“How do I stay living sustainably while on the go?” has been a question that has been popping up all over. Everyone is busy taking kids to practices, going to work/school, seeing friends, etc. It’s so easy when you can control everything that comes into your home but how about when you are out and about and other people play a factor into things?
I started to look for articles that help people with this on-the-go sustainable lifestyle and I couldn’t find one. It’s a topic of very little conversation that many people have questions about in…so I decided to create this free challenge to help anyone I could in their journey.
It takes 21 days to create a habit and this challenge will make sustainability while on the go easy peasy for you!
What does it entail?
Throughout the 21 days you will:
- Have broken down, weekly sustainability goals to accomplish
- Join an optional Facebook Group to ask questions throughout
- Receive a list of my favorite products to make the research process simpler
What are the weekly goals like?
I have the week broken down into 3-4 cumulative goals per week, each week getting a little more in depth. So, week 1 is a little simpler than week 2’s goals but week 2 also includes week 1. Therefore, by the end of week 3, you have mastered all of the goals from the past 3 weeks.
How do I sign up to receive the challenge info?
Initially, this was a challenge that only people that signed up could enter. I decided it would probably help more people out to post the challenge too! So there is no official sign up necessary. I will be posting all of the details below.
However, please DM on Instagram when you start so I can join in on your fun!
Is it actually free?
There is no catch! It is completely free. Honestly, when there is a “challenge” or a “check-list to…” I find it way easier to follow than just a “list of 7 tips how to….”. I never actually do those, I read about them and maybe implement 2 or 3. With a challenge, you can get people collaborating and working together for a common goal. I just wanted to create a community behind it!
What you will need:
- Reusable Water Bottle
- Reusable Coffee Mug (if applicable)
- Reusable Cutlery– Kitchen cutlery works just fine!
- Reusable Produce Bags and Tote Bags
- Glass Jars
- Reusable Lunch Box
- Reusable Straw (if applicable)
- Rags- DIY
I have linked my recommended products above. They are all products I own and love. Check them out! If you choose to buy through them, I do receive a small commission to keep my content free. I am always very grateful for anyone who does so 🙂
These goals are comprehensive, meaning the first week is just the first week but the second week is all of the first week’s goals on top of the second week’s. And so on. This is to make these initiatives more of a habit for it. It takes 21 days to create a habit. We wanted all of these goals to be a habit by the end!
Week 1 Goals:
1: Bring your reusable water bottle and/or coffee mug with you every day
This swap alone can eliminate an insane amount of waste. Switch to your reusable water bottle and fill it up just about anywhere. It’s simple and much cheaper in the long run than buying plastic water bottles.
And with coffee mugs, many places give discounts if you bring your own mug! Saving money and the Earth: win-win!
2: Pack up your essentials in your purse or car: cutlery, straw, rags, produce bags
Just to start, grab your reusable bags, cutlery, straw, rags(etc) from your house and throw them in your purse or car. Personally, I am backpack purse loyal so I just toss it in my purse and I always have my reusables with me.
My everyday items in my purse are reusable bags, a stainless steel straw, a rag (because I am quite messy), and cutlery. I personally don’t need a straw for many instances but they take up very little room so why not. So, grab the essentials that you use regularly and toss them somewhere you will always have them.
As a back up to my back up, I have an adorable 2-inch bamboo spork that I keep in my wallet. Just in-case I ever grab my wallet and not my purse, I always have a spoon and a fork. If you want to check them out, here’s my review on it. I love mine.
3: Research your favorite restaurants in the area that have a dine-in option or are committed to sustainable practices
One of the hardest parts for me creating waste on the go is going out to eat. It’s so hard to pick a fast food place that you do not get plastic on plastic as a side of your meal. So, do a little digging about your favorite fast-food chains. This way when trying to decide where to go, you can pick one that allows you to dine-in with actual dishes or that are at least trying to make sustainable moves as an organization.
Some of my favorites are Panera, Chipotle and Noodles & Company. Noodles and Panera allow you to dine in on actual dishes that they wash for you allowing your stop to be waste-free. And Chipotle uses organic produce, gives meals to people in need, donates all their own furniture, has an extensive recycling program, and so many more initiatives. It’s so exciting. Other chains like McDonalds and Subway are starting to make a change with eliminating styrofoam and other plastic products but aren’t quite at the other levels yet… hopefully, we’ll get there soon.
