I decided to share 5 very simple things I do to reduce waste. These tips  make me feel like I am well on my way to becoming more environmentally responsible and hope will motive you to start today.

The other day I saw Isla de Plastico (Island of Plastic) a documentary filmed in the Dominican Republic (you can watch it here), illustrating the insanely problematic plastic phenomenon the country is living. I was so sad when I saw it and simply couldn’t believe how careless we’ve been and how we disregard the current environmental damages we are inflicting on this earth. 

The truth is that after seeing that film, watching the forest fires around the globe, the crazy temperatures due to global warming, and all of the animals we are killing in our oceans, makes me feel hopeless at times and extremely frustrated. After the film however, I realized that I have a platform and I can use it to share 5 very simple things I do to reduce waste.

The truth is that I am FAR from where I want to be regarding this subject. I still have tons to learn and do to minimize my carbon footprint. These tips however, make me feel like I am well on my way to becoming more environmentally responsible.

I also make sure both of my salons recycle and use paper bags.

1. Get a reusable water bottle 

Ideally you can get a tin/metal reusable water bottle, but it’s ok if you like me, got one of those sturdy Nalgene plastic bottles many moons ago. I’ve only purchased 2 of them in my lifetime and the first one lasted me like 10 years and I’ve had the second one for nearly 4 years. I usually always carry around an empty bottle that I can fill up to avoid buying water bottles. The idea is to eliminate these 1 time use plastics that are piling up on our shores.

2. Recycle and/or separate your trash

It’s obvious that we should all be recycling. Most if not all cities in the US have a recycling system. In NYC I recycle paper, metal, glass, and plastic. This is not the reality for most countries though.

In fact, this idea might be completely foreign to someone in the Dominican Republic because of a lack of education and political responsibility. However, if you live in a place where recycling is not common, then SEPARATE YOUR WASTE

Put all of your plastics in one bag, tin/metal/glass in another one, and then your organic waste in another. Believe it or not, there are millions of people around the globe that make a living out of sorting through the trash and selling these materials. So by separating the trash, you’re ensuring that one of these folks won’t have to sort through your rubbish and will easily find what they are looking for.

3. Use reusable straws 

This is such an easy ask. Go to a local store or on amazon and please do me a favor and buy 5-10 metal or glass reusable straws and 2-3 straw cleaners (thin circular brushes). Straws are contaminating our oceans and are really impacting the oceanic creatures. Carry a few on you so that you use them at restaurants or when you’re out.

4. Use reusable totes instead of plastic bags

I have a huge collection of totes of all sizes, colors, and materials. They are so convenient, and it is easier to carry groceries or whatever you get at the mall. The best part is that you’ll avoid using plastic bags, which again are ending up in our oceans. We actually have our totes on sale for just $15 + an additional 15% OFF, you can grab your here.

5. Save your jars/recipients that your food comes in

If you look in my kitchen cabinet, you’ll notice that I have a collection of jars. All of the jars from pasta sauces and other canned goods, I wash and use them as cups. Many of them are actually mason jars and so they’re perfect for salads, soups and many other foods. 

So there you have it, just 5 tiny little itty bitty changes can have a HUGE impact in our environment. You might think that if you’re doing it and you’re just one person it might not have an impact, but it absolutely does. I mean imagine using 1 plastic straw a day for like 70+ years, that’s over 25,000 straws! Plus you’ll inspire your neighbor, your family members and friends. We only have 1 planet earth and we have to take care of it not only for our future generations, but for us right now.