The kitchen is your playground.
Sustainable living expert Jhánneu Roberts recommends leaning towards a cleaner lifestyle by trying recipes from scratch for basic foods and drinks. For example, Roberts makes her own cashew milk by soaking the cashews — ideally, overnight — and then putting them in a blender with water, maple syrup, and salt. “It’s less waste because you don’t buy these individual cartons,” she said. “And it’s also much cleaner because you actually know what goes into the milk.”
All Hail products are versatile.
Roberts also encourages those who want to be more sustainable to find products that are versatile. A prime example: Castile soap. “You can use it to wash your hair, wash your body, wash your dog, wash your counter—the list could go on,” Roberts said. “It’s like the Holy Grail of soap.” The benefit of versatile products is that they encourage you to buy fewer products, which means getting rid of less harmful packaging and living a simpler lifestyle.
Intentions are everything.
Having the right mindset is critical to living a greener lifestyle. Being a disciplined and intentional consumer will determine your decision-making style. “My number one piece of advice I always give people when they’re trying to start a sustainable lifestyle is to stop buying stuff,” said Roberts. Say ‘no’ to things you don’t need. If you feel like it’s a punch in the gut, don’t worry – Roberts understands how hard it can be. “I know, it’s tough,” she said. “Just try to be a deliberate human being and find ways to reduce waste.”
Glass and aluminum containers for a win.
Think carefully before buying beauty products that come in eco-friendly packaging. “Instead, try to find beauty products that come in either aluminum packaging, infinitely recyclable, or glass,” Roberts said.
The freezer is your friend.
It’s a problem when your produce spoils before you can eat it all. To lessen the ache of spoiled food, try freezing more of your produce, such as spinach and lettuce, to extend its life. Roberts loves making rosemary cubes to make a delicious cooking oil that also preserves the flavorful herbs. “Just put the rosemary in an ice cube tray, add oil or melted butter, and freeze. Then you can put the cubes in a pan later.” This trick can also be used with other herbs, such as thyme, sage, and oregano.
Pack reusable cutlery.
Being an eco-traveler can be challenging, but start with simple steps, such as bringing reusable eating and drinking utensils on your travels. Roberts recommends bringing a reusable water bottle, napkin, fork, and spoon. “I know it can take more work, but it’s definitely less wasteful,” she said.
You deserve the blessing.
The often-overlooked advice for living sustainably is to be self-indulgent if you don’t meet your eco-friendly goals. Roberts knows this feeling all too well and wants people to know that living a fully sustainable life isn’t easy. “At the end of the day, it’s not your fault that it’s so hard to be sustainable,” she said. “There are bigger systemic things that have to be in place to really make a big difference.” So the next time you make a lifestyle decision that isn’t helping the planet, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just look to be back straight and tight.
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