How can we be more Sustainable in 2020?
The most mundane parts of our day-to-day have a huge impact on the environment, luckily this means that small changes can go a long way. You don’t have to be Vegan, bike everywhere and start your own little farm in your back garden (however that would be awesome and the ultimate sustainable life) you can start small and make changes that don’t drastically affect your life.
Here’s some tips on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle:
One thing you can do right now is recycle, there is usually a dedicated bin for recycling for everything, paper, plastic and tin. There’s still some confusion over what can be recycled but just make sure you check the packaging and don’t put your recycling in bin bags!
Reusing or repurposing items. Use reusable water bottles / coffee cups. Having reusable bags for shopping. Repurposing jars and tins. Use wax wraps instead of cling film.
Reduce your need to buy new products, having things that are reusable is more sustainable and cost effective than having to buy things again and again. When you do buy things, try and find items that will last and purchase them from places that don’t use lots of packaging and plastic. This can be particularly hard when shopping for food, however there are more options available now to buy loose produce, a couple of days ago an Asda in Leeds introduced new refill stations to make buying without packaging more accessible for people!
4. Check out ethical market places
When starting out, ethical marketplaces can take out a lot of the effort and guesswork out of finding more reusable, sustainable products. These marketplaces ensure sustainable packaging options, verify all vendors so you know what you’re getting is in fact sustainable and of high quality and can give you ideas and inspiration of things you can do to live more sustainably! A couple of UK based examples are Wearth London and MyGreenPod.
5. Look at each room in your house 1 by 1
The easiest way to get started in ‘sustainable living’ is to deal with it on a room by room basis, for example your bathroom is a great place to start, there’s lots of ways to be reduce plastic by buying things like shampoo and conditioner bars, switching to a bamboo toothbrush, using safety razors. Once you’ve done one whole room it’s nice to think that one aspect of your day to day is waste free!
6. Join groups on Facebook
If you’re on Facebook then following a sustainable living page can be a really good way of getting more information on being more sustainable. These groups are made up of people who are essentially just trying to be more sustainable, the bulk of posts I’ve noticed have been people asking for advice on random day to day things like ‘an eco-alternative fountain pen’ but it’s also a great resource for news on climate change, local changes in sustainability options etc.
7. Try a sustainable alternative to pads and tampons
Pads and tampons create 200,000 tonnes of waste per year and consist of mostly plastic. A great way to be more sustainable is to try an alternative next time, moon cups, period pants and eco pads for example.
8. Wear sustainable clothing
The fashion industry produces 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions every year, uses around 1.5 trillion litres of water annually, contributes to pollution, from chemical waste to microplastics. If you need to buy new clothing look into second hand vintage buys or buy from brands that manufacture in a more sustainable and ethical way.
9. Your diet
The single biggest way to reduce your impact on the earth is to avoid eating meat and dairy. Agriculture is a significant driver of global warming and causes 15% of all emissions, half of which are from livestock. A plant based vegan diet is the most sustainable way to eat, however, if everyone limited their consumption of meat and had a couple of meat free days a week this would have a bigger impact than all of the previous tips combined!
10. Watch David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet (on Netflix)
Gaining a different perspective and finding some inspiration to motivate you is a great way to get started and what better way to do that than with a David Attenborough doc on Netflix! Just pop it on and let the soothing tones of Attenborough blow your mind.