What you have at home is fine!
From veganism to thrift shopping to recycling, there are so many ways that each of us can make a difference in saving the planet.
In recent years it’s become trendy to care about the world, which is, of course, a great thing. But with popularity comes marketing and all of a sudden you’re expected to spend loads on nifty reusable products to be a good eco-warrior.
Now, if you search ‘eco-friendly product’ on Amazon, there are over 50,000 results. Some of the most popular trends include reusable steel water bottles and beeswax wrap. While it’s great that there are loads of ways to make a difference, you don’t have to put your hand in your pocket to kick it off.
In fact, it’s likely you don’t need to spend any money at all, or buy anything new, to contribute being greener.
This is something that Austrian artist Petra Holländer pointed out in the form of an illustration.
View this post on Instagram
In her own words, she said: “The zero waste movement is growing and I am also aiming at producing less waste, living more simple and making a lot of products on my own… But sometimes zero waste is marketed as this perfect lifestyle with all the fancy ZW essentials, especially on Instagram.”
“I think it is good that it gets more popular and puts a focus on living more sustainable but you definitely don’t need all those products to make less waste. Sometimes we can easily use the things we already have at home!”
Her examples included using a plate to cover any bowls full of food if you don’t have beeswax wrap, and using a cloth napkin to wrap snacks.
She also pointed out that old-fashioned face clothes can work just as well as fancy microfibre makeup clothes or pads.
Glass jars and bottles can be used to store food and drink over and over, instead of heading online for the trendy alternative.
While buying a plastic bottle of water from the shop isn’t great, you can easily use the bottle a few more times, which is at least getting more use out of it than binning it straight away.
As much as we love a good cloth tote bag, there are times when we just forget to bring it with us. Sometimes getting a plastic bag from Aldi or Dunnes is unavoidable when you’ve loads to carry, but using it, again and again, helps to create less waste.
Ethical, eco-fashion is of course, better to buy but that doesn’t mean you need to throw out any fast fashion items you’ve bought in the past. Just remember to wear things more and repair them when needed so that they stretch a little further.
The main thing to remember is that every little effort that goes into being more eco-friendly is slowly but surely making a difference. Of course, no one is perfect and sometimes our purchases or actions aren’t 100% perfect either, but it’s about what you do with those things and how long you resuse them that can also make a difference.
Like everything in this day and age, marketing becomes a huge part of anything popular, but it’s important to remember that you don’t need to buy the cool new net bag on Instagram to feel like you’re making a change.