July… time for sunshine, summery and SUSTAINABILITY. Yes, that’s right, all month long we are dedicating our efforts here at HBC to living life a little more consciously and we asked you for your top tips. We asked our members to share their tips (more info on the HBC membership here).
Get ready for a month of tips, tricks and real-life hacks on the magazine. Away we go.
Sourcing your fresh produce and buying in bulk
The supermarket aisles are a plastic war zone with every vegetable, fruit and other item wrapped up and protected in seemingly pointless packaging. Molina Marshall-Brooksbank likes to use companies like Farm Drop and Abel and Cole for veggies and fruit which have minimal or no plastic used in their delivery boxes. There is also Oddbox, too, for those living in London looking for an array of fresh produce delivered to your door.
Lorena Loriato enjoys buying loose and in bulk and bringing her own containers when grocery shopping. For containers, she suggests old plastic bags that you have at home so that, instead of ending up in the trash (and who knows where after that) – you can exploit them until their last breath. Check out @thela.design on Instagram for fun ways to re-purpose and re-use your plastic bags!
Bottom-line, before buying anything that isn’t food, Lorena encourages us to think:
– do I really need it?
– do I have it already at home?
– how long will it last?
– does it serve a specific purpose that nothing else I have in the house can meet?
– will I be able to use and re-use every part of it?
– how much space does it take in your house AND in your life?
Carrying reusable shopping bags, a Chill water bottle and having containers for leftovers is second nature for Liva Rubene. Most of the cafes don’t mind to placing food in your own container and a top tip when ordering pizza: say no to the little plastic “table” in the middle of the pizza box. Plus, have you ever noticed all the plastic around bread? Buy fresh bread that comes in either paper bags or no bags.
A zero waste approach in the kitchen and the home
Kiran Singh is full of useful tips for the kitchen! Composting kitchen scraps – You can turn almost any organic matter into compost. The best bits, however, are from the kitchen. Vegetable peels, egg shells and fruit cores all biodegrade to create a great natural fertiliser for your plants.
Kiran also encourages us to commit to recycling. Many of us try to recycle but don’t stick to it as well as we could. Designate a separate bin indoors for your recyclable waste. You can even split this into sections (e.g. paper, plastic etc.) to prevent you from having to sort by hand later. A new bin or extra 5 minutes sorting your recycling is a small price to pay for the amount of recyclable rubbish you’ll keep out of a landfill. This is something Amy Meegan also does and makes sure to educate anyone and everyone who comes into the house and uses the bins. Working in food, there are often leftovers, but Amy has a “no-waste approach” when it comes to food, always choosing to fill a lunch box for the next day.
Another household top tip from Kiran is to use energy-saving light bulbs. Although these may be more costly in the first instance, they’re a much sounder investment in terms of longevity. They last up to ten times longer than regular incandescent bulbs and use up to 30% less energy. Meaning you’ll save on household bills as well!
When it comes to being inventive and saving on plastic, Erika Naomi has fun making her own products and kitchen staples, so you can skip all the packaging!
Staying sustainable when you are out and about
It’s a no-brainer for Emma Green when it comes to her daily coffee… Use reusable coffee cups! Not only will you contribute less waste but most places give you a discount of between 20p and 50p. From coffee to water, and when Isabel Barjaktarevic travels, she makes sure to bring a stainless steel or glass bottle to fill up at airports instead of buying plastic bottles. Most airports have water fountains – just do a quick google to check.
Camilla Dempster offers an original and unique approach to tackling the plastic when she’s out. We’re still on the fence about this… ‘Stick and flick’ you dog poop into nearby bushes rather than picking it up in a plastic bag.
Little and often
it’s the small changes that make a big difference. So, let’s not be martyrs to the cause and make our lives extremely difficult and lacking in fun and diversity. Let’s choose a few habits we can start with and make a stand today. For example, Lise-Lotte Ask-Henriksen suggests going organic, find what suits your lifestyle and what motivates you. Start with one habit at the time… there are so many ways to live sustainably and everything we do makes an impact.
Nobody needs to give up a limb to save the planet. We can do our bit by implementing little but long-term changes 🙂
If you are looking for more inspiration, we recommend this article about 5 things Charlotte & Anna learned from the experience of going zero waste.