How To Up Your Sustainability Game

How To Up Your Sustainability Game

Straws made of plastic might be as elusive to you as tact is to Donald Trump, but reducing your impact on the planet doesn’t stop there. Almost every decision you make daily can have flow-on effects for the environment. Reusables and recycling are awesome, but there are some surprising choices that’ll take your eco efforts up a notch even more. Ready to make your footprint even smaller? Come with us…

GO WITH THE PLASTIC FREE FLOW

It’s estimated we use between 10,000 and 12,000 tampons in our lifetime, all of which can’t break down, and eventually end up in landfill and our oceans. Greener options include period underwear or menstrual cups – the latter lasts between seven and 10 years, saving you cash, too. As for undies, we can’t go past Modibodi. Made from bamboo and merino wool, this Aussie range is designed to absorb the same amount of fluid as a tampon. Not quite there yet? Check out Tom Organic’s pads and tampons, which star 100 per cent organic cotton and nothing synthetic.

MVP move: Menstrual cup first-timer? Take the pressure off by practising when you’re not on your period, says Carol Morris, director of Lunette Australia. She adds that there are loads of ways to fold the cup for insertion, so experiment if the standard approach doesn’t work for you. Lastly, give yourself at least three cycles (or as long as you need) to.

GREEN-UP YOUR SUPER

Did you know your fund could be investing your money in logging or fossil fuels? Enter the rise of the ethical super fund, which “is one that invests members’ money in … companies and industries that are making a positive impact on the environment and in the community, and actively excludes those making a negative impact,” says Allyson Lowbridge, Chief Customer Officer at Australian Ethical Super.

MVP move: Find out what your current fund is doing with your money and, if needed, seek out an option that matches your values. “Often the terms ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ can be used loosely in the industry,” adds Lowbridge. “So, also look for things like [your fund’s] accreditation, performance history, transparency and screening process [for what it invests in].” Also, visit responsibleinvestment.org for Australasiabased resources and info.

GROW YOUR OWN

Nothing tastes quite as good as food (mmm, bread fresh from the oven…). So, take a lead from your nan or kitchen-savvy mate and start making, baking and growing some of your own fare. Pickling surplus vegies and replanting those leftover carrot tops helps swerve waste, too. According to the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization (FOA), if food waste was a country it’d be the third largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Yikes.

MVP move: You don’t need a garden to get your produce on: it’s easy to grow micro herbs on a windowsill. Just give them plenty of light and water three times a week.

BOOST YOUR CARBON CRED

Quick recap: carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that traps heat close to our planet, causing it to warm up. The average Aussie has a carbon footprint (AKA the emissions we’re responsible for) of 15 tonnes per year, according to the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research. For context, we should each be aiming for two tonnes a year, say folks at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, to reduce global warming by 2°C by 2050.

MVP move: Work out your footprint using the World Wildlife Fund’s tool, then follow these moves.

Lottie Dalziel recently published The Waste Less Workbook a step-by-step guide and interactive tool for reducing household waste, shop now.

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