Taking Care of What’s Ours: Small Steps for a Greener Future


Small Steps for a Greener Future

Welcome to our corner of the world, where we believe in the power of taking care of what’s ours. In a fast-paced society where trends come and go, and consumerism reigns supreme, it’s easy to forget the importance of stewardship. But here, at Soto, we’re on a mission to change that narrative. We believe that by embracing quality, sustainability, and a mindful approach to consumption, we can create a brighter future for our planet and all who inhabit it.

As we celebrate Earth Day this year, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the small actions we can take in our daily lives to make a big impact. While it’s true that some of the largest contributors to environmental degradation are industrial processes, our individual choices still matter.

...our individual choices still matter.

Here are five simple yet powerful ways we can take care of what’s ours and reduce our environmental footprint:

Maintain What You Have:

Taking care of the things we already own is the first step towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Regular maintenance can prolong the life of our belongings and reduce the need for replacements.

  • Store items correctly — everything from food in sealed containers to leftover paint to tools in a dry environment — to help preserve their quality. 
  • Conduct routine inspections for wear and tear to allow for timely repairs, preventing small issues from escalating. This can be as simple as using our Touch Ups to cover up small areas of missing paint or wood stain. Our Appliance + Porcelain Touch Ups are designed to be used on glossy surfaces (available in 17 different shades); our Multi-Surface Touch Ups are ideal for touching up low-sheen surfaces; our Wood Stain Touch Ups come in 9 shades for all the wood surfaces in your home; and our Clear Touch Ups come in 5 levels of sheen to provide an extra layer of protection (especially good for high-touch areas) and/or to better match the level of gloss after using one of our other Touch Ups. If you have nicks, cracks or gouges, our Spackle expertly fills in holes in porous surfaces such as walls, while our Appliance + Porcelain Epoxy Repair Kit is ideal for filling in cracks and holes in non-porous surfaces.
  • Use items for their intended purpose and avoid unnecessary strain or overuse to extend their lifespan.
  • Routine cleaning and polishing of larger items like furniture, walls, and floors helps protect the surface from moisture, dust, and grime. Apply a sealant to things like wood decks or granite countertops, to keep them looking nice for a long time.
  • Reduce or eliminate your use of harsh chemicals, which can damage the finish to floors, furniture, and other surfaces. 

Bring New Life Into the Things You Have:

Often, we become dissatisfied with items that are actually still good, because they have scratches in the paint or stain. Our Touch Ups make it so easy and quick to restore the look, with minimal fuss and minimal cost, keeping your items in like-new condition. Another big reason people often discard their current items in favor of new ones is to keep up with the latest trends. While it may sometimes be necessary to purchase new items, we can often breathe new life into the items we already own. Sanding and staining or painting old furniture, updating cabinet faces or simply adding new hardware can give your home a fresh look and allow you to keep up with the latest trends without contributing to waste.

Second Hand, First Choice:

Before tossing out items that no longer serve us, consider giving them a second chance. Donating, giving, or selling goods on second-hand marketplaces like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, or give-away websites like TrashNothing or Freecycle, or giving your items to thrift stores or selling them in consignment stores, not only reduces waste but also gives others the opportunity to enjoy what we no longer need. Similarly, when you’re in the market for something new, consider getting it second hand. It can be a fun adventure, like a scavenger hunt, to see what sorts of things you can find, and you also get to save useful items from going into a landfill.

Borrow Before You Buy:

How many times have we purchased something only to use it once? Before adding to our clutter, explore borrowing from friends, renting, or utilizing borrowing marketplaces for items we only need temporarily. Here are some ways that you may be able to get items temporarily, instead of buying them:

  • Tool Libraries: Many cities have tool libraries where you can borrow tools for a designated period. These are typically community-run organizations that offer a variety of tools for home improvement, gardening, and more.
  • Local Community Centers: Some community centers or neighborhood associations may have tool lending programs where residents can borrow tools free of charge or for a small fee -- see if you have a local one listed here.
  • Hardware Stores and Home Improvement Stores: These stores may have tool rental departments where you can rent specialized tools for a particular job.
  • Friends and Family: Don't forget to ask friends or family members if they have tools you can borrow. Many people are willing to lend tools they don't use frequently.

Buy Quality Over Quantity:

Investing in high-quality, durable products may cost more upfront, but since they last longer than cheap, low-quality products, it’s a decision that pays off for both our wallets and the planet. At Soto, we’re committed to crafting products that stand the test of time, because we believe in building a future where less is more. 

By making conscious choices and embracing a mindset of stewardship, we can work towards a more sustainable future—one where we take care of what’s ours, so that future generations can thrive.