6 Small Changes I Actually Stuck to the First Month of 2018

Jillian HarrisAdvice, Life30 Comments

Jillian Harris 6 Small Changes

Good morning everyone!! OK, I’m typically the crappiest NYE resolution person ever. I don’t know why but I find that I am a person that really struggles with breaking habits. But lately, I’ve been so jacked on “knowing better and doing better”  and starting really being SO passionate about small changes and feeling so proud of myself … and I realized that after almost a month into 2018 I have consistently and successfully STUCK with some of my resolutions! They may be small for you but for me, these are habits that I have been carrying with me for YEARS and knowing that I have made these changes makes me so proud (queue patting self on back … lol)!!

Jillian Harris 6 Small Changes

If you checked out my resolutions for 2018 you’ll know that my 5 goals for 2018 were …

  1. Reduce my waste
  2. Continue to work on my plant-based lifestyle
  3. Refine my schedule 
  4. Up my fitness game 
  5. Drink more water 

I have to admit … I think I’m doing a pretty stand-up job on all 5 of my goals … the only one that isn’t going AS well as I had hoped is upping my fitness game but I think that has to do with being away in Mexico for an entire week (and eating copious amounts of chips and guac!) and then taking off to Vancouver for a busy work trip!! Once I get back home though I’ll be able to step that up again as Leo, Nacho and I are overdue for some walks in the field behind our house … and pulling that little sled is more of a workout than you think it would be!! LOL!! Then there is the goal that I think I’m most passionate and excited about right now and that’s working towards reducing my waste! While at first, this felt like it would be a daunting task, I’ve managed to break it down into 6 small daily changes that make a HUGE impact on the waste brought in and out of our house … and today I thought I would share these with you!

1. Reusable Grocery Bags

Not only are plastic grocery bags bad for the environment but they also cost extra … so, why not help save the planet AND your  bank account by using reusable grocery bags?? I actually LOVE using these so much more than the plastic or paper bags as I find they are much more sturdy and I can pack more in them! If you’re looking to purchase some for yourself I would suggest going for the ones with the hard bottoms!

2. Ditching the Bottled Drinks

I’ve been trying my best not to purchase bottled drinks or water and instead, I’ve been using my Starbucks tumbler, I bring it with me EVERYWHERE, I even brought it to Mexico with me! The one I have is 20oz which holds a ton of fluid so you don’t have to be filling it up constantly throughout the day AND by using my tumbler it’s also helping me drink more water, which was one of my resolutions! Win-win! One of the reasons WHY I love this tumbler, in particular, is because it has a straw, if I had to fumble with a lid I probably wouldn’t drink as much, I also prepared drinks, since I can get ice with one of the best coolers and ice chests I found online.

3. Saying No to Straws

Plastic straws are such a waste … and HORRIBLE for the wild animals! Have you seen that video circulating with the straw stuck in the Tortoises nose (if you want to see it, click here)?? UGH! Humans suck sometimes. 😢 Just think about how many you have used in your lifetime and how many of those straws you’ve thrown in the garbage!! Eeeppp!! The thought of this made me cringe so I stopped using disposable straws for smoothies at home and instead use acrylic reusable straws! I’ve also started asking for my drinks with no straws at restaurants!!

4. Doing More Research

Since the New Year, I’ve been doing so much research on sustainable and conscientious brands and lines of clothing and I really want to be able to bring awareness to some awesome brands this year who are doing some pretty amazing things. I’m also making sure to check in with myself and question if I really need something before making any purchases to see if it’s something I REALLY need or if I can live without it. I have to say, I’m not completely done with “fast fashion” brands, but instead, I’m going to be more selective on what I buy, purchasing less, and focussing on more versatile items that will last more than one season.

Some brands I’m really excited to check out further are:

5. Buying in Bulk

I’m a little obsessed with Bulk Barn these days because I loooove the fact that you can buy everything in bigger quantities AND you can also bring your own reusable container to fill!!  I go there FIRST and try to fulfill my grocery list as much as possible and THEN hit the grocery store… the amount of packaging and money saved is so exciting!

