Last month we joined Earth Day 2022 celebrations - even though at Dr Jackson’s, Earth Day is celebrated Every Day. In our continued shift from being less “eco-friendly” towards becoming “environmental activists” we are using our communication platforms to inform and give options to consumers to make better choices when shopping. So, we have put together this short guide offering 5 simple ways to live your life more sustainably.
Rather than making recommendations that will drastically change the way you live, instead, we focus on offering new ways of approaching and looking at your current lifestyle. So, read on and find your inspiration to live a more environmentally responsible and conscious life.
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
Image courtesy @makeitmana
Reduce, reuse and recycle is an approach that can be applied to minimising waste and energy consumption in almost any area of our lives. When you approach a need or a challenge, ask yourself in order, can you
Do you really need a new material thing in your life?
Reducing the ‘things’ we acquire is by far the best way to eradicate the need for environmentally harmful production and limit waste materials.
If you simply cannot do without something, the next question is whether you can reuse it?
This can be applied in many ways, for example, a plastic drink bottle may be reused many times as a drinks bottle, but may also be cut down and used as a plant pot or as a container for countless other uses.
Here at Dr Jackson’s we actively encourage our customers to reuse our beautiful packaging in any way they can. We have seen some great examples ranging from elegant diffusers to vases for delicate, small flowers and plants. Share your ideas with #DrJacksonsZeroWaste
Although recycling is the most heavily advertised method of reducing the harm we do to the environment; it is actually the last and least beneficial of the three. Of course, recycling is preferable to sending waste to landfills. However, the transportation, sorting and processing of recyclable materials can be energy-intensive and without proper management, harm the environment too.
This is why recycling should only be considered if you are unable to reduce the need for or reuse the item first.
It is clear that consuming is generally bad for the environment. However, when we are conscious of the things we buy, we can drastically decrease the negative impact we have.
Researching and buying items that are of high quality can help ensure that they will last longer, limiting the likelihood of having to replace that item multiple times within our lifetime. Although this isn't a hard and fast rule, typically higher quality products such as clothing, electronics, beauty products and vehicles will all last longer or go further than their cheaper counterparts.
It is often said that everything has a cost. As although products such as those found within the fast fashion industry may cost less in financial terms, they usually have a much higher hidden human and environmental cost.
Conscious shopping can be as simple as researching your favourite brands to see what they are doing in terms of sustainability. Seek out whether they have a sustainability statement. Many brands will position themselves as an environmentally friendly option, but don’t necessarily have transparency over their supply chain.
For example, here at Dr Jackson’s, although we aren’t packaging manufacturers, we work hard to fully understand our supply chain and put pressure on our green-credential suppliers, to create the most sustainable option possible.
Care for Your Belongings
Another simple way you can increase the lifespan of the items you need in your life is by ensuring that you are aware of the best way to care for them. Here are a few examples:
- Learning how to care for clothes can increase their lifespan
- Learning basic car maintenance can increase the time you can use your car
- Regularly making updates and cleaning your computer can increase its usable life
- Learning how to properly store your beauty products increase how long they last
Consider Alternative Transport Methods
Image courtesy @foffabikes
Movement requires energy. This means that every journey we take can have an impact on the environment.
Rather than simply looking for the most convenient option for travelling, research your alternatives in order to find an option that both works for you and has as little impact as possible. This really is a simple change that can have a big impact in reducing energy and pollution.
For example, can you swap a short drive for a walk or bike? Could you swap a longer drive for a bus or train? Even in cases where driving is the only option, lift-sharing with others can be a good way to lower your overall carbon footprint.
Create a Meal Plan
Image courtesy @chefpetergordon
There is considerable debate over what is the most environmentally beneficial diet to maintain. However, when it comes to food, one thing is clear - wasted food is extremely bad for the planet.
Worryingly, some statistics suggest that the UK collectively throws away 9.5 million tons of food every year. Although much of this will be wasted throughout processes within the food industry, it also includes a huge amount of wasted food that finds its way into our bins at home.
So, whether you are a dedicated vegan or consume a more flexible range of foods, creating and sticking to a meal plan can be one of the best ways to live more sustainably. Here are a few tips for following a meal plan and generating less food waste:
- If you are able, shop little and often
- Check use-by dates on food and create a meal plan accordingly
- Consider if/when you are eating out and build that into your meal plan
- Get creative with leftovers
- If you have one, utilise your freezer to keep leftovers or food nearing the end of its use by date fresh
- Post your meal plan somewhere easy to see, so you are clear on what you are eating and when
Living Sustainably: SummaryIt is impossible to live 100% sustainably.
Wait…what? Isn’t that what this article is all about?
Although it is possible to live ‘more sustainably’ and make more sustainable choices, it is practically impossible to live in a way that doesn't have some negative impact on the environment.
For example, we may choose to walk everywhere rather than drive. But even this has consequences. We create friction on our shoes, making them degrade over time, eventually leading to us having to purchase new shoes. We also consume food in order to move, which has taken energy to grow and transport.
Living a more sustainable lifestyle is all about researching and being conscious of the impact we have on the planet. It is about learning and making smart decisions as consumers, supporting businesses that are committed to doing the least harm possible to the environment, whilst still creating fantastic products that fulfil our needs.