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Small stuff …. How to Reduce Your Consumption

beauty blogger Sarah telesca
Written By Sarah Telesca
On 10/17/2021

Sustainability is an imperfect journey that starts with small stuff.

The day-to-day small stuff we can do. Little by little. To make a bigger difference. It goes further than you might think.  And feels better than you might think.  Easy little habit changes …. Might seem inconsequential. BUT …. It’s funny how they work. They get reinforced over time …. With new attitudes. Resolve. Even …. Joy.  The joy that comes from taking care of something precious and being a part of something positive. And important.

So why not? Get started. With the small stuff :)    


Reusable coffee cups

Try Stojo. Their cups collapse into a tiny disc after you’ve finished your oat capp and these btchs will. not. leak!


Reusable bags

Toss one or two in your bag when you leave and never have to pay a paper bag fee to use single-use plastic bags again! Be careful not to overconsume the bags themselves though, as cotton uses tons of water to grow and process.  If you do need one, consider hemp, recycled plastic, or an upcycled bag made from pre-loved clothing.


Metal or silicone straws

Suck it up, baby! Straws tend to be one of those things you grab for your cocktail of iced coffee without thinking, but those suckers (yes, that was on purpose) add up fast. Metal and silicone are both great options because they won’t break, are easy to clean and sanitize, and silicone ones are so easy to fold up into even the tiniest mini bag.


Bar soap

Liquid soap uses so much plastic, most of it non-recyclable— your hands might be clean, but you’ll leave the earth dirtier. Bar soaps also are more likely to have less complicated ingredients and less (if any) stabilizers than liquid soap, and they disappear without a trace! Look for ones that are package-free or come in easy-to-recycle cardboard boxes or paper wrapping.


Bamboo toothbrushes

Plastic toothbrushes, be gone. We’ve all had ‘em. But did you know there’s a better option? Enter: bamboo! Not only is bamboo 100% compostable, but it looks chic as hell in your bathroom counter. Your booty call is going to be totally impressed


Shampoo and conditioner bars

Solid shampoo and conditioner bars have come a long way— you can find them in a rainbow of colors and an array of scents and formulas: moisturizing, repairing, clarifying, strengthening— basically, anything you can buy in a plastic bottle, you can get in a bar. Bonus points? One bar can last you up to 50 washes, and like bar soap, once they’re done, they’re gone!


Reusable paper towels aka cloth cleaning towels

Swap out your (unrecyclable) plastic-wrapped paper towels for reusable cloth towels. Paper towels actually suck, as they create methane gas when sent to landfills. On the other hand, you can invest in a handful of chic towels and reusable cloth towels that can be washed. and washed. and washeddddd.


Reusable safety razor

Never worry about running out of or buying razors again. Lots of chic metal razors out there have packs of blade replacements for pennies per blade. They last a lifetime. Added bonus .... single-blade razors will leave skin less prone to razor burn and follicle infections because they are a breeze to clean and sanitize. For serious. Ask your derm.


Almond or coconut oil + reusable cotton rounds

If you’re still using single-use makeup wipes, it’s time to let them go for a cheaper, more simplistic alternative: reusable cotton rounds or an old cotton t-shirt + a non-comedogenic oil, like almond or coconut oil. They are super effective and completely biodegradable! If you need a heavy-duty remover, go for coconut oil, otherwise a soft almond oil will do the trick. Don’t forget to double-cleanse!


Bamboo dish brush

Enough with the bacteria-filled, synthetic sponges that make you gag when you smell it. Bamboo dish brushes are a more sanitary option— bamboo is naturally antibacterial, fck yeah— and you can compost the whole damn brush once it’s past its prime. Easy!


Give your products second lives

Look for ways to reuse instead of sending straight to the recycling or trash bin. Single sock? Aka a new rag. Clothes you no longer wear can be given to a younger cousin or upcycled into something even cooler than the original. Empty containers can be painted and given a new life as bobby pin holders. The possibilities are limitless!



A couple of options here, depending on where you live. There’s at-home composting - where you toss your food scraps with dirt and other paper waste in a bin to be broken down into super-nutrient-rich soil. But, that’s best for a yard or outdoor space.  Full disclosure: the smells can get funky! OR …. Just save your food scraps (no meat, oils, or acids, please!) in your freezer (to eliminate the stank) and drop them at a compost collection bin. Check your local farmer's markets or community gardens! 

OK by now …. You’re probably wondering …. “Why bother? What difference does this really make?  Isn’t this all just a drop in the bucket?”  

Maybe …. Maybe not. Guess it depends on how you look at the bucket. 

A single drop won’t fill it. No. But a hell of a lot of drops? Yea .…  that’s called an ocean.

And it’s waaaay bigger than any stupid bucket.

start small