every bit helps.

Leslie | hanni blog author   by Stefanie | 06.03.21

Let's take a few minutes to chat about something that affects everyone's daily lives - sustainability. Though sustainability is certainly an oft-used buzzword, what exactly does it mean? According to Oxford Languages, sustainability refers to "avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance." And what is one of the biggest, baddest threats to our ecological balance? Our rampant and indiscriminate use of plastics.

In 1907, just as women's shaving was slowly becoming more mainstream, a man named Leo Baekeland invented the world's first true synthetic plastic called Bakelite. It was dubbed "the material of a thousand uses" which we know now was a gross understatement.

Though the invention of Bakelite paved the way for just about every major modern achievement known to humankind, there's no way people could have known just how big of an impact it would have on our planet.

Plastics are notoriously difficult to fully break down and even when they do, they really just morph into microscopic plastic particles. So what does that mean? It means that every single piece of plastic that has EVER been produced is still around in some form or another. Even scarier, most plastic produced after 1950 is still sitting in a landfill in its original form.

But what can we, as individuals, really do to help improve these stats? Becoming more eco-friendly can seem like a daunting or overwhelming task, so here are 5 easy ways you, as a conscious consumer, can make a difference in the fight against plastics. Small steps and no-pressure. You've got this.

1. Say No to Plastic Razors
Not only are plastic razors unwieldy, uneconomical and sorely lacking in the aesthetics department, they are also an ecological nightmare. More than TWO BILLION plastic razors and cartridges are thrown into landfills every year! In the past you would be hard-pressed to find a sustainable shaving option, but that’s where we come in. Our stainless steel razor and 100% recyclable blades can help make a significant dent in that statistic. Additional bonus - our shave pillow allows you to shave in or out of the shower, which helps reduce water waste. Unbelievably smooth legs for you and way less trash for Mother Earth - it's a win-win all the way around.

2. Break Up with Plastic Bags
This is nothing new. Plastic bags have been banned in quite a few countries and even in the great state of California. The UK started charging patrons for plastic bags back in 2016 and that was enough of a deterrent to cut plastic bag usage in grocery stores by 95%! Even though the United States had been slower to jump on the no plastic bag bandwagon, there are about a million reusable bag options out there that are cost - effective, cute and hard working so stock up and stash them in your purse, car and gym bag - its an effortless way to elevate your sustainability standing.

3. Stop Chewing Gum
Fact - most chewing gum is made of plastic. We're not talking about the wrappers here people, we mean the ACTUAL GUM! Yeah this was kind of a wtf moment for us too. Back in the day, chewing gum was made from the natural rubber found in tree sap called chicle. But advances in technology in the 1940s led to the discovery of the synthetic rubber that makes up most of the plastic in our gum today. So ditch that polyvinyl acetate, commonly referred to as "gum base" on packaging. Keep it out of your mouth, off the sidewalks and away from animals. The Earth will thank you and so will the soles of shoes everywhere.

4. Feed the Fur Children From Stainless Steel or Ceramic Bowls
Here's one you may not have thought of - plastic pet bowls are all kinds of bad news. Not only can the material harbor nasty bacteria like salmonella, but they are almost impossible to truly sanitize when washing dishes by hand or even using the dishwasher. If that wasn't bad enough, drinking and eating from bacteria - laden bowls can cause our fur babies to breakout! Seriously, pet acne, especially on the chin, is very common, especially for our feline friends. One of the leading culprits? Yep, you guessed it - the big P. Try investing in some chic ceramic bowls or go for an industrial vibe with stainless steel. Either way, Fluffy, and her chin, will thank you.

5. Throw a Zero-Waste Party

As we all start to emerge from pandemic-induced isolation, here's a fabulous way to start socializing and be eco-conscious at the same time. Plan a potluck where plastic wrap is verboten, guests bring their own takeaway containers for leftovers and single - use plates and silverware are off the table. Do it up - dress up and break out the good china or hold a laid - back soiree and opt for mismatched dishes and chipped old mugs. However you let loose, remember that you can go green and still get your party on! We'll just keep an eye out for our evite.