Since I have began my journey into a more eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle, I have been learning a lot along the way. I wanted to share with you some more of my eco-friendly tips – things that everyone can do to make our impact more sustainable! If you missed my first post on saving the planet you can check it out here.
- Second Hand
I have recently made an effort to shop more second hand items. Mainly this has taken the form of second hand clothes – I use charity shops and Depop. I have been learning just how devastating the impact of Fast Fashion is on the planet – the documentary ‘The True Cost’ (which is available on Netflix) examines the fast fashion industry and its impact on our planet. Although I can’t really afford to invest in ethical, sustainable clothing brands currently, I choose to buy my clothes second hand. These clothes have already been made and so many end up in landfills so I love the chance to not only get an item for cheaper, but to save its fate from landfill! Other than clothes, I have made a commitment to buy everything I need second hand (where possible). For example, when my current phone eventually gives up the ghost, instead of committing to another contract with a brand new phone, I am going to buy one second hand. This saves an already existing phone from landfill and lowers the demand for new electronics.
- Repairing not Replacing
As well as buying second hand, I want to commit to making the items I already own last as long as possible rather than simply replacing them with new ones. For example, instead of replacing a jacket with a hole in, I now sew this hole up and no one is any the wiser! This is a vital element of a sustainable society – to move away from seeing items such as clothing as disposable and towards seeing them as something to be repaired whenever possible. This extends beyond clothes – we need to stop replacing broken items and learn to fix them. However, this is not helped by the fact that many devices such as electronics are literally build to break after a few years. Generally, however, it is important for sustainability if we chance our mindset and start viewing our belongings as items for life, not for a set period of time.
I have recently started using the search engine ‘ecosia’, which uses its profit to plant trees across the world. I must admit I was a little sceptical at first (Courtney Barnett fans) but from research, I believe that they are true to their word. Ecosia is a transparent company, publishing their financial reports and promise not to sell their user’s data. If you want to do some good for the planet whilst searching the web, why not visit Ecosia’s website and find out for yourself! (This is not an AD)
Changing your whole life overnight is frankly not possible and I have realised that making gradual changes in your lifestyle is much more achievable. I am trying to make swaps in my life to live a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle. This means I have ditched the normal laundry detergents that not only come in lots of plastic but are full of chemicals and replaced them with Soapnuts. These little shells have historically been used as a soap by Ancient Asian people and Native Americans! The little nuts last are organic, grow on trees and last a long time! You simply pop a few in a bag with your laundry and it washes your clothes. I would thoroughly recommend giving them a go if you are in the market for a more eco-friendly way to wash your clothes!
- Food Waste
In countries such as the UK, we waste a lot of food every day – according to Love Food Hate Waste, the UK produces 7 million tonnes of food waste every year! This is not only wasteful as the food could have been eaten by someone else, but takes up landfill space and uses a lot of greenhouse gases in the process. Not only this, but wasting less food will save you money – always an added bonus! If you have food left over, instead of binning it, try saving it for another meal or even freeze it to eat at a later date. Only buy food that you think you will actually eat – this can be helped by planning out your meals for the week. Another great tip is to use your food scraps either for compost, and your vegetable peelings to make a yummy vegetable stock!
Living a more sustainable life does not have to involve changing your whole life or making lots of changes one by one. I believe that making small, gradual and realistic changes can be highly beneficial in making a positive impact on the planet and how we treat it.