This year’s sustainable resolutions:
Sustainability means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations. It also means the avoidance of the depletion in natural resources to maintain an ecological balance. For me, sustainability means making more ethical consumer decisions and ensuring that I shop from reliable sources. Sustainability can include shopping from second hand stores, charity shops and thrifting, but it also means shopping from reputable brands and keeping good-quality items for a long period of time.
As the end of this turbulent year approaches, I am beginning to think about the ways that I can make resolutions which promote eco-friendly living and can be sustained throughout next year.
1) Shop regularly from small sustainable businesses
As there are an abundance of small sustainable businesses that operate and many that even began this year, during the pandemic, it is essential that people begin to buy from them. Not only do sustainable businesses use upcycled or quality materials to make their products and pay their workers fair wages, but some sustainable businesses will also plant a tree with each purchase and donate a small amount of their profits to help preserve wildlife.
I will definitely be shopping more from sustainable businesses next year as many are more environmentally friendly, than the fast fashion chains, they also need investment during this difficult period of uncertainty.
2) Have a more healthy and organic diet
Being sustainable does not just apply to clothes, so I am hoping that in the new year I can buy more organically sourced food and have a healthier diet. Although I don’t eat much fast-food, I will be looking to eat a more balanced diet by sourcing my food locally and reducing my use of single-use plastics. I am hoping in 2021 to also eat a much more plant-based diet. I will also be hoping to reduce my carbon foot print by walking more and using the car or public transport less.
3) Making small changes whenever I can throughout the day
Small changes apply to turning off lights when necessary, using less heating and instead wearing warmer clothes inside and even following social media pages that advocate sustainable living.
4) Check if a brand is sustainable
Before purchasing from a brand, check if they are sustainable. If they are sustainable then you will be able to tell from their website, but if you are still unsure, check with the founders of the company or their employees. Key indicators that a business is sustainable include: being peta and vegan approved, using biodegradable and compostable packaging, using upcycled or quality materials to make their products and paying their workers fair wages. Some sustainable businesses may also purchase or donate a small amount of their profits to a specific environmental charity.
5) Shop for sustainable clothes
Shopping for clothes sustainably is crucial, as throwing away clothes contributes to added pollution and the increase in landfill sites. Instead, to promote a circular economy, use clothes more than once and once you no longer want clothes, give them to a charity shop or to friends through a clothes swap. I am going to drastically reduce my shopping from fast fashion brands and instead revert to thrifting and using apps such as ‘depop’ to sell my old clothes. I am also hoping to declutter my wardrobe and would encourage others to do the same, as it is absurd to own an abundance of clothes and accessories, some of which will never be worn. When decluttering, consider giving your clothes away to charity shops or sell them yourself.
In short, sustainability looks to protect our natural environment, human and ecological health, while driving innovation and not compromising our life. Being an eco-conscious consumer means that you recognise and acknowledge the problems in society surrounding unsustainable businesses and that you are willing to buy from businesses that are helping to preserve and protect our planet and future.
It is really significant that we now use materials and resources through upcycling, rather than depleting our finite resources. Sustainability is about promoting a circular economy where there is little waste and pollution, but instead more jobs and a better distribution of wealth. Having a sustainable outlook on life and making these ethical decisions will help combat the current climate crisis we face.
I hope this article encourages you to become a more eco-conscious individual and has given you some ideas on how to practice a more sustainable existence in 2021.