This post first appeared in our weekly Make Waves Mondays email series on November 7, 2022.
Hey friend! Have you seen the news?? We’ve launched our annual Holiday Collection over at A Drop in the Ocean and officially decked the virtual halls with all things winter and festive ❄️🎄🐧
I was never one to really get into the holiday spirit until a couple of years ago when I decided to go all-in with the holidays for the shop.
And ever since then, this is the time of year I look forward to.
The warm scents. The festive designs. The excitement that comes with unboxing all the new products.
It may be an absolutely exhausting time as a retail shop owner (😅) but it really does bring me so much joy - and I hope that it brings you joy each year, too.
I hope that you find joy in sustainability.
I hope that you find joy in sharing sustainability.
I hope that you find joy in finding the perfect sustainable gifts for your loved ones.
And as we come upon the time of year that’s become characterized by overconsumption and the overwhelming messaging that we must give our loved ones physical gifts, I was reminded of a simple lesson in living sustainably…
Use what you have.
For Halloween, my partner and I made plans to buy an obscene amount of candy, sprawl out on the couch, and watch Paranormal Activity in the dark.
And after our recon trip to Winco for the blog all about sustainable Halloween candy, we were making mental notes of all the bulk candy we couldn’t wait to get our hands on. (Yes, we’re in our late twenties and still getting amped up for Halloween candy 😆)
So Monday night I raided my kitchen drawers and found a stash of plastic Ziploc bags that I’ve accumulated over the years. TBH I have no idea where they come from, but I still save them all, rather than throw them in the bin.
I tossed those plastic baggies in a reusable shopping bag and off we went to load up on Reese’s pieces, sour gummy worms, chocolate-covered orange peels, and more.
And the next day, I was struck by how simply sustainable that act was.
We didn’t have fancy organic cotton bulk bags.
We didn’t have matching mason jars.
It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t Instagram-worthy. But it was practical. And it was sustainable.
We just used what we had.
And that, my friend, is the #1 sustainability pro-tip I can offer you.
Use what you have.
There are three reminders I live by (and operate this shop by):
- We cannot consume our way into a sustainable future for all living things.
- The most sustainable product is the one you didn’t buy.
- The only thing worse than a single-use product is a zero-use product.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the zero waste Instagram aesthetic.
It’s easy to think you need to go out and buy a whole bunch of bags or matching mason jars or new sets of bamboo utensils.
But my challenge to you, friend, is this:
Shop your own home first. See what you can reuse in creative ways. How can you use what you already have to solve a problem?
Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do.
There’s no sense in using new resources and spending extra money if you don’t have to.
So tell me, friend, what’s something in your home you can reuse rather than purchase new? Brag about it in the comments below!