Taking on the climate crisis as individuals may seem like an impossible task, and like nothing we do can ever be enough. Plus, if there's a choice between convenience or a more sustainable option, more often than not, convenience takes the cake.
But the truth is everything we do in our day-to-day lives has an impact on the Earth, and making even the smallest changes to our daily routines can help towards reducing our carbon footprint as a whole. The trick is sticking to what you can do within your means – manageable tweaks that won't necessarily impact your day-today much, but will preserve the planet (and probably save you money) in the long run. At Nyssa, we don't just craft conscious fines, we strive to live consciously too – here are 5 of our favourite ways to practice sustainable living:
1. Be wise when it comes to water
One of the easiest ways to be more sustainable daily is by being more water conscious! First and foremost, reduce unnecessary water waste by turning off the tap while brushing your teeth or washing your face, plus always opt for short 5-minute showers over longer ones or baths. Next, swap out plastic bottled water for a reusable water bottle when you're out and about or at the office. Not only does this mean reducing plastic waste (around 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into our oceans each year!), it also encourages you to drink more water!
Finally, consider investing in a filter for your kitchen tap, or a filtered jug for your home. While the water from your tap is generally pretty safe to drink, a filter ensures you're getting 100% clean water and it means reducing plastic bottled water at home, not to mention it's a much cheaper alternative in the long run. These minor changes may not seem significant, but they'll certainly help reduce your water consumption every day.
2. Boycott products that impact the environment or endanger wildlife
When it comes to food and personal care products, finding sustainable options isn't always easy; a lot of what we consume every day has a huge impact on wildlife and the environment. For example, palm oil is widely used in cosmetics and food items (around 50% of the products we use on a daily basis!), yet it contributes to mass deforestation and habitat loss for critically endangered species like Orangutangs. In recent years, overfishing has contributed to the significant decline of now endangered species like the Bluefin tuna (psst...watch Seaspiracy if you haven't already!).
This it why it's super important to boycott products that contribute to the endangerment of ecosystems such as palm oil. Instead, opt for Fair trade certified goods, which are usually dedicated to supporting sustainable production and paying fair wages to workers throughout supply chains. Pro tip: download apps like Yuka and Ecolabel Guide, to help you scan the barcodes on food and personal care products to find out how they might impact your health and the planet.
3. Reusable over single-use, & bring your own
We produce around 300 million tonnes of plastic waste per year, most of it single-use including drink bottles, bottle caps, food wrappers, shopping bags, drink lids and straws. A super simple way to reduce plastic waste is by investing in packaging, carriers and containers that can be used over and over again. For example, bring packed lunch to work in a reusable container or bring an empty one to fill at takeaway outlets. The same goes for coffee cups and straws!
In the kitchen, opt for reusable plastic or glass Tupperware containers to store leftovers and go for silicone Stasher bags instead of ziplock bags; they're easy to wash and they seal shut to keep all the bacteria out. Finally, bring your own bags to do your weekly food shop; not only do they hold your groceries better than flimsy plastic bags, they'll also save you money in the long run. The only thing you have to remember to do is to bring them along!
4. Unplug & switch off
At the height of global lockdowns in 2020, our reliance on digital technology surged by nearly 40%. With so much of our lives centred around electronics, conserving energy is more important now than ever.
This doesn't mean ditching your digital devices completely, it just means being more conscious about your consumption habits. For example, try get into the habit of turning off the lights when you leave the room, unplugging things like your TV and computer when you sleep or leave the house, and switching things off when you're not using them or they're standing idle (this goes for your car when you're sitting in traffic or at a red light too!). By reducing your own use of electricity and energy, you'll help towards reducing carbon emissions as a whole.
5. Switch to clean, mindful & ethical brands.
The fashion industry is one of the largest polluters in the world: it produces 10% of the world's carbon emissions with about 85% of all textiles ending up in landfills each year. A lot of this boils down to fast fashion brands who rely on overconsumption and the concept of disposability.
Consider buying less but better quality so your clothes and jewellery will last longer. Plus, it's a good idea to make the switch to smaller, independent labels that prioritise slow, mindful production over profitability. While this does take a bit of research, it's a great way to support your local designers, jewellers, artists and creators. The same goes for beauty and personal care products; these days there are lots of brands to choose from that are clean, vegan and eco-friendly. You can look to apps like Think Dirty, which will help you decipher beauty product labels and find more sustainable alternatives.
While there are tons of other ways to be more sustainable on a daily basis, the important thing is starting small and being consistent with it. It's not about being perfect or going completely zero waste, but sticking to feasible practices that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine!