What Are Sustainable Initiatives?

Sustainable initiatives are to allow future generations to lead a good quality of life. These initiatives are a strategy to be aware of the social, economic and cultural impacts on communities and the environment.

Why Are Sustainable Initiatives Important?

This strategy is to reduce the effects of climate change. “Earth’s temperature has risen by 0.14° Fahrenheit (0.08° Celsius) per decade since 1880, but the rate of warming since 1981 is more than twice that: 0.32° F (0.18° C) per decade” (Dahlman, 2022). Also global sea levels have risen 102.5 ml since 1993. This has had an impact on wildlife and sea life with animals becoming extinct due to human activities accelerating harm to the earth.

Source: Polina Tankilevitch

All this information can be overwhelming and some may not even know where to start, understandably so. With the New Year approaching, here are a few small steps you can take in order to reduce your harm on the planet and leave the earth healthy for future generations:

  • Purchase reusable bags to use during your grocery shopping or errand during the week.
  • Avoid single use plastics when you can.
  • Sell unwanted items, don’t just take old chairs and tables to the public landfill to get some profit back! One man's trash is another man's treasure.
  • Plan how you will take vacations, keep plane trips to a minimum. Look into getting to your vacation stops with trains and buses instead of plans. Especially if you live in Europe there are many great train and bus connections that can not only save you money but be kinder to the environment and reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Grow your own food, put your garden or window ledge into use and grow some vegetables that you can use within your food!
  • Invest in a good water bottle, take it with you wherever you are going so you can avoid single use bottles.
  • Invest in a good lunch box, make your own food and save yourself money during your break.
  • Recycle cardboard boxes, plastic containers and paper when possible. Read the labels on the packaging in order to be more informed on what you recycle and make sure it is done in the right way.
  • Compost at home.
  • Use public transport.
  • Do laundry wisely, there is no need to wash your clothes 4 times a week.
  • Buy organic produce if and when you can.
  • Donate any unwanted clothes to charity.
  • Buy when you NEED not WANT.
  • Buy from brands who care about sustainability and the environment.
  • Go digital when you can. If you can get a digital receipt instead of a paper one do it! Take university notes on your laptop.
  • Use recycled paper and note pads. If you really thrive using pen and paper make the small change to use paper that is recycled and less harmful to the environment.
  • Be mindful of the water you are using. While you are brushing your teeth keep the water off if you are not using it. Take shorter showers, 5 minutes is a perfect amount of time!
  • Avoid plastic straws. Plastic straws not only take a lot of time to decompose, they are harmful to our wildlife and animals in the ocean!
  • Avoid plastic cups and cutlery.
  • Eat less meat, meat not only takes a lot of water to produce but farmed land to raise the animals people consume has caused damage to places such as the Amazon rainforest “The Lungs of The Earth”. If you eat a lot of meat try and have one day where you venture out and explore meatless foods.
  • Look into thrift stores, you can find some amazing clothes and furniture for a steal and whatever you buy is one less wasted item in the landfills.
  • Avoid fast fashion, fast fashion is not only extremely harmful to our planet using harmful chemicals and paying workers in developing nations unfair wages. The clothes that are fast fashion items are of poor quality and made not to last a long time so that you repurchase more items. Buy quality clothes that will last you way longer than fast fashion items.
  • Replace items don’t rebuy if it is not necessary. If the stitches are loose in your trousers take them to a tailor! This not only lets you keep an item in your wardrobe but also, you save yourself money not repurchasing what you do not need and support your local tailor/seamstress.
  • Care for the nature around you. Don’t drop waste in the streets, put them in the proper designated area.
  • Take some time to go out and enjoy nature. With many people living in cities we have lost our touch with nature and how much of a negative impact we as humans can have on it and in turn know how much we need the nature around us to thrive for us to enjoy everyday life.
  • Buy ugly and wonky fruits and vegetables. It tastes just as good!
  • Use electricity and energy mindfully. If you are not in the room, turn the lights off! This saves energy and your electricity bill.
  • Use environmentally friendly cleaning products. Unknown to many there are many consumer cleaning products that while they do the job intended are extremely harmful to the environment. Purchase cleaning products that are green or make your own at home!
  • Educate yourself. Knowledge is power, the more you know about the world the more you can help it, make changes and empower others.
  • Eat and buy local produce and if you can. The less time produce has spend in transport not only means fresher food but also supporting your local economy and reducing your personal carbon footprint.
  • Consider a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Because why not?!
  • Plan what you are going to eat for the week, buy only what you’ll consume to avoid waste.
  • Buy reusable food bags. Things such as saran wrap are overlooked when they are used and thrown away. Look into reusable food storage bags and wrap that can be washed or will decompose without any harm to the environment.
  • Clean up after yourself. If you are out in nature taking a walk in the forest or at the beach, wherever you are, leave the area as you found it. Leave only footprints.
Source: Vie Studio

Small Changes Big Impacts

We all have a personal responsibility to take steps to do better. Small or big changes are better than ignoring the issue.