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  • The Editorial Team

How to be "Sustainable on Purpose" with Marley Finnegan

We hear about climate change every day and it can be overwhelming. What can we do as individuals to lower our carbon footprint and make small changes in our daily lives to make a big impact? We sat down with our friend Marley Finnegan who just launched her new business centered around sustainability at home, work, in hosting events and travel. Below are some key takeaways and information you can start using today...

Climate change is the greatest challenge we humans have ever faced. Experts agree we must aggressively deplete global emissions by 15% annually by 2030 to keep global temperature from rising beyond 1.5°C. We've warmed over 1°C already, contributing to frequent, more intense natural disasters, including droughts, floods, fires and unprecedented storms. This trend is causing devastation to all life on earth, fueling what is known as the "sixth great extinction."

If you feel overwhelmed by the weight of this issue, we are with you - and know there is but one way to handle that energy: channel it into passionate action. As individuals, we must seek out + support climate-focused agendas + campaigns, donate to climate action nonprofits and support youth-led climate movements which shift policy + public opinion. Each day, we should ask ourselves how we can limit our individual negative impacts (ahem, and massively curb consumption).

Here are tips to get you started in your own home:


Improve efficiency and incorporate renewable energy. Use efficient electronics which are Energy Star certified, which will save you in the long term. Conduct an energy audit of your home - and if you're curious about incentives, consult this database for renewables + efficiency to understand the benefits available for earth-friendly choices.

Buy Green Power! Most utilities companies offer 100% renewable energy options or products - or take the opportunity to own a piece of a solar farm. Finally, if you're interested in on-site solar, check out Google's Project Sunroof to learn how much you can save by adding solar to your home.


Water is easily accessible for much of America. After visiting Cape Town in 2018, where they experienced an unprecedented water crisis, it hit home that water is a privilege. The average shower is 8 minutes, utilizing 2.1 gallons per minute. A household of 4 will use 67.2 gallons of water a day, simply showering. If that home cut shower times in half, that's 33.6 gallons saved. Be mindful of water usage. Go low flow with your indoor water by choosing EPA certified watersense showerheads, faucets and more.

Biophilic Design is intentionally connecting people and nature within built environments. Whether that be bringing plants into your home (always a yes) or your garden/landscaping, we recommend designing with local, native plants that won't require more water than the typical geography. Another popular solution: a simple rain barrel.


This is triggering for most meat eaters (we used to be you) but environmentally speaking, it truly accounts for massive differences in emissions - which means very drastic potential differences in our future.

Yes, beef is far and away the highest emitting food there is. This might not be for reasons you've heard. The footprint of beef is largely due to land consumption, while cattle demand skyrockets, it's taking over forests, including rainforests. Lamb is second followed by coffee, prawns, cheese, pork + chicken.

There are hefty quantities of micro-plastics in our oceans ingested by shrimp, fish and all seafood we eat, meaning we are ingesting this plastic, too. The safest thing for earth and your body is to eat plant-based, organic + local. Going plant-based can

cut 70% of your food-related emissions.

Finally, say no to any and every piece of plastic you're able to. Bring your own reusable produce bags and reuse every glass container you buy. Check out Eco and The Flamingo, Chicago's first plastic-free, Zero Waste store.

What better way to play a part in this fight than addressing sustainability in the comfort of your own home?

Eco and The Flamingo

For more insights, visit us at

Words by Marley Finnegan.


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