Happy Earth Day, Fox Fam! Today we give our biggest mama the extra love she deserves! After all, she feeds us, supports us, gives us shelter, and provides us with beautiful wonders beyond comprehension.It is no secret that our planet is suffering. What happens to her, happens to us. This is our home. It is our responsibility to protect it and to heal any wounds we have inflicted. If every person considered what they could do to make a difference, you couldn’t deny the impact one person can make.
In the face of the helplessness we all feel from time to time when it comes to the environment, here are some things you can do to live more sustainably without changing your whole lifestyle. After all, in order for us to thrive on this planet, the planet must thrive as well!
The core of sustainability is implementing ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. This means instead of using and buying more of what we don’t need, we can reduce what we use and buy, reuse what we have, and recycle what can be turned into something that can be reused! A big way you can help out with this flow is by having a designated bin for recyclables in your home. Figuring out what is truly recyclable can be kind of tricky, but here are some pointers on what you can and can’t throw in the blue bin:
- RECYCLE: Clean stiff plastic containers, dry cardboard, most paper, glass, and metal (tin, aluminum, and steel) containers.
- CAN’T RECYCLE: Anything styrofoam, napkins or paper towels, soiled or greasy containers, and broken glass, many lids.
Almost everyone in the AF office is the proud owner of a reusable water bottle (you really do get attached)! Plastic single use bottles are extremely wasteful and a large cause of the growing plastic pollution that exists on land and in the ocean. But you can help this problem by purchasing a reusable water bottle! We recommend the Hydro Flask or any BPA-free bottle that has thermal insulation to keep your water cold all day long! Slap your favorite stickers on it and it will never leave your side.
AF bottles are recyclable but we are constantly auditing our packaging and processes to search for more sustainable options. And we have always more work to do! We also have some fun ways you can reuse your empty bottle into a long-lasting household item:
- Cut the bottle horizontally, paint the bottom half, poke a hole in the bottom, and plant your favorite green friend inside! A custom little pot is born!
- Cut the top of the bottle off, paint or sport our cute design, and throw some pens and pencils or makeup brushes in it! Organization tool at your service!
Forming the habit of turning off the lights in rooms you aren’t using is a great way to save energy. Take it a step further by replacing the light bulbs in your house with LED (light-emitting diode for the curious foxes) bulbs! LEDs last a lot longer while using less power than the average incandescent bulb, so you also save money on your energy bills. Find them at any hardware store, switch them out for the old bulbs and baddabing -- you just made a leap towards energy efficiency!
One-use straws are so 10 years ago. Now, we’re helping save the sea turtles AND preventing single-use plastic pollution by drinking out of reusable straws! Aluminum straws last years and can be easily cleaned for the next beverage. Some brands even sell straws that can be folded up and hooked on a keychain! She cute, collapsible, and portable -- 10/10 recommend. You can catch the AF Team sipping through their reusable tubes in the office.
It’s time to take that long, relaxing bubble bath you’ve been craving. And why not treat yourself to one a few times a week? Believe it or not, baths use significantly less water than taking a ten minute shower. Are you that fox that likes to sing, act, and put on full Broadway shows in the shower? Do it in a bath instead. Don’t have a bath? Try to cut out act two, scene 3 and shorten your showers!
Going to the Ulta Beauty down the street to pick up your fave Arctic Fox shades? Try to use a mode of transportation other than the car! Take a refreshing walk, hop on a bike for some exercise, or pull out the hoverboard! Any time you can avoid using a gas powered vehicle will help reduce your carbon footprint and lessen the toxins that cause air pollution and climate change.
Speaking of those gas powered vehicles, leaving your car engine on and chilling in one spot still emits carbon dioxide that is toxic to the environment. Crazy right? If you’re sitting in a drive-thru line or waiting while picking up a friend, you can turn off your car to avoid their emission! Contrary to popular belief, if you’re idling for longer than TEN seconds, you will save more gas by turning your car off than leaving it idling. You won’t be polluting the atmosphere (or yourself) with exhaust fumes and you’ll be saving gas!
Another way to save energy? Next time you go to wash your clothes in a laundry machine, turn the water temperature to cold. The largest usage of at-home heat energy typically comes from washing clothes in hot water. As long as you're using detergent, your clothes will get the same clean they would with hot water! When you go to dry your clothes, make sure the dryer is on a lower setting, too. These steps will also keep your colors from bleeding/fading and make your clothes last longer! If it’s a nice warm day, you can take it one step further by hang-drying your clothes. Absolutely zero energy needed! Unless you count your will to wash laundry (we know how it is).
Got a bunch of old clothes, electronics, or household items you’ve been meaning to toss? Donate them to be repurposed! By giving your stuff away to be reused- not only are you providing a necessity to someone else- but you are prolonging the lifespan of the items and the energy it took to make them, and not creating unnecessary trash. Humans are very quick to throw things out and buy the next best thing, and we know the temptations are real. But we can try our best to not be wasteful by getting the most out of what we have or giving it a second life with someone who will.
Making vegan and cruelty-free products is important to us because we believe in preventing animal cruelty and strive to raise awareness on the topic. Many know that the animal agriculture industry is notoriously violent against factory farmed animals and there is a battle to give them a voice. What is coming forth more into the light is also how damaging animal agriculture is to the environment. It takes massive amounts of land, water, and food to produce meat and other animal byproducts which is severely unsustainable. A big way you can implement sustainability into your life and help animals is by being conscious of the harmful impact animal agriculture has on the environment and becoming a part of the conversation on how to improve it. Of course the most sure way to help is to reduce or all-together eliminate the animal products you consume. But being mindful to make adjustments that make sense for you is important!
Fellow shopaholics, this one's for us. A simple but awesome way to be sustainable is to buy sustainable -- shop small and/or local! Do some research to find where you can get your favorite items from businesses that are eco-conscious and serve some sort of mission to help the environment. Maybe they only use sustainable materials or donate to a sustainable cause (hint, hint)! Really though, supporting small companies with attitudes for change help the planet and those making a living from it to do so. There’s no limit to the improvements we can make in the world by supporting one another and giving back to the G.O.A.T: Earth.
We can do this, Fox Fam! We, you, me, and the earth, are all in this together. We hope you celebrate this beautiful planet today and everyday! What are some sustainable practices you’d like to implement in your life? Tell us in the comments and spark some inspiration!