Take your own reusable bags when shopping
This seems like a simple act, but it can have far-reaching impacts. Even if you reuse your plastic grocery bags, they eventually end up in landfill where they only start to degrade after 700 years. Unfortunately, plastic bags don’t always stay in landfill; they often find their way to our parks, bushland, rivers and oceans where they pollute the local environment and kill animals that consume or become trapped inside them. This awful cycle will continue for over 1000 years during the bag’s degradation process. You can stop this just by taking your own reusable bag when you shop. When I forget mine, I just carry the groceries, which is painful, so it means that next time I’m more likely to remember!
Compost your food scraps
Do you know what happens to the food scraps in your bin? It’s pretty bad. When food waste accumulates in a landfill, it decomposes aerobically and produces methane, a greenhouse gas, 20 times more potent than CO2. As the food waste breaks down, the toxic chemicals it produces are released into the atmosphere and surrounding landscape where it travels to waterways, parks and residential areas. If you only do one thing to live more sustainably, composting should be it. Composting is so easy and anyone can do it! If I can, you can. I use a Bokashi in the kitchen and have a large compost bin outside. I have had a few questions about Bokashis so I will share a post on that one later.
Stop buying crap clothes!
When you buy poorly made clothes on a whim because they’re inexpensive and ‘in fashion’, you’re contributing to the destructive throwaway culture. Instead, invest in your wardrobe. Take the time to find good quality pieces you will love and wear for years to come. I would rather own one, higher-priced, well-made piece that I wear every week than six cheaply produced items that I wear once, then end up in landfill.
So, that’s it. Five very simple changes you can make to live more sustainably. It can take about a month to form a habit, so keep at it and don’t beat yourself up too much when you slip up. None of us is perfect and all we can do is try to do better, one small change at a time. These are only small changes but it’s often the smallest actions that have the greatest impact.