This is a guest post written by Sophia Smith.
One of the crucial things that we have to become more aware and mindful of is that everything we do, every single act, has a consequence. You smile at a stranger on the street and their day is suddenly a bit better. Just like promoting and exercising kindness, we need to promote and try to lead a more sustainable and ethical lifestyle. Like that stranger on the street, our planet feels a little bit better when we treat it with kindness.
Transforming your lifestyle to be more green isn’t all that difficult, and it doesn’t require as much sacrifice as you may think, so join us and start with these five simple tips that will help you on this journey.
Stop The Waste
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that, each year, one-third of all food produced for human consumption in the world (around 1.3 billion tons) is lost or wasted. Countries like Denmark and France are paving the way towards change, and if Denmark can do it with the help of one environmentalist, you too can make a micro-change that will in time have a macro effect.
The key to putting a stop to food waste, at least in your own home, is to make more frequent runs to the market and buy less produce. This way you will always have fresh ingredients, and will also avoid throwing out those that usually pile up and go bad. Aside from that, you can always commit to composting your scraps instead of just throwing them out.
End The Disposable Cycle
Paper towels, plastic cups, drinking straws – everything disposable in your home has to go. All these items create large amounts of unnecessary waste, and it’s way simpler to switch to real dish rags, regular cups, and coffee thermoses. As for the straws, they’re not even that essential – we can all simply take our beverages without them. Not only are they non-essential but they are highly wasteful and pose a real danger to sea creatures as well. You don’t need to be a part of destroying sea life, so don’t be.
Second only to everyday household waste is clothing waste. We have all more or less become slaves to trends and fads and instead of supporting sustainable and ethical fashion brands and retailers, we always seem to go for the easy solution – buy a fast fashion item, wear it for a little while, realize the poor quality, throw out, repeat.
This absolutely has to change and you won’t even need to sacrifice your personal style in the process. There is always a great sustainable clothes shop that has everything you need: high-quality, durability, stylishness as well as affordable prices. Shop in second hand stores or invest in high-quality garments that will last you for years and years. Don’t pile on item upon item – shop smartly and in a calculated manner.
Aside from purchasing quality goods, we could all stand to have our clothes altered and repaired instead of just getting rid of them. Finally, there are always ways to recycle. Brands like Zara and H&M even have in-store recycling programs, and you can swap clothes with friends or donate them to charity. There is always a better option than the landfill, you just have to know where to look.
A Lovely Home
Avoid purchasing wasteful knick-knacks that you will discard in a year and invest in thoughtful, eco friendly furnishings that will last you a lifetime. This way you’ll avoid having a home that looks just like everyone else’s and you’ll also be saving a planet, one vase at a time.
Scout for hidden treasures at antiques stores, flea markets and thrift stores. Don’t throw out old furniture; there are amazing artisans that do wonders with refreshing everything from kitchen cabinets to sofas. You’ll pay less than buying a new piece of furniture and you can it design yourself. It’s a win-win.
Let There Be Light
You’ll be surprised with how much you can save on your electricity bill if you apply a few simple household tricks. For instance, switch to LED bulbs instead of regular; they give more natural light and last much longer. Don’t turn the heat up – put an extra layer of clothing; you’ll feel much better and the number on your bill will me smaller. Keep the blinds up as long as there is natural light coming from outside. Why turn on the light when you can have the sun shining in your home?
Pull the plug on anything that you’re not using – it’s still consuming power when it’s plugged in. Shorten your shower time. It’s little things like these that result in a great and highly notable difference, and as you can see none of them require huge sacrifice or investment. Are you ready to lead a more environmentally conscientious life?