A big thank you to the wonderful Claire from the Bower Community for sharing her thoughts on 'an enjoyable transition into sustainable living'.
With the topic of sustainable living becoming more prevalent in media and advertising, within online groups, and in our everyday discussions, the thought of wanting to ‘go green’ can feel overwhelming. But give yourself some credit – coming to this decision is already a small victory! And the transition should be an easy, enjoyable, and rewarding experience.
Let’s go back to basics and remember the ‘Three Rs’ many of us grew up with: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
1. Reduce: Reduce Waste
Before consuming a product reflect and ask yourself: ‘how long will this item be in use for?’ and ‘how long will it lay on the Earth polluting it for?’
Oftentimes you will realise that an item that is only being used for a couple of minutes or hours will spend hundreds of years degrading in a landfill. Take a sanitary towel, for example. Although only worn for approximately 4-8 hours, it will take up to 500 years to degrade in a landfill!
Once you are aware that convenience is perhaps not the smartest option, begin to look for substitutes. This is generally easy to do online and will ultimately often prove to be more comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, and overall cost-effective.
Beginners may want to start with personal care products (such as face wipes, sanitary towels, etc.) and kitchen items (kitchen towels, bowl covers, food wraps, produce bags, etc.). All these reusable items are available on Bower Collective.
With general wear and tear we will ultimately still find ourselves disposing of reusable items. Therefore, when possible opt for biodegradable products. Replace plastic with bamboo or other compostable materials. Beginners may want to consider bamboo toothbrushes, cotton buds, crockery, etc. and compostable sponges and cloths, that are all available on Bower Collective.
2. Reuse: Find new purposes for your otherwise discarded items!
When you find yourself about to throw out an item, reflect on whether this could be repurposed before finding itself in a landfill. This is easiest with storage containers. If you haven’t swapped to Bower Collective yet, collect your empty jerrycans, spray bottles and containers and select Bower Collective’s refills.
A handy trick is also to opt for reusable packaging, which is at the heart of Bower Collective. By swapping to this brand, you will virtually cut out all the plastic packaging waste that comes with cleaning and hygiene products. Once you have finished consuming a Bower Collective product, simply send back the packaging to be recycled or reused!
3. Recycle: Recycle your waste and opt for Recycled items
When reducing waste or reusing a product are not options, selecting recyclable materials must be the next choice. Always select products that are themselves recyclable if possible, and that come in recyclable packaging (when avoiding packaging altogether is not an option).
Selecting products from Bower Collective that are made from recycled material is also a smart way of reducing your carbon footprint. This is especially important when buying toys and disposable products such as refuse sacks.
An enjoyable task to ease the transition into sustainable living is to avoid using the bin. Become aware of what the majority of the items being thrown away in your landfill and recycling bins are and check whether you can eliminate this waste, find reusable substitutes, or repurpose the waste. Finally, make sure you are selecting products that can go in your recycling bin and not landfill bin when absolutely necessary.
Happy Bower Collecting and green living!
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