Environmental Sustainability – it’s the little things
I already feel guilty by saying this but, trying to be environmentally sustainable is hard. When you start reflecting on your own unsustainable ways you see a lot of big no-nos, and once you start it is hard unsee it all. Take some comfort that you are certainly not alone, and most of those bad habits have been firmly ingrained into society for generations. We are collectively becoming more environmentally aware and starting to understand the level of damage this generational neglect has already done. It’s quite disturbing - there is literally a pile of rubbish floating in the Pacific Ocean that is almost twice the size of Texas (it has an actual official name too: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch).
Sustainability is, simply put, a societal goal that largely aims to allow humans to keep existing on earth for a long time. The aim of this goal is to not completely obliterate our resources and our fellow inhabitants - seems reasonable. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry, being environmentally sustainable is a large goal, but it can be achieved through minor actions.
To save you from going down the sustainability worm hole, getting overwhelmed and thinking you have to become 100% plastic-free, start milking your own almonds and recycling your toilet paper, we have put together some options that are easy to incorporate into your daily life and reach your greenie goals! Disclaimer: none of this is sponsored – we actually use these tips, tricks and brands ourselves.
Avoid Single Use or Change Your Purchasing Habits
Simple things like avoiding single-use plastics (food wrap, bin liners, zip lock bags) where possible is a great start. But if you cannot, try and go for the brands and products that are made from recycled materials or are biodegradable/compostable. (TIP: you can also try washing out your zip lock bags and reusing them -it saves you some money as well).
Personally, I use a lot of reusable containers and jars, and I own pretty much one of everything from Seed & Sprout. Seed & Sprout have gone above and beyond in the war against single-use plastics (and just about everything else that is single-use). My personal favourites include their food savers, compostable bin liners, un-baking paper, benchtop compost bin, mesh produce bags, silicone food pouches, shopping tote bag (you could pack a kitchen sink in it should you desire).
Upgrade Your Sprays
If you were to ask my partner what I am currently obsessed with beyond reason – he would without a doubt answer Zero Co. When I say I have one of everything, I mean I have one of everything – even the deodorant and body lotion. I tell everyone I know about it (I’m a total hoot at parties). Zero Co have revolutionised home cleaning and personal care through an entirely circular way of receiving, re-using and recycling all your necessities. It is all done via delivery, so you can buy your forever bottles (the containers you keep) and refill pouches (don’t keep or throw away) and they are delivered to your door. They even send you a postage bag to send back your empty refill pouches, which they then rinse out and reuse. The quality of the products has never been an issue for me, and the forever bottles are super sturdy, look great on the benchtop, and are made from recycled plastic. A handy hint – order just the handwash refill pouches and put them into pre-existing handwash dispensers – such as the ceramic ones I’ve had for years.
Really, I just cannot recommend this brand enough, plus I think they are super cost effective and have halved my trips to the shops. Get around their clean up goals too.
A Better Alternative to Recycling Your Own Toilet Paper
If you’ve been around in the sustainable game for a bit now you would have no doubt heard about the legends at Who Gives a Crap. Not only are these guys the absolute experts in poo-related puns, but they also created loo paper that is made from sustainable and/or recycled materials, is deliverable on a subscription or one-off basis, and is not wrapped in plastic. They have also diversified into other products such as paper towels and tissues too. Even non-greenies love the convenience of not lugging a huge pack of TP down the street from Woolies.
Who Gives a Crap are also on a mission to educate everyone on just how crucial toilets are in the world for water, sanitation and hygiene. They commit a huge 50% of their profits to improving access to clean water and toilets and, at the time of writing this, they have donated nearly $11 million to the cause. They are, without a doubt, our idols.
Save the Veggies
In Australia, up to 25% of all produce does not leave the farm. The cosmetic standards of supermarkets result in an astounding amount of perfectly edible food being unnecessarily tossed in the bin. Good & Fugly have stepped in and have a whole different range of box sizes and mix of ugly fruit and veggie options, and it is all seasonal goodness too. I know there are other great food delivery services in Australia that are also direct from farmers, but something about a zucchini being rejected for not being pretty enough really gets me. I have a small box for two people on a fortnight subscription at just $37.80 and it has been a great way of boosting fruit and veges into my diet. My delivery at the moment is teeming with cute little misshapen, but tasty, avocados.
We Love Coffee
By no means a new or unique concept – Fressko are in the reusable coffee cup and water bottle business. I love these ones because of the lock on the lip that stops my morning coffee (shoved unceremoniously into my bag as I am sprinting out the door) from spilling everywhere. They also have portable tea infusers and even sell their own tea!
There are, of course, many more ways to mitigate waste and single-use plastic, such as getting out to your local farmers market for your produce and composting (stay tuned for our compost article coming soon). Or, if you are homeowner, perhaps you can adapt your properties to be more circular – such as built-in greywater systems for your gardens. We encourage everyone to do their research and find out what works for them. New sustainably focused companies are popping up every day, and old ones are changing their tunes and committing to achievable sustainability goals. Plastic is a frightening foe, but the tide of change has been slowly turning towards everyone becoming more environmentally aware and proactive.
Being zero waste is almost impossible to achieve for most of us – so say the people who actively try and reach it – but being environmentally sustainable is a sliding scale and so long as you are somewhere on that scale, you are making a difference. If every single person or household just tried to be a little bit (or little bit more) sustainable there would a huge positive impact across the world. As Anne Marie Bonneau (a zero waste legend) stated:
"We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly."
Here at Louna we focus on being end-to-end sustainable by actively trying to mitigate our environmental footprint in production and delivery, so that we can create products that stand up to fast fashion and the negative impact the clothing and fabric industry has on the world. It is not an exact science, and there are many levels to being a sustainable business, but we do our best.