Your go-to guide for living sustainably and plastic free
Plastic is everywhere, we can’t escape it, and it is having huge negative impacts on our planet. In the last 10 years we have produced more plastic than over the course of the whole century. We use 100 billion plastic drink bottles a year; and 500 billion plastic bags a year. That’s over a million bags a minute. Which is crazy, when you consider that the average ‘working life’ of a plastic bags is 15 minutes in total.
When we throw something in the bin we say we have thrown it ‘away’. But unfortunately in reality, there is no ‘away’. The plastic that is in your rubbish is still somewhere on our planet. Whether it be somewhere in a landfill, in our ocean or on the streets. It hasn’t gone away because plastic takes hundred if not thousands of years to biodegrade and a lot of plastic never break down, instead it turns to toxic ‘plastic dust’.
This comprehensive list is to give you inspiration on how you can take small yet effective steps to help our planet. By making these simple swaps and implementing some easy new practices, you will already be making a huge difference. If you would like to share your sustainability tips or favourite eco brands, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us via instagram here.
Beginner sustainable swaps and practices
You have probably heard most of these basic ways to be sustainable, so hopefully this first list serves as a friendly reminder of easy things we can do to reduce our impact on the environment.
Try these swaps:
Plastic Straws > steel straw (or don’t use a straw at all)
Plastic bags > material bags for groceries and produce
Plastic containers > glass containers
Line dry a load of washing instead of using the dryer where possible
Opt for bills to be sent via email instead of physical mail and avoid junk mail by popping a sign/sticker on your mail box
We get it. Buying all new things that are more sustainable can be a costly practice. Instead of going crazy with the shopping, wait until you run out of the products you already have and then replace them with something more eco friendly. Try these replacements:
Makeup wipes > Face Halo which can be reused and replaces around 500 wipes
Plastic beauty items > choose natural products with limited packaging like Lush
Packaged bread > fresh bread from the bakery (yum!)
Tea bags > loose leaf tea like LOVE tea
Coffee capsules > compostable capsules from Pod & Parcel
Plastic toothbrush > bamboo toothbrush available at most supermarkets
Plastic cleaning tools (brushes, sponges etc) > opt for natural options like these
Cleaning products (soap, dishwashing liquid etc) > buy from bulk stores that you can refill each time
Normal toilet paper > sustainable options like Who Gives A Crap which is 100% recycled toilet paper, and they donate 50% of profits to build toilets in the developing world
Cling wrap > Organic Beeswax Wraps by The Wintering
Garbage bags > biodegradable garbage bags and bin liners
Plastic kitty litter > recycled paper kitty litter (available at most supermarkets)
Intermediate sustainable swaps and practices
So you’re ready to take a bigger leap into the world of sustainability. Here are some practices that you can implement into your life.
Take 3 for the sea - join the movement and take 3 pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, waterway or... anywhere
Start your own herb garden or join your local community garden
Use bulk food stores for a majority of your groceries (think pasta, rice, chocolate, muesli, oil etc)
Start your own compost (yes, even if you have an apartment)
Meal prep - bring your lunch to work and make your own snacks (e.g. hummus, protein balls, almond butter etc). You will reduce packaging, save yourself money and you know what ingredients you’re actually eating
Advanced sustainable swaps and practices
Woah, you are keen - we’re so proud! If you’re looking to make larger changes in your life to help the planet, try these ideas.
Buy less clothes and when you shop, do it sustainability: Did you know it takes 1800 gallons of water to make a pair of jeans? Fashion is one of the most environmentally destructive industries on the planet. Instead of being influenced by the latest trends and fashion fashion, try to utilise your current wardrobe and repair when needed. Or if you need a new item, choose sustainable brands such as Spell, Patagonia, Assembly Label, Auguste the label, Nobody Denim or Nimble Activewear.
Participate in or create your own local clean up in areas including local beaches, parks, bushland, outdoor areas and more.
Do you have a business? This is another aspect of your life that you can make more sustainable. Consider swapping your ordinary mail bags to compostable bags, if you’re in Australia look at using Sendle who are a 100% carbon neutral delivery service and Australia’s first technology B Corp, and look at your office culture - could you implement less waste practices?
When buying a gift for a special occasion, focus on experiences rather than things: Surprise your partner with breakfast in bed, take them for a massage, go on a Sunday hike adventure, take a family member to the movies, go rock climbing, offer to babysit your friend’s kids so they can have some ‘me time’, make afternoon tea and catch-up with a relative, take your stressed friend to a yoga/pilates/meditation class, or even just shout your friend to a coffee, put down your phones and have a good chat in the cafe.