There has been a lot of talk and hype around sustainability and living greener in recent years. With the concern around global warming and the effects of it, many consumers are trying to change their daily habits to be more conscious towards the environment. Many retailers have also come on board with strategies that are making their businesses processes and what they offer more environmentally friendly and sustainable. The concept of living greener may not be a new one, but more and more people are starting to take note and changing the way they consume.
If you’re serious about making a change in 2020, follow this simple guide to keep you on track throughout the year:
Change the game: Tips to live more sustainably in 2020
Reduce household waste
Waste is one of the biggest problems causing major environmental changes. From factories omitting toxic chemicals into the air to companies dumping tons of garbage into the ocean, it is a major issue that requires a lot of attention. However, it is not only the commercial and industrial sectors that are producing massive amounts of waste, but the global population also produce around 60 tons of household waste every second, and 2 billion tons every year – that’s a staggering amount!
Fixing this enormous problem starts at a much smaller scale: Your home. By reducing your daily waste in your own home, you are supporting a cleaner environment. Here’s how you can reduce household waste:
- Rethink what you buy. If the majority of the products you use come in containers and packages that are difficult to recycle, it’s time to make a change. Buy from fresh food markets where products have little to no packaging.
- Reuse jars and containers. If you have empty jars or containers lying around the home, use it to store fresh products; you can seal in freshness while reducing waste.
- Make your own compost. All fruit and vegetable waste, as well as some forms of paper, can be used to make compost. If you have a garden, making your own compost can reduce your waste while saving you money.
Always buy local
It is now easier than ever to support more local retailers. More and more South African stores are opting for e-commerce websites which makes it very convenient to buy everything you need online. Buying local means that you support the people in your country, which lifts the economy in the long run. Imported products aren’t always made from the best quality and manufacturing standards may not be as transparent.
Always say no to plastic and Polystyrene
These days, most stores no longer offer plastic bags. Likewise, many restaurants and fast-food outlets no longer hand out plastic straws. However, plastic is still very much a part of our lives. It is, therefore, important to make a conscious decision not to use it at all.
Polystyrene is also a troublesome material that cannot be recycled. It is often used for takeaway containers and coffee cups. It is wise to avoid stores that make use of it or use your own containers.
Buy clothes from sustainable brands
Recently there has been a lot of talk about the fashion industry and how it is contributing to the world’s waste problem, as well as global warming. Many large fashion retailers are also underpaying employees while they work in dismal conditions in factories.
Recently, more and more brands have launched sustainable and eco-friendly ranges, while others have partnered with sustainable cotton initiatives. A quick search on Google will guide you in finding the right brands. It’s no longer responsible to buy from retailers that have no long-term ecological plans in place.
Using paper every day is no longer sustainable. Studies have shown that we use 300 million tons of paper every year while billions of trees get cut to produce it. Everything can now be done online, so it is no longer necessary to use paper. Paper leaflets are also a thing of the past and increasingly more stores are opting to load their specials as online catalogues. Websites, such as Kimbino, are the perfect place to find your favourite stores’ specials these days. It’s super convenient and eco-friendly.
Global warming has been a red-hot topic over the last few years. While it may seem like an impossible task to turn things around, making a difference can start in your home. It’s not always possible to change your entire lifestyle at once but implementing small changes can make a big impact. Start today, for a cleaner tomorrow.