It goes without saying, we all need to do our bit to regenerate the planet. It can be daunting to know where to start, especially while juggling the rest of life, but environmental habits don’t have to feel like hard work. They can actually serve to simplify and improve the quality of our lives. We are nature and what is good for the planet is good for us. Below is our list of ideas we can gently introduce into our lives:
Use tech for good
Most of us have our phones with us 24/7, so why not use them as a tool to become a more conscious consumer? Apps like AWorld supported by the UN Act Now campaign, allows you to log your existing sustainable habits, measures your impact on the environment and provides suggestions as to new sustainable habits you can adopt. If you prefer an analog approach, write down a ‘punch-list’ in your phone notes, a term coined by Paul Hawkin to describe a personalised list of actions. Personalising action-taking is important, because it takes the guilt out and acknowledges the fact we have our own unique capacities and limitations based on a range of external and circumstantial factors. If tracking your sustainability efforts is not your thing, websites like Good On You or Ethical Made Easy rate fashion and skincare brands based on their environmental efforts, so you can make informed purchases without the hassle of checking the tags.
Money matters to big corporations, so storing your money with clean banks like Bank Australia and clean super funds like Australian Ethical Super, speaks volumes. Banks, Insurance and Superannuation companies lend money to fossil fuel companies which are the leading cause of the climate crisis. Luckily today there are plenty of great options for clean financial institutions that only invest in renewables.
Reduce, re-use, recycle
With the immensity of production that exists nowadays, there’s probably enough ‘things’ on earth for decades to come. Before buying new, consider if you can find what you’re looking for second hand on Marketplace, Depop or Curated Vintage Stores. For those that don’t like sifting through op shops, follow vintage, reworked or second hand designer clothing and furniture businesses on Instagram that do the work for you. Before shopping, consider if you can refresh old clothes by dying stained ones a new colour, taking them to a tailor, or repairing them yourself. Clothing swaps with friends is another great way to refresh your wardrobe without purchasing anything new. For furniture, there’s endless upcycling inspo on every social platform, demonstrating how to transform an old table into a tiled masterpiece, or turn old vases into terracotta pots. For pieces that are harder to purchase second-hand like swimwear, consider the cost per wear. Invest in interchangeable tops and bottoms and versatile styles that pair with your current wardrobe items to maximise life-span and wearability. Owning less reduces stress levels, refer to The Minimalists for inspiration.
A meat free work week
40% of greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, deforestation and other land changes. It may not be realistic for most people to give up meat overnight and it’s not necessary to give it up altogether to make a difference. Simply reducing the world’s meat intake can significantly reduce demand for animal agriculture. The 80/20 rule is a handy one to remember when reducing your consumption. Aiming to eat 80% plant based and 20% meat is a great way to slowly and sustainably integrate this habit. This can look like eating plant-based meals at home during the week and meat on weekends.
Reduce plastic consumption
Speaking of the 80/20 rule, you can apply this to plastic consumption. It’s not always realistic to remove it completely, especially when time constraints, children and finances come into play. So outline what you can do, perhaps it’s 60/50, or 70/30 to begin with. There’s lots of free information published daily by eco influencers on social media or blogs like Trash is for Tossers. An easy place to start is by slowly increasing the amount of bulk food you buy. If you’re a busy family, jump online and see if there’s a planet-friendly bulk food delivery in your area to save an extra trip. Easy ones to start with are salt, spices, rice and grains. For pasta and packaged food, try to buy it in paper boxes that can be recycled. If you are buying soft plastics in Australia, Coles and Woolworths have soft recycling collection points that are transformed into large, long-term objects to avoid that plastic going back into the sea.
Lastly, education is so important. There’s a lot of greenwashing out there that can coax us into buying fast fashion or more plastic thinking it’s a green solution. A lot of brands tout being “sustainable” by using recycled plastic packaging, unfortunately only 9% of plastic is recycled worldwide. Following accounts like Brown Girl Green, Plastic Free Mermaid and Compostable Kate are all reputable and educated resources for slowly and effortlessly brushing up on your environmental knowledge. Other publications like Atmos and Earthrise Studio offer more in depth articles that dive into some of the environmental challenges, misconceptions and solutions.
This Earth Day, we’re donating 100% of profit from every sale to Sea Trees and Thread Together. We wanted to give our community the opportunity to contribute to these important causes and show the planet the love it needs and deserves.
Both initiatives represent two important climate strategies. First, drawing down carbon which is the number one driver of climate change. Second, to assist with climate disaster recovery - something that is close to our communities hearts right now. Where you choose to spend your money can make a difference.