My Sustainable Habits for 2019

Sustainable Habits

It’s the start of a new year and everybody is thinking about setting goals and resolutions.

As I mentioned in a previous blog instead of resolutions, I like to think of healthy habits that I want to cultivate in the coming year and work out ways to make them happen.  I was quite happy with myself when I looked back at that post and realised that I have incorporated most into my daily routine now (although some I could be better at).

For 2019 I want to be more aware of my buying and consumption habits.  Over the last few months sustainability, zero waste, veganism and minimalism have appeared more and more on my radar especially in relation to the environmental impact of our day-to-day choices and how much waste we are creating.  The health of our environment has a huge impact on our health.

This year I want to educate myself and adopt more environmentally-friendly habits.  I feel like I’ve made a start but there is a lot of room to improve for sure.  While there are people living zero waste, going vegan or even embarking on a no-buy year (where they buy nothing other than bare necessities – fair play to them), I’m probably going to take an every-little-bit-helps approach.

Here are some sustainable hacks I’ll be doing in 2019 with particular regards to plastic and clothing:

Single Use Plastic.  Plastic sticks around for YEARS.  It’s also full of nasty chemicals which can be endocrine (hormone) disruptors.

  • Ditch the plastic water bottles and use my reusable stainless steel water bottle. I’ve got a S’well bottle.  I need to get back into filtering water at home and bringing the bottle with me in the morning.
  • Ditch the reusable coffee cups from coffee shops. I’ve got a KeepCup that I should bring with me if I’m getting a take-out coffee or I should sit in and enjoy my coffee/tea in a cup/mug in the café.  Another way to use the KeepCup is to make my tea/coffee at home and bring it with me.
  • Ditch the plastic straws and use steel straws instead. I rarely use plastic straws as I rarely get drinks that come with straws when I’m out and about.  However, I do drink lemon water in the morning and I want to protect my teeth so using a steel straw will help with this.  Also I think it will be good to carry one with me in case I get a juice or smoothie when I’m out and about.
  • Use a reusable canvas grocery bags/totes when I go grocery shopping. Making sure one is in my handbag or car will ensure I have one handy when I go to the supermarket.
  • Choose produce in the supermarket that doesn’t have plastic packaging. I personally like shopping at farmers markets – not only is the produce seasonal, local and organic, it also tends not to have packaging.  And it can work out cheaper too.

Other plastic items

  • Use a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one.
  • Use what I’ve got rather than throwing it away (e.g. my BPA free lunch boxes).
  • See what can be repurposed – e.g. maybe I could make my own cleaning product and use the spray bottle I already have.
  • Be mindful of cosmetics and skin care product packaging. Are there options I could buy that come in glass bottles? Investigate brands that offer recycling for their (and other brands) products.

Clothing

  • Shop my wardrobe – use what I have.
  • Alter / mend rather than dispose.
  • If I’m going to buy something, ask myself if will I wear it 30+ times. It will make me more conscious of buying classic pieces that will endure over fast-fashion trends.
  • Buy second hand. I love consignment stores and whenever I’m in the US I will seek them out.  Consignment stores here in Ireland tend to be for more designer items but I hope we see a few more stores that aren’t exclusively designer pop up over the coming years.  In the meantime, I want to become open to shopping in charity and vintage stores as well as online on various sites like Depop and Ebay.
  • Investigate sustainable fashion brands. Buy less but buy better.

Food

  • Eat in season.
  • Make soups, smoothies or stewed fruit to use up produce coming to the end of their life.
  • Increase my consumption of plants (fruit and vegetables) and investigate more sustainable options for meat/fish.

I’m definitely at the beginning of my sustainability journey but I hope to become more educated and savvy in 2019.  No doubt I’ll pick up plenty of hacks along the way which I’ll try to share.

If you have any tips, I’d love to hear.

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