10 Simple Ways to Start Living Sustainably Right Now

Use Earth Day 2021 as the launching point for your new, eco-friendly lifestyle

As you read these words, a glacier in central Alaska is rapidly moving 100 times faster than its normal rate. Imagine our collective reaction if anything else—a speeding car or falling rock—was moving 100 times faster than normal. Naturally, we'd fear the unknown. But that's a hypothetical. Let's get more concrete. According to a 2017 report by the Climate Accountability Institute, 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions can be traced back to 100 companies. When we hear or read these alarming facts, it's natural that many of us want to do something. But what can we do on an individual basis to tackle such a dire global dilemma? As consumers, it's our demands (and purchases) of products that dictate the amounts of fossil fuels being burned by these 100 companies. If we (especially if we do it in large masses) demand products that are more eco-friendly, capitalism will bend in our favor. And we must do it, as this task is too big for any one person to sit on the sidelines and watch. Below, AD covers 10 sleek and practical products that would go a long way in launching your new, eco-friendly lifestyle.


All products featured on Architectural Digest are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



SNOO Smart Sleeper

All parents want the safest baby bed on the market, but what if they could have one that eliminates unnecessary waste too? Enter the SNOO Smart Sleeper. Designed by pediatrician Harvey Karp and virtuoso Yves Behar, each baby bed is made from all organic cotton. What's more, parents can opt into the brand's rental program, allowing consumers to use the bed for as long as their child needs before returning it.



Humanscale Smart Ocean

Humanscale claims its chair is the most sustainable in the world. It's hard to argue against this claim, considering it incorporates almost two pounds of recycled fishing net. And with those eco-friendly measures, there were no compromises to the design or ergonomics of the chair.



66°North Kria Shell Jacket

The Icelandic brand 66°North has been around for nearly a century, but that doesn't mean it has stuck to its old ways. In fact, in 2019 the company committed to being fully carbon neutral—while also offering repair services for anything sold since its founding. The Kria Shell Jacket was constructed using leftover pieces from last season’s fabric. But these scraps aren't just leftover pieces: They're highly technical material that can withstand wind and water without sacrificing breathability.


Bläanks WFH Lumbar Pillow

Don't be fooled by the umlaut; Bläanks is a Los Angeles–based brand that produces soft, machine-washable knitted pillows and throws. And since we're now taking to working from home so much these days, Bläanks’ WFH lumbar pillow (made from high-quality recycled cotton) is a no-brainer.



VEJA Condor 2

According to researchers at MIT, the manufacturing of a typical pair of running shoes generates 30 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, roughly the same as keeping a 100-watt light bulb on for one week. And that doesn't even account for the environmental impact involved when the old shoe is thrown away (those thick rubber soles aren't very biodegradable). But now we (as in the planet) are in luck. Paris-based,  footwear brand Veja uses organic cotton, wild rubber from the Amazon, vegetable-tanned leather, and recycled plastic bottles in each pair of its shoes. What's more, Veja is a socially focused brand committed to human rights, working to enable those who have been unemployed to return to the workforce at their majority-unionized factories. The result is not just eco-friendly footwear but beautiful running shoes (or everyday shoes) that will make you feel better for wearing them.



Humanscale eFloat One

Even in a post-COVID world, working from home will surely be a part of everyday life. So why not invest in a new home work desk that's also good for the planet? Humanscale's eFloat One work surface is made from bamboo, making it much more sustainable than traditional work desks. And that's because bamboo takes less than a decade to regrew, while traditional trees in a forest can take up to a century.



Asket The Overshirt

In its own words, Asket is in pursuit of less. More precisely, the Stockholm-based clothing line is aiming to provide less material waste. This means a world in which consumers don’t throw away their wardrobe with each seasonal trend. Asket has a permanent collection, allowing the brand to methodically design, test, and create new releases based on consumer feedback. Instead of guessing people's needs, Asket reacts to their needs, saving a lot of wasted materials in the process.



Samlaren Kånken Backpack

This stylish backpack made by the Swedish-based company Fjällräven was created using leftover fabric from its production factory. It's sharp, spacious, well-padded, and eco-friendly. Travel with it somewhere in nature while helping preserve nature.



Rug Pad USA

When it comes to eco-friendly purchases, rug pads might be somewhere near the bottom of your list. They shouldn't be, not with all the toxic chemicals used to produce them. But not with those built by Rug Pad USA. Made from 100% recycled felt and natural rubber pads, these products come in a range of size and styles. Now you can stop slipping and sliding in high traffic areas of your home, while being eco-minded in the process.



The Vela 2 E-Bike

There are e-bikes, and then there's the Vela 2 e-bike. In the growing industry of electrically propelled bicycles, Vela (Portuguese for the word “sail,” owing to the brand’s Brazilian roots) is the only brand that has managed to design a bike that's both sharp-looking and approachable for those riders who may be hesitant over too much power. Here’s how it works: The moment you begin to pedal, the motor will automatically sense your efforts and add an extra oomph to get you over the hump. Vela's smartphone app allows for easy troubleshooting, power-setting adjustments, and even tracking capabilities to help find your missing (or stolen) e-bike. But what really sets this bike apart is the fact that the battery pack, which is cleverly hidden in the seat post, is easily removable, making the bicycle much lighter in weight should you need to walk it up or down a flight of stairs. Vela bikes are now available for presale with delivery early this summer.

About Humanscale

Humanscale is the leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance ergonomic products that improve the health and comfort of work life. Through leveraging new technology in functional yet minimal designs, Humanscale transforms traditional offices into active, intelligent workspaces. Committed to making a net positive impact on the earth as well as our customers, Humanscale offers award-winning products designed with a focus on function, simplicity and longevity. 

Click here for more information on Humanscale and our products



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