Sustainability - Can I Help?

Lush Misty Forest

Sustainability, a word that seems to be thrown around here, there and everywhere. But what does it mean? What can I do?

The dictionary states that it is "the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance." To support, to uphold, to keep going, as an action or as a process.

There are so many components to this, that many people will initially feel overwhelmed by this. We need to lower our impact on the environment but how does one tackle this? It's so daunting, how does one start? Well, all actions matter. Every single choice, no matter how small a choice we make, makes a difference. The important thing is we start.

Here's a list to get started. Choose one and try it out, see how you get on. The more you start thinking and learning about something, the more you'll appreciate all that comes with it. Your mindset is already changing. Just the fact that you're here reading this is a wonderful thing!

  • Live by the mantra of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. Start by asking yourself if you really need something before you buy it. Then keep using it. If you or someone else can no longer use it, then recycle it!
  • Recycle as best you can. Check your local authorities instructions about what you can recycle: some want lids on, some want them without, some only take certain plastics etc!
  • Use a search engine such as Ecosia who use their income to plant trees.
  • Think about subscribing to a toilet paper supplier. You can buy in bulk for less deliveries. The products can be unbleached, be less harmful to the environment, and the company may even give some of their profit to those who do not have access to our modern day sanitation. Do your research though, there are now lots of companies to choose from!
  • Learn more about what you are buying before deciding if you really need it. A lot of greenwashing around at the moment may trick you into buying something you do not actually need!
  • Do you know a company who treats their employees or their clients unfairly or badly? Speak up for them: contact the company yourself via social media or email; kindly ask about what can be done to stop it/prevent it from happening again.
  • Check your energy suppliers at home to see if you can switch to a renewable energy supplier. There are quite a few options nowadays that make it possible to do so.
  • Ditch single-use disposables for reusables, i.e. if you’re always a grabbing a coffee on the way to work, buy a reusable coffee cup and make the effort to remember to take it out with you. If you use face wipes to remove make-up, swap to washable flannels instead (you can use a carrier oil to massage your skin, which not only cleans away even waterproof make-up but will help to moisturise your skin!).
  • Make the effort but don’t be too hard on yourself. If, for example, you forget your reusable coffee cup when grabbing that coffee, just try to remember next time. Remember Anne Marie Bonneau’s quote: “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly."

See how you get on, you can leave your thoughts and suggestions below!


Photograph courtesy of Matthew Henry @ Burst

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