Living more sustainably is easier than you think, here's why.
Discover 9 quick and easy steps towards a more sustainable you.
Sustainable; able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.
I thought it was about time to do a little post on something you may have heard of but perhaps did not really understand as it is often misused; "sustainabilty". No time like the present at the start of a new year to plant some seeds of thought that I hope may lead you to take action within your own home. Don't be afraid, I don't want to do anything other than inspire you to be more mindful and perhaps try some small practical changes.
Now, unless you shut yourself off entirely last year and hid in a closet (which I wouldn't judge you for) it would have been hard to avoid conversations around our impact on the planet. We were clearly able to see positive environmental changes during the months where little movement and productivity occured, of course we were essentially locked down and life was slower. These environmental changes were the last straw to show any doubters that were still out there that what we are consuming from this planet is not sustainable. Quite simply we are stretching it too thinly and it is fragile.
Maybe you watched Sir David Attenborough's Netflix documentary, A Life On Our Planet? No? I do recomend it, be warned it's heart wrenchingly painful to watch.
What I find fascinating is this quote from Sir David Attenborough in 1979:
“The fact remains that man has unprecedented control over the world and everything in it. And so, whether he likes it or not, what happens next is very largely up to him.” From ‘Life on Earth’ 1979
And then we fast forward to his quote from 2020:
“Our imprint is now truly global. Our impact is now truly profound. Our blind assault on the planet has finally come to alter the very fundamentals of the living world.” From ‘A Life on Our Planet’, 2020.
In the interest of moving forward with mankinds own wants and needs we neglected to consider our planet's wants and needs. It's very sad and it's a very real mess that our children will have to live with.
What you can do, that requires little effort:
So, what to do now? I will keep this fairly simple for this post otherwise I expect you may feel immediately put off by how comprehensive living a sustainable lifestyle can become.
Make no mistake, it is absolutely worthwhile making any changes that you can, no matter how small, but keep them consistent. It will of course require some effort on your part but small changes will so easily become a part of your routine.
You are a consumer and it is super important that you consume less.
Ask yourself this; do you really need something or simply wish to have it? If it is a product purchase what are the materials that it is made from? Always, look to natural, bio-degradable and recycled materials first and foremost. You will be surprised at how many alternatives you will find with just a little research. Yes, expect to pay a little more. However, the more of us that consume sustainable products the more competitive the prices will become - always remember though at the start of the product's life there is an individual who made it who is probably living hand-to-mouth and they need to be paid a living wage - do not deny them of that.
Buy more thoughtfully by supporting responsible, sustainable businesses.
These are businesses that fall into some or maybe all of the categories below. They use materials that are natural, bio-degradable or recycled and offer a more sustainable alternative to mainstream organisations. Often these businesses, like mine, are very small businesses trying to do better and we really appreciate each and every single customer wholeheartedly.
The materials used are from renewable sources.
They use ethical manufacturers to ensure the workers are paid a living wage and work in safe conditions.
They are authentic and welcome your feedback they do not pump out insincere PR campaigns about how green (greenwashing) their products are.
They may carry sustainable or fairtrade certifications on their products.
They consider the product's end-of-life and offer guidance to their customer's.
They use compostable or recyclable product packaging.
Avoid single-use items.
If there is anything you should know about living more responsibly by now it is these:
Use a 'bag for life', a reuseable shopping bag and refuse plastic bags. Of course as humans we are forgetful and prone to forgetfulness but just do your best!
Do not use plastic straws
Avoid any disposable take-away packaging by using an organisation like barePack for your take-out.
Make do and mend.
If it's broken, fix it.
Reduce your waste.
Research and understand waste collection in your area there are a few organisations that will collect waste from your door and pay you for it, depending on your location. Make sure you understand what your waste collection will take and what will ''spoil' your efforts. You may be astounded to find out that around 40% of waste that goes into the recycling bins in Singapore, cannot be recycled. What can be recyled? Find out here. More details around the recycling process and waste management process for Singapore can be found here: Towards Zero Waste.
Look for alternatives to products that are made from plastic or come in plastic packaging.
Now you can even find eco-friendly toothbrush alternatives!
Boycott products that endanger wildlife and their habitat.
Incredibly many areas of rainforest are still being destroyed at an alarming rate to provide land for commodities such as cattle, palm oil, sugar cane, paper, soy, cocoa and more. These ancient rainforests will never be recovered, they are not sustainable forests and with it we will lose wildlife, undiscovered medicines and release centuries of carbon gases into our atmosphere sending the planet's delicate eco-system into more of a frenzy. GoodtoKnow provide a list of food labelling ingredients to avoid to help you shop more mindfully. The World Wildlife Fund are a good source of information too, make a coffee, sit down and explore what they have to offer and educate you further with.
Don't waste water.
It seems obvious but we all take our access to water for granted. Water should be used responsibly and sustainably.
Try growing your own food.
No you don't need a garden for this, I'm not suggesting you go full on. There are so many easy indoor vegetables that can be grown quite well and only simply need some natural lighting. In fact even growing a bag of potatoes could work if you're feeling more adventurous. However, baby steps right, so try Urban Sproutz whose range of microgreens can be grown within days. Plugged as the new superfood these easy-grow microgreens can be blended into smoothies, mixed into salads, or added to sandwiches or stir fries.
Yes, of course there are so, so many other things you can do but let's take pigeon steps first otherwise like with all good intentions if something is too time consuming you won't do it at all.
Whereas I truly believe that everything I have listed above is totally acheivable, what do you think? Am I right, or am I crazy?
Many thanks & stay safe
Contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
As a womens clothing brand that uses eco-friendly fabrics along with sustainable business practises I would love for you to consider us for any future purchases that you need to make.
I'm so excited as I am right on the cusp of releasing my new Michelle Schulz Lounge collection that I think pivots nicely to our current work/life clothing balance needs.
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