How can you become more sustainable in your everyday life? Click on any section to find out how you can be more sustainable in that category.
Fast fashion currently makes up 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This section encourages you to look at your personal shopping habits and see where you could thrift some staple pieces of your wardrobe, hold on to your working electronics for a little bit longer, or reuse some furniture within your house.
1. Consume less, produce less
The fashion industry accounts for 10% of total humanity’s carbon emissions every year. Its carbon footprint exceeds all the international flights and maritime shipping combined in the world and ranks second among all the industries. Take a look to learn more about the hidden facts of fashion. Think twice before you purchase a brand-new wardrobe to avoid overconsumption and the environmental impacts that come along.
2. Embrace collaborative consumption
As part of the sharing economy, collaborative consumption helps reduce carbon emissions through renting, trading, swapping, and borrowing goods. There is no harm in checking out the local rental services and trying secondhand shops first when you need any new wardrobes or furniture. It’s not just a lower price for you, but also a lower environmental footprint for the earth.
3. Purchase in a sustainable way
In response to consumer’s environmental concerns, we see a booming trend in corporate sustainability. Being critical when you see ambitious goals on a company website and green labels on products can save you from being greenwashed and find truly sustainable brands and goods. Look into what the company has planned and done towards green business and what the labels actually stand for. Select durable products which source from sustainable materials such as bamboo, organic cotton, and recycled fabric, and quit fast fashion.
4. Extend the lifetime
Keeping your purchase well-maintained can significantly lower your carbon footprint by reducing replacement demand. To extend the lifespan of clothing, you can store it in a clean closet to avoid prolonged exposure to sun and moisture. When you find your clothes distressed, try to mend them before throwing them away. As for protecting your furniture from stains, vacuuming regularly and using slipcovers are really helpful. More good tips on upholstered furniture and clothing lifetime extension can be found here and here.
5. Donate and recycle
According to the EPA, 11.3 million tons of Municipal Solid Waste textiles ended up in landfills in 2018, where the majority of it was discarded clothing. If you find something useless and want to get rid of it, consider donations and recycling before sending it to a landfill. Look up local charity shops or recycle drop boxes that accept donations and make sure your items are well-packed before you hand them over to prevent any pollution and damage.
6. Mind your returns
As online shopping has become an incredible convenience, so has returning items that don't quite fit, or aren't as we envisioned. The convenience of returning an item for any reason does come at a cost however. Returning an online purchase means additional transport back to the original company, repackaging, and then redistribution. Some companies even throw out returned items despite their new condition. Instead of buying an item with the reliance of the 'free returns' safety net, make careful considerations when purchasing online as if a return is not an easy option.