“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can change the world.”
I’m not sure if it’s having children, or just growing up and growing in general as a person but I care more about things now than I ever used to.
I care about our environment and about animals. I want to try and reduce the impact I have on our planet as much as possible. When I first started thinking how to reduce my carbon footprint, I became overwhelmed. My life was already hectic and the thought of changing things felt too hard.
Instead, I decided to slowly substitute things. One-by-one, I started making better choices and replacing products and habits for more eco-friendly options.
I am far from perfect and there’s many things I’m still working towards but if everyone started by making small changes, the result would be felt worldwide.
Easy eco-friendly changes to make in your household
Switch to reusable options
Imagine if, every time you showered you got yourself a new huge human-sized paper towel to dry off with, throwing it out after using. Sounds a bit excessive, right?
This is sort of how I liken some of the other stuff we use in our households. Reusable options are just as effective, they save money and help reduce all that waste going to landfill.
Ideas for things you can switch out for reusable options:
dish cloths, paper towel, cotton pads, makeup remover wipes, baby wipes, nappies, plastic bags, sanitary items (say whaaaat? Check out my post on menstrual cups).
It also eliminates having to buy these things in your weekly shopping and I for one, am a huge fan of that in itself.
Ditch the shampoo bottles
When I had used up the last of my shampoo and contioner, I switched out for shampoo and conditioner bars.
Heaps of places are selling them now and it can be a bit subjective in terms of how they make your hair feel.
I personally use Amor Luminis products (not #spon because seriously I have like 1 follower).
They make my hair feel amazing and are made right here in WA. You may balk at the price but they last for aaaages and smell divine.
Another pro – they aren’t full of silicones and the stuff your hairdresser tells you to avoid. Winning!
Recycle your soft plastics
Coles and Woolworths supermarkets participate in Redcyle which is a recycling program for soft plastics (think bread bags, frozen pea bags etc. A full list of what you can recycle is listed on the website).
You are unable to dispose of these in your regular recycling bins now – a small change saves all this plastic going to landfill.
All you gotta do is keep all your soft plastics and drop them in the bin at your local collector – such as Coles or Woolworths and select other drop-off points.
It’s a simple habit to get into and the plastic is transformed into some amazing things such as fencing and signage – cool huh?
Grab a keep cup (and actually remember to use it)
If you love to regularly indulge in a barista-made coffee then you must invest in a reusable coffee cup.
Just about everywhere sells their own variety of these babies. I personally use a Joco cup that was gifted to me by my mum.
Did you know that for a reusable coffee cup to actually outweigh the benefit of disposable cups, it must be used at least 15 times.
So make sure you actually get into the habit of packing your cup in your car or bag when you leave the house.
If I forget my Joco cup at work, I don’t buy a takeaway coffee, or I dine-in.
STOP using cling-wrap.
Cling wrap is designed to be a one-use plastic product. You literally are meant to use it and then throw it away, which baffles me as we know plastics takes hundreds of thousands of years to break down.
Pretty much everything you can use cling wrap for, you can pop into a reusable container. Or another option is to try out beeswax wraps which are 100% biodegradable (but obviously not a vegan option)
I use wraps made by a friend I work with. I use them to wrap my cheeses and cover a bowl or leftovers etc.
You can thankfully recycle cling-wrap through the Redcycle program i mentioned earlier, too.
Join your local Buy Nothing group
Have you heard of Buy Nothing? It is a gift economy that operates in a series of Facebook groups separated into your location.
As the name suggests, it is a gift economy where you can offer items for free or ask to be considered for stuff that people are getting rid of.
The groups are are categorised by suburb and if your simply search ‘Buy Nothing’ on facey, your local group should pop-up.
I have decluttered a tonne of stuff via my local Buy Nothing page and have also scored some excellent things – like a 10 foot trampoline that was only 8 months old.
It stops waste going to landfill and instead provides joy to another person, a win-win IMO.
Buy natural-fibre clothing
This isn’t necessarily a quick-fix as clothing made from natural fibres such as cotton, can consume a lot of energy and water to create.
We live in a fast-fashion society. We buy things only to wear them a few times before throwing them out (don’t forget a lot of what we donate to charity ends up in landfill). If you don’t want to live a slow-fashion life, then perhaps looking at what your clothing is made from is a good start.
The idea with natural fabrics, is that your clothing isn’t made of plastic derivatives and will decompose if you decide to throw it out… you could even feed it to your worms (if you have a worm farm).
Common natural fabrics include: cotton, linen, bamboo, wool, hemp and silk.