If you want a dictionary definition, sustainability is the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. Put more simply, sustainability is a way of living to avoid or minimise our impact on the earth. it is an intrinsic part of our lives today & affects every aspect of our lifestyle. For me, I consider everything from buying plastic-free produce, to only using a glass coffee cup, to recycled toilet paper to household items low in toxins.
I believe there are 2 key actions when it comes to sustainability:
- Vote with your wallet: every time I buy and unpackaged, locally produced, ethically sourced organic product, I am supporting the farmers &/or producers & suppliers who have got that package to the shop. Every time I buy a product with poor quality ingredients or wrapped in single use plastic I’m telling that company to make more of that product and that we are ok with foods that provide us no nutrition & are detrimental to the environment.
- Be vocal: ask questions about everything – whether it’s about where a product was sourced, what conditions an animal was kept, whether there is a better way to make that product. Put forward realistic suggestions – the likelihood is if you’re feeling there could be a better way to do it, someone else is too.
REDUCE – this has to be the single most effective way to live more sustainably. Owning less ‘stuff’ including clothes, toys & household clutter means we are contributing less to our footprint on the planet. everything has to end up somewhere. Don’t get me wrong, I often see something & think it’s a good deal then spend moments of buy it / don’t buy it / you wouldn’t buy it if it wasn’t on special. Ask yourself if you would buy it if it was NOT on special – therein lies your answer.
Lightening our footprint on the planet comes in all different guises. One of my first steps towards being an “eco-hero” was switching to reusable shopping bags eliminating a dozen or more single use plastic bags each week. When you’re filling up at the supermarket or wherever you shop, don’t grab a plastic bag for your fruit & veggies – buy some reusable produce bags made from recycled plastic bottles (cool, huh?). Next on the agenda was single use coffee cups – lined with plastic these bad boys (no pun intended) don’t ever degrade – grab a glass one quicker than you can say espresso via nourished life (I have three of these so if we have friends over guests over there’s still no excuse to go single use). Third on the list while we’re cutting the crap is recycled toilet paper – the supermarket stuff tends to result in deforestation & be filled with dyes & synthetic scents. GYO – grow your own – is also a fabulous approach to lessening your footprint – pick it when you need it – more often than not, herbs are sold in plastic sleeves. Imagine even Australia’s population of 25 million bought one less plastic sleeve of herbs a week. Pretty profound impact immediately.
Buying brands that use better quality products like organic cotton & materials that re-generate quickly including bamboo & hemp are a much better options than fast fashion. Perhaps it is just as I get older that I am less concerned about what’s in fashion & more conscious of timeless pieces that suit me better & are have less impact on the environment. You can see what I wrote about Fast Fashion here.
Household products – I don’t wear a lot of make-up & tend to support companies that are low-tox. There are some fantastic companies offering sustainable options including refillable mascara (Zao – from The Kind Store UK). I have tried about half a dozen low-toxin deodorants, but the only one that has worked & happens to come in a little tin (plastic-free) is No Pong.
Rubbish. We began to compost our fruit & vegetable scraps a few years ago & almost overnight our weekly landfill bin halved. We drop it off to two local community gardens but it’s super easy to create your own compost at home. Earth cannot keep up with the amount of output from our ever-growing population. Food scraps are surprisingly a huge contributing factor to methane production as it heats up once buried in landfill & becomes more toxic than carbon dioxide. This is such an easy change to make it & hugely beneficial.
Every micro-action counts. Thank YOU for taking a step in the right direction to better our planet – YOU help determine our future