In a world where the most easily accessible products cause damage to the environment, it’s pretty easy to feel powerless. However, none of us wants to see climate change further damaging the planet. Here at Eartha, we have compiled a list of things you can do to lower your carbon footprint, a la Greta Thunberg.
Conscious consumerism is all about being aware of the environmental impact of what you purchase. It’s about being selective of where your money goes and eliminating harmful consumption to the best of your ability. You might not have the means to buy an electric car (yet!) - but small actions are better than none!
You might be surprised to know how many products out there use plastic. It’s a cheap and accessible material, and with so many everyday items that contain plastic, it can be daunting to consider how to cut down on our plastic usage.
We don’t believe that consumers are wholly responsible for changing the amount of plastic circulating worldwide. But we do know that small changes in every person’s actions can make a big difference. From horoscopes, to wellness, to sustainability, at Eartha, we are here to help you find your calm.
Read on to learn what little things you can do to make positive change.
Single-use plastics make up 40% of all plastic waste. This includes plastic cutlery, containers, bags, wraps, straws, and more. Eliminating the use of soft plastics, which are much harder to get recycled, is an excellent first step in the right direction.
Beeswax wraps, reusable food containers and water bottles, and produce bags made of organic materials all cut away the need for single-use plastics. They cost a little more at first, but since you won’t need to repurchase them, these products are worth the investment.
The exception: Single-use face masks are the one exception to this rule! Your safety against the virus comes first and disposable masks are scientifically proven to be more effective than cloth masks. If you’re entering a high-risk environment, don’t feel guilty about using a single-use face covering. They can be washed up to ten times, and are nine times more effective than cotton.
Here’s another way we can make a difference like Greta Thunberg: buy new things if you think you’ll actually use them. Whether that be clothes, food, or anything else, the fastest way to lighten your carbon footprint is to cut away needless waste.
Another thing to consider before buying something is whether it’s something you could make yourself. For example, it’s tricky to make big things like furniture or yoga mats. But most people can make their own beeswax wraps or coffee. Pallets can also be an awesome way to make some of your own furniture.
If you do need to buy something, try to look for sustainably and ethically sourced products. Second-hand and locally sourced products are a good place to start. Especially when it comes to clothing, buying second hand will save you a ton of money and reduce a significant amount of plastic waste and carbon emissions.
Often, with second-hand shopping, your money will go to charities or into the pockets of local business owners.
When you buy local, you prevent unnecessary environmental damage from freight. Local manufacturers are more likely to use sustainable materials and packaging than large companies.
You can get your groceries from the nearest market or locally-run fruit and veggie store and find out whether that book you want to buy is available at an independent store. Shopping local is also a great way to discover hidden gems among your local artisans.
Here at Eartha, we deliberately choose to support New Zealand brands that produce their goods ethically and sustainably. When you buy through Eartha, you can trust that your money is going to businesses that care about the environment.
Conscious, sustainable, and ethical consumerism looks at the whole life cycle of your products. You can drastically reduce how much you put in landfills by choosing to repair anything you haven’t used in a while.
Have you been avoiding that pair of pants because there’s a tear in the seam? Just sew it up! If you’ve got something a little bit broken that you want to keep, there’s a whole world of video and step-by-step tutorials on the internet that can help you fix your things.
While we recommend buying things you know you will enjoy for a long time, we do naturally stop enjoying things we once loved every now and then. The majority of items you want to declutter can be donated, so don’t be afraid to pack them up and find your favourite op shop!
If you’re curious to know more about how you can improve your carbon footprint as a consumer, keep looking through our website! Or, take a look at the environmental movement Environmental movement, massively influenced lately by Greta Thunberg, to raise your awareness. There’s always more to learn!