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What Does Sustainability Even Mean?

by Paula Gallacher |

Have you ever found yourself nodding along to a conversation about “being more sustainable” and found yourself thinking- what are you guys even talking about?

Well don’t worry. You are not alone.

With a 60% increase in the google search ‘definition of sustainability’. We are clearly still not sure what it even means!

Well let’s break it down.

In basic terms, sustainability is the ability to maintain a certain level or rate without burning out of resources that may not be here in 10, 50 or even 100 years’ time. Thanks Oxford dictionary for the definition. But what does that actually mean?

As a way of life, ‘living sustainably’ is about thinking beyond what you need in the moment. Consumerism and convenience have formed how we have lived for decades and created a ‘disposable’ culture of fast fashion and fast food. 

What we are starting to realise, is the impact that this has on the planet and the fact that what we do now, will affect future generations.

Think about your great, great grandkids for a second. Wow, we know. Pretty scary thought. What will their world look like if we use up all our resources today?

Ok. But how on EARTH do we do that?

Here are our top tips to live more sustainably, without compromising on what you need.

BYO Coffee Cups

Think about your morning coffee. You grab your coffee to go from your favourite café every morning in a takeaway cup. Chances are, that cup is going to end up in landfill. Which by the way- increased landfill means increased methane gas levels, which contributes to global warming.

BUT today, you decide to bring your own cup now. Congratulations, you just saved over 300 coffee cups per year (or maybe more depending on how many you have a day).

You still get to enjoy that latte every morning and feel better about your environmentally footprint.

Looking to make the swap? Try Joco Cups for a great Australian owned company OR if you really want to be sustainable. Take your favourite mug from home!

Shop Local

We are lucky to live in a country that has some fantastic produce. Whether it’s food, fashion or household items. Try and make the switch to Australia products to reduce the amount of carbon emissions it takes for your items to arrive at your doorstep. 

And it’s not just about emissions. By shopping locally, you also support local business, the economy and Australian jobs. Pretty worthwhile right?

Switch to LED lights

This is the ultimate WIN/WIN situation. LED lights are cheaper, last longer and use less power than halogen lights. So - saving you both money and energy.

Use Less Plastic

Thank goodness for states like SA that have officially banned single use plastics (what you waiting for the rest of Australia?) Australian’s used to us around 10 million plastic bags every day.  Yeah. It’s crazy. And majority of this ends up in our oceans, harming our wildlife and ecosystems. Wherever you can, say no to single plastics, bring your own bags and choose non plastic alternatives OR if you do use plastic. Choose options that are made from recycled materials than can be recycled again and again.

Understand Recycling Do's and Dont's

Speaking of recycling. There are actually a LOT of rules when it comes to what can and can’t go in that big yellow bin. Unfortunately, when we do accidently put non recyclables in with items that can be recycled- there's a good chance the whole lot is going to end up in landfill.

Super annoying when you are trying to do the right thing!

Hot Tip #1: If it’s a soft plastic- make sure you recycle it using the soft plastics program in your local supermarket (it’s called RedCycle). It’s important to take off any soft plastic parts (say the plastic part of a tissue box) and recycle these in store rather than in your bin.

To be completely up to date with what can and can’t go in your bin. Make sure you check your local council website and see how you can help reduce the amount of waste that ends up  in landfill.

So there you go.

Next time you find yourself in that awkward conversation about how to be more eco friendly. Not only do you know what you are talking about- you can also show how you are helping make a difference to our planet.

How good!

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