Still interested in nurturing your home and humanity’s home, the Earth?
Well I have some more eco-friendly advice to go around! These are tips I follow myself and even newer knowledge I have learned through more research, speaking with eco-friendly stores and colleagues. They may be on the other side of the political conflict, though we can at least work together to make sure we still have a home to debate on.
Some of these are not easy to follow, especially those that start with challenging your view on consumption on a regular basis. For some, these could be whole lifestyle changes so take it at your own stride. Like Jordan Peterson says, even if you take the littlest step – it is better than not having taken any steps at all.
7. Stop shopping fast fashion.
You heard me. Places like Cotton On, H & M, Uniqlo, they are all outlets that support fast fashion practices that consist of constantly creating too much clothing for demand and wasting old stock. These companies have been known to make clothing of a ‘regular standard’ in our modern society, which is that standard of barely lasting a year or two (or a few years if you’re careful) so you would come back and buy more. I am quite the frugal woman and I still believe that if you can help it, avoid cheaper, more available clothing and invest in better made brands that ask for more in price though with more sustainable practices.
In the long run, they’ll last longer for your buck. One thing I’ve done in changing brands to a higher quality one is to take very, very good care of cheap clothing I already own and making them last as long as possible while saving for new clothing from better brands. Try it and see the difference in comfort and quality.
8. Rechargeable batteries all the way.
Once upon a time, I used to be one of those people who would cringe at the high prices of rechargeable batteries. It just wasn’t worth it.
Wrong. It is.
The amount of waste batteries create is astounding and just by making the simple switch to reusable batteries (which are not too expensive now, by the way!), you are creating several times less the chemical waste that comes from the disposal of temporary batteries. All you need is the charger and you’re good to go..or are you?
Now, you don’t even really need the charger either! There are new rechargeable batteries that can be charged via microUSB, check them out.
9. Save containers.
I know some families already do this, though it should be said. When you have empty ice cream containers, yoghurt tubs and even big plastic water bottles, reuse them!
At our house, our current plastic bottle, which is a 2L that we use for refrigerated water, has been in use and reuse for 3 months now. We’ve had others much longer. When we cook and need to store away food, we use yoghurt tubs, ice cream containers and Tupperware. Kudos to my grandma for being the inspiration, she always gave me false hopes with ice cream containers.
It’s not Neapolitan, it’s frozen beef stew.
10. Use old clothes as rags.
There’s so many rags available for many different purposes nowadays, a lot more than those offered back in Asia when I lived there as a child. There seems to be a rag for everything.
Though not every purpose needs a specific rag. When it comes to dusting, car washing and in general floor cleaning, we all use old clothes that have been cut up. Before any old clothes are disposed of in our household (to charity or overseas relatives, of course), Dad gets first dibs on the good absorbing cloths for the garage.
11. Join a no-buy group.
I can’t believe I didn’t know about this until recently. When I told Dad about it, he only rolled his eyes at me.
“Duh. You used to tell me off for picking up these random things from people’s houses.”
So that’s what it was, except he would look at Buy and Sell pages to see if anything we needed was on offer for free or a very low price.
Now they have specific groups just for giving away items for free, either on forums or social media. Join one and see what is available around your neighbourhood and whenever you have anything useful, post about it yourself. Though not before you inform friends or colleagues, to see if they could give it a new home. I’ve already traded clothes and books with friends, don’t feel any shame for exchanging and giving used items a new life.
12. Carry your own utensils.
One thing I’ve found very wasteful in many fast food places and restaurants are the plastic utensils and those are all one-time use plastics that have a heavy toll on the oceans and landfills.
You can eliminate years’ worth of your own plastic utensil waste by refusing them and having your own reusable set. The best ones are made of bamboo and come in little portable pouches. Many servers at these food places may find it odd though they won’t be hassled by you asking them to exclude utensils, it’s just one last thing to chuck onto the tray or into the take away box, after all. Just remember to bring yours all the time, as well as a reusable straw and wash them whenever you get home!
Follow these and reduce the amount of waste you create, discourage companies from making too much of anything, really, and save money in the long run. One person doing this has an impact, don’t forget that, though having many people changing their way of life and attitude towards the Earth can really save our planet. Hopefully.
Let’s do our best!