Sustainability is a journey, not an instant change. Becoming more eco-friendly and taking steps to be more mindful of our environment is something that - for many of us - is a process. Don't judge yourself too harshly and celebrate small wins. Any step you can take towards a more sustainable future is a positive one.
In honour of Earth Day on April 22, we're celebrating April as Earth Month. Here are three very simple things you can start doing to be more sustainable today. Because every small step counts.
Buy things with less packaging
Buy loose tomatoes instead of the ones in a pre-packaged bag. Put your apples straight into the basket instead of grabbing a plastic bag to hold them in. Opt for sweets that come in one packet rather than the ones that are individually wrapped. Avoid beauty products that have multiple layers of cardboard and plastic casings.
Finding ways to buy less packaging is one of the best and easiest ways to cut down on waste. It means you're consuming less, thus reducing the need for new things to be made and the associated carbon footprint. But it also means, a lot less rubbish ends up in landfill. The packaging associated with groceries, beauty products and clothing all ends up in the bin anyway. So looking for ways not to buy it at all will make an impact on just how much your household generates.
Images: Photo by Vince Lee on Unsplash and aesop on Instagram
Cut out cling wrap
I haven't used cling wrap in two years. And I'm shocked at how easy it was to cut out.
What I do instead is store everything in takeaway food containers. They're still plastic but they're reusable and recyclable when they come to the end of their life. Left over tomato, store in a container. Storing soup, transfer to a container. Covering meat, yes put that in a container too. This will also make your fridge and freezer a lot more organised, because everything is stored in objects that are stackable and the same shape.
As for those who need cling wrap to cover food while microwaving, I have a solution for that too. I just use another plate or bowl. I cover bowls with a small side plate and I cover plates with a bowl. Easy.
If you do find you prefer cling wrap, try substituting for beeswax wraps. They're reusable and last for ages. Although, they're not microwavable.
Images: beeswaxwraps.com.au and blackcratehomewares on Instagram
Reuse and repurpose your rubbish
I use burnt out candles containers as toothbrush holders or to store makeup brushes. The cut-off ends of spring onions and leeks? Pop them into a little soil and regrow them. Use egg cartons to help sprout seedlings if you're a gardener. Save scraps like carrot peels, onion ends and celery off cuts to make stock - I store them in a container in the freezer until I have enough to make a pot. Or if you have the garden space, consider composting.
Anything you can do to give something a new life and avoid throwing it in the bin or the recycling helps. It reduces the need for new things and stops unnecessary items ending up in landfill.
Images: dailymakeover on Pinterest and original RUSSH image