Sustainability is a word many of us may not really understand. Perhaps we do because we hear it so often, but have you really taken the time to understand its true meaning? There are so many terms: biodegradable, compostable, eco-friendly and sustainability that we tend to overlook the fact that each term has a specific meaning.
Or do we just assume that it all means the same thing? And what is most important?
For now let’s try and get a better understanding of "sustainable", because that's what life is all about. Can our life be sustained by what we do, what we eat and what we want with what the earth has to offer?
I give sustainable the equation of rate:time because it means the rate it can be maintained over time. Sustainable Living is another reference name we use in conjunction with Waste Me Not because that’s what we are trying to encourage and promote: sustainable living. This describes a lifestyle in which you feel comfortable while making environmentally friendly choices along the way. Common consumables can be replaced with sustainable alternatives; attaining an environmental balance between human and earth
We need this planet more than it needs us.
For example, why not consider replacing your kitchen scrub pad with a locally grown loofah sponge? This alternative is sustainable, biodegradable and compostable so it ticks all the boxes as an all-around eco-friendly alternative to single use items. A loofah/luffa sponge grows on a vine and resembles a cucumber in shape; it is from the same family. Once it’s ready for picking the loofah is soaked and peeled to unveil a porous sponge perfect for home and body scrubbing use. It replaces the commercial scrub pads packed in plastic packaging, making it an excellent sustainable alternative. The loofah is natural, traditional and locally grown. It can be harvested over and over again on a large scale making it an environmentally sustainable option. You can throw it in your home compost and start the sustainable process all over again. This is just one small example of making a very simple yet effective and sustainable living solution.
At first, making choices about what can be “good” and “bad” can seem to be a difficult choice, but once you get started it’s hard to stop! Trust us, and it's not a bad passion either. It can start with refusing single use plastic bags at the grocery store. Bring your own reusable bags to the shops and see how easy it can be. Do you really need your fruits and vegetables to be placed in a plastic bag to transport it to your home where you will then unpack and toss the single use plastic bag away?
Don’t forget that there is no "away".
Plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose, and even then it doesn’t just disappear. Refuse single use items such as plastic cutlery, plastic lined takeaway boxes straws and bags because those items are not sustainable. We can’t keep disposing of these single use items because they are never really destroyed; they break down into smaller dangerous plastic pieces known as microplastics.We will feature them in a future blog.
Do you think you could give sustainable alternatives a try? It’s not only about buying new eco-friendly items; it’s thinking about the daily choices you make.
Zero Waste chief Anne-Marie Bonneau says: "We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly". We don’t need you be perfect. We need to understand the environmental pollution problems we are facing from a cumulative contribution. We need to think about how we can contribute and embrace positive and simply sustainable solutions.
Some beginner tips for simply sustainable alternatives:
• Take your own reusable bags to the shop
• Ditch the plastic bags and buy loose fruit and vegetable, use your own brown paper bags if necessary.
• Refuse single use plastic bottles. Just because they can be recycled does not solve the problem; recycling plastic is only a temporary solution.
• Purchase a reusable bottle - glass -and refill wherever possible.
• Refuse single use plastic items like straws, cutlery and takeaway containers. Bring your own; you will be surprised on how many business are accommodating.
• Replace single use items with reusable alternatives, such as stainless steel or bamboo straws.
• Try to limit the purchasing of products with unnecessary packaging.
Finally, visit Waste Me Not and bring your empty containers for refilling!
Waste Me Not Sustainable Living