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Avocado Green Team Series: Low-Waste Lifestyle

Jan. 27, 2020Avocado Green Brands is not just a green company focused on making healthy sleep accessible to all — it’s also a community supporting a green lifestyle.



The Avocado Green Team is passionate about earth-friendly habits and sustainable practices. Discussions around the offices often range from tools that help balance your own carbon footprint, to intentional and mission-driven banking, or even a delicious vegan taco recipe we want to master over the weekend.

We are on a constant search to live more sustainably and want to share some of our favorite low-waste traveling and at-home tips with our readers. So I caught up with the team to see how they’re living more mindfully. Follow along for simple switches you can make today, whether you’re at-home or on-the-go.

Travel Tips

#1—The Only Stash We Need

“When I travel, I use a Stasher bag for my liquids. Unlike single-use bags, you can use your sturdy Stasher bag again and again without it breaking down. I’ll admit that many times I don’t even unpack it between trips. I use a couple more Stashers for some snacks (always have to have them, especially when I’m not sure when I might come across a healthy travel snack!). Stasher bags have a tight seal, so it is not going to leak all over your stuff if there’s an explosion! Not only are they better for the environment, but they are also far superior to old school baggies. This is one sustainable product that I think we should all have and is an easy fix to single-use.” — Annie G.

 
 

#2—Bring a Drinking Buddy

“I’m a fanatic about drinking at least 3 liters of water every day. Traveling can make this slightly more difficult, but not impossible. If you’re a minimalist with a “carry-on only” mentality, check out Stojo’s new collapsible bottle, which wins in both looks and functionality. If you have a bit more space and don’t mind adding some heft to your bag, bkr’s 1 Liter Glass Bottles require fewer refills. My top tip for finding filtered water before exploring: Visit the hotel gym — whether you plan to sweat it out or not, they always have a filtered water dispenser!”  — Jessica H.

 
 

#3—Don’t Leave Without The Essentials

Our Sustainability Lead is always ready for her next adventure. Whether she’s traveling overseas or staying in the states, she’s sharing the easiest checklist for us to keep in mind while packing. “On every trip I go on, I bring four essential items: a Nalgene water bottle, collapsible Tupperware, a reusable shopping bag, and a titanium utensil that’s a fork on one side and a spoon on the other. These four items prevent me from using so much waste. Oh, and I can never leave without my DivaCup (life changing)!” — Bri D.

#4—Use What You Already Have

“It’s become very popular to buy reusable cutlery like bamboo sets. They’re definitely better than plastic, but I think it is more sustainable to use what you already have and minimize purchasing as much as possible. I like recommending these cutlery pouches. You can pack your fork and spoon from home. I usually carry two around to store used cutlery.” — Dia W. 

Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

At Home Hacks

#1—Think Locally

“I try to go to my local farmer’s market once a week. It’s close enough to home that I can walk (or ride my bike), so it’s doubly sustainable and saves me a trip in the car. Most everything I find there isn’t packaged, which I love, and cuts back on all of the plastic I find at a regular grocery store. It supports local farmers and is in season, so I know the produce isn’t being shipped crazy far distances either. Every couple of weeks there’s a bulk refill station for soaps, detergents, and all sorts of cleaning products, so I try to bring leftover bottles and jars. I love my farmers market!” — Laura S.

#2—Paper Towels Are Way Overrated

“The U.S. spends $5.7 billion on paper towels every year — more than the rest of the world combined. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, that translates to 7.4 billion pounds of waste! Yikes. (Further reading: “Americans Are Weirdly Obsessed With Paper Towels.”) 

Thing is, paper towels are pretty easy to avoid. Sometime in the last year, my wife and I stopped buying them. Instead, we got a handful of these super cute sponge cloths from Kei & Molly. They’re made just down the road from us, in Albuquerque, by a couple whose mission is to support the lives of immigrants and refugees in the community — that’s who makes up the bulk of their staff. We usually use one of the absorbent rags for a week or so then rinse it and toss it in the laundry bin for a refresh. 

 
 

To be honest, sometimes we have a mess that is truly dreadful — the result of having two dogs who eat every semi-edible thing they can sniff out. We keep a stash of retired, cut-up towels and t-shirts to take care of these lovely little horrors — and save our cute little cloths for everyday spills and wipes.” — John D.

And if you want to take it step further, you can also start opting for tree-friendly toilet paper as well.

#3—Every Bit of Water Counts

Not long ago, I began to think more deeply about the amount of water used while washing the dishes and taking a shower. Aside from cutting the time of my showers down, I still wanted to continue to reduce my water footprint, so I decided to start placing my watering can inside of the shower, allowing it to collect the water as it’s warming up. With this simple hack, I am able to have enough unused water to share with my plants when they are thirsty. — Christine C.

Photo by Adrian Duenas on Unsplash

#4—The Beloved Jar of Tomato Paste

If you’re like me, chances are your Instagram feed is filled with tips to help you reduce your waste. Some of my favorite influencers are those driving change with thrifting or sharing recipes to making your own fire cider. So naturally when I stumbled upon this life-changing tip, I knew I had to give it a try.

Since I’m still a beginner when it comes to cooking, I don’t feel I’m ready to make my own pasta sauce from scratch. Instead, I use organic tomato paste as my base. The problem with that is that I don’t always need to use the whole jar, and you can’t really keep an open jar in the refrigerator for that long. And I definitely don’t want that leftover paste to go to waste.

So I learned that I could actually just freeze the extra paste into cubes until the next time I need to make more sauce! — Christine C.

 
 

#5—You Can Pickle That

Making your own pickled beets, parsnips, and pickles is a great way to stop a not-so-fresh vegetable from going to waste. “My partner and I have been making an attempt to reduce food waste by pickling and fermenting rinds or peels whenever possible.” — Maurissa D.

#6—Smart Energy

Our lovely and talented interior designer shares the steps that she and her partner are taking to green their home. “We are doing a few things at our home to become more sustainable and reduce our waste. To start, we recently gave up paper towels and started using cloth napkins for eating and cleaning. We also use all biodegradable soap for our personal and cleaning care. My dream is to one day install a grey water system in our home to recycle our grey water to irrigate our yard and garden! And we also signed up for Arcadia Power, so now all our energy at home is pulled from wind or solar!” — Joanna H.

Photo by sheri silver on Unsplash

#7—Avoid Packaging and Buy Bulk

“Some small things I’ve done to try to be zero-waste (or less-waste) are: using washable cotton rounds instead of cotton pads that get thrown away after one use for makeup/skincare, refilling hand soap from SustainLA (store that has refill stations for skincare/body products and natural home cleaners), and using Ethique shampoo and body bars instead of shampoo/body wash liquid that comes in plastic bottles.” — Liz F.

 

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Want to share your sustainable travel and home tips? Continue the conversation and join us on our journey! @AvocadoMattress and #AvocadoGreenLiving

Christine Carpio

By Christine Carpio

 —  Christine shares her contagious passion for green living with a deep love for literature, sustainability, and adventures in the woods. She has always dreamt about living a more simple life, like her hero, Henry David Thoreau, tucked away in the woods to “live deliberately” and “learn what the woods had to teach.”

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