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5 Ways to save the earth in style

Kerri Stenson is the co-founder of Urban Market Bags, and the publisher of Edible Silicon Valley: an organic, sustainable, local food magazine for the Silicon Valley region.

Now that spring is here and the sun is shining (in most parts of the country, at least), it's an ideal time to take advantage of the season and live more sustainably.

woman at farmers market

Photo credit: boggy22/iStock/360/Getty Images

Ready to get green?

Now that spring is here and the sun is shining (in most parts of the country, at least), it's an ideal time to take advantage of the season and live more sustainably. What better time to kick off these simple lifestyle tweaks than Earth Day?

As the editor of a sustainable living magazine and co-founder of a sustainable style company, I have the total pleasure of interfacing with eco-conscious individuals every day. Below, I've shared some of our favorite tips on saving the earth in style, a list guaranteed to reduce your carbon footprint and help you live more sustainably and simply.

Shop in sustainable style

Where I live (California), there's a bag ban that forces us to reassess the way we shop. But even if there's not a bag ban in your neck of the woods, why not reduce waste during your shopping trips? And look cute while doing it? Check out Urban Market Bags: a line of reusable, stylish bags in loads of colors that help you do just that.

Live locally

Take a look around your community. Who's got a local business you can support? Whether it's a vendor at the farmer's market who sells amazing tomatoes, or an antique shop with adorable, upcycled furniture, you'll feel good putting your dollars back into the local economy. And what's even better (for Earth)? Your newly-purchased goods hardly had to travel at all to get to you.

Eat the whole food

How many times have you chopped stems away from carrots, and immediately tossed them in the garbage? (Me. Guilty.) From now on, I challenge you to think of creative ways to prepare all the bits and pieces of your food, which isn't only eco-friendly, it's wallet-friendly. Here's a seasonable, veggie-filled recipe from renowned chef Udo Prambs: Olive oil poached cod. In it, he tells you how to prepare robust, nutrient-filled chard leaves, as well as their stems. Zero waste.

Part ways with plastic

These days, we've got so many easy, affordable alternatives to plastic. So take an inventory of your kitchen (and possibly garage), and make a list of disposable plastic items with earth-friendly substitutes. For your water bottles, why not try the new, silicone-covered glass varieties? Ditto for plastic storage containers; try using Mason jars in various sizes instead. And garbage bags? There are even compostable versions of those these days.

Swap 'til you drop

One of my favorite, green ways to "shop:" Gather up all your girlfriends for a clothing swap party. (Side note; this is a very motivating way to do your spring cleaning, too). You'll love purging your closets, and getting a bunch of cute, new-to-you stuff for free. And if you wanted to bust out a bottle of organic, regional wine in the process, be my guest.

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