Going green

Four easy ways to live sustainably


by Ainsley Shaw, Reporter

Sustainable living is a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources and personal resources. This method is especially crucial to modern society today because of climate change, global warming and resource depletion are increasingly real and big threats to our Earth. Sustainable living is an opportunity for people to not only reduce their carbon footprints but to also be a force of positive change in the world.

Reduce, reuse, recycle (and compost)!

A phrase as old as time yet one that still rings true today. Reduce your carbon footprint by buying items that use as little packaging as possible. Reuse plastic and paper grocery bags when grocery shopping. However, purchasing reusable grocery bags is the best option because they’re sturdy and don’t use any plastic. Recycle your cans, glass, paper, etc. to reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfills and dumps. But, make sure to rinse out and clean your items before recycling them because they are unusable if dirty. Create your own compost bin at home in your backyard or garden to keep extra materials out of landfills. Compost adds nutrients to the soil to help plants grow. Compostable materials include food scraps such as eggshells, fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds, tea bags, nutshells, etc. 

Eat locally

Eating locally is a great and simple option for sustainable living. Lakeline Mall & University Oaks Shopping Center in Round Rock host weekly Farmers’ Markets every Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Purchasing from these markets benefits the environment by helping to maintain and keep green spaces open. In addition, if you bring your own reusable grocery bags, no plastic is involved or wasted. Buying local produce is arguably healthier than buying from the grocery store because it’s grown locally. There’s less travel time from their farms to you than grocery store trucks and the farmers can tell you face-to-face where it’s grown, how it’s grown and what is added in the process.


Use metal straws, silverware and water bottles


Ditch your plastic straws, silverware and water bottles to make the switch to metal. Plastic is extremely harmful as it can venture into our oceans and hurt sea creatures such as sea turtles. The animals can mistake it for food or get caught in it and in some cases die. In addition, plastic is a huge contributor to the growing amount of litter and waste on our Earth. Bring metal silverware to work/school for lunch instead of purchasing disposable plastic silverware. Metal straws are reusable so you only need to purchase one. They are portable as well so you can take it with you everywhere you go! Click here to purchase a metal straw today.


Shop second-hand


Ditch fast fashion stores that abuse their workers and deplete natural resources without making up for it with their clothing quality. Instead, purchase your clothing from thrift and consignment stores. Plus, you can repurpose old clothing pieces in new and different ways. For example, turn jeans you don’t wear anymore into shorts. Personally, I prefer to thrift shop because I like what I find there and it costs less for items that usually last longer than fast fashion. Shop for local second-hand clothing at stores like Goodwill, Savers, Buffalo Exchange, Flamingo’s and Lo-Fi.