It’s World Environment Day today – a day to raise awareness around environmental issues and to encourage people from around the world to take action in protecting our planet. The theme for this year is “ecosystem restoration”. It’s also World Oceans Day on the 8th June, a day dedicated to raising public awareness about the effects of human activities on the ocean, as well as Plastic Free Beauty Day on the 17th June.
We don’t seem to be able to spend a day without hearing about the enormous threats our environment is facing, with ecosystems diminishing, oceans being swamped with plastic, and forests being depleted at an alarming rate. Research from the UN global assessment report revealed that nature is being destroyed at a rate ten to hundreds of times higher than the average over the past 10 million years.
While helping to save our planet might seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be. There are so many modest adjustments that any of us can make that, when combined together, can have a huge impact. Little tweaks to your daily routine can make all the difference and you might even find that by making them, other people you know pick them up as well.
With so many environmental events happening this month, we thought it would be a great idea to gather our thoughts from across the team and share with you our most useful sustainable tips. Here’s a round-up of all our suggestions below.
Amelia Spanton, Communications Assistant
My sustainable tip would be buying clothes second hand or from sustainable brands. I tend to get my clothes second hand from Depop, eBay or charity shops. In terms of buying from sustainable brands, there are lots of websites that can help determine which brands are truly sustainable and which ones are ‘greenwashing’. I really like “good on you” as they rate brands on how they treat the environment, animals and workers. They also share smaller sustainable and ethical brands which is great to see.
Jen Derrick, Content and Copywriting Associate
A great tip I learnt from a friend was to collect little bits of tinfoil from things like sweet wrappers etc. and then scrunch it up together into a ball. When it reaches the size of a tennis ball, then it can be recycled. The recycling machines can’t identify and separate the foil otherwise.
Emma Lever, PR and Communications Manager
My biggest tip would be to support slow fashion designers over the fast fashion brands, as the clothes are ethically made, workers are given fairer wages, and, in my opinion, they produce better quality clothes over the cheaper, fast fashion brands that last much longer!
As a new mum, I have also noticed the amount of plastic that goes into baby toys, so one hack I’ve discovered is toy swaps with other friends’ babies, so your baby can enjoy new toys but in a more sustainable and cost-effective way.
Gemma Colley, PR and Communications Associate
My tip would be to check out your local Facebook buy and sell pages for all things used and second-hand. Much more sustainable than using eBay etc, as no travel or courier involved in pick up and it encourages recycling rather than disposing of things like furniture, clothes, toys and all sorts of other random things you didn’t know you wanted or needed until you saw it advertised!
Also, on the subject of local tips, even though we all have doorstep glass collections, find out if your local Residents’ Association has a glass recycling point and use that where possible. They are likely to make money from this so this a good way to give something back to your local area.
Amy Bell, Managing Director
Buying from local sources is absolutely key for me, not only do you cut down on emissions but you also help to support small businesses in your area. In the past few years we’ve swapped to using local fruit and veg suppliers or farm shops, local butchers and local milk delivery. When it comes to clothes we tend to buy our t-shirts and outdoor wear from sustainable companies where we can. Our favourites are those that use recycled cotton.
Where possible, we’ve also swapped from single use items to more sustainable or lifetime use items: things like cotton buds and cotton wool pads for makeup to ‘Last Object’ reusable versions of cotton buds and reusable face scrubbies from a local maker. The same goes for cleaning wipes – we’ve ditched them and instead use cloths that we wash with eco-friendly cleaners.
I do have to admit, I don’t drink tap water, so we do use single use bottles, but most are at least 50% recycled now and then when we’re done, we either recycle again or make them into something. The best thing I’ve made are jump boxes for exercise out of plastic bottles and plastic bags.
There are so many small changes you can make to protect the environment. Every little contributes and it’s so important that everyone does their bit to truly make a difference. To make it easier for you to incorporate our suggested changes into your daily routine, we would recommend taking it a step at a time and trying to implement one change per month. That way you won’t feel too overwhelmed and are more likely to stick with these newly formed habits over the long-term!
For more inspirational ideas from the team, explore the rest of our blog.