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.
Switch your electricity provider to a green energy provider
It only takes 10 minutes and it's the change that will probably have the biggest impact your household can make. Greenpeace recently pulled together The Green Energy Guide which breaks down all the nitty gritty so you can choose the best and greenest option for you. Giving your money to a sustainable business helps to empower that business to grow and continue its good work. It also helps to stop funding unsustainable energy practices.
Image: Photo by Sarah Dorweiler on Unsplash
Shop resale - and sell too
There are so many good reasons to shop pre-loved clothing. It's more affordable, it reduced the demand for new items and it reduces the chance that pre-loved clothes will end up in landfill. Australia is second highest consumer of textiles in the world - per capita. The average Australian throws 23 kilos of clothing away per year, in fact 80% of unwanted clothing ends up in landfill. So, buying preloved clothing actively helps reduce waste. On the flipside, another huge way to help is to sell your old things too. If you have pieces that feel like they could have another life, platforms like Depop, Vestiaire Collective or even eBay make it easy to find a second home for your preloved goods.
Opt for products 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, less rubbish ends up in landfill. Generally, the packaging associated with groceries, beauty products and clothing ends up in the bin, its often not recyclable. Looking for ways not to buy it at all is always best..
Images: Photo by Vince Lee on Unsplash and aesop on Instagram
Cut out cling wrap
Cling wrap is so easy to cut from your routine.
Instead is store everything in takeaway food containers - or pyrex dishes with lids if you would rather avoid plastic altogether. Left over tomato? Store in a container. Covering a bowl of soup? Transfer to a container. 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 stackable containers. You'll be able to see everything.
As for those who need cling wrap to cover food while microwaving, there's a solution for that too. Just use another plate or bowl to cover your current plate/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.
Reuse and repurpose your rubbish
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.