Three/Six simple, everyday changes that even the most lazy people could do faster than saying biodegradable.
I have always been very environmentally conscious, having grown up in a pretty sustainable household. I have lived in a chemical free, on-and-of vegetarian, plastic bag-less, water and energy saving home for as long as I can remember. My family are subconscious tree-huggers in disguise. Of course, everyone slips up every now and then, and admittedly, there are still many aspects of my life that are not as environmentally friendly as others. There is always room for improvement, so I have put together a list of six small changes that are easy, cheap, accessible and above all, effective.
I hope this post sparks more of an awareness or even a ‘care factor’ in other people who basically dismiss anything to do with climate change because they “Won’t be around to care.” What I say to these people is that yes, they will be around. They already are around. The world is already suffering, just because our cities aren’t underwater yet doesn’t mean there aren’t already other devastating effects occurring. I want to show everyone that being environmentally friendly and watching your footprint isn’t rocket science, and there is basically no excuse to implementing these simple tips into your daily lives. I’m sure you've heard of all of these before, but here are my first three out of six tips/changes that you can make right now, not tomorrow or next week, that will increasingly improve your eco footprint. I am releasing this post in two parts so I don’t overwhelm you, and so that you can stagger the introduction of these tips into your own lives, because I understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day. None of these will negatively impact your lifestyle - in fact, every one of these tips won’t just save the earth, they will actually make your lives better!
1. Purchase a Reusable Coffee Cup
1 million disposable cups go into landfill per MINUTE. If you don’t care about the planet, but do care about money, then this is the change for you.
I spend 20 hours a week serving takeaway coffee. I see the same people, day after day, often more than three times daily, purchasing a coffee, sculling it, and chucking the cup straight into the bin. And it angers the hell out of me. We sell reusable cups from the brand KeepCup, which cost on average, about $20, depending on the model you choose. At my store, and many other coffee shops around Australia, we actually give a discount to people who bring in their own coffee cups, as an incentive.
If you are a ride or die coffee drinker, like myself, or perhaps a hot choccy, chai latte or even a tea person, you are actually loosing money if you don’t use a reusable cup. I’ve done the maths. Perhaps about $20 out of pocket for a cup seems like a lot of money. But you earn that money back, at certain stores, in just a few months. And you continue saving every day afterwards - 50 cents a day might not seem like a big saving, but after 5 coffees a week you’ve saved $2.50, and after a month you’ve saved $10, and after a year you've saved more than $120. All for bringing in a cup to your local coffee shop. You literally can’t lose.
Get yourself a Reusable Coffee Cup. Save the planet and your pocket.
Visit http://vs.keepcup.com.au for more information.
2. Put a Canvas Bag over your shoulder
China has banned plastic bags. Australia still has not. How embarrassing.
I’m sure you've all seen the #BantheBag campaign on various media platforms - from channel Ten’s The Project to ABC’s War On Waste - everyone is getting behind it, because it is such a simple, easy change that will drastically improve the level of waste in Australia. On average, plastic bags are used by a consumer for approximately 12 minutes, to transport shopping from point A to B. That 12 minutes of use, takes over 1000 years to break down. There is literally no vital need for the use of these virtually indestructible items.
By purchasing a canvas bag - whether that be for $2 from Cotton On, or online from retailers like ASOS and other popular brands - you will never use a plastic bag again. They don’t need to be ugly, and heck, they don’t even need to be seen, I actually fold my canvas bag up and put it in my handbag so it is with me whenever I need it. I can’t tell you the amount of times I have been out and about and made an unexpected purchase where the bag has come in handy. Just because your mum uses 12 bottle green Coles bags doesn't mean you're turning into her. Not yet anyway.
Read the article http://about.abc.net.au/war-on-waste-banthebag-lets-do-this/ or watch the video at https://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/the-project/extra/season-8/banthebag for more information.
3. Buy Quality over Quantity or even better.. buy vintage
It takes 2,700 litres of water to produces one cotton T-shirt. (WWF).
Calling all of you fashionistas out there. This is probably the hardest tip for me to write about. Because I, like many others, am addicted to fast fashion. I can’t help but browse through high street shops at least once a week, checking in on what the latest arrivals are. I have been programmed to keep up to date with the latest trends, with shops producing these on a mass scale for a cheap price constantly. It really is an addiction. Nothing is made to last, getting consumers stuck in a constant cycle of repurchasing. It has made being fashionable, affordable. But affordable leads to buying more, which ultimately turns into an expensive pile of cheap clothes.
This month, instead of sticking to my usual, fast fashion choices, I have made the conscious decision to not make any ‘new’ purchases at all. Instead, I have used the month of May to really sink my teeth into my current wardrobe as it is. Creating outfits with what I have already got, or by purchasing from op-shops. It has really allowed me to realise that I don’t have to make regular visits to the high street, fast fashion shops to look and feel good in what I am wearing. In fact, I actually get the most compliments when I wear quality, vintage items.
When writing a fashion blog, of course, I am still going to be buying new clothes, to create new content. Obviously. But I have decided, in order to not only save the earth, but to save money, to only truly invest in key, quality pieces, that will outlast the trends and really become apart of my wardrobe for years - not just a season. With this, I am going to attempt to find ‘on trend’ items at the local op-shops. Trust me, it is surprising how much you can find, for a fraction of the price. I challenge you to do the same - don’t buy the $50 bodysuit that you are only going to wear once on a night out and probably spill a drink all over. The Winter Edition of “The Rack” is coming… and I am going to prove to you that investing in key pieces and mixing them with vintage items to create timeless looks is the best way to go. You’ll be left with more outfit choices, more money, and less clothes to throw away or store in boxes that ultimately, end up going to waste.
I hope you have enjoyed part 1 of 2 of The Lazy Persons Guide to Saving… The Planet. I challenge you to consciously make these three VERY simple changes to your life over the next week. If you find this interesting, hop onto ABC iView to watch the latest episodes of the War On Waste which was my inspiration for this article. Stay tuned for the release of Part 2 next Tuesday where I talk about quitting cheese. Yes, cheese.