Becoming sustainable can feel overwhelming and daunting. It is easy to throw in the towel and question whether your actions are making a meaningful impact on the daunting issue; climate change. However, all of our decisions collectively impact the environment, and it is vital to actively choose to be sustainable and minimize waste as often as possible.
Small steps like acknowledging wasteful habits and choosing to change them or shopping at businesses committed to sustainable practices make a difference. In Philadelphia alone, there are so many resources that make eco-friendly shopping and implementing sustainable practices easy and convenient:
- Good Buy Supply - https://goodbuysupply.co
o Since its opening in November of 2020, Good Buy Supply has provided residents of Philadelphia with an abundance of low-waste, plastic-free alternatives to fit their everyday needs. Keeping stores like Good Buy Supply in mind when purchasing new household items like coffee filters, dish soap, or hand towels is an easy way to start incorporating sustainability into your everyday practices.
- Ray’s Reusables - https://raysreusables.com
o Located in the heart of Northern Liberties, Ray’s Reusables makes eco-friendly shopping easy. They offer a wide range of items for refilling and host events centered around sustainability, such as clothing swaps and bring-your-own candle fills. Its next event is a plant swap, where people are encouraged to come with their pots and propagated plants to trade with the other people there. The swap is April 15th at 1 PM in its Northern Liberties store, and it would be a great way to meet other people committed to improving their sustainability!
- The Rounds - https://www.therounds.co
o The Rounds is a zero-waste refill delivery service that conveniently provides high-quality, sustainable goods. The Rounds is a subscription service that works with local businesses to deliver household staple items like pasta, chia seeds, hot sauce, or diapers in sero-waste packaging. The Rounds started in Philly but has expanded to Atlanta, DC, and Miami. The Rounds is a simple and affordable option for anyone looking to become less wasteful and limit their use of single-use plastic packaging in their day-to-day lives.
- Something New Thrift Store
o Something New Thrift Store is a wonderfully curated thrift store in West Philly with a wide selection of clothes and furniture at great prices. Something New is black-owned and family-owned business, so in addition to supporting the environment, shopping here also supports a minority-owned local business!
- Thunderbird Salvage (find them on Facebook or Instagram @thunderbirdsalvage)
o Thunderbird Salvage’s eclectic display proves that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Thunderbird is a secondhand store with a large selection of antique furniture, records, clothing, wall art, and CDs. Shopping secondhand is a fun, sustainable, and inexpensive way to spend a Saturday, decorate a space, or revamp a wardrobe!
- Philly AIDS Thrift - https://www.phillyaidsthrift.com/shop/
o Philly AIDS Thrift is a non-profit thrift store that donate proceeds of its sales to local organizations supporting those affected by HIV/AIDS. Shop an expansive selection of donated clothing, furniture, TVs, or fun knick-knacks to give new life to used things while supporting a great cause!
With Earth Day right around the corner, it is crucial to remember that we owe our environment year-round protection and that the climate crisis deserves more than one day of elevated publicity and awareness. Working towards zero waste and protecting our planet, in general, is less intimidating than it seems. Checking out any of these places is a first step in building an eco-friendlier lifestyle. For this coming Earth Day, I challenge us all to reframe our mindset and approaches to sustainability. When it comes to climate change, it is easy to lose hope, but it is important to remember that real change can come from the small decisions we make every day. Whether it’s taking public transportation as opposed to calling an Uber, filling a reusable container instead of using single-use plastic, or shopping secondhand instead of leaning into fast fashion, our actions and our decisions are important when it comes to changing the scope of the climate crisis and protecting our planet.