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Sustainable Stars:
How to live more sustainable
and eco-friendly lives

4 minute read

This year, home has become the most important place in the world more than ever. Now it's a place where we live, eat, relax, sleep, work and socialize.

Consider the environmental savings, too. A large amount of plastic bottles are discarded every week, most of which end up in landfills. And every year, roughly 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans.

While investing in our wellbeing - whether it's buying a few furnishings, food or cleaning products - is helpful to cope with this new normal, it comes at the expense of our planet. Here's a sobering fact: 80% of products are used only once. Take single-use plastic bottles as the simplest example. A reusable water bottle costs approximately $20, but if you keep buying plastic bottles over a year, that can cost up to $1,000.

80% of plastic products are used only once.

Sustainable Step #3: Sustainable Shopping Made Simple

As part of our Sustainable Stars series – celebrating the small businesses working to give us, the consumers, more eco-friendly lifestyle choices – we spoke to Milena Glimbovski, founder of Original Unverpackt, a zero-waste store in Berlin, Germany. Original Unverpackt is a store that specializes in eco-friendly home products, from bamboo brushes to food items, all of which you refill yourself using long-lasting containers. No plastic necessary!

Glimbovski

Original Unverpackt is a pioneer of the Zero Waste Revolution. When it was founded in 2014, there were only a few stores that offered a 'plastic-free' option when shopping. But after a couple of years, more than 150 zero-plastic packaging shops have sprung up across Germany.

It was Glimbovki’s own garbage production that made her want to take action. “I was sick and tired of producing this much garbage all the time,” she says. “I had tried to be sustainable in other areas of life for a long time. I took the train instead of flying and showered instead of bathing. It was only my food shopping that wasn’t sustainable.”

Throwing stuff ‘away’ does not exist. Everything we dispose of ends up somewhere else – like in the sea.

Glimbovski

So what can we do? “I believe that the plastic problem can only be stopped by a series of sustainable solutions,” says Glimbovski. Unsurprisingly, her eco-friendly philosophy runs through all aspects of her life, and she operates with the quote ASAP, meaning As Sustainable As Possible – from printers in the shop to green electricity, to green shipping and ecological banks. On the Original Unverpackt site you can even take an online course on how to set up your own zero waste store.

Keen to be more sustainable with the way you live at home?
Here’s what Glimbovski recommends:

For Glimbovski, the concept of single-use was hugely problematic: “Throwing stuff ‘away’ does not exist. Everything we dispose of ends up somewhere else – like in the sea,” she says. “It then enters a food chain of marine animals as a microplastic and ends up on our plates again.”

disposable cup
disposable cup

For Glimbovski, the concept of single-use was hugely problematic: “Throwing stuff ‘away’ does not exist. Everything we dispose of ends up somewhere else – like in the sea,” she says. “It then enters a food chain of marine animals as a microplastic and ends up on our plates again.”

Switch to plastic-free in steps

"Divide up the areas and focus on making one area plastic-free at a time. Those improvements will give you a sense of achievement."

Take stock

What contributes most to my trash? When you know that, it’s easier to change things.”

pie and macaroon

Enjoy cooking at home

“And avoid instant meals!” It's easy to eat processed food, but if we want to start making the earth healthier and happier, it's time for a change.


Essential items

“Carry these items on you at all times: one tote bag, two or three cotton bags, a net for fruit and veg, and a coffee-to-go cup. This all takes up very little space, it’s light and it helps you avoid throwing away so much rubbish.”



Do it yourself

“This applies to cosmetics, kitchen, cleaning products, and more. Making it yourself saves waste and money.”

essential items

Avoid food waste

“Consume consciously: Food does not have to be as cheap as possible. Consider the work and time that has been invested in the product. Valuing our food really reduces waste.”


Get inspired

“Follow sustainable companies and greenfluencers. You’ll get new ideas and you support the movement.”

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A plastic-free kitchen

Concentrate your efforts and focus on one room at a time when you make the switch from plastic. Our kitchens are often the worst offenders, so why not consider these sustainable alternatives to your everyday household items?

Cling film – try beeswax or class jars
Sponges – try compostable versions
Plastic bottles – switch to stainless steel
Washing up liquid– opt for a solid dish soap bar
Milk – seek out paper cartons
Fake plants always go for the real thing

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Check back soon for more from our Sustainable Stars series, and head to the highlights on our Instagram Stories to discover more tips.

Learn more about Original Unverpackt here .

Follow Original Unverpackt on Social

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