Climate change. One of the most contested, controversial and debated phrases of the 21st century. But what is the debate about? Why is it so controversial? Now I could go into a long-winded explanation about climate change, attempt to persuade you to believe in it and push an agenda. But I’m not going to do that.
Rather, I think we need to address the concept of sustainability. Now that’s another complicated and misconstrued word. But think of sustainability as a concept to define the creation and cultivation of healthy habits with the vision of a healthier world that relies on mindful consumption and waste methods.
Why do I want to build sustainable habits, you may ask?
There’s no exact answer for this. Moreover, it's about doing what’s right I guess… and uncovering the myths that make us hesitant to adopt a ‘sustainable’ lifestyle.
When I talk about sustainability with family and friends, I’ve noticed a tendency in people to shy away, laugh it off or change the topic. Why?
A common myth, some people feel that to follow a sustainable lifestyle, they need to sacrifice their current one. For example, become vegan, stop purchasing leather, etc. However, it is important to note that we can take smaller steps to incorporate sustainable values rather than jumping to conclusions and making larger uncomfortable changes to our lifestyles
- It's not going to change anything
This is a negative connotation that often gets in the way of a lot of things we want to do. We become so accustomed to our way of living, watching people around us doing the same thing that we become scared to take up activism or create changes. The thing is if everyone begins to take up small habits such as separating rubbish in recycling bins, compost and general waste - we could see a nationwide change in waste attitudes. Keep a growth mindset, it helps in everything you do!
- The cost
As with building any habit, it is important to consider that these habits may not be feasible for everyone to apply nor easy to adopt. We need to consider how people have different situations and the concept of intersectionality (or different identities). Building sustainable habits is a journey in itself, and it's important to consider how there can be socioeconomic barriers hindering people from investing in a compost bin for example, however it is great to know that sustainability can start from something small at home, contributing to a larger cause.
Okay, I think I’ve talked enough about the myths and barriers that we have. But what are some easy ways we can start to incorporate sustainability in our lifestyles?
I’ve compiled a list of small habits we can take up to lead healthier lifestyles that are planet conscious. Because our lazy habits shouldn’t have to cost the Earth.
- Know how to separate rubbish
→ If you know how to separate recycling from general waste - great, you’re on track already; if not, educate yourself on how to separate different waste types. Sometimes we think that change can only be attained through policy changes and societal evolution - not necessarily. Our local councils already have bin collections established on (mostly) a weekly cycle, plus the colour coded bins to signify waste types. This system is excellent in managing waste and keeping the country clean, it's up to us to educate ourselves and do the right thing by placing rubbish in the appropriate bins.
One way to educate yourself about separating waste is by using the Recycle Mate app which helps you in finding out whether something can be recycled or not. You could make this a fun guessing game to play in your household to make it more involving and an enriching educational experience.
Once you learn how to separate between two bins, bonus points if you can set up compost bins and a separate one for cans/bottles which can be recycled at different locations.
At BoxHead Plastics, we take our wasting practices seriously, you can look into how we’re making an impact on our end here!
- Don’t litter and encourage people around you to abstain from littering
- Purchase more consciously
→ Did you know that an average of 152 million plastic bottles (shampoo, conditioner and other beauty products) go to landfill annually in Australia?
Purchasing more conscious and sustainable items can assist in setting habits that consider the planet. Simple ways you can introduce this include, purchasing recycled paper, opting to buy recyclable office items, grocery shopping from bulk wholesale places encouraging you to use your own paper bag rather than plastic packaging, researching ethical beauty products with recyclable packaging, considering the material of clothing you purchase (opting for natural fibres such as linen), etc.
You could consider purchasing our recycled products from our online shop - Naiteev
We sell a variety of recycled materials made from waste products including golf tees and coasters which make excellent gifts and also perfect for businesses!
- Adopt a minimalist lifestyle
I think we’ve all seen those Pinterest boards and social media crazes about adopting an ‘aesthetic minimalist lifestyle.’
Apart from the aesthetic component, it's important to note that minimalism makes life easier! In the sense that if you’re purchasing less and reducing consumption, you don’t need to worry as much about waste in the first place! According to Modern Minimalism, such lifestyles promote better mental health too.
- Get that green thumb going!
Yes, minimalist lifestyles are fascinating and pretty but I mentioned that sustainable habits are a journey and sometimes we can’t completely change our lifestyle. One alternative way of simultaneously being sustainable and encouraging good mental health is taking up gardening as a hobby. I know for sure that having the company of plants boosts my mood and there is something so calming and refreshing about inhaling fresh air in the great outdoors. Gardening can encourage you to take up composting seriously and you might even consider growing your own fruits and veggies!
Now, if you’re feeling really interested and invested, take your passion for sustainability up a notch by volunteering with us at BoxHead Plastics. If you can’t dedicate your time (we totally get busy lifestyles), please kindly consider making a donation if you can.
Note: originally first published on https://www.boxheadplastics.com/