We’re killing the Earth… so what?
I suppose just roll over and give up because we’ve already doomed ourselves?
Nah, I refuse. I’m going to do what I can.
Even if my actions don’t really change anything globally, I hope that by inspiring others it creates an on-flow effect.
Things I’m doing already
I source as much of my clothing as I can from second hand stores. You’d be surprised at the kinds of work-suitable garments I can find at inner-city Savers stores.
I make exceptions for things such as jeans, leggings, underwear, and socks – because these things tend to wear out. Though, I’m open to finding more planet-friendly options for these.
Another important thing was finding plain cotton t-shirts to wear under my dōgi. …because the big retail stores seem only interested in polyester or lyocell. 🙄 Or even elastaine-cotton blends, which are actually not suitable for exercise. (For whatever reason, fashion retailers are prioritising appearance and price over a t-shirts suitability for exercise.) AUD $3.50 is reasonably okay for a second-hand cotton t-shirt.
(Side-note: I’d really love to share pictures of my second-hand clothing finds. I just need to remember to ask someone to take a photo.)
Cooking meals at home
At the time of writing this, I live in a flat with one other person, and am only concerned about feeding myself on most days. I’m very concerned about food wastage, and try to only purchase food if I’m absolutely sure I’m going to eat it.
Where possible I cook a pot of something (usually my ‘ingredient lite’ version of chilli con carne) and store portions in the freezer. Sometimes, out of laziness/tiredness I eat ready-made frozen means, but I’m trying to cut down on this.
Plus… (and this isn’t perfect, by the way)
- Taking public transport to work every day. 🚊 (I’ve pretty much always done this whenever I’ve worked in or near the city.)
- None of my utility bills, bank statements, etc. are sent in the mail. (To be honest, I rarely ever check my letterbox. And uh… almost let my driver’s licence lapse. Oops!)
- I own barely any makeup or “beauty products”. Being non-binary, I don’t really wish to “look pretty” present myself as 100% female anyway. I haven’t bought nail polish in years, and don’t really care.
- Using cups, cloth pads, and period underwear instead of disposable menstrual products. (I’ve been doing this since November 2015 and don’t plan to stop. I also plan to write a separate follow up post about this.)
- To reduce packaging, I use bars of soap in the shower, instead of a body wash. Over the next few months, I’ll look for alternatives to hand wash, shampoo, etc.
- Using compostable bamboo toothbrushes, and recycled razors. I’d also use a safety razor, but I feel iffy about the usage of metal.
- Refusing to accept plastic cutlery when getting takeaway food. Most of the time I have to ask the serving person to take it back.
- I almost never get a soda, bottled juice or water with takeaway/fast food. This is mainly for health reasons, but if we all did our part not getting packaged items, it would help. (Admittedly, my partner and I recently had Calpico with our ramen. But again, I almost never would do this.)
- I always use a KeepCup when I get a takeaway coffee. If I don’t have a KeepCup with me, I won’t get the coffee – or I’ll sit down at the place, if given the chance.
- Taking reusable cloth bags when shopping for fruit and veg. (Admittedly, I don’t always remember to. But the fact that I have them is better than not having them, I guess.)
- I avoid fresh fruit/veg in plastic packaging. Except for carrots – because when I get carrots loose, they seem to spoil more quickly, and the loose carrots are often too big for my liking.
Things I’m considering (and/or could use some goading into)
- Using handkerchiefs instead of tissues – especially when it’s just condensation I have to remove from my nose. My barrier to this is largely forgetting about it, and also being unable to find handkerchiefs in stores. 😐
- Using a cloth instead of toilet paper if it’s just pee. Everyone I share a house with would have to be on board with it though.
- Flat out refusing to buy snacks/confectionery containing palm oil and other heavily processed ingredients. (Admittedly, I go for things that I think other people will enjoy. And I rarely buy such things for myself.)
- Using a “greener” energy provider. This is another thing I’m limited by because of my flat lifestyle – my flatmate and I are using a “cheap” provider because she doesn’t have much income.
- Getting a compost bin. This is a bit of a priority item for when/if I move into a house instead of a flat. It is a bit of a challenge in a tiny flat, where it’s convenient (and less smelly) to throw everything into the one landfill bin. We also don’t have a garden where it will be useful – however, I think this warrants further investigation into a community compost bin and/or discussion with my flatmate.
So, what can you do?
It’s my hope that this article helps you on your journey towards helping the planet. 🙂
I don’t believe making better choices for the planet should be an option at this stage. There’s quite a lot of media out there informing us that we’re past the point of no return. (See this Facebook post, as well as Sea Level Rise Can No Longer Be Stopped, What Next?)