Go green: 5 simple swaps to be more environmentally sustainable

Sustainability has emerged as one of 2019's top trends, if you can call it that, and unlike the trend for snake print skirts or sea shell jewellery, this one can actually have a positive impact on our lives, and the planet. 

There are so many easy and simple ways to alleviate your imprint on this earth – and while we know that it can seem like a daunting commitment, there are some simple swaps you can make that wont change your lifestyle too drastically, but will help the planet dramatically if we all make the change. 

Cut out kitchen waste

When cooking and using the kitchen, most of us are already doing our part by separating our recycling and using a compost bin. 

However, there are still a huge amount of single use items utilised in cooking, particularly tin foil and cling film, which for the most part cannot be used more than once. 

Swapping a constant stream of new rolls of disposable food wrapping for a long lasting bees wax cloth can save the use of so much single-use plastic. The wax-wraps can be used in lunch boxes to keep sandwiches fresh, or wrapped around half used fruit and veg to be stored in the fridge. 

Step away from fast fashion 

As soon as we get paid, we have a major habit of jumping right onto affordable online clothing retailers to get our fashion fix of the latest trends. 

However, this kind of shopping is both bad for your wallet and the planet. Clothing made cheaply from plastic fibres leave a major mark on the earth. According to The Fashion Revolution, natural fabrics like leather and denim take between 1 and 20 years to decompose in landfill.

However, your nylon tights take 40 years to decompose, and your polyester fast fashion finds take up to 200 years – and are officially considered non-biodegradable. So as a rule, never dump your clothing, repurpose it into something new, give it as a gift or hand-me-down, attend swap shops or donate them to people in need. 

Viva la vintage

Vintage shopping is a sure fire way to make your wardrobe distinctive and stand out from the crowd. 

Shopping in both vintage stores and charity shops eliminate the need to produce new clothing, and makes you a key element in the cycle of reusing garments which have been discarded. 

Do your research on your charity shop of choice – ask them what becomes of the clothing that is donated but does not sell, before making a decision to shop there. 

Eat seasonally

We now live in a time where thanks to artificial , refrigeration and global transport links, we can have any fruit or veg from anywhere in the world at any time of the year – all we have to do is step into the supermarket. 

Shopping at local markets for food that is fresh and in season cuts down on the mass amounts of carbon emissions from fossil fuels that are used in the transport and refrigeration of internationally grown food sources. 

Swap plastic for permanence 

Forego single use plastic water bottles, straws and cutlery. 

Have your own metal water bottle for your hydration needs, and invest in a bamboo or metal straw or try to give up your reliance on them all together.