How do individual actions help achieve sustainability? What choices are we talking about? What habits?
Here’s some actionable advise. With the start of this series, we want more action – from ourselves and from you. We don’t just want our products to come from sustainable practices, but we want to learn along with our community about other sustainable practices that we all can adopt as well.
So here are a few simple steps, some personal attempts to lead more sustainable lives. In our road ahead, we’ll share more tips and tricks to help us all in that quest and will also have opinion from experts in different fields.
Green Laundry: Majority of our clothes do not require extensive washing. In fact excessive washing only degrades the quality and the life of garments. Use spot cleaning methods for stain removal & use as little detergent as possible for laundry, especially if the clothes are lightly soiled.
Natural cleaners: Ever tried them? You may find some online, and over time we’ll share tips on how to make them at home as well. So you’ll be able to substitute all chemical-based disinfectants and home cleaners for natural bio-enzymes that are non-toxic. And then you can direct that wastewater to your garden and plants too.
Line drying is gold: Try & always hand wash & line dry all your clothes. The UV rays of the sunlight helps to bleach and disinfect laundry. This is particularly beneficial for white sheets, towels and cloth diapers. However, be careful with coloured clothes as direct sunlight can lead to colour fading.
Clothes swap: This is a cool one. Swap clothes with siblings and friends. One can’t wear all clothes all the time, right? So why have them hanging, or even some of them unused for months. Just wash them right, and swap some. Oh, do check the size!
Second hand: What’d usually come to mind is vintage collectibles, but other clothes are good to be purchased second hand too, if in good shape.
Recycle: This one’s a favourite at Wildflower. We love picking old clothes from the closet, and even snooping for clothes our family members are not wearing. Think old saris, shirts, pants. They can all be redesigned into newer pieces. Use them as they are or turn them into shorts and jackets, and all that you may like.
Organic cotton: This one is for the time when are looking to buy a new piece. Next time you are consciously looking to buy something, look for something crafted out of organic cotton. It’ll not only add variety to your wardrobe, but you’ll also be doing your bit for the earth and the farmers.
Water use: You know this one. Don’t leave the tap open for long. Not when brushing your teeth, and especially not now when washing hands for 20 seconds to beat coronavirus. And don’t throw that bucket of water just like that. If it’s fit to reuse, direct it to some plants and trees. Also make sure to wash your clothes in cold water (30C). This will not only save energy but will also improve the longevity of your garments.
Add a plant to your room or balcony: If new to this, when you get a plant, it may seem like an added task of taking care of it. But over time you’ll realise, it’ll be taking care of you as well. It’s about the calmness gardening ushers in, the break it’ll give you and joy you’ll experience when you see that plant grow. Nothing compares, and who knows you may grow your own vegetables too.
Know your region, support it: Another starting point of sustainability is knowing your region and culture. Since cultures are deeply rooted in the characteristics of the region, so practices and products that come out of them are already great fits for your geography and likely have sustainable origins.
Consume local: Till a few years ago, this one would have been a challenge. But with our community of conscious consumers growing, we are also seeing an increase in local producers, educators and suppliers. Nothing beats buying fresh, local produce. Local is likely seasonal, so it is good for you and the environment as well. Go on, search for a few local producers around you. There may be organic farms as well.
Stairs over elevators: Saves power, gives you a workout. No overselling this.
Carry your own: It may take a bit of habit building, but this one makes a big difference. Carry your own cloth bag when you go out to buying. Not only are you not using plastic, you are reusing stuff too. Same thing with water bottles, carry your own. Don’t buy plastic bottles. Instead use glass, steel or copper water bottles. They'll last you a lifetime.
Print only when really need: Often, and especially at work, we print even notes that may be read just once and than let go. Why? This is where you let the digital being come out. Print only when necessary. Save power and paper. Also make a habit of using the leftover pages of half-filled notebooks by filing or binding them together and tad-a, you have just landed yourself a new notebook and prevented a potential waste.
Go, discover your city on foot: Do this with social distancing and all precautions of course. Or maybe visit the countryside. Wondering how this makes your life more sustainability friendly? Well, as you get in touch with the outside, you discover more about the place, what’s local, what’s not. You also connect with nature, the walking uplifts body and spirit, and keeps you from using electricity at home too. Carbon emissions saved.
Those are just a few, there are innumerable more ways to start leading more sustainable lives, and many things that we should move up the ladder too. We all probably have our different routes to achieving them. What are you doing differently? Share with us, and we’ll feature you and share with others. Let’s learn from one another as we get better at this. Comment below or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!