How To Live Sustainably – 5 Simple Changes To Help You On Your Sustainability Journey

How to Live Sustainably? I am seeing this question being asked more frequently through conversations and engagement. Awareness of climate change and social injustice has come to the forefront through social and media outlets, and we have reached a point where we want to stand up and be a part of the change. But how do we do this?

Firstly, it is crucial to understand the concept of sustainability. In 1987, Sustainable Development was defined as “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

To live sustainably means that you consider environmental aspects, economic stability, and social factors such as ethics when making decisions. It means that you have a fulfilled life while being conscious of the long-term survival of our planet. Changes can seem like a daunting task, but it is important to note that every small change can make a world of difference when it comes to sustainability.

To assist you on your journey, I have compiled a list of 5 simple changes that can be made to help you reduce your carbon footprint.

#1: Embrace Sustainable Fashion

Sustainable Fashion is a movement that often confuses, but it is merely a term used to encompass Slow, Eco-Conscious, and Ethical Fashion combined.

Slow Fashion is the opposite of Fast Fashion when buying clothes; it is essential to think quality over quantity. The aim is to slow down the purchasing and discarding of clothes. When Slow Fashion is embraced, it means the focus is placed on timeless pieces instead of current trends.

Eco-conscious fashion places priority on the planet. Manufacturing practices have a limited impact on the environment, with reduced resource consumption and organic raw materials utilised. Buying all eco-conscious garments is a sure way to reduce the carbon footprint linked to your wardrobe.

Ethical Fashion means the fair treatment of the garment worker and all those involved in the supply chain. Issues like child labour, unsafe work conditions, and low wages are addressed and eliminated.

When embracing Sustainable Fashion, it is important to know the brands you are supporting. Reach out, ask for their policies, ask the difficult questions, and encourage positive change. To live sustainably when it comes to fashion, start simple, apply the 30 wear rule to all clothing purchases, and try out the 10 x 10 fashion challenge to kickstart you on your way.

How to live sustainably - Slow Fashion Minimalist Wardrobe

#2: Purchase Green Beauty Products

Green beauty is an umbrella term used to describe natural ingredient products. Green beauty brands and companies focus on sustainability and environmental management; they will often have eco-friendly packaging. When you buy Green Beauty from a local producer, you are helping the planet, but you are also helping support the economy. 

 Like all other cosmetics sold within the EU, green beauty products are required to be compliant with Cosmetic Regulation (EC 1223/2009), this is the main regulatory framework for cosmetics products on the European market. If planning on selling green beauty products within the EU market, the manufacturers are obliged to provide a Product Information File (PIF), which should include a Cosmetics Product Safety Report.

Due to the small-scale manufacturing process and the resources required to ensure the product is 100% safe and compliant with legislation, there can be extra costs associated with green beauty products, but this all the more reason to buy green. 

How to live sustainably - What is Green beauty

#3: Eat Seasonal Food

Eating seasonal food has many sustainable benefits. Carbon emissions are slashed due to a reduction in the physical lengths the produce travelled before arriving on our plate.

Preservatives are often required to be sprayed on fruit and vegetables to prevent them from spoiling during their transatlantic trips. By choosing organic, locally produced fruit and veg, we can cut some of these chemicals from our diet and reduce the chances of chemical leaching, which causes water and land pollution.

How to live sustainably - Shop local

#4: Support Local Businesses: 

Local businesses bring innovation and help communities to thrive. They provide employment and encourage entrepreneurship. The money spent in each small business stays in Ireland and assists with the drive towards a circular economy. With the latest figures from the CSO indicating that SMEs account for 99.8% of active enterprises, it is now more important than ever to stand by the businesses you love.

Simple steps to show your support include: purchasing gift cards, promoting them on social media, and postponing appointments instead of cancelling. Not only does supporting local businesses help the economy, but it also helps the environment. Products sourced locally require less transportation, therefore fewer air emissions.

How to live sustainably - 7 ways to support local

#5: Cut down on plastic

Make the switch from a plastic water bottle to a reusable one. Even though plastic bottles are recyclable, there is potential for them to end up in landfill or the ocean. Because your typical PET plastic isn’t compostable or biodegradable, it can remain on earth for an estimated 450 years if it ends up in the wrong disposal chain. 

By removing plastic from your bathroom cabinet, you can assist in reducing water pollution. A recent study carried out at NUI Galway found that personal care products contribute to microplastic pollution in Irish waters. The total number was 6,083 microplastics fibres per kilogram of sediment, and 91% of these fibres came from wet wipes and sanitary towels.

These simple practices can reduce plastic pollution; however, it is also essential to understand plastics first before making significant changes and know how to dispose of them correctly. There are seven different types of plastics, and not all of them can go into your recycling bin at home. To ensure you are recycling correctly, review the Recycling List Ireland first. Rigid plastics like yogurt pots, fruit trays, shampoo bottles, and ice cream tubs are acceptable. However, soft plastics like cling film and plastic carrier bags are not; therefore, you should avoid putting these into your recycling bin. 

How to live sustainably - Plastic pollution

Thank You For Reading

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog on How to Live Sustainably. Here at The Sustainability Strategy, we aim to build a community that feels free to openly discuss their environmental views. If you enjoyed the content and would like to get involved in the Sustainable growth conversation, I would love to hear from you. You can find me on Facebook,  TwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

Keep it Green,

Sarah

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