A collection of tips and tricks that I’ve learnt, on my journey toward a more simple, cruelty-free, planet-friendly way of living.
#1 Choose quality over quantity
“Buy less, choose well” – Vivienne Westwood
In other words buy things which last and bring joy to your life.
#2 Shop at farmers markets
Try shopping at a local growers market each week. You’ll find that majority of the items you pick up will be package free. Plus produce straight from the farmer is so much fresher and abundant, and its not travelled great distances to be there.
#3 Buy bar soaps and cleansers
Handmade soaps are one of life’s little luxuries and ironically they don’t come wrapped in fancy packaging.
There are so many earth friendly options out there, as far as cleansers go, we especially love The Australian Natural Soap Company’s Activated Charcoal Cleanser.
#4 Go for natural fibres
Clothing and linen made of sustainable, natural fibres such as cotton, hemp and bamboo not only look and feel great but they last longer too.
#5 Refuse single-use plastics
Opt for a reusable water bottle. This doesn’t mean you need to dash out and get the fanciest looking bottle out there either! Anything that holds liquid and doesn’t leak will do, even a repurposed jar will do the trick. If this isn’t up your alley there are so many reusable options out there.
Things to consider when purchasing something new: Where its made, who made it and what its made of. Try not to get hood winked by clever “eco” marketing.
#6 Swap your toothbrush
Plastic toothbrushes only end up in landfill. Switch to a bamboo toothbrush instead – they are naturally bacteria resistant and the handles are made from sustainable materials such as bamboo.
#7 Simplify cleaning supplies
Choose 1 or 2 premium non-toxic, earth-friendly cleaners that do the job of many. This reduces the number of plastic bottles needed and simplifies the cleaning process. Our ALL-in-1 is a great option and it’s free from nasties!
#8 Go paperless
Especially when it comes to bills and bank statements, opt to have them emailed to you. Easy.
#9 Set your tea free!
Most teabags are made of food grade plastic. Get yourself a reusable tea infuser and try buying your tea in bulk. Take time to indulge yourself with your favourite tea and some quiet time to soothe the soul. Heaven.
#10 Have a go at growing your own package free produce at home
#11 Look for alternatives
There is a plastic-free alternative for most cleaning tools these days such as coconut scourers. These are easily biodegradable, so you can just send them to compost when they’ve really had it! We’ve also done a post about zero-waste bathroom swaps here.
#12 Reusable coffee cups
Even though they may be cardboard, the coating on single-use coffee cups makes them non-biodegradable and thus, end up in the rubbish. Instead, join the #reuserevolution and find yourself a reusable coffee cup or do one better by re purposing a mug from home.
#13 Join the library
Support your local sharing economy by getting yourself a library card and borrow your books instead of buying.
#14 Rug up
Before turning on the heater, throw on a cosy sweater and some fluffy socks. Great for the environment as well as your wallet.
#15 Change your loo paper
Opt for toilet paper that is made of 100% recycled paper fibres, bamboo or sugar cane, as these don’t require virgin materials. It’s also a bonus if you can find it Australian Made, as its now more important than ever to support our local economy.
#16 Shop small
Strengthen your community by supporting local businesses. Markets are the perfect way for small businesses to get their products noticed, but its only made possible by people like you who show up!
#17 Do it Yourself
If you are keen to start living a reduced-waste lifestyle, you may consider making things yourself. It can be discouraging to discover that most items we use on a daily basis are either made of plastic or are packaged in plastic. Don’t let this get you down!
There are a multitude of articles online with DIY ideas and recipes – like this mascara recipe – to get you going. Once you start you’ll never go back to store bought products again!
#18 Take your lunch with you
Try packing some snacks to take with you when you know you are going to be out over meal times. Having something to nibble on will help you avoid giving into buying packaged takeaways on a whim and will help you save money too! I have a stainless steel “tiffin” that i purchased ages ago and it has been a dead set lifesaver more times than i can remember. It always gives me a nice fuzzy feeling knowing that I’ve avoided contributing to landfill.
#19 Use less water
One Australian household can waste up to 400 Litres of Grey water per day! Some easy tips for avoiding this unnecessary waste include, turning taps off when they aren’t in use ie. when we brush our teeth and run the dishwasher and washing machine only when full. Check out our post on Grey water for more tips on how to make better use of this untapped resource.
#20 Don’t beat yourself up!
There’s nothing that is more likely to ruin my day than a straw turning up in my drink when I’ve requested NO STRAW, being caught out by sneaky plastic packaging that I wasn’t expecting or forgetting to ask for no soy fish with my sushi. In these moments, I just make a pact with myself to do better next time, dispose of the offending item in the best way i know how and move on.