Our convenient lifestyle is, unfortunately, coming with a not-so-convenient price tag and the health of our planet is suffering.
This is a global issue but change starts with the consumer. We have the power of our voices and the dollar!
These are the 5R’s to live by:
Our lives are so full of things and unnecessary stuff.
Each item has an environmental cost: the extraction of raw materials, the making of the product, the distribution, then the final stage- the disposal.
- Be thoughtful when buying, we as consumers have the power of the dollar to tell companies what we do and don’t want.
- If we start refusing plastic bottles, veggies wrapped in plastic and other single-use plastics, the market that once existed is gone. Don’t dismiss the power of an individual.
- It’s only one plastic straw said 7.6 billion people.
Refuse plastic bags and bring your own canvas bag instead
You can reduce your overall consumption by questioning all significant purchases and resisting impulse buying.
Just because something is on sale, it’ll make life slightly more convenient, or it’ll look pretty damn good on display; doesn’t mean you should buy it!
Most people’s lives are full of things and clutter. By reducing your belongings back to basics is better for not only good for the planet, but it’s also good for our wellbeing too. Keeping things minimalistic by owning clothes that you’ll actually wear, buying only the necessary electronic goods and not have an excessive amount of household furniture, makes life more simple (and a hell of a lot cheaper too!).
I remember coming home after backpacking for 1.5 years and all I carried with me was whatever I could fit into my backpack. Everything was simple. If I didn’t need something anymore, it was given away to someone who did. I craved having choices, space, and an organized shelving system. If you’ve ever been backpacking I’m sure you can relate! When I got home and went back to having a wardrobe full of clothes (mostly 2nd hand clothes, but still A LOT of clothes for one girl), choosing my daily clothes was overwhelming (you can only relate to this feeling if you’ve ever been long-term backpacking haha).
Ditch disposable for reusable!!!
Reusing things is how earlier generations made the most of limited resources in less wealthy and less consumer-convenient times. When you get past the “convenience” of single-use items, you really start to appreciate something that is with you for the long haul. You value your fewer items more. I would be totally lost if I misplaced my BBBYO drink-bottle, tea flask or keep-cup. I use them EVERY day numerous times!! It’s my survival in the real world.
Upcycle, DIY and Thrift Shops.
This is where creativity takes place! Seeing gold in something old, or seeing a purpose that isn’t the original purpose.
I do understand that not everyone has the time to make household items, nor the creativity to do so. However, there are some great creative initiatives out there on the internet; I find most of mine through Pinterest & Etsy. This means you can utilize other people’s creative skills!
I live in a coastal desert town on the Ningaloo Reef (Coral Bay) and we use milk crates and wooden pallets for everything! Tables, bed base, shelves, garden beds, wardrobe, shoe box, surfboard shelves, kitchen shelves. ALL is made from milk crates and wooden pallets upcycled from Bunnings (the rubbish tip 🙂
We go to the rubbish-tip on a treasure hunt to find waste items to reuse to create something new for our houses, our workplaces or social events.
And Thrift Shops, in Australia
we call them Op Shops. Never dismiss Thrift Shops for necessary household items, kitchen supplies, dress up clothes, books, house decoration, bed sheets, the list goes ONNNNN!!!! My brother is the most adamant Op shopper I have ever met. Everything he owns is sourced from an Op shop! Maybe not everyone has as much free time on their hands and a creative brain like him being able to see the beauty in everything, but in this disposable day and age, it may shock you what people throw away.