Eco-Friendly Habits for Sustainable Living

Our mission here at Wanderlust is to vibrantly share the natural and cultural history of the Central Oregon region to small groups of interested guests while touring via canoeing, kayaking, caving, volcano tours, snowshoeing, hiking and nature-based sightseeing. As naturalists and outdoor-enthusiasts, we enjoy learning about the environments we live in, and want to do our part to ensure they are preserved and sustained for many generations to come. 

In order to stay true to our mission, we've assembled a list of easy changes that, when added up, will make a big impact. If each of us adopted a handful of these positive habits, we could all work towards a lifestyle that is healthier both for ourselves and for the environments we are a part of! Better yet, share this list with your children while they're young and continue educating future generations on how to help our planet!

1. Kick the incandescent and fluorescent bulbs and opt for LED lightbulbs instead. For the same price as conventional bulbs, LED bulbs last for 50,000 hours. That's 42,000 hours more than fluorescent bulbs, and 48,000 hours more than incandescent! 

Photo:  Bee's Wrap

Photo: Bee's Wrap

2. Reusable water bottles and grocery bags are pretty standard around town. But have you committed to a reusable coffee or tea thermos yet? Your Hyrdroflask can double as a hot and cold saver! How about reusable food storage options? Check out this versatile and durable alternative to plastic wrap, called Bee's Wrap! You can find it in Bend at Market of Choice. Replace the BPA plastic Tupperware in your cupboard with products from Reuseit, which donates 1% of all sales to environmental advocacy nonprofit groups.

3. Cut your paper consumption by switching to cloth napkins, hand towels, and diapers. Save money, natural resources, and keep your skin soft with cloth alternatives. There's even a service in town called Baby Cakes Diaper Service that will deliver clean and folded diapers and pick up the dirties. 

4. We all know you can recycle paper, plastics, and some metals. In addition to these standard recyclables, we should also be recycling our ink cartridges, tires, motor oil, batteries, antifreeze, computer parts, propane tanks, microwaves and other appliances. Simply drop them off at one of the Deschutes County waste centers, listed here

5. Tired of tossing out stacks of catalogs? Cancel them! Each year, about 19 billion catalogs are mailed throughout the world. That's equivalent to 53 million trees! Unsubscribing from the junk mail is an awesome solution for everyday sustainable living. Try Catalog Choice - a free service that will help you weed through the mail you do and don't want. 

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6. Bend is known for its support of all things local. Did you know buying local food not only cuts 17% of carbon emissions, but it also helps support our local farmers and growers. Both the Wednesday market in Brooks Alley and the Saturday market at Northwest Crossing are great options!

7. Your mom always told you to turn the lights off when you leave a room. And she wasn't wrong! In addition to being mindful about your light switches, think about picking up an eco-friendly solar charger. Solar energy is the cleanest form of energy, and because solar chargers don't require external electrical sources, they offer a wide freedom of movement - much loved by backpackers near and far!

8. Last but certainly not least is our favorite option - UNPLUG! Once all your electronics have been juiced up by your solar charger, remember to unplug electronics you aren't using. This will save up to 10% of your total electricity usage, which ultimately cuts your utility bills down. So unplug your electronics and head out into the great outdoors to absorb the wonders of the natural world we're working hard to preserve!