Since 1970, Earth Day has been a day for individuals, communities and businesses to unite and collectively take a stand for our planet. This year’s theme is ‘Invest in the planet’ and you can do this in many, impactful ways. And let’s be clear, Earth Day is every day, not just April 22.
We’ve always believed that small changes can create a big impact, so here are our top 7 tips to live more sustainably:
1. DON’T FORGET YOUR REUSABLE BAGS
If you’re forgetful like us, make sure you place a few reusable bags on the front door and in your car, so you always have a few handy when you’re at the shops. Single-use plastic bags are devastating to the environment and according to Cleanup.org, ‘more than 100,000 marine animals and 1,000,000 sea birds lose their life to plastic each year’ globally.
If you must, opt for a paper bag option instead and don’t forget to recycle your soft plastics at a REDcycle collection bin (now a common presence at the major supermarkets).
2. BYO REUSABLE COFFEE CUP
Did you know Aussies throw out 2.7 million single-use or disposable coffee cups every single day? This adds up to an astounding 1 billion coffee cups thrown out every year! Not only do they litter our streets, they choke up our waterways and also contribute to global warming, as the paper cups end up in landfill and subsequently release methane. With so many great (and stylish) options like Luxey Cup, Frank Green, Made By Fressko and KeepCup, there’s really no excuse not to bring your reusable coffee cup with you at all times.
3. WIPE WITH RECYCLED TOILET PAPER
Good for the planet, good for people and good for your bum – what’s not to love about Aussie legends, Who Gives a Crap (WGAC). It’s crazy to think that every single day, 27,000 trees are cut down just to make regular toilet paper, an absolute waste if you ask us. On the contrary, WGAC rolls are made using 100% recycled materials like office paper, which is sourced locally from schools and office buildings. They also donate 50% off their profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world – yep, it’s a win-win-win situation.
4. SAY NO TO PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES
According to Sustainability Victoria, Aussies buy almost 15 billion plastic bottles every year and Australia recycles only 36% of PET plastic drink bottles. This means approximately 373 million plastic water bottles end up as waste each year, finding its way into landfills and waterways, causing environmental damage and killing our marine life.
And get this, it takes up to 1000 years (we repeat, 1000 YEARS!) for one plastic bottle to break down, so next time you’re feeling thirsty, fill up your reusable bottle or find a local hydration station. It’s easy to make the switch with great options from Go For Zero, Ever Eco and Seed & Sprout.
5. WEAR WHAT YOU HAVE, THRIFT AND DONATE
There’s nothing fun about fast fashion and it’s sad to read that Australia is the second highest consumer of textiles per person in the world, after the United States. According to the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, each Aussie consumes an average of 27 kilograms of new clothing per year and disposes an average 23 kilograms of clothing to landfill each year.
The most sustainable thing you can do when it comes to fashion is to wear what’s in your wardrobe – look after the clothes you have, alter and repair, and mix-and-match. If you need to freshen up your threads, shop pre-loved or swap with family and friends. And if it’s time to give your clothes a new home, donate, sell or recycle your unwanted textiles to Upparel, who will upcycle your textiles into quality, useful products and support organisations and charities on their journey to sustainability and circularity.
6. PLAN YOUR MEALS
Food waste is a huge problem in Australia, with FIAL reporting that we waste a whopping 7.6 million tonnes of food each year, even though 70% of this is perfectly edible. With the majority of food waste in Australia coming from our homes (2.5 million tonnes), we’ve got a few easy solutions: plan your meals, buy what you need, use what you have, store it properly and diversify your cooking. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also enjoy your meals that much more, knowing that you’ve prevented your leftovers from going to landfill and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.
7. MAKE THE SWITCH TO MYLK BASES
We started Ulu Hye in 2017 because we were on our way to living a waste-free lifestyle but struggled with how many milk cartons we were using each week. Shocked at the amount of rubbish we were disposing of, we dug deeper into the recycling process around UHT cartons and what we found was very disappointing – only a very small amount of these cartons were able to be recycled, with the majority ending up as landfill. This was the catalyst for us to introduce a more environmentally friendly and waste-free solution to plant-based milks. And 5 years on, we’re proud to share that we’ve prevented over 700,000 cartons from ending up in landfill! Ready to make the switch? Start with our Mini Mylk Bundles here.
And there you go, our Top 7 Tips to Live More Sustainably – small but simple switches that you can make to help planet earth be a more beautiful place to live.