We know everyone is busy running their own race, especially after the rollercoaster of 2020—we’re still playing catch up. But if it thing taught us anything, it was to treasure our backyard and the beauty that resides there.
If we want to keep on enjoying said backyard (we really do) we need to be more conscious about our impact on the environment and our carbon footprint. If you’re not sure where to start, you’re in luck because Niccii Kugler, founder of sustainable online marketplace Nash + Banks has shared her six super simple tips to live a greener life.
#1 Shift Towards A More Plant-Based Diet
The single most impactful way you can reduce your carbon emissions is to eat less meat and dairy products. You don’t have to become a vegan overnight, just opting for meat-free one day per week can make a huge difference. If each Australian did this we’d save $1 billion, a billion fish and prawns, 66 million chickens, 250,000 Olympic swimming pools of water and an area of forest twice the size of the ACT. We’d also live 91,000 years longer as a nation. Using apps like The Darwin Challenge is a brilliant way to track your progress and the positive impact generated by reducing your meat intake.
#2 Buy Less, But Better (Aka Quality Over Quantity)
Buying less is always the best first step. Beyond that, choose products with care and invest in products that have better values, better quality and better lifecycles. This is an excellent path to shifting away from a fast consumption mindset towards more conscious and eco-friendly choices. Start with products that need to be replaced first, or those that have more meaning. As you get more confident with your choices, look to extend this practice to a broader range of categories from your cleaning products to your shoes.
#3 Go Back To Nature
When in doubt, look at the ingredients or materials that are used to make up the products you're buying. Generally speaking, when you choose products that are made from natural components, they are more likely to be better for the environment than those made from chemicals or petrochemicals or involve heavy manufacturing. Wherever possible, opt for organically and sustainably grown materials such as GOTS certified organic cotton or those that haven't undergone heavy chemical processing. Another tip is that if you can't find readily available information on what a product is made from it's probably because the brand would prefer you didn’t know.
#4 Repair And Reuse
It's all about second chances! Whether you invest in vintage/second-hand pieces, products that have been created from upcycled materials, or give an old fave a new lease on life, extending the lifetime of something preowned is an easy way to make an eco-friendly impact. For inspo, check out denim repair artist Sashiko Denim, Sofia Maria, a local jeweller who creates beautiful handmade jewellery from recycled precious metals, and WAW Handplanes, a brand that turns plastic ocean waste into amazing body surfing handplanes.
#4 Grow A Forest
Some emission-creating activities are unavoidable so take care of your carbon footprint via actively reforesting them. Reforest is an app that allows you to plant trees in Australian reforestation projects each time you purchase fuel for your car or flights then watch them grow in real time, and Ecosia is a search engine that uses the ad revenue from your web searches to plant trees where they are needed the most.
#5 Embrace composting
Composting is a great way to turn what waste you do create into a positive. And it's not just for food waste—many other items from toothbrushes to phone cases to compostable mailers can be added to your home compost and planted. If you live in an apartment and a compost isn’t an option, check out apps like ShareWaste.com which connects you with others in your area who will happily take your scraps for their own composts and worm farms. According to CleanUp Australia, we throw out 298kg of food per person each year which ends up in landfill where it decomposes and expels methane into the atmosphere, so it’s well worth your efforts to reduce this as much as you can.
#6 Invest in Renewables
What if I told you all these steps you’re taking to reduce your carbon footprint are great but your superannuation fund and bank are actively investing your money into the fossil fuel industry and your energy provider sources your energy via fossil fuels? If we all switched to a green energy provider (check out The Green Electricity Guide to compare) and a super fund and bank that invest in renewables it would make a huge impact as well as send the message that change is needed within these industries.
Image Credit: Vicky/Pexels