In society today, we could all stand to be a little more environmentally conscious. It’s easy to think about all the changes you should make to your lifestyle to help out the environment and become disheartened – it can all seem so big! But remember, we don’t need one person being perfectly environmentally conscious – we just need many people being more environmentally conscious than they were.
Rather than becoming overwhelmed with all the possible different changes you could make and deciding it’s easier to change nothing at all, start with one or two of the points on this list. Once you’ve tackled them, you can take on another change, and then another, all of which will lead to you living a more environmentally conscious lifestyle.
Be mindful of purchases
So much can be said for just being mindful about what you buy, what industries and companies you support, and where your money goes. Be mindful about what you’re buying – by purchasing something, you’re essentially casting a vote for the type of world you want to live in. Try to avoid ‘impulse’ purchases, which are often emotional purchases rather than smart ones, and end up in landfill.
Say ‘no’ to fast fashion
Avoid fast fashion. Not only do these big companies severely underpay their workers, but they have massive carbon footprints. In addition, a huge proportion of fast fashion ends up in landfill – often without having been worn at all! Rather than spending your money on many ‘cheap’ items of clothing from fast fashion brands, save your money and purchase ethically made products, preferably locally. You’re guaranteed to have a garment that will last, you’re supporting a small business close to home, and you’re likely to put more thought into your purchase – meaning you’re unlikely to just throw it away, unworn, a few months down the track. Also – try op shopping! You can often find great condition unique garments at bargain prices.
Bring your own bags
Be aware of other seemingly minor purchases you make, that don’t always get given a lot of thought. Perhaps the cashier asks if you want to buy a bag, and you think ‘it’s only 10 cents, may as well.’ Remember that even though you’ll likely only use that bag for a matter of minutes, it will have a very long life in landfill (yes, even the thicker ‘reusable’ plastic bags end up in landfill!). Say ‘no’ to buy a bag by bringing your own, or if you forget, load the groceries straight from your trolley into your car. You’re unlikely to forget next time!
We’ve all heard the motto ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ – and we stand by its importance. But what do you do with the items that are left over once you’ve exhausted all avenues of reusing? What about if it really is rubbish? How do you ensure you dispose of your rubbish responsibly?
Bulk Rubbish Removal
If you have bulk waste or rubbish to dispose of, reach out to a local company that offers skip bin hire in Perth. In addition to being a convenient way to get rid of rubbish, some good, reputable skip bins company offer a promise that they will dispose of your waste responsibly – that is, ensuring that every item in the bin that can be recycled, is recycled. Once you’ve filled up the skip and the skip bins Perth hire company has collected it, all the contents are their responsibility, so you can rest assured knowing they will dispose of the waste properly.
Don’t forget about other initiatives for recycling what may seem to be ‘rubbish’, such as REDcycle. Take your soft plastics (think empty pasta bags, chip packets and bread bags) to your local Coles or Woolworths and drop them in the REDcycle bin. Soft plastics aren’t accepted in roadside recycling bins, so make sure you utilise REDcycle to ensure any unavoidable soft plastics you end up with are properly recycled.
Containers for Change
Containers for Change is a great initiative to get a little bit of coin in your pocket while also recycling. They accept aluminium cans and drink containers, offering a small rebate for each item dropped off (usually 10 cents per bottle or can).
Make the switch to reusables
Wherever possible, make the switch to reusables. Cutting out single-use items is a great way to minimise your environmental footprint.
Single-use items such as nappies, coffee cups, menstrual products and plastic veggie bags are used for such a short amount of time, but go on to spend hundreds of years in landfill.
Try out cloth nappies with your little one – even just one cloth nappy a day will keep seven disposable nappies a week out of landfill. In addition, trial a menstrual cup, cloth pads or period underwear to avoid single-use pads and tampons. Store a keep cup in your bag or car for when you’re out and about and want a takeaway coffee – more and more coffee shops are starting to offer discounts if you bring your own cup, which is an added bonus!
Some single-use items don’t need a replacement
However, it’s easy to get caught up in buying reusable products and forget to be mindful about your purchases. Sometimes you can reduce the use of single-use plastic without needing a reusable replacement. For example, instead of using plastic veggie bags for your fresh produce, buy them loose. You’ll wash them before you eat or cook them anyway, so you may as well pop them straight into your trolley. If you feel like you do need a replacement, you can purchase reusable mesh veggie bags instead.
These are just a few of the simple steps you can take to start living a more environmentally conscious life. The truth is, there are so many small things that each of us can do in our everyday lives that can make a big difference to our environmental impact. Once you get started on your journey, you’ll see opportunities for sustainable changes everywhere!