I get it, the world can feel slightly apocalyptic and you'd much rather stay in bed. So, while you're in bed right now (saucy) or you're "reading an email" at work, let me demystify sustainability so that introducing it into your day-to-day is a bit easier.
There are 3 pillars that make up sustainability:
Economic - investing in future innovation and maintaining a healthy bank account
Social - creating structures and habits that meet the needs of today without compromising future generations' ability to meet their own needs
And environmental - not extracting natural resources faster than they can regenerate and not producing more waste than the planet can safely absorb.
Sustainability is an equilibrium which means each pillar has to work in conjunction with the other. For example, with the climate crisis at the forefront of a lot of discussions, it becomes clear that we tend to solely focus solutions for the environmental pillar, without taking into account the other two. Ecology and economics are inseparable. If solutions or actions being provided to an environmental issue are unaffordable and not socially fulfilling , then it is not sustainability.
Let me put it like this; takeaway cups for coffees. For me, this felt like a no-brainer as I drink PINTS of coffee and like music to my ears, some cafes offer DISCOUNTS on reusable cups! So in sustainability language, reusable takeaway coffee cups mean not only am I not making more rubbish, I am also saving myself money AND is a change I can make that can be maintained for bloody ages!
So what about you?
Your home is where it’s easiest place to start living sustainably (because you're already living there).
Look at your house in sections, you have your kitchen, your bathroom, your bedroom, your living room, etc. Then choose one section to tackle first and start replacing item after item. Here are some suggestions:
Lessen the volume of single-use plastic. An important note is that pursuit of eliminating plastic doesn't mean purchase more environmentally-friendly alternatives- this actually defeats the purpose. Use those plastics until a slight gust of wind could turn it to dust.
Buy loose fruit & veg, sauces in glass bottles or tins, pasta and grains from bulk stores
Reuse containers and Jars
Clean dishes with sustainable products- yours truly (I hated that self-aggrandisation too)
Start your own vege garden. If you live in the city, maybe begin with pots of herbs. The best thing to plant first is a Lemon Tree. Lemons can act as a really effective cleaning aid as well as the fruit being a great source of vitamin C and you can't have Gin without ice and a slice...
Compost your scraps. I live in the city so having a compost bin in a no-go. A great solution is get a big mixing bowl and place it in the freezer where you freeze your scraps and once it's fill, use our shipping bags to then bury the scraps in the ground or take it to a farmers market. HAVE A LOOK ON OUR INSTAGRAM HIGHLIGHTS TO SEE HOW
Bamboo toothbrushes. Once the bristles have reach the point of no return, place in your scrap bowl because they're wood aka compostable OR use the brush as kindling if you have a fireplace.
Reusable cotton pads that can be placed in the washing machine and cleaned with...I won't say it again.
Period-proof underwear. I will break these bad boys down at a later date.
Remember no one is perfect, so don’t beat yourselves up for accidentally using a plastic bag or a single-use cup. It happens to the best of us. And at the end of the day, the intention to do better next time is what really matters!