A few small changes go a long way to living more sustainably

Sometimes, we don’t always realise all the little things people do that go a long way in making a positive impact on the environment. That’s why it’s so important to connect with people in our communities to share our learnings and insights on how they’ve made changes to live more sustainably, so that we can all follow in their footsteps.

To help you on your ‘eco’ journey, we recently ran a competition to celebrate L’Occitane’s Recycling Program. We asked our community to share a few small steps they’ve taken to change their everyday lives to be more sustainable. We were blown away by all the amazing responses so we thought we’d share some, along with a few top tips from the TerraCycle team.

  1. Use products that come in refillable packaging.

For instance, L’Occitane has 23 eco-refillable products, so you can keep using the same bottle over-and-over again. Visit their site to learn more about this, here.

  1. Buy your clothes from op-shops.
  2. Buy local, and purchase veg and fruit in season.
  3. Drive a hybrid or electric car.
  4. Opt for public transport where possible over driving.

6. Use eco-friendly toilet paper.

Yup, you can even make changes to what toilet paper you use. Who Gives a Crap toilet paper is made from 100% recycled paper or eco-friendly materials. Additionally, 50% of profits from Who Gives a Crap goes to building toilets for those in need. Sound amazing? Learn more, here.

  1. Take your own mesh veggie and fruit bags to the shops to avoid extra plastic.
  2. Keep metal straws in your bag.
  3. Always carry a reusable and refillable water bottle.
  4. Switch all your plugs off at the wall when not in use.

11. Look for sustainable materials and brands for clothing.

It can be hard to stay up to date and research the latest ethical fashion brands. Our sustainable fashion extraordinaire, Ariana Garcia who looks after all things Marketing at TerraCycle recommends Good On You, which is an amazing app that does all the leg work for you, so you can easily cut through the noise to find ethical fashion.

  1. Buy secondhand or pre-loved items from op-shops, Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree.
  2. Save jars to repurpose them to store items in your pantry, like nuts and rice.
  3. Shop for clothes less.
  4. Carry a keep-cup instead of using disposable coffee cups.

  1. Reduce your meat consumption

According to Greenpeace, “the livestock sector — raising cows, pigs and chickens — generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks and automobiles combined. Cattle ranchers have clear cut millions of square kilometers of forests for grazing pastures, decimating natural “carbon sinks.”

  1. Use rechargeable batteries.
  2. Carry your own bag so you don’t use plastic ones.
  3. Get refillable candles.
  4. Only boil the water you need in the kettle and keep leftover water in a thermos.

21. Get a worm farm

You heard right – a worm farm! Your wriggly friends are not only a great way to get rid of household food scraps, you can collect their wee which is one of the best natural fertilizers – read our blog here: start your worm journey today!

  1. Avoid takeout meals and pre-made frozen dinners in plastic containers.
  2. Compost leftover fruits and veggies.
  3. Walking or cycling over driving.
  4. Drop off any soft-plastics off at RedCycle.

26. Get indoor plants.

Indoor plants aren’t only aesthetically pleasing, they’re also great for the environment. Indoor plants act as an air purifier and have even been shown to boost peoples mood.

  1. Freeze scraps to make a veggie broth instead of throwing away waste.
  2. Buying and cooking what you need to reduce waste.
  3. Reconsider what Superannuation you use, by looking for ethical superfunds or ensuring you’re investing ethically.
  1. Catch shower water to water houseplants or gardens.

31. Use TerraCycle recycling programs for hard-to-recycle waste.

For hard-to-recycle waste that you can’t dispose of in your kerbside bin, check out our free national recycling programs. You can Join as many as you like to make an even better impact on our planet.

  1. Compost your dog’s poop.
  2. Dry clothes on the washing line as opposed to a dryer.
  3. Bring your lunch to work.
  4. Turn off switches and unplug sockets when they’re not in use.
  1. Use pavers, as opposed to concrete.

For those really looking to make a difference, opt for pavers as opposed to concrete. Permeable pavers help the environment by protecting the quality of our water supplies. They reduce the amount of stormwater runoff entering our natural waterways that carry with it contaminants and pollutants.

  1. Use citronella oil, instead of bugs spray.
  2. Use left-over coffee grounds as fertilizer.
  3. Don’t run water while brushing your teeth.
  4. Wrap presents with newspapers or leftover magazines

41. Eco-friendly, natural garden products.

Using eco-friendly garden products reduces the amount of pesticides which can be toxic to native plants and wildlife. You can use eco-friendly, natural solutions, like worm pee or you can look into making your own homemade pesticides, read more here.

  1. Switch energy provider to one that uses renewable energy.
  2. Insulate your home.
  3. Rinse your glass jars, tins and containers before you recycle.
  4. Grow your own herbs and veggies.

46. Always check if there are any rules and regulations with your local council to recycle.

The best way to find out what your council accepts, is to check their website. Don’t assume you know the rules as they can vary greatly. For example, take bottle lids, some councils take them still secured on the container, some say they must be separate and must be larger than a 50c piece, whereas others don’t take them at all. If you’re interested in learning more, read our blog on how to prevent some of the biggest recycling blunders.

  1. Wash your clothes on eco-wash where possible and try to wear clothes more than once.
  2. Opt for natural, over artificial light where possible.
  3. Offset your flights when travelling.
  4. Digital detox by reducing your screen time, turning off the TV and being with nature.

The list can go on and on! That’s why it’s crucial to never underestimate the impact you can have. When you add up all these small incremental changes in really does make a big difference.

We love learning about all the amazing things you’re doing to live more eco-lives, so please keep sharing!

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