5 ways to make our lives more sustainable

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1. Know the origin

We all love a bargain, but we rarely take the time to consider why that t-shirt we bought only cost us £2.50. Factoring in production costs and the retailer’s profits, it is highly unlikely that our new t-shirt will have been produced in a sustainable way.

The ability of the retailer to sell at such a low price may be due to a number of factors - including aggressive cotton farming, causing devastating soil erosion, or a failure to pay workers a fair wage. This may not be true for every £2.50 t-shirt but we should all be prepared to do a little digging before we buy - if a company is producing products in a truly sustainable way then it will be shouting about it from the rooftops and it won’t be super cheap.

Image by Christopher Rusev (@ralics)

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2. Does it spark joy?

We should all take a leaf out of Netflix-sensation and author, Marie Kondo’s, book and ask whether the things we own spark joy. Marie suggests clearing out items which don’t spark joy and minimising our possessions to those which we truly derive enjoyment from. Not only will this leave our house looking clean and tidy but will also prompt us to be a little more conscious about what we buy and whether we’re buying it for the right reasons.

Image by SwabDesign (@swabdesign)

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3.Buy second-hand

Second hand stores are a cave of wonders. There is no other shop (that we know of!) that can contain the complete works of Harry Potter one day, and brand new Whistles dress the next! Giving these items a new home keeps them from the waste bin and saves us money. If that second hand store is also a charity shop then we’re doing even more good!

Image by Orlova Maria (@orlovamaria)

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4. Reduce food waste

We’ve all been there - hauling about £10 worth of food out of the fridge because we haven’t used it and it’s now mouldy. In fact, it’s estimated that the average UK household throws away £810 of food every year.

Not only is that a lot of money, but that’s also a whole lot of methane. Methane is released when food waste rots in landfill sites and directly contributes to global warming (making up around 8% of greenhouse gasses). By being more conscious with our food choices, freezing food where necessary, and using left-overs, we can dramatically reduce the effects of food waste on our planet.

Image by Orlova Maria (@orlovamaria)

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5. Put down that phone

Most of us lead pretty busy (and often chaotic!) lives, where convenience is key and time is a commodity in short supply. Yet, somehow we all seem to be able to fit in 2, 3, 4 hours a day on our phones (we’re definitely guilty of this!).

Ditching the phone for a few hours at a time might help us all become a little more present, a little more conscious, and a little more aware of the beauty of our planet and why it’s worth saving.

Image by Justin Kauffman (@justindkauffman)