With 2012 in full swing and resolutions made, allow us to suggest 5 SHFTS to help you become a more sustainable version of yourself:
1. Optimize your energy use
There are many small ways you can reduce your consumption of energy. A few we would suggest are unplugging any chargers and turning off monitors when not in use. Also, replace old appliances in favor of more efficient Energy Star grade appliances. Brand new to the market is the Learning Thermometer, which has been developed to adapt to your daily energy use, saving energy and money.
2. Buy a reusable grocery bag
Plastic bags are a major source of microplastic particles or “plastic plankton” which is now present across many marine areas worldwide. Opting to use reusable grocery bags, like the durable, foldable 5-Pouch by Baggu can help save more plastic from being used and from becoming a major part of sea pollution. And for your packed lunches, Artifact has fashioned the perfect bag handmade in Omaha, Nebraska from water-repellant waxed cotton.
A whopping 60% of trash thrown away is recyclable and every bottle that is simply thrown away sits in a landfill for anywhere from 100-1,000 years before decomposing. When you are recycling your plastics, paper, and aluminum make sure you know what you can and can’t recycle and where to put it. We love these recycled wine bottles turned tumblers. And for preventative recycling, investing in a reusable bottle can save the need to recycle literally dozens of water bottles a month.
Composting is the ultimate way to reduce waste and fertilize your garden in one step. Yard and food waste make up 30% of total waste entering landfills. You can compost leaves, green clippings, food waste, coffee grounds and brown paper to make microbe-rich soil that cultivates your plants. To get you set up, SHFT’s Shop has a countertop composter and a backyard compost bin where the dirty work happens.
5. Buy Local/Organic
Some of the produce you buy, even at the best organic grocery stores, has flown thousands of miles to make it to your kitchen. By checking labels and visiting farmer’s markets, you can reduce the energy burned to enjoy something as simple as a salad. Check out our food chart to get the most out of what you're buying.
Photo: Emiy Caldwell