It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the negative things happening to our planet. The issues I personally find weighing on my mind on a daily basis are climate change and the on-going waste issues surrounding fast fashion and single use goods.
While there is undoubtedly awareness around these issues, it still feels like not a huge amount is being done about them. Sometimes it feels like we are just waiting for some clever person to come up with an instant fix - but it’s a big job and while miracles do happen, this one feels like a tough ask even for the most wizardy wizard.
No one is perfect. Consumer guilt is real - but that’s not a bad thing. Why? Because, if we are more mindful of what and how much we buy, we are less likely to go crazy and buy things we don’t need.
Here are six super simple things you can do to be kinder to our planet.
Some of my most prized possessions are things that are pre-loved. The quality and style of second hand furniture (especially from the 60s and 70s) is often better than what you can buy new anyway.
If you see something you like, don’t buy it immediately. Give yourself a week to think about. Would you use it? Would you wear it? Is it going to last?
We’re getting better at this. Less than 10 years ago we were all using single-use plastic bags at the supermarket. We’ve come a long way - let’s keep it up!
If you are putting dirty plastic bottles out for recycling, you might as well be putting them in the trash. It only takes a minute to clean that empty milk carton. Do it and know your recycling efforts are worth it.
If you have a period, reusable period products are a lot more planet-friendly than single use items like tampons and sanitary pads. If you ask us, they’re easier to use and more comfortable too. Menstrual cups, menstrual discs and period underwear are finally starting to become mainstream. Making the switch will save you money too. Hello Cups and Hello Discs will last five years and are the equivalent of over 2000 single use items. Did you know the first tampon even used is still somewhere on the planet? They might look all cotton-y and soft, but many contain bleaches and microplastics and take hundreds of years to break down in landfill.
The aisles of the supermarket that I find most horrific are personal care and cleaning products. Change habit buying and look for companies making innovative planet-friendly products. Ethique make great solid shampoo bars allowing you to ditch shampoo bottles for good. Natural deodorant has come a long way too. When it comes to cleaning products - buy refill sachets. Why pay for a bench spray that is 95% water when you can get water from your tap? Reuse your current spray bottle and just top it up with concentrate and tap water. You’re saving money and packaging waste.
As I said, no one is perfect but small changes add up. Decide one area of your life to focus on and set yourself a challenge to do better and we will all benefit from your effort.
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