6. Accepting Less Packaging

We get so many packages sent to our house on the daily and I’m obviously so thankful for the gifts and the opportunity to try new products and brands … but I noticed that some companies use A LOT of packaging, particularly if they’re for an influencer campaign, but sadly it impresses me less as I find it so wasteful so I’ve started asking companies ahead of time to try and reduce their packaging before sending us items if possible.

Jillian Harris Small Changes I've Stuck To Jillian Harris Small Changes I've Stuck To

Do you have any tips or tricks for reducing the waste in your home?? If so, share them with me!! I want to see what other changes I can introduce into our home!!

xo

Jilly

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30 Comments

  • Congrats on sticking to your goals and thanks so much for sharing with us! I am interested to know what your weekly fitness routine looks like? Do you go to a gym or work out at home? Any tips? 🙂

    • Jillian Harris  • 

      Eeeepppp!!!! I JUST went to the gym for the first time in MONTHS!!! I go for lots of walks with Leo and Nacho but at the moment, that’s about it!!

  • Also using re-usable containers when packing lunches, instead of using plastic sandwich bags.

  • Well done! I’m breaking all of mine except for buying no new clothes. I’m trying to do this for a year. Gulp!

  • Where is your beautiful gold watch from?!
    Also… love all your goals! Keep up the great work, Jill!

  • These are awesome tips! I’m SO glad that you mentioned the straw issue!! Hopefully you will influence a lot of people to make some of these changes themselves. I’m really loving the eco/green/sustainable turn your business is taking 🙂

  • Great post Jillian!

    All of 2017 I started using the reusable bags. It took about 6 months to actually remember to grab the bags out of my trunk. I have finally created a habit to remember them and also prefer them because they fit more stuff! So happy that your promoting things more eco friendly:) The planet thanks you!

    Ashley

  • Hi Jillian!

    While spending Christmas at my parents’ place in Lapland I kept watching Love it or List it Vancouver. It felt so nice since I’ve lived in Vancouver for three years and actually found a hubby from there too, who I persuaded to move to Finland with me (after a looong, a year long actually) persuasion. LOL. He’s not Canadian but lived in Vancouver for 13 years.. Huh I’m blabbering, aren’t I?

    Anyhow, I found your website after getting inspired by your style in love it or list it, and I have to say THANK YOU. Somehow, you have given me a bit of a nice break and inspired me to live my life more fullfillingly. At the moment I am going through a bit of a transformation period in my life and your blog has really given support for that, like a friend oddly enough haha.

    Actually I had some comments and questions in mind too! First about reducing waste: what I miss from Vancouver is all the farmer’s market there are. It is so easy to buy local produced (less waste in global perspective) and package-free produces (less waste in individual perspective win-win). Another go-to thing is to get a thermo mug, that’s a must for coffee and tea lovers. I love mine from David’s tea. Gosh I miss Canada. That escalated quickly eh? Lol.

    Another question is about that one green overall you have. I’ve been reading A LOT of your old posts and when I saw that green overall (I think you wore that at least when you guys were moving/packing) I thought it was so cute! I’m your height, oh well even 1cm shorter, and I thought I could not wear overalls like that, but it looks so great on you then maybe I could pull it off too! So where did you get it? I reeeeally hope what ever the place was they still have it and they ship to Finland (Let’s keep the fingers crossed).

    Again, thanks for the great inspiration. Your truly sincere and kind heart makes this blog feel like a friend. Thank you.

    Cheers,
    Annika

  • I have signed up to send e cards for special occasions. This eliminates the postage and the recipient from throwing it in recycle… it is super affordable.

  • So with you on reducing waste! Do you compost? We started a few years ago and it is amazing how little we need to use our city garbage pick up. Most of our garbage now is used kitty litter because we have two of our own but we also foster kittens (so much fun!).
    I’m so happy you are making a move away from fast fashion too. Quality is so much more interesting anyway. A very good friend of mine recently started an online virtual store to support and sell quality ethically made products, right here in Kelowna! Yes, she you and I are all practically neighbours. You should check it out …. shoptheloft.ca

  • Everlane is another great clothing brand that audits their factories to meet sustainability/environmental goals as well as care for their factory workers. They’re also transparent about their costing and markups which I appreciate.

