Many creatives and presenters in the media are creating content covering the ever-growing sustainability crisis, but all this information can be overwhelming! Leila shares her top tips for living sustainably.
The lowdown of sustainability is that being sustainable matters! It matters for preserving our precious planet in which we live, it matters if we want to preserve future generations futures, it matters if we care about our consumption and the mark that we are leaving on the Earth, it matters if we want to protect the beautiful wildlife that lives alongside us.
Unfortunately, human actions and industrial developments in recent years have resulted in substantial damage to our planet. A summary of the Earth’s situation is as follows; our population is soaring beyond comprehendible levels; CO2 emissions are still as high as they have ever been along with levels of food and product waste. Population increase obviously results in more consumption of the Earth’s resources, CO2 levels are resulting in ever-increasing climate change, food waste is costing the world billions of pounds a year and material waste that fails to be recycled is deposited in a landfill, emitting harmful chemicals and gas to the atmosphere.
These facts exemplify of making changes to our lives in order to be more sustainable, which is why it is so great that influencers are speaking out about their sustainable habits and passions (see Zanna Van Dijk and Venetia Falconer).
Although shocking, these facts aren’t all doom and gloom! The great thing is that we are recognizing the situation we have found ourselves in as a human race and now we have the opportunity to help claw back the Earth and protect its future!
But what does it mean to be sustainable?
In simple terms, sustainability means avoiding the depletion of natural resources and maintaining ecological balance through our actions. There are a number of things we can do to be more sustainable, decrease our consumption of the Earth’s resources and increase our contribution to a healthy planet and ecosystem.
So what can we do to help the planet? I’ve broken it down into some easy to follow tips. It must be mentioned that it is unrealistic to be 100% sustainable every single day, it is all about making small changes that we do consistently. By adopting these easy tips, even just one or two, into your life you WILL be making a difference and the tweaks are so easy it will become like second nature! So let’s get into the tips!
Reducing food waste
It is thought that Britons throw away at least £13bn of food each year and we can reduce this by thinking about how to use up perfectly good food before throwing it away.
- Using up leftovers. Don’t throw away food that you have cooked too much of. Buy a reusable container (if you can buy a non-plastic one, even better 😉) and save the rest for tomorrow. Not only will this save you money, but you are also reducing your food waste.
- Download the app ‘too good to go’ this is a company with an incredible initiative. It aims to reduce food waste created by restaurants and catering companies by creating a Deliveroo style interface. You can purchase discounted takeaway food that would usually get thrown away, perfectly edible, untouched food from places like Planet Organic, Yo Sushi, Farm Girl, and many many other eateries.
Save your 5ps and the planet
How many plastic bags have you got stuffed above the fridge/in a corner of your kitchen? Billions of plastic bags end up in landfills and never ever biodegrade, many ending up on the seabed disrupting the underwater ecosystem.
- Invest in a canvas tote bag and take it to the supermarket! Even better, just keep it in your handbag for when you do an impromptu food shop on the way home. Additionally, avoid the plastic bags provided by supermarkets to hold your fruit and veg. These are plastic too and end up in the same place that your carrier bags do! You can pay for them loose at the checkout and if you have your tote bag you can transport them home easy peasy!
Takeaway coffee cups are very difficult to recycle, especially plastic lids.
- Bring your own coffee cup for your morning caffeine fix. It is not only more sustainable, it often saves you pennies too as many cafes offer benefits and discounts to those who bring in their cup! Great brands are: Keep Cup, e-coffee & Corkcicle, check them out! They make great gifts as well, get spreading the sustainable vibe!
Ditch the plastic bottles
Buy a glass/reusable bottle that you enjoy using and fill it up in coffee shops/water dispensers when you can. Even putting plastic water bottles in recycling bins doesn’t guarantee that it will go as they are so hard to break down. Water is essential for a healthy life so when you’re out and about, having a water bottle that you know is sustainable will keep you and the planet happy!
Recycle Recycle Recycle
Try getting a big paper bag or box that you keep in the corner of your kitchen designated for cardboard, tins, glass jars etc. When its full, look on your local council website and find out where your nearest recycling bank is. There should be one very near you so it’s easy to recycle if you get into the routine of it!
Reduce fast fashion
It is difficult to imagine that a payday treat is doing more harm to the planet than to your wallet, but the reality is that fast fashion has an incredibly negative effect on the environment. If you think about all the emissions created from transporting clothes, materials, online packages, making the products with chemicals and dyes, etc. the consumption of resources far outweighs the benefits.
The best way to be more sustainable with fashion is to:
- Love and appreciate what you already have. Buying something only if you know you are going to wear it more than 30 times, surveying ebay for discounted and used versions first, selling on your clothes, or giving them to charity rather than throwing them away. Being more mindful in general about your consumption is the first step to being more sustainable.
I hope these tips have given you some inspiration and ideas of ways you can increase your sustainability and inspired you to make little changes to help the planet. I’d love to know if you adopt any of these tips, so please let me know via my Instagram handle!
You can also see more of Leila over on her blog.
Leila is a 22-year-old health and wellness blogger and avid Instagrammer. She recently graduated with a degree in Psychology and is currently studying a Master’s in Health Psychology at UCL. Her passionate interest in everything health and wellbeing has accumulated over five years of research and self-development. Her blog aims to share healthy recipes, wellness tips and how to live a balanced and happy life.