When it comes to sustainable living, the start can be an overwhelming experience. To begin your journey, always keep in mind that every effort counts and a little goes a long way.
Here are some of the things we can do to help the environment.
1. Keep it simple
Before you get on board with the big swap to zero-waste solutions, please take time to evaluate what you already have. Look into opportunities where you can simplify the way you do things. There may be items that you no longer need.
Get creative and repurpose into decorative pieces or learn to live with less. Marie Kondo will be proud to see you let go of everything that no longer sparks joy.
Your beauty routine can be a good starting point for this practice. Cut down the list of products that you use on your face. Switch to multi-use alternatives like lip and cheek tint. Reduce waste by replacing it with something that you can use many times. Ditch the cotton and buy reusable rounds for the face instead. Brands such as Waste Less Shop, LastObject, and EcoRoots offer quality options at affordable rates.
It may seem like cotton is harmless because it is plant-based and biodegradable. But considering the amount of water used, it requires approximately 20,000 liters to produce 1 kg of cotton. Too much water consumption may lead to a shortage of supply in the future. The UN warns that, by 2050, 4.8 billion to 5.7 billion people will be living in areas that are water-scarce for at least one month each year.
2. Choose quality over quantity
We need to start walking away from the fast fashion trend. To lower cost, poor quality synthetic materials like polyester, rayon, nylon, or acrylic are being used. Consumers tend to buy more which often leads to the accumulation of garment disposal. This further contributes to plastic microfiber pollution. Plastic microfibers are tiny fragments that are shed when we wash clothes made with synthetic materials.
Sustain your style and buy only from socially conscious clothing brands. When it comes to clothing, quality matters. We recommend that we always choose to wear something that will last for a longer time.
3. Say “no” to anything toxic
It’s time to start cutting ties with products that have toxic chemicals. According to the World Wildlife Fund, these man-made chemicals contaminate the environment. Exposure to toxic chemicals is often linked to health issues in humans. These products travel by air or go down the drain and eventually end up in our ocean. The animals became the undeserving recipients of our poison. Always make it a habit to check the product labels. A better alternative will always be products that use sustainable organic ingredients.
4. Avoid plastic
Plastic lasts forever. It doesn’t go away. Based on a recent study, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish in 2050. Thankfully, more brands and shops use eco-friendly packaging now. Some even offer refilling options.
There are also many ways to turn your kitchen into a plastic-free zone. Get a set of reusable food wraps and say goodbye to plastic cling wraps. Glass containers like mason jars are also a great food storage alternative. Glass can be recycled, and at the end of its life, it breaks down into a sand-like form.
Another way to cut back on household waste is to use cloth paper towels. We need to limit the trash that goes into the landfill, as this emits a greenhouse gas called methane. According to NASA, methane is responsible for 20% of global warming.
5. Support local
Supporting locally-owned businesses can help reduce carbon footprint. You can start by planning your next purchase. Check products that can be bought in bulk. This way, you can cut on transportation or shipping arrangements. For organic products, consider a reasonable size according to personal consumption, as shelf-life is expected to be shorter.
If you will do a quick stop at your favorite local coffee shop, your zero waste essentials might come in handy. Always bring with you your own reusable straw, cutlery, and beverage cup.
Another way to support the community is to join an online platform designed to help you reuse and recycle. Loop is the first nationwide reuse platform. They collaborate with brands and manufacturers to enable refillable versions of their single-use packaging.
You’ll have the option to borrow the product containers of your choice. Once you’re finished, they will professionally clean them for you. Terracycle is another platform that provides free recycling programs and solutions for items that are difficult to recycle. You can join as many as you like.
Takeaway: Close the loop
The journey doesn’t stop here. There’s still so much to explore, and it can be a lot of work. May this guide motivate you to keep the loop cycle going and hopefully inspire others to do the same. Congratulations and thank you for taking this first step to an environmentally conscious lifestyle!