Whether you’re a certified green thumb, or someone looking for realistic ways to be more eco-conscious, we have some not-so-secret ideas to share with you!
Here are a bunch of sustainable living hacks overheard at the Go-To office.
Get yourself a library card.
Books contribute heavily to deforestation, and processing the wood to turn it into paper requires a lot of water, energy, and chemicals too. For avid readers who aren’t attached to building out their home collection, borrowing books from your local library is a much more sustainable habit.
You can often get your hands on hot new releases at the same time as your favourite retailers (if not jump on the waitlist), there’s the added challenge of trying to read the book within the borrowing timeframe, so you’ve almost got to burn through a few chapters each day. And if you aren’t a fan of the plot, no worries! You don’t have to keep this one! Drop it in the returns bin for the next bookworm.
Actually take your tote (and veggie bags) to the shops.
You know that bigger tote stuffed with all the smaller totes you had floating around the apartment? You’re meant to grab a couple before you run to Woolies (or Chemist Warehouse, or Spotlight). A lot of these giants have thankfully scrapped single use plastic bags, but you don’t want to be accumulating more reusable bags than necessary either. And they often come at a fee! A very small one, but you could avoid that altogether if you BYO bags.
The intent is there. We know! Just have to work on the execution.
Save your beauty empties for Terracycle.
A first-of-their-kind solution to recycling hard-to-recyle products. Terracycle has developed ways to collect and recycle rubbish that is not generally accepted by traditional municipal recycling services. A good chunk of that, as we know, is beauty products (like mascara wands, pump mechanisms, and refill pouches).
Read the labels on your cleansers and moisturisers, do your research, and after tossing what you can in kerbside recycling, take the remainder to your nearest Terracycle drop off. These incredible bins have cropped up in Mecca and Priceline. Otherwise you can find your nearest public drop off via their website.
Try not to take-away coffees.
Single use coffee cups (or tea, no judgement, you weirdo) are estimated to be the second largest contributor to litter, after plastic bottles*. Thanks to the plastic lining that makes them waterproof, most cups can’t be efficiently processed in recycling mills, so the majority are incinerated or sent to landfill. Buy a keep cup, they’re so chic! What’s the hesitation?
Or, take some stellar advice from our Digital Content Manager, Bella; “Rather than getting a takeaway every morning, I make time for a sit down coffee with my partner at our local every morning on the way to work. Yes, it means waking up a smidge earlier and often being that person running for the bus - but it saves a bunch of coffee cups every week and is a damn good incentive not to hit snooze.”
Don’t sleep on Depop and Facebook Marketplace.
For all the things. Fashion, homewares, tech. If you’ve had your eye on a trending item, waiting for it to go on sale, chances are you’ll find it (if not a dupe) listed for cheaper on secondhand platforms like Depop, Facebook Marketplace, local buy/swap/sell forums.
And it works in the inverse too. Following your next big spring clean, try your hand at selling any preloved items instead of throwing them away, or dropping them at Vinnies. So many donations sadly end up in landfill, but this way you know your red cowboy boots bought on a whim get to life another life.
Farmers markets are your friend.
Not just because it’ll make the cutest content for your next TikTok DITL, but because you’re cutting out the (corporate) middle man, and buying straight from the source. You can get your hands on high-quality goods without the retail margin (or waste and pollution) and know that the money your spending is directly supporting local businesses.
Carriageworks Farmers Markets are a right of passage for any Sydneysider, so too is Bondi Markets. Marrickville Organic Markets are where the inner west gathers on the first Sunday of every month, and Glebe Markets are another must-visit too. Remember, refer to point #2!
Get your hands dirty.
Do some DIY! Have a think about how you can breathe new life into a household item before tossing it in the bin. Turn your used candles into holders for stationary or makeup brushes. Use empty tomato cans as tiny herb gardens. Paint your empty spirit bottles to become eclectic shaped vases.
Something feeling new is arguably, just as good as it being new.