5 changes to make this week
Are you ready to start making some changes to lessen your impact on the planet but feeling slightly overwhelmed by it all? You’re not alone. Start by setting yourself a few achievable challenges and see how you get on. Once you’ve nailed them, set yourself some more. Every single change you make (no matter how insignificant it may seem) deserves to be celebrated. And if you’re not sure where to start, I’ve got some ideas for you below. Just remember to be kind to yourself, even if you ‘fail’ at any of the challenges. We’re all learning. Good luck :)
carry a water bottle
with you at all times. Fill it up when you leave your house in the morning, fill it up before you leave work at night and if you need to refill it while you’re out and about, use the Refill app to find your nearest refill point. If you don’t have a reusable water bottle, purchase one that you’re sure you will love for years to come. Some great sustainable brands include Chilly’s, Klean Kanteen and Box Appetit, but there are also much cheaper versions of similar style stainless steel bottles that you can get your hands on. If you can’t afford a new bottle right now consider popping one on your Christmas list and in the meantime you can pick up a bottle of mineral water in a glass bottle from your supermarket and keep reusing that.
get a reusable shopping bag
and carry it with you at all times. I find tote canvas and cotton bags best as they’re super sturdy, last for years, are mendable and at the end of their life, recyclable. If you don’t have one, buy one that you absolutely love and are confident that you will continue to love for years to come (Etsy has some beautiful handmade ones). Or, better yet, ask friends and family if they have a spare one you can use. If you know me personally, I can hook you up!
pack a cutlery set
in your bag whenever you go out. If you’re eating on the go (or you can never find a clean fork in your office kitchen), chances are you’re using a lot of disposable cutlery. This is easily fixed by keeping your own set of reusable cutlery in your bag. There are loads of beautiful reusable sets out there, but really there isn’t any need to buy new – you already have plenty of perfectly good cutlery in your kitchen! Simply wrap a set in a napkin or piece of cloth (include a straw too if you use them) and pop it in your bag. You could even carry a second set to lend to whoever you’re eating with, just remember to nab it back.
The best way to stay motivated, is to keep learning about sustainability, climate change, the effects of plastic on oceans, fast fashion etc. Take a look at the resources section of this website and pick one documentary to watch or one book to read this week. If you decide to read a book, request it from your local library, buy a second-hand copy or download it onto your e-reader if at all possible. If you have to buy new, lend it to as many people as you can after you’ve finished with it. To start with, I’d recommend BBC’s Drowning in Plastic and Lucy SIegle’s book Turning the Tide on Plastic.
track your waste
Another great way to stay motivated is to keep an eye on your bins. I challenge you to not throw anything away this week – that includes recycling and any waste you incur outside of your home too. At the end of the week, sort through your waste bin, recycling bin and (if you can stomach it) your food waste bin. Only then will you know exactly how much waste you create – you’ll probably be surprised. Set a reminder in your phone or in your diary to redo the experiment in a month’s time to see how far you’ve come.