There are so many great ways to be kinder to the earth, reduce waste, and look after our planet a bit better. However, it’s hard to know exactly where to begin, especially when there’s so much information out there. While actions like going vegan after years of eating animal products, or starting a huge garden in your backyard are super awesome, it’s also important to know what actions are realistic for you, and what’s sustainable for your lifestyle long-term. Of course, everyone has different ideas as to what’s sustainable for them, so it’s truly an individual decision. But, if you’re looking for some new habits to be kinder to the earth, here for five realistic and sustainable ways to look after our planet. 

1. Invest in Sustainable Food Delivery Services 

When cooking is hard AF, food delivery services are a great option to have without having to put in too much effort. Certain food delivery services are also great because they’re pretty eco-friendly and sustainable. If you’re looking for a sustainable food delivery service, Daily Harvest is a great option with delicious meals like harvest bowls, soups, and smoothies. DH has transitioned into 100% compostable and recyclable packaging and according to Daily Harvest’s Founder Rachel Drori, this means that their packaging will, “break down naturally and release valuable nutrients back into the soil.” Another great service is Sunbasket, a 100% organic delivery service that is working towards 100% recycle and compostable packaging. Purple Carrot is another great option, which is an entirely plant-based delivery service. 

2. Spend Your $$ On Eco-friendly Brands & Partnerships 

Another great way to be more eco-friendly is to support sustainable and eco-friendly brands and businesses. As consumers, it’s important to consider where we’re giving our dollars to, and how our money can be incredibly impactful in sustainability. If you’re looking for a great sustainable brand to support, check out Volley, the first-ever clean tequila seltzer with only three ingredients and no fake sugars or flavorings. Volley is teaming up with Leave No Trace, a non-profit organization that seeks to preserve and protect the outdoors. Volley is committed to sustainability and preserving the environment, so they work to host cleanups on beaches and parks, as well as educational events. 

3.  Invest in Reusable Materials 

TBH, I feel like everyone I know owns a metal straw now, which is pretty awesome. Metal straws and other reusable materials and containers are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Bringing your own grocery bag to the supermarket, or investing in reusable bags are other great options. Chicobag is a great brand that makes reusable grocery bags, as well as utensil sets and food containers. If you usually put your leftovers or other things in plastic bags, try to invest in reusable bags, like Stasher bags. If you’re someone that loves getting iced coffee (tbh, who doesn’t), try making the switch to reusable cups, like KeepCup, or other reusable mugs or glasses. 

4. Reduce Your Personal Food Waste 

Waste is a huge problem in general for our planet, and a great and realistic way to reduce this is to reduce your personal food waste. One great way to do this is to begin composting if that’s not something you do already. Composing is essentially breaking down organic matter, like fruits and vegetables, into soil. A great compost bag brand to check out is Biobag. Another way to reduce food waste is to ensure that you are simply throwing out less food; this can be done by freezing food if there’s extra, or if it may go bad soon. You can also reduce food waste by trying to only buy food that you know you’re going to eat, as well as implementing FIFO. FIFO stands for First In, First Out, which is a system where you use the oldest products first and place them at the front of your fridge or pantry, and put the newest products in the back. 

5. Try to Shop Local as Much as Possible

One of the best ways to reduce our carbon footprint, and to be nicer to our planet more generally, is to try and shop local as much as possible. Of course, this is easier for some than others, as good-quality local food is more accessible in certain communities and areas. If it is possible for you, though, shopping local, either at small farmer's markets or buying local produce from grocery stores is a great way to be more sustainable and eco-friendly.