15 Sep Four ways to live a more sustainable life
‘‘You can do more and more and more the longer you live, but the best motto to think about is not waste things. Don’t waste electricity, don’t waste paper, don’t waste food. Live the way you want to live but just don’t waste. Look after the natural world, and the animals in it, and the plants in it too. This is their planet as well as ours. Don’t waste them.” – Sir David Attenborough.
Our planet is pretty f*cking amazing. Earth hangs in the optimum space for life to sustain. Sat between Mars (which has an average temperature of -62°C , and Venus which has an average temperature of 470°C), it really puts into perspective how incredibly lucky we are that our own planet has a climate in which life can flourish.
Earth is home not only to 8 billion people, we also share our beautiful planet with 8 million different species of animal, 1 million species of insect, 28,000 species of fish, 400,000 species of plant and still more yet to be discovered.
With its growing population our Earth is swiftly becoming more fragile. Resources are running out, Co2 emissions are higher than ever, and 8 million particles of plastic reach our oceans every single day! We are at a critical point, and if we do not act NOW to change our consumption habit we may not have a tomorrow to live on this planet, let alone share it. Humans are solely responsible for climate change and the impact it has on wildlife, which is why it’s our responsibility to eradicate the problem before we cause serious, irreversible damage to the planet.
Here are my top 4 tips for reducing your carbon footprint & living a more sustainable life.
To date we have produced over 320 million tons of plastic, of which 165 million tonnes currently circulate the Earth’s marine environments. It is estimated that all baby Sea Turtles end up with plastic in their stomach at some point, and not untypically one Sea Turtle washed up on a beach in Florida was found to have over 104 pieces of plastic in its stomach. What can we do to prevent this? We need to minimise the amount of plastic we consume every day and make ‘plastic free’ the norm. There are easy ways to incorporate this into your day to day life, such as opting for loose fruit or veg and buying a reusable water bottle or coffee cup. If you wanted to go a step further why not invest in refillable shampoo & conditioner bottles? The Conscious Beauty Co is all about sustainable living for the future and coming up with solutions for alternative packaging of beauty products. They currently sell a range of products from shampoos, conditioners, hand wash & body wash in aluminium bottles so that you can purchase a handy recyclable refill pouch, and never have to use plastic bottles again!
Grow your own
Food waste is an ongoing problem in the modern world. It is estimated that up to 25 percent of apples, 20 percent of onions and 13 percent of potatoes grown in the UK are wasted on ‘cosmetic’ grounds. Why not try your hand at your own vegetable patch? 100% of homegrown veg will never be thrown away because you grew them from scratch & these plants are your babies, right? If you lack the garden space for a patch, try Odd Box – a vegetable delivery service who sell the wonky and weird shaped fruit and veg which would otherwise have been thrown away for not being aesthetically pleasing (still beautiful on the inside though!).
The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of all our Co2 emissions and is the second largest consumer of the world’s water supply. It would take an individual 3 years to drink the amount of water that goes into making one cotton T-shirt. Is that new top really worth it? You can find some absolutely pre-loved gems these days in charity & vintage shops for a fraction of the price of something new! A personal favourite is Beyond Retro, a London born brand whose mission is to give old clothes a new lease of life through upcycling. Every 18 seconds in the UK an item of clothing is thrown away, so stand out from the statistics & shop pre-loved!
Choose Renewable Energy sources
Basic, but effective. Simply changing the lights in your home to energy saving bulbs can have a huge impact not only on your personal Co2 emissions, but also your wallet. Some energy saving bulbs can be left on for 12 hours a day and still last up to 11 years! Other little things you can practice include turning off your appliances at the plug when not in use – when your TV is on standby it still emits energy (the cheek I know), and switching to solar power where possible. Solar power is great for garden lights (which you’ll be putting next to your brand new veg patch) with no need to worry about batteries ever again.
Implementing change starts from home. No matter how big or small the change, it all contributes to the fight against climate change & the goal to moving towards a self-sustaining planet. Having started this blog with a quote from everyone’s favourite documentary maker & natural historian it’s only fitting to finish with one as well, which I hope drives home the severity & seriousness of the issue.
“The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant except in a picture book?”