated into our daily lives. By paying attention to their endeavors, we can be exposed to the latest innovations, best practices, and sustainable solutions that might otherwise go unnoticed. One notable figure in this space is Selwyn Duijvestijn. A committed advocate for sustainability, Selwyn’s work emphasizes the need for a holistic approach to environmental conservation, intertwining both business and eco-friendly objectives.

Your present and future are both entwined with one another. It is incredibly important to think about what you can do today to help tomorrow. Why not consider these top ways to plan for an eco-friendly future, and see if you can implement any of them into your life?

How to improve the energy efficiency of an older home

How To Improve Energy Efficiency in an Older House

With newly built homes, energy efficiency is now considered one of the most important features. But older homes simply don’t have the same energy-saving features that we do now. That being said, if you live in an older house, you may be used to paying higher utility bills. This doesn’t have to be the case anymore! There is a range of things that you can do to make your older home more energy efficient and save on your pnm bill. Here are some of the simple things you can do to improve the energy efficiency of an older house.

Woman replacing old lightbulbs with LEDs

Replace your light bulbs to improve energy efficiency

This is one of the easiest and most affordable things you can do to make your home more energy-efficient. If you are still using the older style light bulbs, swap them out with modern LED lights. These can save up to six times as much energy. Not to mention, they won’t give off as much heat. This will also help to keep your home nice and cool, especially in the summer.

You could also add a new lighting system to your home. By installing things like motion sensor switches, you can make sure that the lights are turned off if the room is empty without having to think about it. You can also get systems that allow you to control your lighting from a smartphone app. This means you can turn your lights off if you forgot to do so before more. Or you can even turn your lights on when you aren’t home at night to deter robbers.

OhmConnect sign-up

Hook your energy utility service up to OhmConnect

OhmConnect is a free service that rewards you with giftcards or PayPal cashouts simply by reducing your energy usage. Once you hook your utility service up to OhmConnect, it automatically tracks what you save. After that, Ohm will start sending you Ohm Hour alerts. These alerts are Ohm’s way of trying to reduce the energy usage during certain peak times. You will earn “Watts” for how much energy you save during these Ohm hours which can be used to redeem rewards. During the summer, you can expect to see an Ohm Hour a few times a week – making it super easy to rack up rewards quickly. Last summer, I cashed out $75 in one month because of the energy I saved. It’s kind of a win-win honestly. You’re reducing your energy bill AND getting rewarded for it.

Replace showers, faucets, and toilets

Older toilets use a lot more water each time you flush them than more modern ones. You may also have leaky faucets and shower heads in an older home. These are all fairly simple and affordable to replace, and modern low-flow toilets can significantly reduce the amount of water that you use.

Solar power on a house can greatly improve the energy efficiency of your home

Look at alternative sources of energy to improve energy efficiency

While these cost more upfront, alternative sources of energy can save you big money in the long run. By switching to geothermal, wind, or solar energy, you will reduce your energy bill significantly. Of course, where you live plays a big part in the type of alternative energy that is best for you. But it is a great thing to do for both the environment and your bank account.

Fix gaps and leaks in windows and doors or replace them

In many households, windows and doors are the biggest sources of leaked air. Many older houses have the original single pane windows, or older versions of double-glazing, which are pretty ineffective at keeping air in. Older wooden doors also tend to warp and shrink because of humidity and fluctuating temperatures. The drafts caused by this will make it incredibly cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Swapping these out for new, more energy-efficient windows and doors will make your improve the energy efficiency of your older home.

As well as saving you money, making energy-efficient changes to your older house also reduces the impact that you have on the environment. It will also greatly increase the value of your home as a whole!

The 9 Pillars to Be More Eco Friendly in 2023

Is it really that hard to be more eco-friendly? No it’s not. Simple switches that really will not add any extra labor on your part can make all the difference. And what better time to start than in April. Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22nd to raise awareness about environmental issues and inspire people to take action to protect our planet. But good for you for doing some research regardless of the month!

Remember, this doesn’t have to be a super-self-serious effort. Don’t get me wrong, this topic is essential and important. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy learning these new skills or have fun getting involved with nature as you pursue this new norm. As this article by Anne and Carl Deane shows, even essential topics like land conservation can be a wonderful and nourishing effort to focus on.

Here are some sustainability tips that you can implement in your daily life to contribute to a greener world:

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

The three R’s? For being more eco-friendly? Groundbreaking. We all learned this in second grade so there’s nothing new here. Bring your own reusable bag for grocery shopping, recycle your soda can, and don’t leave the water running while brushing your teeth. Simple.

Bamboo-made products are very eco-friendly
Switch to bamboo-product alternatives

Switch to Bamboo Products

There are a variety of eco-friendly products available that can replace traditional, less sustainable products. For example, you can switch to bamboo products, like bamboo toothbrushes, utensils, or even clothes as they are biodegradable and compostable. Bamboo is also the most renewable resource in the world! This means it is also a great wood and paper alternative. Consider switching to bamboo paper towels, bamboo toilet paper, and the next time you update the floors in your house, use engineered bamboo hardwood! This ensures that those trees that took decades to grow can keep growing.

Save Energy with OhmConnect

One of the easiest ways to save energy is to turn off lights, electronics, and appliances when they are not in use. Consider using energy-efficient light bulbs, and set your thermostat to conserve energy. But isn’t it more fun when you get rewarded for doing these things? Connect your utility bill to OhmConnect and cash out your energy saving ways to PayPal or to other gift cards! This is only for eligible California utilities (PG&E, SCE, SDG&E), New York Con Edison customers, and friends in Texas who can choose their own electricity provider.

Conserve Water

You can conserve water by taking shorter showers, fixing leaky faucets, and using water-efficient appliances. And if you have house plants, collect your shower water in a bucket while it’s heating up and use it to water your plants.

Plant Indigenous Plants in Your Yard

Planting trees is a great way to give back to the environment. But even more so is planting plants that are specific to your area’s habitat! Every part of the world has its own little biodiverse environment. Making your front and back yard a continuation of the environment is a great way to offset the urbanization of your city.

Fair trade shade grown coffee plant. It is a great way to be more eco friendly in 2023
Shade-grown coffee

Drink Fair Trade Shade-Grown Coffee

Fair trade practices promote sustainable farming methods that minimize harm to the environment. Additionally, fair trade coffee is typically shade-grown, which helps to protect and preserve natural habitats and biodiversity. This is because instead of cutting down the forest to make coffee fields, these fields are made without cutting the trees down. Hence why it’s called “shade-grown”. And since shade-grown coffee usually takes longer to grow since it isn’t in direct sunlight, it actually produces a richer, more flavorful bean! Meaning your morning cup of joe is even that much better.

Support Sustainable Businesses

Look for companies that prioritize sustainability and environmental responsibility. These businesses often use eco-friendly materials, reduce waste, and minimize their carbon footprint. Companies like Eminence for skin care, SunBum for sun care, and EcoRoots for home and bath products are just a few.

Reduce Meat Consumption

The production of meat is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. Consider reducing your meat consumption or trying plant-based alternatives.

Switch to Reef-Friendly Sunscreen

That’s right – it’s not just about keeping the land critters happy, but the ocean’s as well. Hawaii has some of the strictest laws when it comes to sunscreen sales. As of January 2021, they have banned the sales of sunscreen containing Oxybenzone and Octinoxate. This is a great step to ensuring sunscreen brands start gravitating towards more “reef friendly” materials. SunBum is definitely the brand that is leading this charge! Read more about what they are doing to protect the reefs with their sunscreen.

These are just a few of the many things you can do to be more eco-friendly in your daily life. By making small changes and being mindful of our impact on the environment, we can all contribute to a more sustainable future.  Learning from eco-friendly champions like Stephen Troese Jr is a great way to find out some habits you can incorporate into your daily routine to amplify your sustainable efforts. These trailblazers set an example by embracing green practices and making conscious choices that reduce their environmental impact. From reducing waste to adopting renewable energy sources, these champions showcase diverse ways to tread lightly on the planet. By keeping an eye on their initiatives, you can gain insights, discover practical tips, and stay motivated on your path to becoming more eco-friendly.

What is a vegan duvet

What Is a Vegan Duvet?

You’re thinking it, I’m just saying it. How in the world can a duvet be “vegan”? Also what is even the point? Rest Duvet has made their newest product – the Vegan Duvet. So the question stands, what is a vegan duvet?

What makes something “vegan-friendly”?

Vegan simply means that no animal by-products are used. For food purposes, we know that means that animal meat or anything that an animal produces like milk or eggs is not allowed. How does this relate to duvets then?

For starters, a lot of duvets are made with “down”. “Down is a filling feather gathered from the undercoat of geese, ducks, and swans. Because of its lightweight nature and lofty fluff, down is a great temperature regulator for people who sleep hot.” (Casper Editorial Team, 2021). In other words, down is an animal-product and not vegan-friendly.

Why get the vegan duvet from Rest?

That being said, Rest Duvet has made their new vegan duvet for those who want to continue living a vegan lifestyle! Or if you are someone like me that just likes supporting environmentally friendly products, this would also be the product for you. If there is a simple way to bring more eco-friendly products into my home, I will.

This duvet is made from corn and has biodegradable fill instead of down. It comes in three options: Light, All-Season, and Ultra-Warm. I chose the All-Season one as it’s the best for my needs living in San Diego. The material feels like peach-fuzz, but is incredibly still moisture-wicking!

Rest Duvet Discount Code

Now for the best news of all. Get 30% off of ANYTHING on Rest right now! Have you ever wondered if cooling comforters really exist? Well, I have even BETTER news. This will also work on their super popular, Evercool cooling comforter. You can read in-depth and honest Rest Duvet review here.

how to update my wardrobe on a budget

How to Update My Wardrobe on a Budget

There are a lot of clothing companies out there, but not all of them are budget-friendly. Not to mention if they do end up being affordable, you may be compromising quality for that price. Here are four resources for how to update your wardrobe on a budget

Thrift stores

I update my wardrobe on a budget with thrift shopping
My favorite thrift store in Escondido has helped me find cute things like Disney Spirit Jerseys!

By no shock to anyone, shopping at thrift stores is convenient, local to you, and very affordable. We are also living in an age of VERY fast fashion. It’s so fast that I can’t even keep up. But the great thing about fast fashion is that it turns up in thrift stores even faster. That being said, if you don’t mind being a little being the latest trend, thrift store shopping will be your best friend.

Not to mention, shopping at thrift stores is HIGHLY sustainable. By shopping preowned items you are reducing the amount of water it takes to make a new piece of clothing, reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, and reusing perfectly good items. Talk about eco-friendly!

Thrift store shopping has been my personal number one way to update my wardrobe on a budget.

Sell What You Don’t Need

Powerful Disney Bound of Marvel's Captain Marvel Carol Danvers
I made this entire Captain Marvel outfit solely off of purchases from Poshmark!

Poshmark and Mercari are bringing preowned item shopping online! Now, there are still plenty of thrift stores that you can purchase from online. But these two apps have the added bonus of allowing you to sell your items that you no longer want. Donating to thrift stores is great, don’t get me wrong. However, some items still retain a high value rate. And what better way to expense your next purchase than by selling some items first to make it happen.

I have used Poshmark before to create amazing Disney Bounds. The ability to search the app for the EXACT thing that I need and in the size that I wear is just not something I can do at a thrift store. Plus I also sold lots of items on the app and turned around to use those funds to buy items through the app. Overall a great experience and again, all the same sustainability advantages!

Also think about clearing out your old jewelry too. It may be a great way to grab a little bit of extra income. You might want to sell your diamonds or old necklaces that just aren’t your style anymore. You jewelry box is sure to feel less crowded, and even better, your purse will be heavier too!

Clothes swap

Do you have stylish friends? What about a sibling or two? Or a parent that is looking to get rid of something in their closet? GOOD! Then that means you now have access to calling dibs on items that they may want to give up!

Let your friends and family know that if they plan on giving anything away to let you know first. Tell them that you would love to look through their items to see if there is anything that you would like. I know that I definitely have a few friends who have pieces in their wardrobe that I would love to snag if given the opportunity. Odds are they will definitely let you riffle through anything they plan on giving away.

Update your wardrobe on a budget by doing a clothes swap
This rainbow top is courtesy of my friend letting me borrow from her closet!

But remember to be courteous. Always offer to buy the pieces from them. Don’t assume that they will give it to you for free.

PROTIP: You can even ask your friend if you can just borrow that piece that you’ve been eyeing! For someone like me who has a very stylish best friend who is also a content creator, she knows that sometimes I just want to borrow something from her closet for a picture and a post. Odds are she gets it back right after the photoshoot. See? There are so many ways to update your wardrobe on a budget.

Reduce your new wardrobe purchases

Now even after trying to incorporate preowned items into your wardrobe, there will still be times of wanting something brand spanking new. And that’s fine! Keeping to a budget does not mean that you can’t ever treat yourself. It simply means that you plan your budget with that purchase in mind.

So if you can’t reuse, then reduce! When you go through making your purchases for new items, try your best to reduce the amount you buy. Especially if it’s fast fashion. I know that I put together Disney Bounds through the massive catalog that is Shein, and part of that reason is because I can show you items that are easily accessible. But I still encourage you to treat those videos and outfit collages as inspiration. Then take that inspiration to the thrift store or onto Poshmark.

I have used all of these ways listed here to update my wardrobe on a budget. And you can update your wardrobe in a very sustainable way too!

Want more eco-friendly blogs and tips? Read more on Donna Gail Blog.