15 WAYS TO SHOP FOR A MORE SUSTAINABLE LIFE
19th January 2020
It’s easier than you think!!
The rate at which Australians are consuming goods is higher than ever before. The time has come to rethink how we buy for our household with a view to treading more lightly on the earth.
Turn around your consumption habits with purchases for your home and family that not only have the longer view of environmental impact in mind, but are designed to be pleasant to use every day, without compromising on style.
Here are fifteen ways to live a more sustainable life:
Think before you buy
Create a list and only buy what you need. Put a stop to impulse purchases and unplanned spending.
Plan for the long term
Rather than looking for quick fixes that are cheap and will end up in landfill, purchase goods that will last your lifetime and beyond and/or can be recycled when their purpose ends.
Consider how you live
Think not only of what you buy, but how you use energy and resources every day, eg:
- Cooking meals in batches and freezing portions saves energy
- A full freezer is more efficient than an empty one
- Leftovers for lunch saves takeaway cost and packaging
Make use of things you already own by investigating options to repurpose furniture and homewares before you buy new.
Look for sustainable options
When shopping for your home, seek out goods made from natural and/or sustainable materials and choose renewable and recycled materials over newly created materials – particularly plastic eg:
- Sustainably sourced timber furniture and storage
- Bamboo furniture
- Bamboo quilts and bedding
- Light fittings made with metal and paper
Look for low-energy options
Watch for energy rating on appliances and consider LED lighting, which uses 85% less energy.
Ask for sustainable options
Did you know there are pillows and blankets that are both sustainable to produce and biodegradable at the end of their life? Do your research and ask retailers about their sustainability policies and how they’re working to create products with a lighter impact on the earth
Reuse things or opt for biodegradable items
Pet bags, food storage and cleaning products have all been developed now with sustainability in mind. Avoid using harsh chemicals when cleaning your home, instead choosing products that are designed to avoid harming the environment.
Look in unexpected places
Take responsibility for your purchases in every area of life. Recycled plastics are now used to create reading glasses, sporting equipment, camping gear, bed linen, rugs and flooring, just to name a few.
Create a low energy household
If you do have air-conditioning, consult the manufacturer’s instructions and moderate its use for maximum efficiency and minimum environmental impact. Household tasks can use less energy too, such as sweeping rather than vacuuming, hanging clothes to dry on the line or a clothes airer rather than using the dryer.
Insulate against climate changes
Move from season to season with in comfort and energy efficiency with window treatments such as blinds and curtains, together with floor coverings such as carpet and rugs. Use draft stoppers to help maintain the air temperature inside your home.
Cut out single use plastics
You should already be taking shopping bags with you to the supermarket but how about everywhere else? Plan ahead and allow time to eat in at your favourite restaurant rather than calling out for home delivery or take away in plastic containers and carry a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go. Look to switching handmade ceramic or timber versions of everyday items such as toothbrushes and razors to cut down on your wider use of plastic.
Get your recycling sorted
We’ve come a long way with recycling and separating waste into recyclable and rubbish is now the norm. Go one step further and take soft plastics to your local supermarket or collection point. Upcycle packaging to use again where possible and buy in bulk to avoid extra packaging.
Start a vege garden
Supplement your weekly shopping list and help teach children where food comes from by planting a small herb or vegetable garden of your own. Notice how much easier it is to use only what you need, rather than overbuying and wasting fresh food each week.
Eat less meat
If we’re to live sustainably into the future, we need to include more plant-based food in our diets. If this seems like a drastic step, start small by replacing meat with vegetables or legumes in a few meals each week. This not only helps the planet, the health benefits of a more plant-based diet are well documented, stemming obesity, cancer and heart disease.