Sustainability, living green, being eco-friendly, these terms are more than buzz words today. More and more people are realising there is a better way to live each day that has less impact on people and planet. If we can all adopt some easy changes in our day-to-day lives that will make a BIG impact collectively.
1. Reusable Cups
Reusable coffee cups are a super simple switch that can have a major impact! Our coffee loving culture here in Australia sees us Aussies throwing “out 2.7 million single-use or disposable coffee cups every single day. This adds up to 1 billion coffee cups thrown out every year”.
This massive amount of waste is preventable, all it takes is a little pre-planning to have a reusable cup with you. Why not keep one in your car and your bag just in case!
2. Ditch the Plastic
“On average, Australians use 130kg of plastic per person each year. Less than 12% of that's recycled. More frightening still, up to 130,000 tonnes of plastic will find its way into our waterways and into the ocean”.
We have let so much plastic go into our eco-systems that a study by the University of Newcastle and World Wide Fund for Nature found plastics were actually ending up back on our plate through our food sources. Their research showed the average person was eating approximately 5 grams of plastic each week, which is around the size of a credit card!
How to ditch the plastic? Don’t buy drinks in plastic bottles, avoid plastic bags, shop at bulk food stores to avoid plastic food packaging, check delivery packaging before making online purchases (there are great alternatives to plastic like the Hero Packaging home compostable mailers we use).
3. Reduce Food Waste
Food waste is a major contributor to greenhouse emissions. Food waste contributes to approximately 6.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in Australia alone. That is before considering all the other resources that were used to produce the food in the first place.
What can we do? Don’t buy in excess, just buy the food you need. Check your food regularly to use up food before it goes off. Try some food saving techniques like these on The Green Hub. If food does have to be “thrown away” use a worm farm or compost to dispose of it. You can pretty much buy a food waste solution for any size home these days!
4. Build a sustainable wardrobe
Every year on average each Australian purchases around 27 kilograms of new clothing and dispose around 23 kilograms of clothing to landfill.
Steps to creating a sustainable wardrobe include:
- Not buying on impulse
- Choosing brands that sell ethical and sustainable clothing that doesn’t harm people and planet
- Re-visit the clothes you already own, maybe there’s an old dress you forgot you had
- Shop second hand at op shops or online
Most often, ethical and sustainable clothing brands are small businesses like ours who need your support to make positive change in this largely damaging industry. With your help we can create a better future for the fashion industry workers and improve the future of our planet. You can find our range of ethical clothing here and read about our impact here.
5. Conserve water and energy
I can still hear in my head “never let the water run” when I’ve got the tap on. It was something instilled in me from when I was a kid and growing up on tank water. Whether it’s brushing your teeth or having unnecessarily long showers, reducing water consumption will help in preserving this vital natural resource. Use a bowl or bucket to capture excess water when waiting for the water to turn warm and use it on your plants or garden.
As with water, you should also turn off power. Running technology like computers and TVs even on standby mode uses on average 10% of your total energy bill. That can be a lot of energy saved as well as money back in your pocket.
There are many other things we can do to live more sustainably each day, but this list of easy switches that can have a BIG impact, is a great place to start. It can be overwhelming to conquer all at once so start one step at a time. It’s okay to slip up, it’s okay to still have some plastic in your kitchen but being conscious of these changes and the power you have as an individual is a HUGE step!
I’m excited to hear how you go implementing these actions or if you have any more tips for a sustainable home!
Let’s be the CHANGE!