Earth day is an opportunity to give organisations, businesses, groups, families and individuals the excuse to really take stock of what the Earth means to them and the impact that we are creating. I personally don't like celebrating this on one day because every day should be Earth day just like every day should be save the elephant day or international woman's day! But I do think it's good that so many people can start to ask questions of brands and businesses and there's definitely a sense of pressure to tell the world what you are doing.
So I wanted to pick out a few everyday things that we can do as humans to try and be a bit more sustainable. I have seen many different version for this but "we don't need 100 people to be 100% sustainable all the time we need 1000000 people to be 10% more sustained." - Obviously if we could all be 100% sustainable that's the mission but not always possible. So let's dive in (pun intended!)
First of all, I'd say take an interest in the brands you use. Check their sustainability ethos and company ethos. That's why I love working with Zoggs because they are as passionate about this as I am and so keen to keep challenging and working on being a sustainable brand that make great kit that lasts!
So here's my list;
Work is a great excuse not to be very sustainable because there's so many excuses. But think really honestly about the things you can do to be more sustainable yourself or challenge the work environment to be more sustainable. We all love a box of celebrations and it's hard to turn them down but is that really helpful? Here are some things to start with:
- if you get the bus regularly can you get off a couple of stops early and walk or is it worth investing in the proper kit so you can walk to work regardless of the weather
- Could you car share with another colleague
- When office supplies are concerned can you try and take care of stuff so it needs replacing less frequently?
- Bake instead of quick buy for office snacks
Food waste is a huge issue for western societies and we could all do better here! Not only the actual waste of the food but the senseless waste of packaging! Planning ahead of your week to know what you will be eating during the week could make a big difference. Not only in your food shopping bill, but also in the amount of food waste you end up producing. Here are some simple but effective things to try;
- Meal planning is key here, but allow a little flexibility to still enjoy life!
- Meal deal sandwiches are a massive waste of plastic, they are convenient sure but they waste so much plastic and cardboard that can't or isn't often recycled. Start thinking about cooking a little more at dinner time, so that you can have the leftovers for lunch the next day. Packed lunches don't need to be tasteless!!
- Reusable cups and bottles. Spend a bit of money on getting the water bottle and coffee cup that you LOVE. If you really love using them you’re more likely to take good care of it and remember to take them with you. I'd also suggest buying 2 so you can keep 1 at work or in your bag.
- Shopping sustainable food is also a great way to keep an eye on your footprint in this world. Are there local farmer’s markets or delivery boxes that you can use instead of the plastic packaging at the super market?
- One business I love for out meat deliveries is Pipers farm "Founded in 1989, Pipers Farm is a destination for meat that is produced sustainably and in harmony with nature. We create links between ethical producers who we know and trust, and with you, our customers." Our Mission – Pipers Farm
When it comes to your leisure time or your hobbies can you be a bit more sustainable? Is your hobby a good one or bad one for the environment? Here are some things to think about;
- Can you be a bit more sustainable with your hobby when kit is concerned?
- I would choose brands that are sustainable like Zoggs & Dryrobe. But not only that take good care of your kit! Keep goggles in their packaging, rinse your swimsuit when you get out of the water, hang them up straight away to dry. All these things will increase the life of your kit and ultimately help you be more sustainable
- Charity shops are great for finding some pre loved equipment especially for children. So it Facebook market place or gumtree
- How does your kit arrive? One of the reasons I love the brand, Zoggs, is because their mission is aimed at constantly trying to reduce plastic in their packaging. For example, their goggle packaging, On the front of pack you will notice that it is made from recycled materials and is recyclable. On the back of the packaging there is a dotted line with some scissors to show where you can cut the cardboard to separate the materials. Handy tip: by doing this you can reuse the plastic to store the goggles in.
Fashion is a huge contributor to harming our planet from water wastes, inequality and plastic packaging to name only a few issues! Here are some thoughts on how you can challenge this;
- Selling clothes helps your wallet and means our clothes have a second life. Or you can take them to a charity shop which can help local charities.
- Avoid fast fashion if possible. Choose brands that sell sustainably sourced good like. Check their sustainability ethos. You'll find clothes that have been made with love tend to last longer so you won't need to keep buying 'everyday' cheap stuff because it won't break or ruin easily.
- Take care of your stuff! Keeping good care of your clothes will also help to increase their life, being careless with washing or stains can cause us to get rid of clothes that we can't be 'bothered' to clean or fix. If you break something, then looking for a local tailor will usually be more cost effective than buying something new.
Our households can be a hard place to even consider being more sustained because for me when I started looking into it .... it seemed endless and I didn't know where to start! So here's how I went about it;
cleaning products - take some interest in the ingredients in your cleaning products - how many are harmful to the environment? I started making my own cleaning solution 2 years ago and it's saved me loads of money and useless water plastic because I use a reusable bottle to fill it up here's how I do it;
- 1 1/2L of water (one cup warm)
- 300ml white vinegar (look for odourless)
- 60ml dishwashing soap
- 25ml eucalyptus essential oil (you can use any oil here that you like)
- 3 teaspoons of soda crystals.
Method: mix all together and use!
One other swap I've made is to change from washing powder or liquid to washing sheets. I love this brand they smell nice, take up no space at all and it's a subscription model that works for me. https://ecolaundryclub.com/
I also recently started buying 'who gives a crap' toilet paper. It might just be me but I'm certain there's more loo roll per roll as it seems to last much longer. It also saves all that useless plastic waste from the supermarket ones.
Hopefully that's given you a lot to think about and just imagine how much good you can do between now and next Earth day!