5 Ways to Start Your Sustainable Living Journey

Why Live Sustainably?

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the world’s environmental problems. If you’ve ever thought to yourself: “I’m just an individual — what difference can I make?” Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Here at Ecolateral, we’ve been providing Adelaide’s environmentally-minded community with the resources and knowledge to live sustainably since 1994, teaching people how to be more environmentally friendly. 

Image Credit: Ecolateral

In just a few short years, Ecolateral’s community has grown from less than 1,000 to more than 20,000. This shows that more people (just like you!) are looking to minimise their impact on the planet and live a sustainable, zero-waste life.  Reducing your environmental impact starts in the home, but it doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming, or difficult. In this blog, we’re focussing on five simple ways to start living sustainably — by avoiding single-use plastic, minimising food waste, choosing slow fashion, reducing your meat consumption, and dropping off your hard-to-recycle products at Ecolateral!

Tip #1:  Opt For Reusable Options > Single-Use Plastic

Did you know that every piece of plastic that you’ve ever seen, touched, or disposed of still exists on the planet? Instead of decomposing into organic matter, plastic can take hundreds of years to degrade into smaller pieces, known as ‘microplastics’. 

This means that every single-use plastic shopping bag, takeaway food container, water bottle, coffee cup, and straw that you’ve used in your lifetime will probably exist long after you’re gone. The good news? We can avoid these single-use plastics by choosing long-lasting reusable items, like Water BottlesCoffee CupsStrawsShopping & Produce Bags, and Lunch Boxes & Food Wrap!

#2: Be Mindful Of Your Food Waste

Did you know that if food waste were a country, it would be the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after the USA and China? One third of all food produced is lost or wasted, which equates to around 1.3 billion tonnes per year! 

The majority of Australia’s food waste comes from within the home — typically in the form of old veggies, mouldy bread, mushy fruit, slimy bagged salad, and leftovers that we forgot in the back of the fridge… Everyday, we can make the choice to minimise our food waste by only buying what we need and storing food in eco-friendly containers, silicone bags and wax wraps.

We’re also big fans of composting your food scraps — either with our Bokashi Composters & Worm Farms, or your kerbside organic waste (green bin) pickup service.  

Tip #3: Choose Slow Fashion > Fast Fashion

Did you know that the fast fashion industry is responsible for 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions? That’s more than the emissions from international flights and maritime shipping combined! Society’s insatiable appetite for cheaply made clothing is depleting and polluting our water sources on land, and polluting our oceans with synthetic fibres (microplastics!).

‘Slow fashion’ is all about hitting the brakes on fast fashion. Style shouldn’t cost the Earth — that’s why at Ecolateral, we have Slow Fashion pieces that focus on fair trade manufacturing, Australian designers, and natural materials like bamboo, hemp, and organic cotton. With these slow fashion pieces, you can look good, feel good, and do good — without trashing the planet!

Tip #4: Ditch The Meat & Eat More Plants

Did you know that ditching meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on Earth? Global livestock production is responsible for around 14.5% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, as well as growing rates of water and air pollution, land degradation, biodiversity loss, deforestation, and overfishing. 

More people than ever are adopting a vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian diet to end animal exploitation, improve their health, and minimise the environmental impact of raising animals for food. Swapping out meat and dairy for more veggies, beans, grains, nuts and seeds is better for you, better for the animals, and better for the planet!

Tip #5: Recycle With Ecolateral!

Did you know that you can drop off your hard-to-recycle products at Ecolateral? We’ve partnered with a number of organisations across Adelaide to make it easier for you to recycle items that aren’t accepted in your kerbside recycling bin! These include:

  • Empty makeup and skincare tubes/packaging 
  • Empty deodorants (sold by Ecolateral)
  • Razors and blades
  • Writing instruments
  • Silicone products
  • Plastic bread tags
  • Water, milk & juice bottle lids (HDPE & LDPE)
  • Pumps & spray nozzles

We’re incredibly proud of Recycling @ Ecolateral! Please drop off your recyclable goods in-store at Magill, Brighton, Blackwood, or Adelaide CBD — if you have any questions, ask any of our friendly team members. We’re here to help! 

Sustainable living is a journey, not a destination…

We’re big believers of doing what you can with what you have! Positive change on a global level happens when lots of individuals make small, incremental changes to live an eco-conscious life. 

How did you start your sustainable living journey? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Join the conversation on Facebook or Instagram.