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10 Ways to be More Eco-Aware

10 Ways to be More Eco-Aware

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.


June 5th, 2015 is World Environment Day 2015. A day declared by the United Nations to increase worldwide awareness of the state of the environment.

You may be aware that the earth is in a state of despair. Something needs to be done to change our habits, and our ways, now.

As a brand that is eco-aware and constantly looking at reducing our carbon footprint, we happily celebrate and promote this day.

I find eco-friendly/eco-consciousness to be a highly 'judged' topic. Even for us, a brand using eco-friendly materials, there is no 'perfect' fabric. In reality, any consumption could be viewed as harmful to the environment, however people need to live, eat, and wear clothing. There are better alternatives to doing all of the three things.

The theme for World Environment Day 2015 is sustainable consumption + production. "Seven billion dreams. One planet. Consume with care"

Everyone lives in fear of 'greenwashing', yet when it comes to buying more eco-friendly products, price is always the inhibitor. You can't have it both ways. There is a price for eco, just as there is a price for cheap.

What I'm encouraging you to do is educate yourself, your friends, family and children on eco-awareness. Choose and buy better. Take action.

There are many little things that you can do every day, that will bring about small positive change for the state of our planet. Practice these daily + your small change will have massive impact.

10 Ways to be more Eco-Aware

1. Pick up Garbage {Yes, even if it's not yours}

Littering is just disgusting, but it's also bad to think that it's not your problem either. I used to love garbage cleanup days as a kid. The opportunity to take a forgotten park area strewn with debris, and make it new again was invigorating.

So, if you see obvious {easy} garbage on the ground. Pick it up. Keep some plastic bags in your car to do so, as to avoid dirtying your hands, or store gloves in your backseat. Better yet- participate or organize a neighbourhood cleanup.

2. Drive Less

I know public transit is a slog, especially in cities like mine where it's not accessible to all pockets of downtown. However, cars, and specifically their use of oil is extremely detrimental to the environment. Dedicate one day a week where you will walk or take public transit or carpool.

3. Choose + Buy Better

Read labels before you buy clothing, food and home goods. Where was it made? What is it made from? There are certain materials and ingredients which are not only toxic to the environment during production but also post-consumption. 

Resources to get your started:

Buying better produce --> Clean Fifteen list + Dirty dozen 

Is your T-Shirt toxic? A guide to buying better clothing

Ethical consumer guide

4. Recycle

It's shocking to me, when I travel in the US that certain states / cities still do not have city-wide recycling programs. Ugh! 

Recycling is such an easy way to put materials back into the eco-system for reuse. This detailed guide to recycling will reduce your weekly garbage output. 

5. Subscribe to Feedly's Environmental Feeds 

Feedly, or any other blog / article aggregator is a great place to start for educating yourself and your family on the environment. You'll get the latest updates on initiatives, how you can take part, eco-technology developments, and the state of the environment. Knowing is caring.

6. If you can't recycle it, up-cycle it.

Upcycling is the process of taking a material that is otherwise garbage, and turning it into something purposeful and useful. A good example is candles. I often clean out the wax once they are done and use them as makeup brush cups, pencil holders, plant pots and even mugs. Here's a cool board from pinterest full of upcycling ideas.

7. Do more with Less

Often a controversial statement, especially for a clothing brand to make, however I firmly believe in buying better, investing in well-made clothing and other goods, and buying less. 

Our society has a tendency through trends like technology and fast fashion to make us want the latest and greatest ALL the time. It's taken the respect, and value out of our clothing and goods. Things are now built to fall apart, and media makes you want something you don't even need. 

Think before you buy. Ask yourself if you really need it. And make thoughtful, mindful purchasing decisions.

8. Swap your cleaning goods with eco-ones

Household cleaning products are notoriously toxic to the environment. When they run down our drains, they are polluting our water supply, not to mention the impact on yourself and your family. 

One of my favourite non-toxic cleaning products is white vinegar. Real Simple has several good alternatives in their article here.

9. Stop using paper towels + napkins

This one is easy! Instead of paper towels, create a reusable roll of paper towels {DIY here} or buy organic cloths to use to wipe up spills, and clean counters with. Easy to wash, and reuse.

Paper napkins MUST go. Get organic cotton napkins that are washable or better yet, make your own {DIY here}. 

10. Swap your beauty products for natural products

In Toronto right now, there is a campaign to 'ban the beads'. These are those 'microbeads' found in products such as hand wash, toothpaste and body wash.

They are so small that they pass through filters in our filtration plants, and essentially pollute our waters with 'plastic soup' which is then ingested by marine life.

Stop buying these products immediately, and instead use sea salt as an exfoliant {amazing DIY body scrub recipes here}. Sign the petition to Ban the bead here.

I hope you'll see that it's easy to make small changes in your life that will positively impact our eco-system.

Done consistently, you'll forget you're even making a better choice as they will just become part of your life and routine.

What ONE way will you implement today? Comment below!

With wanderlust,

Chief Fashionpreneur, encircled

Love travel? Join our League of Travelistas -- a community for women who love to travel. Click her to request access to our private facebook group.

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