New Year Reflections - Looking Back on 2020



Looking back on this past year, I wanted to take inventory of the changes I've made that contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle. Here are the changes I've made that I am most proud of.


DIET

OLD: TRADITIONAL AMERICAN DIET

NEW: VEGETARIAN

I kicked off 2020 with the decision to cut meat from my diet in its entirety. When I made the decision to do this, I wasn't even considering the environment. I primarily wanted to see what it'd do for my personal health. My goal was to be meat-free for 6 months. It's been 13 months, and I have no plans to revert back. After I started the journey, I began to research the impact that the meat farming industry has on the environment. I sometimes miss meat especially living in Texas a.k.a. the unofficial BBQ capital of the world. But knowing I'm reducing greenhouse gas emissions helps reaffirm my choice! Plus, I feel better in general.


OLD: COFFEE IN DISPOSABLE PLASTIC PODS

NEW: FRENCH PRESS COFFEE

This is probably my favorite swap because first of all, I'm a coffee junkie. French press coffee is simply so much richer and silkier smooth than drip coffee. No more hassling with pulling apart K-cups to recycle them. Finding beans in a non-plastic pouch can be challenging, though.

HAIR CARE

OLD: PLASTIC BOTTLED SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER

NEW: PACKAGELESS SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER BARS

I've switched to shampoo and conditioner bars instead of plastic bottle type, although I'm still searching for the best brand that doesn't overly dry out my naturally fine, brittle strands. I also stopped straightening my hair. I'd given up using chemical relaxers many years ago because they were too harsh and causing damage. Thus omitting more plastic single-use containers since upkeep on relaxers would be every 6 weeks or so.

TOILETRIES

OLD: PLASTIC TUBE TOOTHPASTE, PLASTIC TOOTHBRUSHES, PLASTIC FLOSS, PLASTIC BOTTLED MOUTH WASH

NEW: TOOTHPASTE & MOUTHWASH BITS IN REFILLABLE GLASS JARS, BAMBOO/PLANT-BASED TOOTHBRUSH, PLANT-BASED FLOSS & BAKING SODA FOR WHITENING

I'm quite pleased with how easy it was to transition to an eco-friendly oral care routine. I also now forgo the 'free' goodie bag the dentist hands out at the end of each 6-month cleaning.


OLD: PLASTIC DISPOSABLE RAZORS & SHAVE CREAM

NEW: METAL SAFETY RAZOR WITH RECYCLABLE, NON-PLASTIC BLADES.

I adore my Leaf brand safety razor because it functions closely to what I was used to using. I haven't swapped shave cream out yet because I haven't finished using up my current bottles.

HOUSEHOLD NECESSITIES

OLD: PLASTIC SINGLE USE DETERGENT, SOFTNERS & DRYER SHEETS

NEW: DETERGENT & SOFTNERS IN PLASTIC FREE PODS, & REUSABLE WOOL DRYER BALLS

Easy peasy switch. I sometimes double or triple the number of pods I use, depending on the size & soil level of the wash. I kind of want to evaluate this further to see what the payoff is here.


OLD: PLASTIC SINGLE USE LIQUID HAND SOAP

NEW: GLASS HAND SOAP DISPENSERS W/ ALUMINUM BOTTLE REFILLS. ALTERNATIVELY, I'LL BUY BAR SOAP FROM LOCAL VENDORS


OLD: PLASTIC SINGLE USE LIQUID DISH SOAP

NEW: GLASS DISH SOAP DISPENSERS W/ ALUMINUM BOTTLE REFILLS


OLD: SINGLE USE PLASTIC SPONGES

NEW: PLANT-BASED & RECYCLED PLASTIC SPONGES WITH WALNUT SCRUBBER SIDE


OLD: SINGLE USE PLASTIC TRASH BAGS

NEW: 100% RECYCLED PLASTIC TRASH BAGS


OLD: SINGLE USE PLASTIC, VARIOUS HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS

NEW: GLASS SPRAY BOTTLES W/ CONCENTRATED SOLUTIONS. ALTERNATIVELY, I USE VINEGAR, BAKING SODA, AND/OR CITRUS PEELS


OLD: PLASTIC DOGGY BAGS

NEW: CORNSTARCH DOGGY BAGS THAT ONLY TAKE 3 MONTHS TO BREAKDOWN IN LANDFILLS

THIS BLOG

I like to believe that this blog as well as its corresponding social media accounts have had some small ripple effect that's branched out to my close friends and family. Maybe even some strangers! Paying it forward is always a nice concept :)

Moving forward in 2021, I'm very much looking forward to seeing how much more resourceful I can be! I'll be delving into an indoor herb garden, kitchen composting, and omitting more various plastic products from my normal routines, along with lots more changes I am sure. Any advice or suggestions are always welcome!

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