Hey, guess what?! The environment is in a pretty shitty state right now and it needs a bit of help from all of us. I know that being eco-friendly isn’t always cheap or convenient, but there are many things we could be doing which actually are. In fact, they are so easy and so much lighter on your hip pocket, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing them all along!
Sure, we are helping the environment if we remember to take our reusable bags to do our grocery shopping, or our reusable coffee cups to the local café. But there is so much more we can be doing on the home front. So much more we need to be doing on the home front if we are ever going to change the state of the planet.
1. Utilise sites such as Freecycle.org to score items you want, and ditch those you don’t
Sites like these are great. Not only do they ensure less stuff goes to landfill, they also enable you to pick up things you actually need for FREE. So, if you have something in good condition that you no longer need, or can’t be arsed taking somewhere else, list it!
Sure, you won’t get any money for it, but you also don’t need to deal with the creeps on Gumtree.
2. Borrow or swap instead of buy
When did we all become so obsessed with having to own everything? I’ve probably got 100 things laying around the house that I never use and that I could lend to someone in need. Having to own everything creates more environmental destruction to create products, more waste from packaging and discarded items, and it is more expensive for all of us.
Some cities around the world have clicked onto the stupidity of having to own everything and have started up item lending libraries. They’re just like normal libraries, but you borrow household items instead of books. Now that’s smart thinking!
Although it was common practice thirty years ago, composting has fallen off the radar for most of us since then (although, it is making a comeback). Instead of sending your food waste to landfill (approximately 50% of waste sent to landfill at present is either food or green waste according to Brisbane City Council), allow it to be broken down so that your garden/yard can benefit from its nutrients.
There are a few different composting systems available – in garden piles or bins, mobile bins and even indoor bins. Some utilise worms and others, not. You can buy kits and bins from local gardening and hardware stores. They are also great for getting the kids to learn about nature (and for getting them out of the house).
If you’d like more information on composting, you can always follow Costa Georgiadis from the ABC. I have actually developed a pretty big crush on him because he is so passionate about composting. Passionate = sexy in my books. In case you haven’t heard of him, here’s a picture.
So, yeah, not a strange crush at all. I wonder if I would ask for goggles on, or off, in the bedroom….
4. Become a vinegar and baking soda addict
Vinegar and baking soda are kick-arse cleaning ingredients. They are also a lot cheaper than the traditional, non-environmentally friendly cleaning products you buy in the supermarkets. Creating the different blends is also easy. Here are some ideas to get you started: http://www.rd.com/home/cleaning-organizing/5-best-baking-soda-and-vinegar-cleaning-solutions/
5. Paper bin liners
Instead of using plastic bags to line your bins, why not use old newspaper? Most people get the local rag delivered once per week without necessarily wanting, or needing it, so why not put it to good use? And if you’re composting as well, your bin should stay relatively dry and free of bad smells.
If you are creatively challenged like me, and can’t work out how you could ever fold the paper to make a liner, you can watch this instructional video by a six year old:
(I’ll still never be able to do it as well as her.)