It’s only a matter of time before your town or a town near you stops using plastic bags. Make 2020 the year you ramp up your eco-friendliness…

As an environmental advocate and resident of Newark, NJ, air pollution is a major cause for concern. Besides the massive amounts of industry and traffic in the area, Newark is also home to the region’s largest garbage incinerator, where area residents have to deal with negative health and environmental impacts. While the issue of healing the environment is complex and vast, we can begin the process by individually taking simple small steps that create powerful collective change. Here are 4 of my favorite hacks for living with making less waste:

Carry a compact reusable bag: any reusable bag will do, though a compact one that fits into the pocket of a backpack or purse may be easier to use consistently. My favorite reusable bag is made of a lightweight polyester and folds up neatly for easy storage when not in use.

Save and reuse your glass bottles: whether you’re filling them up with water or your favorite beverage of choice, giving your glass bottles a second life may result in less plastic waste and improved flavor quality in your beverages, unlike plastic that may leach harmful chemicals.

Invest in a travel mug for coffee or tea: are these beverages you consume near daily? I do. Whether you prepare your warm drinks at home, in the office, or at your local cafe, investing in a well-made travel mug will have great returns, both for the environment and your experience keeping your favorite drinks warmer longer.

Skip the plastic fork: how often do you order take-out to eat at home or in the office? Try skipping the plastic fork. Personally, I prefer eating with a metal fork myself. Besides the waste, disposable forks can be small and flimsy. Believe me; it’s not a big deal, just let the restaurant know you don’t need it. In the end, it also saves them money.

For more tips on ramping up your sustainable habits, stay tuned to more journal posts by subscribing to my list.

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