Often, when you think sustainable, you think a world where you have no rubbish, the food you eat and the clothes you wear are solely from ethical sources and everything you own is made with renewable resources. While this is a nice idea, it can seem a little out of reach, especially when taking that first step. But choosing a sustainable lifestyle doesn’t mean totally transforming how you live. Just some small changes to your routine can have a huge impact and pave the way to living in a more environmentally friendly way.
Reusable coffee cups
You may already be doing this, but perhaps not quite committed entirely. Easy, affordable and money saving – reusable coffee cups have so many benefits for the world and for you. Many coffee shops will offer discounts if you bring your own cup and the impact of one or two fewer disposable cups can have a huge impact. With one million disposable coffee cups discarded in landfill every day, the rise of the “keep cup” is set to have huge ramifications. Some companies we love are Keep Cup, based in Victoria, and Pottery for the Planet, based in Queensland, both of which offer beautiful products that will make you want to reach for your reusable cup daily.
Fruit and veg markets
Another easy sustainable choice that is growing in popularity is farmer’s markets. Most large cities have them and hundreds flock to them every weekend. Stocked with produce from local sources, you can support Australian farmers easily. If you want to check the processes used when farming the produce, many of the stalls will be manned by those who work on or own the farm and are happy to answer your questions.
Australians buy 27 kilograms of new clothing each year. Of these purchases, 75 per cent of people have thrown out at least one item in the trash. There’s a solution for both of these situations. First, when you decide to get rid of the clothing you do have, give it to charity. If that means heading to an op shop, the second step is moving inside to see if you like anything. By giving your clothes to these places, as well as buying from them, you can help reduce the impact of fast fashion and your contribution to the issue. This can also be much more affordable as second hand clothes tend to be a lot cheaper – often in pristine condition or from designer brands that normally cost significantly more.
Say no to plastic
Many of us try to do this but many more tend to get slack with it. There are some easy ways to make a change. First, sticking to green bags. This doesn’t mean the stock standard literally green bags. Buy some fun totes that you like and would pair with an outfit anyway and you’ll find you use it more. Another way to avoid plastic is by saying no to a straw in your drink. If you really can’t say no, there are reusable straws that come with pouches so you can keep one in your bag. Also stay away from food wrapped in plastic – by going the market route above, a lot of plastic wrapping can be avoided.
Lastly, a great option whether you are buying clothes, beauty products or even homewares, is hemp. Grown from seed to harvest in just 120 days and able to thrive in almost all climates, hemp can be used in hundreds of ways, from clothing to replace the fast fashion purchases going to the op shop to the fruit bowl for your farmers markets spoils! In fact, every tip mentioned can involve a hemp-based product replacement that not only helps the environment but also looks cool. One brand we love is The Hemp Temple, a conscious clothing business built upon authentic relationships, slow fashion, ethical production and raw fibres. We particularly love the Willow dress and Amun Ra top.
The above barely scratch the surface of easy sustainable choices in your daily life. There are so many small changes that can have a big impact and by even doing one you can make a change.
Image supplied by Hemp Temple