Here’s how you can do your bit when it comes to cleaner, greener living.
It’s no secret we’re hitting critical levels of ‘uh-oh’ when it comes to the planet. We’re well past the point of being able to look away and pretend it’s not our problem – if we don’t start taking action NOW… all of us, everyone… it’s not going to be pretty. And that’s an understatement for anyone who has watched an episode of Our Planet (or hey, walked along a plastic-strewn beach recently because we all know this stuff is happening in our own backyard, too).
To move the needle it’s going to be a collective effort with everyone playing their part on a daily basis – no matter how small the action – because every little bit counts, right?
From bringing your reusable bag to the supermarket (hot tip: buy a super cute one that you will be excited to use and won’t forget to take!) to becoming a label-busting ingredients enthusiast, who can separate the nasties from the nice (major life hack: the new beauty brand Love Beauty & Planet does all the hard work for you, with cruelty free formulations, sustainably-sourced ingredients, bottles made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, fast rinse conditioner – and best yet – available in all good supermarkets), there are a million and one little changes you can make that will make all the difference.
With this collective mentality in mind, it was a no-brainer to chat to the Miss FQ Collective (hello, woke women alert!) about the things they are doing every day to make their own positive change:
“Aside from reducing plastics and the obvious habits to reduce your single use materials, my best tip would be to follow the five Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle.
I only heard about this a few weeks ago and it really struck me how the system and mentality we are comfortable in is not enough. As we know, climate change has risen to an almost emergency level issue and the choices we make can either hurt or heal. It also helped me to turn away from fast fashion no matter how appealing the cheap price tag is! I can’t reuse an item that I will inevitably throw away as it becomes out of trend or it falls apart due to its deliberate short life span so the five R technique is a simple but effective way to rethink your choices and what you choose to support with your money.”
“Make it your business to know their business! Check out the eco
principles of fashion designers and brands. Ask in store. Do your homework online. Read the latest Tearfund Ethical Fashion Report to find out the truth behind the labels. Live (and wear!) the change you want to see in the world…
To point you in the right direction, some brands that I like that are open
about how and where they source their materials and share their strides towards being a more sustainable ethical business are: Kowtow, Reformation, RE/DONE, Boyish Jeans and All Birds.
Another small step you can take to implement more sustainable ways when it comes to fashion is to try thrifting. After all… one girl’s trash is another girl’s treasure!”
“My one big eco tip is BYO! Most people stop at keep-cups and re-usable bags (which are both awesome steps in the right direction by the way) but what are we putting inside them? Most of the items we’ll buy at the supermarket/markets are in a plastic wrap or container. When you’re ordering something at the deli or from the bulk bins most supermarkets now accept bringing your own container! This also goes for dining out – our foodie culture is hitting an all time high but what happens when our eyes are too big for our stomachs and we need to takeaway? There is no shame in bringing your own container for leftovers or when you’re ordering takeaway. A lot of restaurants will praise you for taking the initiative (as long as it’s clean!). Plus it’ll cut down on their reordering costs – and the volume of orders – for takeaway packaging the more people who do it, so you’ll have a positive effect on the outer circles too.”
Podcast alert! “Plant Proof hosted by Simon Hill, is all about connecting with like-minded and inspirational people who share their stories, experience and advice and helping the community that is listening become more mindful and conscious of how we are living and the impact of our every day decisions. Food for thought!”
“In order to reduce my plastic waste I do a few things:
–> Every weekend I always walk to a fruit and vege market to purchase fresh produce because it isn’t laced in plastic like products from the supermarket are.
–> I shop at GoodFor, a whole-foods refillery in Auckland. Every week I simply take recycled jars and fill them up with all sorts of delicious, healthy foods that they offer which minimises the amount of plastic I buy. It’s super convenient and more affordable than you think!
–> I also made the switch to a shampoo bar couple of months ago. I wasn’t expecting a pocket-sized solid shampoo bar to do such wonders for my hair or the environment!”
One to watch: “I watched an incredible short documentary on 16-year-old climate change campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg on YouTube that showcases how she is leading the global climate change movement. She has become an unstoppable voice for younger generations and watching this will truly make you think about climate change.”
Plug in and listen to: “There is an episode on Deliciously Ella’s podcast on sustainable fashion where Ella discusses the cost of fashion with Livia Firth. Livia is the founder of the green carpet challenge, an initiative that has encouraged glamorous and sustainable fashion at the Oscars. It’s a podcast episode that shows the responsibility that we have when it comes to making ethical fashion choices. Definitely a must listen!”
“This year, my personal eco goal is to invest in companies that are having a positive impact on the planet. By supporting local, sustainable and ethical businesses as much as I can, I am putting my money back into the practices and values that I agree with and believe in. It’s not always possible and I don’t always get it right, but I think that when it comes to our environmental impact, all we can do is make a conscious effort to do our best. It’s the small, everyday actions and decisions that make a difference!”
“I seriously love coffee and I’d always make a quick stop before my early morning lecture and rock up with a disposable coffee cup in hand. After realising that I had to change my ways, I swapped the nasty single-use cup for a reusable one. I just keep it in my bag and off I go! Changing my old habit took time but it’s definitely worth it. My reusable cup is stylish, keeps my coffee hot for longer and it’s that little bit tastier knowing that I haven’t contributed to plastic waste and deforestation. Some cafes even give a small discount when you bring your own cup. What’s not to love? This simple swap is making a small difference – one coffee cup at a time. And Mother Nature loves me for it!”
“Aside from the popular purchase of reusable straws, bags and coffee cups there are so many other things you can do to get involved and do your part to help the environment! I reduce the amount of meat I eat a week and would recommend you try to introduce no meat Mondays to your weekly routine. I’m also all about conscious shopping and try to purchase and support only brands who help the environment in different ways. Look for products that are cruelty free, recyclable, biodegradable or reusable and are made from natural ingredients. Lastly, thrift shopping is a funky way to get new clothes and reuse at the same time. If you live in Christchurch shopping at the nifty market which is on every few weeks is a great way to find some steals! Follow @theniftymarkets for more info.”
Be sure to follow these eco peeps on Instagram: “@zero.waste.collective, @world_animal_protection, @the_happy_broadcast, @mariefeandjakesnow and @gracefituk are a few of my favourite Instagram accounts to follow; they create awareness on environmental issues and give tips on how you can help.”
This article was brought to you in partnership with Love Beauty and Planet. Love Beauty and Planet is priced from $9.99-$14.99 and available from Countdown, New World, Pak n Save, Farmers and other selected stores nationwide.