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10 Easy Things to Make Your Lifestyle More Sustainable

You want to make your lifestyle greener, but you can’t afford solar panels or an electric car. Relax. There are smaller things you can do to live more sustainably. From eliminating single-use plastics to using less energy, here’s how to save the earth one reusable sandwich bag at a time.

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Lose the Plastic Bags and Plastic Wrap

There are so many alternatives to wrapping your lunch and your leftovers in disposable petroleum-based products! You can get reusable bags for food made of canvas and silicone. You can get a reusable bag made of non-toxic plastic that zips up. Another option is adorable fabric wraps for food that stay put through the power of beeswax. Warm the fabric with your hands and the wax softens. Drape it over the bowl or wrap a bit of food in it, and the wax cools, creating a seal.

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Photo: Jason Kisner

Use All-Natural Cleaning Products

Cleaning your house doesn’t have to mean dirtying the planet. Use products made from safe, non-toxic ingredients that don’t harm the environment. Conventional cleaners include harmful ingredients like formaldehyde, chloroform, and 1,4-dioxane that end up in the air and water. If you mix up your own cleaners, you also skip one-use, disposable packaging that’s used in many products.

stop buying cleaning sprays with these all-natural solutions

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Photo: Tomas Espinoza. From: Brian Patrick Flynn.

Skip the Bottled Water

All the bottled water we chug in the name of clean water is strangling the planet with plastic. People, we don’t need it. Most city water supplies have safe, fresh water. If you don’t like tap water’s taste, get a home filtration system, even if it’s just a water-filtering pitcher you keep in the fridge. If you like the convenience of bottled water, get a refillable one and keep it with you at all times.

the best water bottles, reviewed by hgtv editors

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Photo: Jason Kisner

Use Glass Storage Containers for Food

It’s good you keep those leftovers instead of adding them to the 161 billion pounds of food Americans send to landfills. Store that food in glass containers instead of those plastic ones. You’re won’t be completely plastic-free, because most glass containers on the market have plastic lids, but you’ll use a lot less of it. If you want to be totally plastic-less, IKEA makes a line of glass containers with bamboo lids. Or look for vintage Depression-Era containers with glass lids (and fabulous Art Deco style.)

15 best reusable lunch containers and accessories

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