10 simple ways to live more sustainably
At charityBay, we’re dubbing this month “Sustainable September”, setting ourselves the task of taking up simple eco-friendly lifestyle swaps that can keep our planet healthy and our futures bright.
Living sustainably is not as daunting or time-consuming as it may seem. We’ve found 10 easy habits that will both improve your life and environmental- footprint.
1. Shop second-hand
Over 800,000 tonnes of waste is disposed of within the City of Melbourne boundary every year, some of which is recycled, most of which goes to landfill. That’s a staggering amount. Luckily, we can help reduce this amount of waste by shopping second-hand.
By shopping second-hand, we can save valuable items from landfill, extend their lifecycle, and also help decrease our reliance on fast and poorly made products that create pollutants during the manufacturing process. Hunting for items second-hand on apps like charityBay can also be fun. It’s a great opportunity to find unique goods that also support incredible community organisations and charities, so your second-hand shop can help incite positive change in a number of ways! When shopping, opt to seek out second-hand pieces first and brand new as a last resort.
For more information, read our article on how shopping second-hand can reduce your carbon footprint, particularly when it comes to fashion.
2. Use a keep cup
Australians use and dispose of an estimated 3 billion takeaway coffee cups every year. These coffee cups are made from new materials with a plastic film coating, and cannot be recycled. With aussies drinking more than 50,000 cups of coffee every half an hour (total, not independently), switching to your very own personal keep cup is a far more eco-friendly option.
3. Reduce food waste
An average house in Victoria discards of roughly $2,200 worth of food every year, which ends up decaying in landfill and creating avoidable greenhouse gases. By creating a “eat me first” box of food about to go off, in both your homes pantry and fridge, you can cut down on your grocery bill and help reduce environmental damage.
4. Bring your own bag, and say no to plastic straws
Saying no to single-use, disposable products is one of the easiest ways to reduce your environmental footprint.
Approximately 8 million tonnes of plastic is dumped into the ocean each year. Plastic straws, in particular, take lifetimes to break down and are consistently found washed up on shorelines worldwide. Australians also use roughly 10 million plastic bags every day. Going forward, by saying no to plastic bags and straws (and bringing our own), we can help significantly reduce the extent of environmental devastation caused by these unnecessary products.
5. Change your showerhead
Did you know you can save on your personal water usage by 40 per cent by switching to water-efficient showerhead? In Victoria, you can even get a free water-saving replacement under the Victorian Energy Saver Scheme.
6. Shop locally/ choose Australian made
When we shop for imported products, they have to travel a vast distance, producing pollutants during the transport process that contribute to climate change. When you shop Australian, or even better, within your local bubble, the distance these items need to travel is far less by comparison, meaning far fewer pollutants are emitted. Buying locally also helps support the Australian economy, so it’s a win-win all around!
7. Use public transport, or take up bike riding/walking
Bike riding and walking is a great way to get in your daily exercise while also reducing carbon emissions. When travelling a longer distance, opt for public transport like buses, trains and trams. Fewer cars on the road= less toxic pollutants.
8. Use a bamboo toothbrush
In Australia alone, a staggering 1000 tonnes of plastic toothbrushes head to landfill every year. These toothbrushes are made from different non-biodegradable plastics including nylon and high-density polyethylene, that take hundreds of years to break down. Alternatively, bamboo toothbrushes only take roughly 6 months to break down. It’s also a rapidly growing plant, meaning its easy to produce, and also has antibacterial properties that are sustained in the toothbrush itself. Opting for a bamboo toothbrush the next time you’re at the supermarket or pharmacy is one of the easiest eco-friendly choices we can make!
9. Change your lights
LED lights and CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) are not only more energy-efficient than traditional bulbs like halogen and incandescent lights, but they also last up to ten times longer and will cost far less when it comes to bill time. We’re making the switch today!
10. Recycle (properly)
By doing a quick google on how to recycle simple household items before we toss them out, we can help reduce the amount of waste un-necessarily heading to landfill every-day. Pieces such as fluorescent lights, paint and batteries can be dropped off at specialty processing sites, while other useful household items can be sold on charityBay. These unwanted household items can be turned into funds for registered Australian charities making positive community change, by reselling them on the charityBay app.
Download the charityBay app today to start making a difference for the causes you care about, and the planet!