Repairing and changing ourselves is the same thing as repairing and changing the world. And the only change we truly have complete control over is the change we make to ourselves. The only violence we can directly put an end to, is the violence we partake in. The only destruction we can directly stop is the destruction we ourselves cause.
The mantra "be the change you want to see in the world" strikes a cord with me now more than ever. I do not want to sit back and hope that things will get better because I want them to, but rather I want to actively take a part in making them better. Even if that part is small, I think it's a pursuit worth taking on.
I feel a great responsibility to live a more sustainable life, I want to make decisions that land lighter on my fellow humans, animals, forests, rivers, oceans... my fellow earthlings. I think of us all as neighbours, a community inhabiting this great and beautiful home together. I think we can work a little bit harder at taking better care of it and each other.
I wrote this sustainability guide as a challenge for myself, to step up and take on a personal responsibility to do more. But I also hope that it can inspire others. I feel that even the smallest steps in the right direction can have effects that radiate outwards. I truly believe that the smalls steps of many can be bigger than the huge steps of few.
Here are my top tips for living more sustainably! Please share with me any ideas or tips you have regarding sustainability!
1. Get a set of reusable flat ware, or use what you've already got at home to take on the go with you. Using a plastic fork from to go restaurants is so wasteful and often unnecessary. I bought a set from to-go ware, it comes with a bamboo knife, fork, spoon, and chopsticks, in an easy to transport case made from recycled plastic. I keep it in my purse and take it with me everywhere I go. I love mine from To-Go Ware, you can purchase it here.
2. Get a reusable water bottle. I used to think I had to buy one at every airport before I got onto a plane, but turns out you can bring an empty, reusable water bottle through security and as long as your in a city where the tap water is safe to drink you can fill it up at a water fountain which I've found just about all airports have. I recommend getting a metal one as it's the most durable. Again, I bring this everywhere I go and any coffee shop I go into will refill it for me for free with no issues. A bonus is that you will save money from not having to buy plastic water bottles + you end up drinking more water, which is always a good thing. I also have a reusable coffee cup I keep on hand to avoid using single use coffee cups.
3. Take reusable shopping bags to the grocery store. They are easy to obtain, most of mine I've received for free from shops but even if you do have to buy a few, many shops offer a small discount for using your own bags, so you'll make the money back. And please don't use a plastic bag for one small item, you do not need to carry your one package of gum around in a plastic bag, its infuriating when I see this happening.
4. Use reusable produce bags. I've found the bags that come with my shoes work perfectly as replacements for plastic produce bags for apples, lemons etc. although you can buy reusable produce bags from many home stores if you don't have an untouched shoe box full of these in your closet somewhere... :)
5.Buy local + organic produce when possible. Organic food is more environmentally sustainably produced, and buying local cuts down on transportation emissions. Plus it's better for you, and local in season produce tastes waaay better. Anotha win win.
6. Shop second hand/vintage. One mans trash is another mans treasure, eh? Second hand shopping is definitely the most sustainable way to shop, it is also less expensive, annnd the chances of you showing up to a party in the same dress as someone else is virtually impossible. Holla.
7. Get a safety razor. There are so many benefits to this, safety razors create way less waste, because the razor itself is made completely of metal and will last a life time, the only thing you have to repurchase is the actual razor blades, which come in paper packaging and last much longer than standard razors blades. The replacement blades also cost way less, while the cost of the razor upfront may be a bit more, you will save so much money on razor replacements, which may win for the most overpriced thing everrrr, amirite?!
8.Support sustainable companies. We cast votes for the kind of world we want to live in with each dollar we spend. Vote for companies that are making a positive difference in this world. Let me know if you would be interested in me making a separate post listing a few of my favourite eco-friendly companies!
9. Cut down on takeout. Cooking at home is healthier, more sustainable, and more affordable. So as much as I love seamless, getting five packets of plastic forks when I order one thing on the menu is... infuriating and wasteful.
10. Eat more vegan meals. Even if it is one meal a day, or one meal a week, if its more than you're doing now, its impactful. Animal agriculture has a huge negative impacts on our earth, a cow takes way more resources(i.e. land, water, and food) then fruit and veggies. But this topic deserves its own post, so let me know if you would be interested in that, or check out Cowspiracy on Netflix for some facts and figures.
So whether you pledge to do one thing from this list, all ten, or even more, I think it is important to keep in mind that small steps are bigger than no steps, and that just because you can't do everything doesn't mean that you should do nothing. Love to all!
If you do try any of these tips let me know how you got on! Tag me on instagram @bykindlykate #bykindlykate.