We live in a throw away society. Regardless of your beliefs on environmentalism, this fact can’t be denied.
The rise in disposable items and our excessive ‘laziness’ to simply use what is convenient, affordable and available, is something we are all guilty of. The notion of sustainability has been around for decades, yet there is a common perception nowadays that living sustainability requires too much time and effort.
If you believe that, we’re here to prove you wrong. Not only can living sustainably be easy, but it is also extremely rewarding knowing that your everyday actions are for a greater good.
Plastic pollution has reached an all time high. In the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century. Fortunately, we still have time to make a change and ensure our planet stays in tact for future generations! Here are ten simple ways to get you started on your journey towards living more sustainably…
It is estimated that one trillion plastic bags are used and discarded worldwide every year. Bringing your own bags when you go shopping is super easy, with most grocery stores selling their own reusable bags. There are also some super cute tote bags out there that look awesome and are guaranteed to not break unlike plastic bags.
Hot tip: Keep a stack of bags in your car so you don’t have to remember to pack them each time.
The KeepCup brand has become a major trend in 2017, and it is definitely a trend you should get behind. Most cafes will accept reusable coffee cups that meet the required size (such as a KeepCup) and some even offer a discount for bringing your own cup!
It’s also much more personalised drinking coffee out of your own cup. Coffee is such an essential part of society, not only does it taste great but it keeps a lot of us functioning, so don’t be the person throwing away wasted cups that take over twenty years to break down. Oh and no, disposable coffee cups are not recyclable.
If you think you won’t remember to bring a reusable cup each day then the solution is simple - dine in! That extra time to relax will set you up for a great day.
Compost is organic matter that decomposes and is recycled into a fertiliser and soil. While it may be a new concept to some, composting has been around since ancient times. Not only is it a super easy way to reduce waste, but it also has significant benefits for your garden. It helps improve soil health and can replenish depleted soil.
There are plenty of DIY methods to create your own compost system, but your local gardening store should also sell a great starter kit.
In today’s society, recycling has been made so much easier - so take advantage of it. Most importantly, make sure you check that what you put in the recycling bin is totally recyclable. Unfortunately efforts go to waste when recycling bins are contaminated with other rubbish.
For electronic items, find a responsible recycler who can take care of things like batteries, old phones or other devices. These items definitely have no place in our rubbish bins.
There will always be someone out there who can find value in your old items. If you sell them then you’re making money for something you don’t even find worthy anymore, which is awesome right?
Or you can easily donate items at your local charity bin or through another organisation. And if you donate, then you know you are doing something good to help those in need.
Shoes eventually fall apart, and even if they were our favourite pair, we generally throw them out once they're broken. But fear not, cobblers most definitely still exist, and you’ll be amazed at how they can turn your old shoes into brand new ones with a few shiny fixes.
Not only is it decreasing your waste, but it will also work out a lot cheaper than constantly buying new shoes.
It may not seem significant, but eating locally can actually have a huge effect on your carbon footprint. Large supermarkets are filled with products from all over the world, which is why we are able to eat fruit and vegetables that may not be in season in your country at that time.
However by doing so you are supporting the copious amounts of fossil fuels that are involved in transporting these foods to your nearest supermarket. So try buying products from local farmers or market stalls. By doing so you will be supporting ethical small businesses and your food is guaranteed to be fresh, tasty and affordable.
You have probably seen a rise in the amount of bulk food stores you see around nowadays and that is because they are just so convenient.
You can buy an array of products without purchasing any plastic in the process. But best of all, you buy as little or as much as you want! That means no more leftover waste after having to buy oversized products in the grocery store.
There is a reason Earth Hour exists annually over the globe. Switching off electronics for even a small amount of time greatly contributes to energy conservation (and it could also slash your electricity bill).
Some of our simple tips include turning off lights when you don’t need them or instead lighting candles, ensuring your appliances are energy-efficient, opening windows instead of turning on the air conditioning and replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones.
Get out your best candles and board games and enjoy the time out, because it doesn't happen often enough in most of our busy lives.
Many people believe bottled water is safer and tastes better. However, it’s this modern reliance that has contributed to the sale of a million plastic bottles per minute. And over 91 per cent of this plastic is not recycled meaning that majority of these bottles end up in landfill and eventually in our oceans threatening our wildlife.
If you don’t fancy tap water buy a water filter and pop it in your fridge so you will be able to have a cool glass of filtered water whenever you please. You can even buy a funky reusable water bottle for travel that will keep your drink colder for much longer. Plus, we shouldn’t be paying so much for an essential need like water, so make the switch!
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