It goes without saying that climate change is a big issue that we're facing right now. It's a complex issue with a lot of science and even more unknowns. But the bottom line is that we need to do all we can now to lessen our ecological footprint on the planet before it's too late.
For our day-to-day, there are a number of things we can do to lessen our impact on the environment and all it takes is just a little bit of effort, so let's take a look at what we can all do to contribute.
Just remember that if you need support or someone to talk to, our Sonder support team is available 24/7 to chat whenever you need it.
Are you putting the right things into the right bins? Figuring out what goes where when you're recycling can often be a tad confusing, but it's important to know so you can help the environment. By recycling properly, you're helping to avoid landfills, prevent pollution and save energy. According to NetWaste, this is what can and can't be recycled:
Can be recycled:
Paper - office paper, magazines, newspapers and junk mail
Green, clear and brown glass bottles/jars
Juice and milk cartons
All hard plastic bottles and containers marked, but no lids
Steel (tin) and aluminium cans and empty aerosols
Plastic bags/recyclables in plastic bags
Takeaway coffee cups
Syringes or medical waste
Ceramics, ovenware or light bulbs
If you're unsure of where to put items that don't quite fit into those two categories, there are numerous drop-off points for items such as batteries, mobile phones, scrap metal and printer cartridges. Recycling Near You Planet Ark has a handy directory to help you find local places to drop these items off. If you're looking to throw out your old clothes, take them to your local charity store, op shop or RSPCA.
For garden waste, you can put it into a green-lidded bin if you have one. if not, you can find places to drop off your waste here.
You can also recycle certain bottles, cans and cartons at certain drop-off points around the country to earn back some money. Have a look at the link here to find out where your closest drop-off point is.
Check with your local council on all the waste options available to you so that you can minimise the amount of waste that goes into the general waste bin.
Dressing and shopping sustainably
Sustainable fashion refers to clothing that is ecologically and socially responsible. Right now the clothing industry operates primarily on the 'fast fashion' model, which refers to clothes that are produced quickly, cheaply and unsustainably. The goal is to reorient away from fast fashion and towards sustainable fashion. Here are some tips to do that:
Don't buy clothing that you will rarely wear or will wear out quickly.
Aim for sustainable fabrics, like wool, over synthetics.
Donate old clothes. If your old clothes are too old to be donated, reuse them for other purposes, such as sewing projects and cleaning rags. For old sheets and towels, consider donating them to animal shelters as they'll want those for bedding material.
Shopping sustainably goes beyond clothing though. So when you're shopping for groceries, home improvements, or whatever else you need, there are a few things you can do to help the climate:
Use reusable bags and skip packaging.
Go for quality products that last longer.
Biodegradable products are your friend.
Consider recycled furniture or sustainably sourced wooden products.
Shop local whenever possible.
Drive less (or smarter)
Pretty self-explanatory! Driving generates a lot of carbon dioxide so you'll want to minimise the amount of driving as possible. Try using public transport more often, or ride a bike as you'll not only help minimise your carbon footprint but you'll also get fitter while doing it.
However, there are some scenarios where you simply have to drive, so here are some ways you can make your trip more climate-friendly:
Opt for electric or hybrid cars.
Avoid intensive city driving as much as possible.
Be smooth by taking it easy on the throttle and brakes.
Keep on top of your servicing and tyres.
Less waste and less meat
As much as some of us love meat, producing meat - especially red meat - is particularly taxing on the environment due to the amount of feed, water, and land required, and the carbon dioxide produced by cows. Consider reducing your red meat intake and swapping it out for plant-based alternatives as those are more sustainable.
Food waste is also a corner that can be cut. While no one actively tries to waste food, it's something that generally happens unintentionally. Luckily, there are some simple ways you can lower your food waste (while also saving some money):
Regularly take stock of what's in your fridge and pantry so you know exactly what you need when you go shopping.
Bulk buying isn't always the best option. Yes, it's cheaper, but are you really going to eat it all before the 'use by' date?
Plan your meals ahead of time and reuse any leftovers.
If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.
Information sourced from: Earth Day 2023, Ecocycle, Planet Ark, The New York Times, and WWF Australia
Image credit: The Simpsons
All content in Sonder's Help Centre is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice.