Odds are you’ve heard people talk about sustainability recently. And that’s with good reason: To protect the planet. However, while individual acts of eco-friendliness may seem small, every single sustainable choice you make matters and makes a difference on a global level as well. Think: Recycling properly, minimizing waste, or making tweaks throughout your habits and home. In honor of Earth Day 2022, we’ve created a quick start guide to being greener in your everyday life. Because making these small tweaks now will be worth it in the long run.
Recycle your beauty empties
Between bottles, jars, and the cardboard boxes they often come in, the beauty industry is responsible for an inordinate amount of waste. And if you’re product junkies like we are, it’s equally important as consumers to recycle as it is for beauty brands to aid with that recycling.
Living Proof proudly partners with TerraCycle® to ensure you can recycle any Living Proof products in both the US and Canada. No matter where you purchased your Living Proof products, once you’ve used them up, we’ll recycle them for free for you. All you need to do is sign up for your free account to get started. (Something to keep in mind: Aerosol products (I.e., sprays that live in a can) need to be boxed up separately from the rest of your empties.) After signing up, pack up your empties, print your free shipping label, and send it on its way in confidence that it’ll be properly recycled.
Know what and where to recycle
Fun fact: There’s a term called “wishful recycling,” which describes dropping a product—any product—into a recycling bin, hoping it gets done, and absolving yourself of responsibility if not. That’s not great since products that have been misfiled typically end up in the landfill. Not sure whether you should put glass with plastic? The EPA has a full breakdown of both what can be recycled and how to do it. It can be trickier than you might think: For instance, pizza boxes with grease can be recycled, while gift wrapping paper can’t be if it has a shiny coating. As a result, it’s best to double-check.
Compost food scraps
Not so fun fact: Together, food scraps and yard waste comprise more than 30 percent of what goes in the garbage, per the EPA. That’s where composting can be particularly powerful. Whether in a can in your backyard or via a countertop canister that you bring to a local drop-off location, it’s surprisingly easy. A composting bin needs three things: browns (materials like dead leaves and twigs); greens (fruit peels and coffee grounds); and water (which provides the moisture to turn it into compost). If you keep it on hand, you can even use it to fertilize a lawn or garden.
Minimize food waste
Organizing shopping trips can go a long way to reducing food waste as well. The EPA recommends planning your meals for the week, checking your fridge and pantry to see what you have on-hand, and creating—and sticking to—a dedicated grocery list. Try sharing a digital note on your phone with other family members, too, so that you don’t both come home with the same set of groceries.
Bringing your own bag is a pretty big deal—and probably has more of an impact than you may realize. According to EPA data, 4,200,000 tons of plastic bags and wraps were created in 2018, but only 420,000 tons were recycled. Translation: Just a measly 10% of all plastic bags produced went to the landfill. Some states have phased out plastic bags entirely with only paper options, but bottom line is that the BYO-bag option is also a multitasker for stashing extra stuff or taking things from Point A to Point B.
Rethink your lights
Switch to LED lights throughout your house. Not only does that cut down on energy costs, but they can also last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs, says the EPA. While LED bulbs have gotten a bad rap for being blindingly white, new versions now offer the same soft, gentle glow that you’re used to.
Bottom line: Remember every little bit you can do helps. And when people partake in these individual efforts, the result is global change, and in this case, for a greener, more sustainable future.