A new year doesn’t always have to begin as soon as the clock strikes midnight and the fireworks erupt across the world - it can start whenever you choose. But this is just a helpful nudge that maybe now is the ideal time to set some goals, organise your life a bit more and take that positive step forward that you might need. With the news frequently reminding us about the devastating consequences of climate change, it should be a priority of ours to improve our lifestyle habits to benefit the planet, as well as our well-being. So here are a few tips help get you started.
A lovely quote from @wowsancho on Instagram is “Waste isn’t waste, until we waste it”. Almost everything we have has multiple uses, not just what’s described on the label. Simple things such as switching off all the lights when leaving a room, making your showers a bit shorter and eating organic/local food are all good starting points to consider. In terms of products, as highlighted in our previous Christmas blogpost, things such as newspapers can have multiple uses. They can be used for wrapping paper, sheets for excess swatches of paint if you were painting a wall or a picture, paper towels etc. Similarly with other day-to-day and household objects we might not necessarily think about, such as cling film and foil, we should reconsider their usage. For example, did you know that you can now purchase long-lasting and washable rubber covers for plates and bowls you usually cover with cling film when putting food in the fridge for later? Pretty neat.
When buying your food and drink, always make sure the packaging is recyclable. Unfortunately some films and containers are still not widely recycled, so try and avoid these products where possible. It’s also easy for us to quickly throw away an empty packet in a general waste bin without paying much attention to whether it can be recycled, so be sure to just spare those extra few seconds checking the recycling instructions. Similarly, avoid putting food in general waste and have a food recycling bin. If you’re an avid gardener, this will create the perfect nutritious compost for your plants.
Moreover, as well as avoiding plastic bottles and cups for your drink, why not invest in a glass or metal drinks container? You can now take these into coffee shops and ask for your drink in one of those instead of wasting more containers - think how much you’d avoid wasting on your morning coffee run. Also, why not carry around your own washable and reusable metal or wooden straw? Not only is this great for those of you keen on hygiene, but it’s also a good way to reduce one common plastic in the planet’s oceans.
In terms of shopping for clothes, as hard as it might be sometimes, try not to buy too much! Invest in longlasting, multi-purpose pieces that you know will be staple items in your wardrobe for the next few years. Quality over quantity, right? You can easily rewear and restyle clothes you already have, be inventive and individual! Additionally, it’s always a good idea to get your clothing from ethically sourced companies and avoid supporting the fast fashion industry (see our previous blogpost “An Eco-Friendly Face of Fashion”).
Furthermore, bamboo clothing is a great clothing material alternative. It’s all environmentally friendly, ethically sourced and brilliantly anti-bacterial. Therefore, instead of frequently washing our clothing and wasting water (as well as your water bill), especially after one wear, using alternative methods for keeping your clothes smelling fresh is a good habit to get yourself into. By using a shot of vodka mixed with three shots of warm water, spray on the odorous areas and leave out to air, making your clothes easily wearable once more. Some other methods are listed in the sources at the end of the post.
Although this is perhaps a rather obvious tip, and one that is mentioned a lot to us, it is a good idea to avoid driving when possible. Walking, cycling and public transport are great for not only the environment by reducing fuel consumption and the production of carbon dioxide emissions, but they can also be excellent for your mental wellbeing. Exercising releases endorphins, making you feel more positive, awake and ready for the day. Plug yourself into some of your favourite music, manage your thoughts and take in the world around you. It’s easy to get lost in stress when driving the same route to work or your destination without having time to actually prepare yourself for the day ahead. The more relaxed you feel, the more productive you are likely to be.
An extra idea for those entrepreneurs reading this - if you plan on setting up your own business in some shape or form, or even just ordering from a company in general, consider the production, materials and packaging. The more components that are ethically sourced, recycled or hand-crafted, the more people are likely to want to support and purchase from your business. The environment is important to us, and you should want to share that passion with your customers. Similar to your physical appearance mentioned earlier - you want to be inventive and individual. Come up with new and exciting ideas that other people haven’t thought of and encourage a positive movement.
Give a whole lot more, and waste a whole lot less.
Wow Sancho Instagram: www.instagram.com/wowsancho
Methods for keeping your clothes fresh: https://www.farmersalmanac.com/get-rid-of-stubborn-underarm-odors-from-clothes-22067
Blog post written by: Ellie Everleigh for Makers HQ