5 small changes that make a big difference to living sustainably

5 small changes that make a big difference to living sustainably

May 02, 2019

Going sustainable can be easier than you think. Follow these simple steps to reduce your waste and give the environment a helping hand.

1.   Dispose of the disposable. Banish single-use items.

 

Single use items are a relatively recent phenomenon and in most cases they’re completely unnecessary. Things like plastic knives, forks, cups, straws and paper towels contribute to the huge amount of landfill produced by our everyday items, but thankfully there are simple and easy alternatives that you can use again and again.

 

Try these simple switches:

 

  • Plastic knives and forks. Instead of taking plastic knives and forks on a picnic, pull out some knives and forks from your cutlery draw.
  • Takeaway coffee cups. Pick up a reusable coffee cup and bring it with you to your favourite cafe. A lot of cafes sell reusable coffee cups and some even give you a discount on your coffee when you use it instead of a takeaway cup.
  • Plastic straws. Metal or bamboo straws are a great alternative to plastic straws and come with a special cleaning tool to handle even the thickest of smoothies.
  • Paper towels. If you use a lot of paper towels try a washable cloth alternative, you could even upcycle old cotton t-shirts for this.
  • Plastic water bottles. If you feel like you’re constantly buying plastic water bottles purchase a reusable water bottle instead and keep it in your bag so you can refill it whenever you’re on the go.
  • Produce bags. Reusable produce bags made from cotton mesh are a great replacement for the single-use plastic bags supplied by supermarkets. They can also double as take away bags when you buy food to go that would normally be put in a paper or plastic bag.

 

To decide which items you need to make the switch with take note of the things you throw away regularly, and then think about alternatives made from more durable material like cloth or metal.

 

2. Reduce bathroom plastic - bring in the bar

 

Have you ever thought about how much plastic is in your bathroom? Plastic is used for a lot of bathroom products because it’s durable and lasts but that’s also the problem; it lasts far too long. Up to 1000 years in fact. Switching out your plastic bathroom products is a great way to reduce your waste and environmental footprint.

 

Some easy switches:

 

  • Shampoo and conditioners. Swap shampoo and conditioners with plastic packaging for our shampoo and conditioner bars. They’ll leave your hair soft and hydrated, they don’t contain any plastic and they don’t have plastic packaging. Our cardboard packaging has an eco coating so that it’s 100% recyclable.
  • Toothbrushes. Next time you need to replace your toothbrush grab a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush instead of plastic.
  • Ditch the disposable plastic razors. Try a safety razor, a rechargeable razor, or wax with reusable cotton strips.
  • Exfoliators with microbeads. Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic that wreak havoc on marine life when they wash down the drain. Avoid exfoliators that contain microbeads and opt instead for products which use biodegradable exfoliating ingredients such as coffee grounds.

 

 

3. Go vintage shopping

 

That’s right, go shopping to live sustainably. But you might have to change your shopping habits slightly. Fast fashion is a big contributor to global waste. While it can be tempting to purchase a cheap on-trend item, shopping high quality sustainable fashion and vintage clothing can save you money in the long run because your clothes will last longer. Not to mention it will give you the warm-fuzzies on the inside for helping the environment.

 

For sustainable shopping it’s about extending the life of each item of clothing. This could mean hitting the vintage stores and giving a second home to a previously loved item. Or if you’re buying new select items that you won’t throw away when a new trend rolls around. Picking classic pieces that suit your body shape and style rather than the fashion of the moment is the best way to ensure the longevity of your clothes.

 

When it’s time to say goodbye to your clothes sell any good quality items through a local buy and sell site or facebook marketplace, or donate them to a local charity.

 

4. Take the Meat-Free-Monday challenge

 

We understand that a fully plant-based diet isn’t for everyone, but reducing your meat and dairy consumption is one of the most effective ways to reduce your environmental impact. Meat and dairy production are huge contributors to water and energy use and toxic emissions. Doing what you can to reduce your intake will make a difference.

 

Start with meatless Mondays and expand it from there if you like! There’s loads of delicious vegan and vegetarian meals available online to get you inspired. Getting friends or family involved is a great way to stick to it. Try challenging your friends to a My Kitchen Rules style Meat Free Monday cook off. Delicious!

5. Sit in to eat

 

Takeaway containers are another easy switch that can reduce your waste. If you’re purchasing takeaway food think about whether you actually have time to eat in. Often what we purchase won’t take very long to consume and it’s a really nice break to sit down and eat rather than eating on the go. Give your feet a break, reduce your waste and tick off that mindful eating everyone’s been raving about.



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