By Akshi Upadhyay
If there’s something we can collectively be passionate about then it has to be our environment; we all share the same planet and everyone is able to do their bit to be more conscious about their impact on the environment. We all want to do the most we can to protect the environment, however as consumers there are many things we don’t think about because we aren’t familiar with production processes. With our lack of knowledge of the impact of our consumer choices, we are now seeing the effect of this behaviour on our environment.
The fact is, humans are currently using energy and creating waste at a rate which is unsustainable, as a result of this many brands and companies are also trying to reduce their influence. This is where sustainability comes into play, sustainability is the ability to maintain, and in our case consume at a certain level to avoid the depletion of natural resources.
Here are 5 tips to help you be more sustainable:
- Reusable bags – Unfortunately plastic bags release toxic substances into the soil when they are under sunlight which harms many crops and our earth. In addition to this if plastic bags are not disposed of correctly they can be released into the ocean causing high mortality of sea animals who confuse the plastic bags for seaweed.
This is the most common example of how consumers can contribute to the reduction of waste and plastic. It’s always easy to forget to bring a bag when going shopping, or not planning to shop whilst being out. One way to overcome this is to have reusable bags in cars (and spares, just in case) or put a bag in the most obvious place before leaving for the door. Once it becomes a routine, it will be hard to forget!
- Saving energy – I’m sure many of you know this but turning off appliances when they are not being used saves energy at home but not only that, it also reduces your energy bill – which is always a plus.
Additionally, allowing clothes to air dry opposed to the tumble dryer is another way to save energy to help reduce the impact on the environment.
- Recycle and reuse – When throwing rubbish out at home, making sure the packaging of products are put in the correct bin, e.g. paper, plastic, tin, glass etc, this really helps the recycling process. If items are not in the correct bin they are usually sent to landfill due to the scale of how much rubbish is produced, therefore to make recycling productive, being conscious of the categories is helpful.
- Sustainable clothing – The fashion industry is one of the main polluting industries in the world. Each year 80 billion garments are produced each year, this is 400% more than 20 years ago.
As trends come and go, consumers are bound to wear and buy clothes at an increasing rate. However, this is very harmful to the environment as not only are many toxic chemicals released into the atmosphere from manufacturing, but also unwanted clothes are sent to landfill sites.
One way to be more sustainable is to buy from charity/thrift shops which are known to have unique and trendy pieces! (Being on trend and also being sustainable – win win.)
Another way is to re-house your unwanted items is through selling online or donating to charities and shelters.
- Food waste – Don’t throw your leftover food away, there are ways you can earn some extra cash with apps that help people to purchase your leftover food. You can also save it to eat at a later date by freezing or refrigerating and eating for lunch the next day – there’s so many options to choose from.
Food can go bad which is unfortunate, but in this case you can use it to create compost for your garden – there’s a solution to everything.
For more info on compost: click here.