20 Tips on How to be More Environmentally Friendly

by Kayla Reusche on June 18, 2019

Here at Root we believe in caring for the environment. After all, it is our home. We’re constantly aiming to reduce our environmental footprint, & we encourage you to do the same. You may think one person can’t make a difference, but think about the world we could create if every person changed just one habit. You can make a difference. Your habits matter.

Root customer Becca L. said it best,
Everyone can do something! It's not hard to make change when you do a little at a time.”

And if you’re just starting your eco-friendly journey, Ariel U. suggests taking it one step at a time. “I've just begun my journey to a more sustainable lifestyle, so I'm taking little steps & that starts with educating myself & being more conscious of my day-to-day choices & their impact.”

Here are 20 simple & realistic tips from us & our customers to incorporate in your everyday routine.

1. Refillable water bottles

Ditch the plastic water bottles. Refillable water bottles are just as convenient & sooo much cuter. If you’re flying, bring an empty water bottle, & fill it up once you get through security.

2. Ditch the paper towels & napkins

While you’re at it, ditch the paper towels & napkins. Switch to cloth instead. Marleys Monsters actually makes it fun to shop for cleaning supplies with its colorful & classic prints.

3. Use reusable bags or refuse plastic bags

Store your reusable bags in your car if you’re prone to forgetting. Always refuse plastic bags, & ask for paper bags as a last resort.

Root customer Bambi K. says, “I ALWAYS use reusable bags when I get groceries, & pass on a bag if I only bought a few items I can simply carry out.”

4. Refuse a straw or bring your own

Humans waste between 170 million to 500 million straws A DAY. To wrap your head around that number, imagine 125 school busses filled with straws every day. There’s such an easy solution to this problem - simply ask for no straw or bring your own. There are tons of eco-friendly options out there.

5. Reusable drink cups

Bring your own coffee cup to your favorite coffee shop or stay in for a cup with your friends. It’s time to finally get some use out of all those coffee cups you have stashed away!

6. Bring your own to-go glass containers

Bring your own to-go containers when you’re dining out. Glass containers are more durable than plastic. They don’t get smelly as easily, & they don’t contain the harmful chemicals commonly found in plastic. Glass can also be recycled over & over again without losing its integrity, while plastic can only be recycled a few times, making glass your new go-to.

7. Buy in bulk

Buying in bulk not only saves you money in the long run, but it cuts down on packaging. Food like rice, pasta, beans & nuts are easy to buy in bulk & stay fresh for a long time.

You can even take it one step further by making your own products with those bulk purchases. Root customer Cynthia M. purchases almonds in bulk & then uses them to make almond milk & crackers.

8. Get your bills online

Contact your card company & bank to get your statements delivered electronically. You can easily access them on your phone or computer no matter where you are, & you save a lot of paper.

9. Grow your own garden or buy from local farmers markets

Not only does growing your own produce save money & packaging, but you can make sure no chemicals are used in the process. It’s also a great family activity! If growing your own produce isn’t feasible, head to the local farmers market & show them support.

10. Bamboo or reusable Toothbrushes

Toothbrushes are another huge culprit of waste. More than 4.7 billion plastic toothbrushes are dumped in landfills & oceans every year that will never biodegrade. Replace your plastic toothbrush with a compostable bamboo toothbrush or invest in a reusable one that will last you years like a Goby electric toothbrush.

11. Do the little things

The little things can really add up. Root customer Cassie B. suggests turning off the water while brushing your teeth & shutting off lights when you’re not in the room. Even if you are in the room, use natural sunlight if it’s bright enough out. Your electricity bill will thank you!

12. Eliminate single-use products

Any time a product can only be used once, try to eliminate it. Replace juice pouches with homemade juice, water bottles with a water filter, & individually wrapped snacks like granola bars by making your own or purchasing in bulk.

13. Reusable cotton rounds

Marleys Monsters kills it in the reusable cloth department. They sell reusable cotton rounds in so many fun & trendy patterns. The cotton rounds are super soft & gentle enough to use on your face. You can use them to take off makeup or even to apply skincare products. 

14. Use power strips

Even when you turn off an appliance, it’s still consuming about as much energy as when it’s being used. Over time, this extra energy & money add up. Connect your appliances to a power strip, so you can shut everything off with a flip of a switch.

15. Start your own compost

Composting is a win-win. You save lots of waste from going to the landfill & get to reuse it on your own crops or plants.

Root customer Claire B. said, “I think composting has been a huge way that my family has cut back on waste, that way even scraps & coffee grounds go back into feeding our garden.”

16. Reusable ziplock bags

Stasher sells nontoxic reusable silicone bags - a good & safe alternative to plastic. The bags are microwave safe, oven safe & dishwasher safe, which is much more convenient than plastic!

17. Purchase from conscious companies

Where you spend your money says a lot. Purchase from companies that are mindful of their habits & use reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging. You’d be surprised how much waste is created from all those packages waiting at your doorstep. Recycle as much packaging as possible, like taking those pink Root bubble mailers to your local grocery store or anywhere that recycles plastic bags. And be on the lookout for our new glass packaging & bulk & refill options coming soon!


18. Shop at second-hand stores

Thrift stores are filled with so many items in perfect condition just waiting for a new home. If thrifting isn’t for you, at least consider donating your gently used items instead of throwing them away when you no longer need them.

Root Customer Kim L. also enjoys thrifting with her friends. “Lately, I’ve been swapping items with friends. If there is something I don’t need or won’t use, I’ll see if they need it & vice versa.”

19. Stop driving everywhere or carpool

We’ve all experienced that time or two when we were too lazy to walk a couple blocks, but get up & get moving! Walking or biking is a great way to spend quality time with your family.

If your entire family is going to the same place, carpool instead of taking multiple vehicles. You can even carpool with your coworkers to work to save some money!

20. Recycle

ALWAYS RECYCLE. Check with your city to find the nearest recycling center or see if they offer curbside recycling. Some companies (like Root) let you send your packaging back for rewards. And if you’re somewhere where recycling isn’t available, take it home with you. Root Customer Jennifer H. keeps a recycling bin in her car so she can recycle on the go.

While we believe drastic changes need to be made to help the planet we call home, we know it starts one step at a time. Be eco-friendly in your own way, at your own pace. It’s unrealistic to suddenly replace everything you own with more environmentally friendly products, but as you find yourself needing replacements, try to look for more sustainable options. The earth is counting on you.

Stay up to date on our zero-waste & eco-friendly journey by following the hashtag #rooteco


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