Saturday Series over 3 years ago by Liz Adams

Five Ways to Live More Sustainably in 2020

Featured above: No. 1 Clare V x Every Mother Counts Tote // No. 2 Hydro Flask 32 Oz. Water Bottle // No. 3 Everlane ReNew Liner // No. 4 OXO 8-Piece Glass Container Set // No. 5 Reusable Glass Straws // No. 6 YETI Mug // No. 7 Belkin Conserve Socket // No. 8 Stasher Sandwich Bags // No. 9 Beeswax Reusable Food Wraps // No. 10 REI Travel Pack // No. 11 Puracy Natural Dish Soap // No. 11 Molly’s Suds Super Powder Laundry Detergent 

Happy Saturday! Liz’s assistant, Carolyn, here. If you’ve been following along with Hello Adams Family for the past few years, you’ll know that Liz is kind enough to let me pop on here every now and then to provide the occasional guest post. I wanted to write my first post in 2020 about a topic that’s also one of my personal goals for the year: doubling down on my efforts to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. I’m sure you’ve all been watching the wildfires in Australia, and it’s hard to witness the devastation without feeling the need to do something more. Of course, donations to the Red Cross or WIRES are always a good place to start, but here are a few small efforts you can make at home to help counteract the damaging effects of climate change: 

Five Ways to Live More Sustainably in 2020

  1. Swap out some of your most common household items. It’s 2020—why are you still drinking out of plastic water bottles? We now have so many wonderful, sustainable options for all of the objects we use on a daily basis. Here are a few of my favorites: 
    – Reusable grocery bags and totes (this pretty tote also benefits Every Mother Counts, which helps to promote safe pregnancy for mothers around the world)
    Compostable paper towels and recycled toilet paper
    – Eco-friendly dish soap and laundry detergent
    Glass straws for smoothies 
    – A YETI mug for coffee (bring one along to your local coffee shop!)
    – A reusable water bottle to refill all day long
    Beeswax wrap for saving fruits, veggies, and cheese
    Stasher bags (I want all the colors!) and glass containers for storing leftovers
  2. Cut back on meat and dairy. Environmentalists estimate that livestock are responsible for over 50% of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide—that’s more than all of the cars, airplanes, and big buildings in the world combined. I’m not suggesting that everyone’s families go vegan, but reducing the amount of beef and cheese we consume on a weekly basis could have a bigger impact than we think.

  3. Make an effort to unplug. Scary realization: all of our devices still consume energy, even if we’re not actively using them. If it’s too much to think about going around the house and unplugging all of your electronic devices before you leave for the day, there are cool accessories like this Belkin Conserve Socket that sense when your devices have gone idle and automatically shut off power. Bonus: you’ll save on your electricity bill!

  4. Eat seasonally, shop locallyThis strategy for grocery shopping not only means that you get fresher, better-tasting food, but it also helps lessen the environmental impact of long-distance transport. Half Baked Harvest (a Hello Adams Family favorite!) is a great resource for seasonal recipes, and a quick Google search using “[your city] farmers market” should turn up lots of opportunities to shop locally year-round. While you’re at it, try to pass over the pre-packaged options at the grocery store and buy your food in bulk. My mom recently got me these washable mesh produce bags, which are a great way to avoid using the plastic bags in the veggie aisle. 
  5. Reconsider the way you travel. I love to travel, but I’ll be the first to admit that my airport iced coffees and multi-leg adventures aren’t exactly helping the planet. Unfortunately, the best way to travel sustainably is probably not to travel at all. If avoiding airplanes isn’t feasible, maybe we should start focusing on eco-friendly efforts we can make once we reach our destination. Definitely opt out of daily fresh towels at your hotel. Buy local souvenirs, instead of international imports. If you go for a hike, leave no trace. I also think there’s something to be said for packing a little lighter. I personally love this REI travel pack, which includes a mini pack that you can zip out for day trips around town. I don’t have any scientific backing for this point, but I sometimes feel that traveling with less helps me realize I don’t need quite so much at home. 🙂 

Are you making any efforts of your own to live more sustainably in 2020? I’d love to hear your tips! 

If you missed it during the holidays, our “Gifts That Give Back” guide is also a great resource for finding products and businesses that support a globally-minded mission!

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  1. I love your ideas! It was one of my goals last year and also this year to live more sustainably. This is really helpful! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Hey Liz! Just wanted to say that it doesn’t look like the links you attached are working – they all take me to the Belkin item from Target. 🙁 and I was going to purchase the YETI mug and wanted to give you credit!

      1. Thank you!! I purchased and ended up doing through one of your other posts that you had shared the YETI mug on 😊

  3. Really really valued this post! This is one of my family’s new year resolutions, not only to live more sustainably but to reduce waste, particularly of food (eg check fridge before going shopping, trying to use up what I have left if the fridge and to stop throwing out food). Thanks so much for sharing these ideas. Perhaps a series this year?! Xx

  4. Hi , Carolyn . Thanks for sharing this post ! Definitely what I needed today . One of my 2020 goals is to be more eco friendly, sooo thank you .

    Have a nice day .

  5. Nice to hear your POV, Carolyn!

    I would also love to hear more on environmentally friendly stuff from Liz’s brother!

  6. Love this post! All the little changes add up! ❤️ As a family we are working towards more and more sustainable living too. Curious if you would ever do a “thrifted finds” series or post? The more I explore there are so many great options out there in the second hand market. Xo

  7. Love these ideas. I’ve been trying to buy 2nd hand when possible or borrowing what I need instead of buying new. I love ThredUP for clothing and our local kids resale shop for clothes/toys/baby gear. Both options offer gently used items in great condition which reduces waste and saves some money(always a win!).

  8. The stacher baggies and reusable fruit and vegetable bags was literally what i have been looking for lately. My soon-to-be mother-in-law is currently living with us and has been driving me crazy with all the plastic bags she has been bringing into the house! So getting these as well as asking her to use reusable grocery bags will hopefully give the sign to stop bringing those items into our house! Also funny story, i was complaining about this to my co-workers this morning and then read the post and was like “huh! Did they secretly read my mind!”

  9. Thank you so much for this post, Carolyn!!!

    So many good and easy tips – I personally think that using less plastic and eating/shopping sustainable is so so important. We only have this planet and we are obligated to do as much as we can to save it. Think twice when buying already peeled fruits, garlic, eggs etc. Eventually our comfort isn’t as important as serving our planet 🙂

  10. Love this! I personally love Stashers – they come in different sizes, are easy to use and wash, and light enough to make snacks packable. Instead of buying individually wrapped portions of trail mix, I’ll buy in bulk and use the smallest of the Stashers and make my own. Also, I buy compostable food waste bags at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. I’ll fill one up during the week as I am cooking, and store it in the freezer. My local farmer’s market has a compost drop off, so I’ll drop off my bag even if I’m not buying anything from the farmer’s market.

  11. Love this post, Liz! I’ve slowly been making more sustainable updates to the items I utilize every day and the ways I do things and this post was so helpful! I need to try the Stasher bags to eliminate plastic bags in the house.