  • If you fill your own containers at Bulk Barn instead of using the plastic bags, how does that work for weighing? I also love the tip on plastic straws! I have never thought about how wasteful they are. Thank you!!!

  • Compost!
    Don’t do subscription boxes, although they are packed with awesome things, it is literally saying “have these things you didn’t even know you wanted”. Keep promoting products you like but subscription boxes are a bad idea for someone trying to be enviro conscious.

    Reusable containers instead of tinfoil and plastic wrap. There is a great reusable replacement for tin foil for bbqing veggies that still leaves grill marks.

    Reusable cutlery/plates for parties. Do your research if using compostable.

    Using locally grown/foraged flowers.

    Kids toys accumulate, ask friends and family to give “experiences” vs stuff.

  • suzanne riviere  • 

    thanks Jillian for these good ideas to incorporate into our lives. most of us can do better and so good of you to give out this information.

  • Rachel Lindsay  • 

    Check out unless market in kelowna they have lots of zero waste stuff! I find there is lots of waste in the bathroom which is where I have minimized the amount of waste I produce. ( shampoo bars from lush, safety razor, menstrual cup, bamboo toothbrush etc. It is pretty interesting all the options!

  • Off topic, but please…. what’s in your coffee that looks sooo creamy!!!

  • In terms of packaging, I have really tried to focus on reusing & recycling when I cannot reduce. I have a three year old so when we get paper in our delivery boxes, as an ex, I use them for crafts or drawing for kiddo. In terms of your tumbler idea, if we have picnics or for kiddo’s daycare lunches, we always use reusable containers from home & real cutlery- I avoid baggies & plastic as much as possible. Btw, West Elm has super cute reusable totes that I love for farmers market shopping.

  • I love using reusable produce bags (you can find them online or at Whole Foods) and I also love reusable zip-top bags for snacks, lunches and storing food.

    Taylor | Living Taylored

  • Love the post! As someone who is also getting married I would LOVE a post about what to register for! Love all the content😍

  • That’s so great, Jillian, on sticking with your goals you set for 2018! You are inspiration!

  • Hi Jillian your hair always looks perfect do you do any smoothing keratin treatments?
    Thanks:)

  • Jessica McCarthy-Morin  • 

    Hi Jill
    Just wanted to say first off that you are very inspiring to watch 🙂 love your mentality and morals…just had a quick mama to mama question, we too have a small baby boy just 15 months and have sleep trained by wee sleep. We are going to Mexico for the first time as a family of 3 in June and I was just wondering how your trip went for sleep. I’m driving myself a bit mad haha like I know it’ll all be fine and our little man will sleep but do have any tips?! Anything that you learnt that you’d be willing to share? Did you guys have to go to sleep when Leo did for the night?
    Anywho any advise would be greatly appreciated!!
    Cheers
    Jessica from Calgary;)

  • Hi Team Jilly!

    I’m thinking I’m in the wrong place (but I can’t find one that fits better!) to recommend a vegan line of skin care? Jillian had done an Insta story saying she was looking to expand her vegan friendly world beyond eating (and pat of it referred to fast fashion and sustainability, ergo, how I ended up here..) . At any rate, I have recently started using body ash from the Seaweed Bath Co. out of Maine. It’s vegan, extremely eco friendly and moisturizing and, in my opinion, really great find! They have scented and unscented and their line includes lotion and haircare, as well.

    In the same insta story, she was frustrated about deodorant. I, too, am a man sweat girl and, after many failed attempts, have had good results for several years now with Jason Tea Tree Oil formula deodorant. Yes, it takes a week or so for your body to adjust, but it works! Hope you guys can check them out and find as much satisfaction with them as I have! All the best!

  • Love the idea for your own containers at Bulk Barn!! Can I ask where you got your glass containers?
    Xoxo