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

Second-hand clothing

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?)

If you’ve already taken up some eco-friendly lifestyle choices, please share in the comments!

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Cover photo by Catherine Sheila from Pexels

6 comments on “We’re killing the Earth… so what?

  1. holistic fish on

    You are already doing so great!
    I have made some pretty hankerchiefs out of scraps cotton fabrics from the market (you know, the leftover bits) as presents for all my family. I like the idea of a cloth for the bathroom, but also i am not sure how it would work out but you gave me a new idea to think about 😉

    • Louise on

      Thanks for the suggestion re: handkerchiefs! Unfortunately, I’ve found fabric remnants to be too expensive for my liking.

      Re: the bathroom cloth: the way I have seen it is that you have small cloths/flannels/towels near the toilet, on a shelf. When used you put them in a bucket/basket to wash. So part of this also involves having the space for it.

  2. Nicole on

    I appreciate you sharing the ways you’re trying to contribute to saving this planet. You’re doing great! For the past few years, it has become more dire and urgent that we change how we consume, how we use and how we create waste. We need to take care of mother nature because mother nature will fight back (and already is).

    My husband and I are slowly transitioning into being more aware of the waste we create and reduce that as much as possible. We recycle, have switched our plastic use to crystal, cooking at home 95% of the time, digital bills, reusable bags, and more. I’m sure we can do a lot more, and that’s the plan, but at least we have to start somewhere.

    I’ve contemplated switching to cups and cloth pads and replacing disposable menstrual products. Would love to read your follow up post about your experience with them since switching to them.

    Looking forward to reading your next post!

    • Louise on

      Hey Nicole. I’m so pleased to hear you are supportive of my actions. I’m glad to hear about your efforts as well.

      Could you tell me more about switching from plastic to crystal? Are you referring to drinkware?

  3. Karin on

    Way to go! I love that you are thinking about the environment and trying to live sustainably! The climate is our most pressing issue imo and it’s so so important that we do what we can. My motto is that nobody can do EVERYTHING but everyone can do SOMETHING 🙂

    I too try to do what I can. It helps to work from home as I don’t need to commute, and not going into town means I cook at home like 99% of the time. I’m also lucky to live in a place where it’s easy to buy locally and/or ecologically produced food.
    Digital bills and such are already standard in my country and recycling is actually required by law. I recycle almost everything including compost. I also get 100% water-powered electricity through my energy provider because that’s the only type they offer.

    I wish I could buy more second-hand clothing but we don’t have any shops around here. And buying new clothes online is already difficult enough as it is, finding used clothes that fit properly just doesn’t happen for me. 😩
    I also want to switch so some better menstrual products. Cups don’t work for me, but I’d be interested to read a post about cloth pads and other options. 🙂

    (Hi again, glad to see you back at blogging! 😃 )

    • Louise on

      Thanks for the response Karin. It seems like your country is setting a good example for everyone else! And I agree, if everyone could only make a small change, that’s still something.

      I have also just recently written a follow up post about my experience with RUMPs.

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