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We all know by now that we’re facing a seismic shift in the way of the world, with the impact that human activity is having on the planet now very common knowledge.
The climate crisis hits headlines on a daily basis, but it’s not just global warming that we need to be concerned about… Mother Earth is simply being suffocated by the sheer amount of stuff that’s being produced and consumed - and she simply can’t take it anymore!
While it’s true that 70 per cent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions are created by just 100 corporations, we’re all citizens of the earth and, as such, we all have our own individual responsibilities to reduce our impact on the planet as much as we can.
There are so many ways to start living more sustainably and it starts with one small step. What you’ll likely find is that you begin by making little changes here and there - and then, before you know it, you’ll be fully embracing a zero waste lifestyle and considering going entirely off grid!
As a mantra to adopt when you’re just starting out with your zero waste ambitions, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is absolutely perfect. First of all, begin by reducing the amount of waste you produce, reusing as many items as possible for as long as possible and then only recycling what you absolutely have to as a last resort.
Reducing is the best way to go about minimising your environmental impact and it applies to products, as well as energy and natural resources.
Reusing can mean buying secondhand clothes, investing in reusable metal straws and other such products, giving items to charity or friends and so on. The idea is to embrace the concept of a circular economy and keep everything in use for as long as you possibly can.
While it’s amazing that we do have recycling facilities and it’s important to make use of them when appropriate, it’s also important to bear in mind that it’s actually the least useful way to reduce your impact on the planet, if that’s your end goal.
Of course, it’s significantly better than just sending waste straight to landfill, but items can’t be recycled indefinitely and plastic products in particular cause all sorts of issues where recycling is concerned.
In 2018, 29 million tonnes of plastic waste was collected in the EU, but less than a third of this was recycled, with around 43 per cent burned in incineration plants and approximately a quarter of it going to landfill.
Plastic recycling processes can be expensive and complex, resulting in products of lower quality than virgin plastics made of oil and hydrocarbons (which are also cheaper).
Plastics also contain pollutants, carcinogens and toxins, which can’t be upcycled into anything useful all that easily - so if you’re looking for a good place to start your sustainability journey, reducing the amount of plastic you have in your life would be a brilliant choice. We’d love to hear about your eco-friendly ambitions - so get in touch to tell us your stories!
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