Finding ways to live more sustainably might seem out of reach and in the 'to hard basket' especially if you have children. There are however some simple things that you can do that don't require large scale changes to your life but that will have a very positive impact on the planet.
- Save energy. Using less energy reduces carbon emissions. Switching off standby appliances, turning off lights and hanging washing to dry rather than using the dryer will all help reduce energy consumption.
- Commit to composting. Composting food scraps will reduce your waste considerably. Food scraps in landfill let of a harmful greenhouse gases.
- Use only reusable swim nappies on your baby. Disposable swim nappies are only ever used for short periods of time, making this single use product particularly wasteful.
- Promise to recycle all your soft plastics. Soft plastics cannot be recycled via your council's yellow recycling bin, but it can be recycled through REDcycle Bins found at Woolworths and Coles supermarkets. This will prevent all those plastic wrapped items ending up in landfill for hundreds of years.
- Shop locally and support market produce. Shopping locally reduces carbon emissions in transportation and will always be a greener shopping option. Along with supporting small business, buying local food means it is likely to contain more nutrients and have less packaging.
- Refuse pre-packaged fruit and vegetables. Find the loose option instead. Not bringing the soft plastics home in the first place eliminates the need to recycle it.
- Include meat free meals in your weekly menu. What you eat can be the single largest contributor to your personal carbon footprint, mostly because of where that food might come from and how’s been produced. Animal products have an especially high carbon footprint. Approximately 60% of greenhouse gases produced from food are generated from animal products. So, if you can pledge to Meat Free Monday or something similar you will be most definitely making a positive green contribution.
- Donate unused household products. Give unused clothes and appliances to charity or someone you know who would make use of it rather than buying new.
- Put together an on go the pack- carry a reusable water bottle, a canvas bag for shopping and a reusable coffee cup. Doing this can drastically reduce your daily waste.
- Buy the products you need from brands that are committed to sustainability. Brands using GOTS certified organic cotton, natural materials, materials made from recycled goods and carbon neutral shipping services are a good place to start.
Sustainability is a work in progress. It's achieved by making small, simple changes over time. Pick a couple that you want to focus on first and take it from there. You'll be surprised at just how quickly it becomes your normal.