Shannon and I are thrilled to start the new year and all the great things happening with Lemon & Lavender. Our new space will be finalizing its renovations, and with it, we thought, what a great time to give all our wonderful customers, who are also on this journey to a more sustainable lifestyle with us, a simple (and rewarding) avenue to do so. So over the past month, we've been brainstorming simple steps everyone can take to move from the Convenient to Conscious. This is a mantra we've had from the beginning, and from the start, we both have been passionate about being part of the change. So we hope you will also.
Here's how it works. Each month we are going to have One Simple Step for you to incorporate into your life to help you be more eco-conscious. Some of you may already being doing these, and that's great! We want everyone to join in whether you are already doing these or just getting started. And every time each month that you are following this habit, take a pic and post onto Instagram and tag Lemon & Lavender @lemonandlavendermadison as well as @2023convenienttoconscious. At the end of each month, we will select one person who posted to receive a prize! We will be announcing the prizes as we go each month. And by sharing your journey with others, you are helping to motivate them to treat everyday like it's Earth Day!
So, without further adieu, here's the list (Drumroll Please)....
January - No Plastic Straws. January 3rd is National drinking Straw Day (that's the day in 1888 the patent for paper drinking straw was received). According to Strawless Ocean, it's estimated that we use more than 500 million straws every day in America - most of which ends up in our oceans.
February - Switch to Wool Dryer Balls - Wool dryer balls separate clothes to allow more air in them, eliminating post-cycle wrinkle. Sustainably designed to reduce drying time, these dryer balls reduce energy consumption too. They last up to 1,000 loads and are 100% biodegradable.
March - Pack your lunch for work - March 10th is National Pack Your Own Lunch Day. Here are some great tips for an eco-conscious lunch - opt for reusable snack bags, use a Thermos for hot or cold items, pack bamboo utensils, washable napkins, pack dips in reusable cups, and pour drinks into a reusable water bottle. Food waste has a huge impact on the environment, with almost 1.3 billion tons of food ending up in landfills where it rots, producing harmful methane gas. Instead of leaving your leftovers from dinner to sit in the fridge until you eventually throw them away, reduce food waste by bringing them to work, but don't forget your reusable containers!
April - Buy organic - Organic farming rebuilds soil health, results in greater biodiversity, releases fewer greenhouse emissions, and doesn't rely on non-renewable oil-based fertilizers and pesticides.
May - Switch to Fair Trade coffee. Fair trade is environmentally responsible. It helps small farmers cultivate their lands in a sustainable manner. When farmers are paid fairly, they don't need to cut down forests to plant more coffee crops. Fair trade changes farmers' lives and improves their communities.
June - Switch to a bamboo toothbrush. Bamboo has a smaller ecological footprint than plastic because bamboo plants grow quickly, regrowing what was taken for the production of the toothbrush. Bamboo, also biodegradable, is used in its raw form, such as for toothbrush handles.
July - Ditch the Plastic Bags - July 3rd is International Plastic Bag Free Day - move to reusable bags instead. If you're heading to the grocery store, bring your own bags rather than using a single-use plastic bag. You'll do your part in reducing the number of plastic bags we use a year (a shocking 100 billion in America alone).
August - Use refillable bottles instead of plastic bottles. This month try to drink only water from a reusable bottle - you'll not only save money but also help reduce some 8 million tons of plastic bottles that end up in the ocean each year.
September - September 16th is National Cleanup Day - Take a run and pick up trash along the way - This is a trend started in Sweden back in 2016. It is called "Plogging" ("jogging" and "plocka upp", a Swedish term that means "picking up". Besides being healthy for you, it combats plastic pollution, saves wildlife, and reduces social costs.
October - Be Energy Efficient - October 6th is Energy Efficiency Day - Ways you can be more energy efficient: lower your thermostat while you aren't home, start a compost pile, install low-flow shower heads, turn off unnecessary water, replace incandescent bulbs, unplug unused chargers, don't wash with hot water - this is just to name a few.
November - Make a sustainable recipe this month (especially for Thanksgiving). A sustainable diet has "low environmental impacts that contribute to food and nutritional security and to healthy lives for present and future generations." These diets frequently seek to reduce the environmental impact of the whole contributing food system. You can easily Google "sustainable recipes", but they are generally plant-based, especially with vegetables that are in-season. We will be posting multiple "sustainable recipes" all month.
December - Use biodegradable or Recyclable wrapping paper. Avoid wrapping paper that is full of color, glitter or other embellishments which cannot be recycled. Thick, non-colored, cardboard type wrapping paper can be recycled. Check the label. Bows and ribbon cannot be recycled. So if you want a ribbon, opt for cloth ribbon that can be reused. Or go into nature and find natural embellishments for your presents.