Want a more sustainable lifestyle? Here’s where to Start!
Thanks to David Attenborough’s Blue Planet effect and an increasing awareness about the amount of plastic in our oceans, more and more people are wanting to reduce their plastic footprint.
And now that Extinction Rebellion have taken to the streets and Greta Thunberg has inspired climate strike, we’re all become more aware of the fragile state of the environment. And many of us want to do our bit.
But it can be overwhelming!
When you take a look through your bin there seems to be masses of plastic from food packaging to once-use disposable items all the way through to items in our garages and sheds. If you’re planning an event, it can seem like you’ll end up with loads of disposable rubbish. And even your food choices are enough to cause you stress – should you buy local, organic, packaging free or ditch meat and go vegan?
I wanted to put together some ideas so you can get started without feeling overwhelmed:
Ditch the bottled water
While we all think we should be able to get tap water for free, many of us still feel awkward to ask for it in pubs, so we buy bottled water. And lots of people buy a bottle of water when out and about or for packed lunches. One of the easiest plastic free swaps you can do is to refil your bottle. You can buy stainless steel or reusable plastic bottles and by using an app like Refill, you’ll be able to find a local spot to top up your bottle. This alone could save you hundreds of pounds per year.
Learn to repair something
Repairing things gives them a new lease of life and helps preserve energy and resources. When I was growing up, we had a TV repair man in the town, numerous shoe cobblers and we’d take ill fitting clothes to a seamstress. According to Annie Leonard’s “The Story of Stuff”, 99% of the things we buy are consumed or trashed within 6 months. That’s shocking isn’t it?! If you’ve never repaired anything before, then take a class or find a local Repair Cafe where you can get small appliances such as an iphone or remote control working again.
Waste free events
Whether your planning your child’s Birthday party, a Christmas celebration or a big life event such as an eco friendly wedding, there are lots of things you can do to make your celebrations more sustainable. Getting rid of paper invites is simple but impactful. You can find some lovely e-cards online and with less and less people making telephone calls, a telephone invite is the perfect excuse to catch up with old friends. Make take home gifts from items that can be reused such as a packet of seeds and a small pot and scour charity shops for outfits.
Is there a better way to travel?
I saw a brilliant meme recently which showed people stuck in a traffic jam. The caption went along the lines of ‘Your not stuck in traffic, you ARE the traffic.’ It really hit home to me and make me reconsider my habits. Sure you have to get to work or meetings, but have a think about how you could get there while reducing your impact. It would be lovely if we could all afford an electric car, but that’s not viable. However, car sharing can not only save you money but can be a fantastic way to meet new people. With more and more people feeling lonely, and more and more people worried about the future of our planet, car pooling seems a win-win to me!
Vegan, local or organic?
Some experts predicts we’ll be eating insects as a staple part of our diet. Others suggest we need to go vegan to save the planet. While other people advocate a local, seasonal diet. In my research I’ve not come across one definitive answer and the key to sustainable living relies on being prepared to compromise and to change our minds. It’s worth following people’s who’s opinion you trust and then make tweaks and changes to your own lifestyle, based on new information as you find it.
What about you? In what ways are you being more sustainable at home and work?
Source: My Zero Waste