4: Pick up 2 pieces of litter every day
Now, this is just a little goal that can take 30 seconds out of your day and can make a huge impact.
If I see something on the ground that doesn’t look like it could hurt me or make me extremely sick (gotta protect yourself first, right?), then I try to make an effort to pick it up. Normally my daily items consist of candy wrappers, cigarette butts, plastic cutlery, straws- just simple things that you can pick up and toss in the garbage. Start this challenge by trying to clean up the community around you. It is often a rippling effect when people see you do it, you inspire others too.
Week 2 Goals:
1: All of week 1’s goals
Focus on the ones you had trouble with last week. If you rocked it, keep doing your thang.
2: Pack lunch and snacks in reusable containers every day
Here is an article about the best alternatives to plastic sandwich bags. My personal favorite is the Stasher Bag. They absolutely rock. They keep my food good for weeks. Seriously, a half-cut avocado lasts for like 2 weeks. They’re incredible. Check out that article for the best options- jars, stasher bags, beeswax wraps, oh my!
3: Make an emergency car crate
I saw this idea on Heidi Violet’s (@zerowastechica) on Instagram. She has an actual milk crate in the trunk of her car with all of her emergency essentials in it. This has been such a game changer for spontaneous trips anywhere.
Just pack up a few tote bags, mason jars, produce bags, leftover containers, cutlery, an old coffee mug, and anything you think you may need on the go. She leaves it in her car just as a back up in case she ever forgets her reusable. It is a great way to always have items with you, keep it all organized, and be the most prepared person EVER. Make your own this week and see how much you use it!
This doesn’t mean you have to buy a second set of items either. Just use things you have at home. To-go mugs, metal cutlery, bags, etc.
4: Refuse straws while going out to eat
This is such a simple thing that can make a big impact. 500 million plastic straws are used PER DAY in the USA. They are used on average for 15 minutes. Something so little can fly in the wind and end up in natural areas that animals can ingest.
Next time you go out to eat, add “with no straw please” to your drink order. It’s simple and honestly, servers like it! My order is just “Can I have a water with no straw please?” and normally they comment about “saving the sea turtles” or “save the plastic” or something along those lines. They get it! You have nothing to fear!
Week 3 Goals:
1: Continue Week’s 1 and 2 Goals
2: Bring home your compostable or recyclables from your packed lunch
Composting alone can cut down 30% of your waste. The reason composting is so important is because when food is thrown into landfills, it breaks down and emits methane. Methane is actually stronger and sticks in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. By composting, you stop this process from happening.
So, at work this week, if you have any items that are compostable left over (banana peels, egg shells, etc), bring them home and toss them in your compost. If you don’t compost at home, freeze your food scraps and bring the scraps to a local community compost pit. This is what I do when I am at school!
As for recycling, if your office or school doesn’t have facilities to recycle, bring it home!
3: Refuse the free junk
This is talking about promotional paperwork, samples, junk mail, etc. Anything that people try to give you that you don’t need, try to simply say “no thanks”. This is something that is hard for me because I don’t want to make people feel bad but I always just end up throwing it away or having trash leftover from the sample.
As for junk mail, you can write “return to sender” on it and put it back in your mailbox and they will take you off of the list. For emails, unsubscribe. Declutter your life!
4: Use your reusable bags at a grocery store run
Yes, you have them in your car or purse. But have you been using them? Give it a try this week! It feels great when you leave, have all your reusable bags and food that you can’t wait to cook up. Woo!
Give it a try and tell me how it goes!
That’s it!! Those are all of the goals and description for your 21 day Sustainability On The Go Challenge! I hope you find this helpful in honing in on your sustainable lifestyle. Please let me know if you commit to the challenge, I would love to help you through it!
More posts to help you with your sustainable living journey:
- How to Reduce Anxiety in a Zero Waste Lifestyle
- 6 Tips to a More Sustainable Laundry Routine
- Sustainable Living On A Budget