World Environment Day was started to raise awareness about pressing environmental issues and for governments to come up with strategies to help address these issues. Each year focuses on a different issue and this year is focused on how we can revive our world’s ecosystems with the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
Being sustainable and environmentally friendly is something that I, and many others, have grown up being told we must be. Growing up I recycled waste as much as I could, but it wasn’t until I moved away from home that I started looking at what else I can do to be more sustainable. I want to encourage as many people as possible, to try to be as sustainable and environmentally friendly as much as they can. Below are some useful tips I encourage people to use:
1. Invest in a cloth face-mask
It’s been nearly a year since we have had to wear a face-mask wherever we go. In that time we’ve also all seen the number of face-masks littered on the street. Using a cloth face-mask that you can reuse is not only more comfortable and convenient, but it also means less disposable ones on streets. Yes, having a cloth one will mean you’ll have to wash it, but in the long run, it is better for you and the environment.
2. Waste-free shopping
I suggest going to shops where you can put your shopping straight into glass jars (or likewise) as much as possible. If this isn’t possible, try to not take any of the paper or plastic bags for vegetables or bakery products, for example. Try putting them into your shopping bag or another bag you have brought, to limit the amount of waste produced. Of course this isn’t always possible for certain products, but you’ll be surprised just how many changes you can make. Also, shops like LUSH have great recycling schemes within their shops. LUSH’s scheme allows for customers to return their plastic lids or tubs and in return you’ll be given money off or free products.
3. Recycle your clothing
Most of us have wardrobes and drawers full of clothes we probably haven’t worn in a long time. I would suggest gutting all drawers and wardrobes and going through each item of clothing, deciding whether you still like it and whether it still fits. Stuff you no longer want goes straight into the donation pile (you can give them to charity shops, put them in donation bins or donate them to a family member). Clothes you are unsure about can be put into a box to put into storage – if you don’t use it within six months, then it goes. Simple! Plus, if you feel like you need to buy something new, you can check your storage first. This helps reduce clothing waste and allows you to see what clothing you use.
Being sustainable and environmentally friendly can be hard to do daily. But by following some simple hints and tips, you will see the difference it makes in your life.