The earth is in trouble and you may feel like what you do as an individual won’t really make a difference. The truth is that if each one of us try just a little bit, we can make a positive change. Let’s look at 5 simple steps to be more sustainable.
1. Get reusable water bottles and coffee cups
Using an item once is so last year! This doesn’t only extend to water bottles and coffee cups, but to anything you’ll only use once and then toss away. Make it a habit to keep up to 3 glass water bottles available at all time, one in your bag, one in the fridge and one in the wash.
Choose a reusable coffee cups that will stand the test of time and also slot it into your daily routine, when you get home give it a quick wash and place it back in your bag for your trip to your local coffee shop in the morning.
2. Say no to straws
This is another single use item that we can really do without, many manufacturers are trying to develop more eco-friendly straws (such as biodegradable or recycled ones), but the truth is that using a straw is a learned habit and we all need to wean ourselves.
If you really can’t do without one, keep a metal straw in your bag, just don’t forget to thoroughly clean it when you get home to keep its condition in tip top shape (and also prevent it from making you sick due to lack of hygiene).
3. Shop with purpose
Don’t buy things just for the sake of buying. Rather invest in quality items that will stand the test of time (where and whenever you can). This concept can be applied to food, clothing, furniture, and appliances but can also be applied to trendy ‘sustainable’ items that we find ourselves drawn to.
Before you decide to purchase anything, ask yourself why you are buying this particular item and also if there is anything that you currently have that will serve the same purpose and can be reused.
4. Use what you have
Repurpose items as much as possible (like using an old t-shirt to create a reusable bag or a mason jar as alternative drinking vessel). Reduce, reuse, and recycle should be a motto we tell ourselves daily.
Wasting food also falls into this category, plan your meals, and buy only what and how much you need. Store all food items properly to extend their shelf life as much as possible and consider sharing bulk buys with friends and family to reduce costs but without increasing food wastage.
5. Eat more plant-based meals
Reducing the number of animal-based products you consume regularly will have a bigger impact than you realise. We’re not saying that everyone should go vegan, but simply including a solitary meatless meal in your menu, every week, can go a long way to reducing your carbon footprint.
Animals require a significant amount of land and water of be reared to the point where we consume them and this all take a considerable about of time (especially in comparison to plant-based foods). As a bonus, eating more plant-based foods is also beneficial for your health, so you are effectively killing two metaphorical birds with one stone!