Two significant words that when put together induce a whole range of emotions within me. When I hear ‘sustainable living’, and ‘climate change’ too for that matter, I immediately feel a sense of panic. I have been frightened by the words ‘climate change’ since I could really grasp their meaning, and potentially the meaning of its effect on us humans. And it wasn’t until fairly recently that the concept of sustainable living really began to nudge its way into my mind. I’m sharing my thoughts on this now because, even though I’ve known about global warming and climate change for years, it’s obviously becoming a bigger problem and if I can share something helpful, to even only one person on my blog, then I’ll be happy. Ultimately that’s all it really takes; small actions that are done by individuals, who then spark something in another individual to start small too, and the cycle goes on.
I think with such a vast topic such as living sustainably, we often feel overwhelmed by thinking that we have to do huge actions that will change the world immediately, or else it means nothing. That’s our first mistake though – have you ever heard of the saying “every little bit counts”? Well, that’s perfectly applicable here. It can be the smallest action, like carrying a glass water bottle with you throughout the day instead of buying plastic bottled water, and the more people who do this small action, the more impactful it becomes on the planet. So that’s what I’m sharing with you today. The small things that we can do that will ultimately add up in the end. I don’t know about you, but I’d really like to save this beautiful planet…
- Reusable shopping bags.
So, so simple. As soon as I know I’m heading to the shops, I pack my material shopping bags in my car. I won’t claim to be perfect because I do forget them sometimes and then I could kick myself (not really though), but for the most part it’s an easy way to do a bit for the environment. If you do have plastic shopping bags from previous times, reuse them too for groceries. It doesn’t matter if you use Spar bags at Woolworths or vice versa, just using them again instead of buying a whole lot of new ones is so good.
2. Reusing containers as tupperware
As someone whose household is ALWAYS lacking tupperware, this little trick is golden. Whenever I finish up yoghurt or ice cream, I wash them out and put them in the drawer where the other lunch boxes and various containers are, and I will use those instead of buying new ones. They’re perfect for keeping leftovers in, packing lunches in or storing powders, etc in the cupboard. The may not match, but in the grand scheme of things it’s really not a problem. Besides, if that really does bother you I’m sure you could find a cute way to cover them or decorate them.. Just a thought?
3. Glass and metal straws
These have become quite popular over the last year, and thank goodness because the damage from plastic straws really isn’t great. These are so easy to keep in your handbag for whenever you’re out and they usually come with a brush to clean them with. It’s a little more effort than your use and discard plastic straws, but most things worth achieving are. And if you are not keen on this idea, rather don’t use straws, period. Drink your beverage without a straw, make that small sacrifice.
I read last week about a girl who had some illness where she had to use straws (I don’t know the exact details) and in cases like that, whether you carry a reusable straw or not, I get that it might be unavoidable. But for those of us who can go without this single-use plastic, let’s play our part and reduce the number as much as possible!
I don’t have any pictures of these to share, but they are very cool. Basically you fill a plastic bottle that you’ve used with single-use plastic, until its filled solid. These are then used for building and furniture! How insane is that?! You can put straws inside, cellophane, styrofoam, plastic packaging, cigarette buds, chocolate and chip packets, the list is loooong. There are also various drop off points and you can find them if you Google it. This really is such an awesome way to immediately start with getting rid of waste and you know it’s going towards a fantastic cause.
These four tips are little ways of achieving sustainable living slowly and are examples of what I’ve been doing in my own life. As I mentioned at the top, every small action counts, regardless of how small it may be. I remember in primary school I was so worried about global warming that I always thought about making pamphlets to tell people to start looking after our planet (not necessarily the most effective way but I was little!) Looking back I know my heart was in the right place, but I was only about 11/12. Basically, I don’t want my children one day or their children to be worrying about stuff like that at so young. So, let’s do what we can while we can. We may not be able to move mountains in one day but we can definitely slowly try!