Help save the planet with these 7 simple but effective tips.
Whether it be picking one item on the list or multiple items to work towards slowly, a little progress is better than no progress when it comes to sustainable habits for the planet.
Taking part in the mission to build a more sustainable world greatly will influence how you live your life.
It will help make breathing air cleaner, lessen the risk of extreme weather conditions, and allow future generations to live a happy and healthy life.
Here are some ways to implement sustainability today:
Be conscious of what you eat
The WWF estimates that around 30% of food produced is not consumed and ends up going to waste.
Eat what is in season and grown locally. Not only will this reduce grocery costs, it will also support the local economy.
Consider switching to a more sustainable diet made up of more plants than meat. This is because farming animals requires large amounts of land, water and feed which are all harmful to the planet.
Grow your own produce
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, food production contributes to approximately 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Even if it’s a few pots of herbs and veggies by the window, growing your own produce is a great alternative to purchasing ‘fresh’ produce from supermarkets.
Though considered ‘fresh’, these products are full of additives, usually come in non-sustainable packaging and require large amounts of transport before reaching supermarket shelves.
By growing food at home, you can control what goes into the soil, avoiding chemicals and pesticides that may be harmful to the environment.
Use eco-friendly cleaning products
Cleaning products are not always the best for the environment. The chemicals found within them harm the quality of drinking water and are extremely toxic to animals and plants.
Make your own natural cleaning products at home using these simple combinations:
- All-purpose scented cleaner: one-part white vinegar, one-part water, lemon rind and Rosemary sprigs
- Kitchen cleaner: four tablespoons of baking soda and one litre of warm water
- Glass cleaner: two cups of water, half a cup of white (or cider) vinegar, a quarter cup of rubbing alcohol and one to two drops of essential oil for fragrance (optional)
Turn off your devices at night
Before going to bed unplug outlets that you are not using, such as toasters. Turn off all devices including laptops, mobile phones and monitors and any unnecessary lights.
Electronics take up a significant amount of electricity when left on and not in use.
Referred to as ‘standby’ electricity loss, anything plugged in but not in use still draws energy and will cost your electricity bill extra.
This can also cause electric outlets to become overheated and invite the risk of blackouts and technical challenges, according to Harvard University’s sustainability guidelines.
Use reusable menstrual products
Rather than using cumulative stacks of pads or tampons monthly that end up in landfill, make the change to period panties, reusable pads or menstrual cups. Find out more about these products here.
Toiletries generally come wrapped in plastic which contribute greatly to plastic pollution. The pesticides used in producing cotton for the products also tend to end up in waterways either as residue from the pads and tampons, or because of pesticide pollution.
Reusable menstrual products are found to be healthier for the body as well, reducing the risk of irritation and rashes. Despite general misconceptions, cleaning these products is actually quite easy only requiring a wash with cold water, or soaking for a bit if stains are heavy.
All it takes is a bit of patience and high standards of hygiene.
Ditch the car as much as possible
Cars are one of the biggest climate problems, with car owners estimated to double by 2040.
Not only are air pollutants from vehicles harmful to the planet, it also has negative contributions to human health.
Smog that results from air pollution can cause harmful health implications such as respiratory illness, cardiovascular disease and even cancer, according to Australian Government research on vehicle emissions.
Change your daily commute style by switching to public transport or riding a bike if possible. Otherwise, consider switching to, or purchasing electric powered vehicles.
There are multiple ways to make fashion eco-friendly. Try investing in items that are of better quality so that they last longer. Avoid fast fashion sites where clothing is cheap and can only be worn for a season or two.
Consider even shopping for vintage pieces that are timeless, trendy and of good quality. Here are some sites to shop vintage.
Otherwise DIY old clothes into new styles, such as turning an old dress into a top or skirt to give them another chance.
Consider the new trend – bamboo clothing, which has many benefits for the planet. It requires less energy and water to produce, is grown without pesticides, is harvested sustainably, and is 100% biodegradable. The fabric is extremely comfy, and even suitable for exercise due to its breathable material.