10 Easy Ways to Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle
Here at Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari, we care greatly about our environmental impact and how we can protect our oceans. Sustainability plays a big part in our mission statement, and we endeavour to operate in the most sustainable way we can. This includes both on and off the boat, and there are things that we can all do as individuals to live a more sustainable lifestyle that takes less of a toll on our planet and ensure we have resources for our future generations. Here are 10 ideas that you can incorporate into your daily life to ensure that you are playing your part and doing what you can to live more sustainably too.
- Eat locally and seasonally: A simple way that you can help to reduce emissions of produce being flown into New Zealand is to eat seasonally and pay attention to where your produce is from. You can’t beat going to your local famer’s market and picking up your fresh fruit and veggies. Not only is this supporting your local growers, and ensuring your produce is fresh and delicious, but you are helping to limit your environmental impact, as flying produce around the world uses large amounts of fossil fuels.
- Hang out your laundry: Possibly one of the easiest (and cheapest!) ways to live more sustainably is to hang out your laundry to dry. Not only is this helping you to save on your power bill, but it’s a zero-emissions alternative. On a sunny day your clothes will dry in no time out on the line. And there is an added advantage! UV rays from sunlight can act as a disinfectant, so your sun-dried sheets and clothes are even cleaner.
- Conscious clothing choices: Fast fashion has detrimental impacts on both humans and the environment, and voting with your wallet is a great way to live more sustainably. Supporting sustainable fashion brands, buying second hand, and donating to opshops extends the life of clothing items and results in less ending up in landfill. There are also plastic based fabrics such as polyester and nylon which are known to be bad for the environment, so looking out for other materials such as wool, linen and cotton in replacement of these will also be more beneficial for the environment.
- Swapping out the plastic: There are small changes you can make within your home to reduce your consumption of plastic. When buying weekly essentials, take the time to see what your bin bags are made from, how about trying a biodegradable option? No need for single use plastic bottles, invest in a reusable one that you can wash and use repeatedly, or look into plastic free products like shampoo bars. And stocking your pantry with products from a zero-waste store by refilling your own jars is also a simple way you can reduce your plastic use.
- Walk and cycle more: Walking or cycling to your destinations is not only going to increase your exercise and fitness levels but also reduce your emissions in comparison to driving or taking the bus. Where this is not possible, hopping on a form of public transport is also an improvement on driving. Just a small change you can incorporate into your life when it’s doable, that can have a big difference.
- Wash your clothes on a cold wash: Another small change you can make around the house. Heating the water for your wash uses a lot of power, so by swapping to a cold wash, you will still have lovely clean clothes but at less of a cost to the environment and to you. Another little tip is to wait till you have enough sheets or clothes to do a full load of washing rather than multiple small loads, that way you are not using power and water for loads which could be combined into one.
- Compost and grow your own veggies: Collecting your raw and unprocessed food waste, as well as paper waste e.g. paper towels and egg cartons, to create a compost bin is a fantastic way to use it instead of all waste going straight into the regular bin. This will create nutrient-rich compost for your garden and create great growing conditions for a vegetable patch. Growing your own fruit and vegetables will save the emissions of imported produce whilst also providing a great hobby and use for your compost.
- Reusable make up removers: Disposable face wipes can block drains or end up in landfills, causing damage to the environment. An alternative to this is makeup remover solution and reusable make up remover pads that can simply be washed with your clothes and used hundreds of times – which will save you money in the long run!
- Unplug your devices overnight: It is convenient to put your phone or iPad on charge overnight so that you’re all ready to go in the morning. However, your devices usually do not need this long on charge and are still using power, even when you aren’t using them. Therefore, being conscious of when you plug your devices in and making sure you unplug them when they are charged is a small change you can make in your life.
- Consume less meat/go plant-based: Consuming less meat or transitioning to a plant-based diet is a great way you can reduce your carbon emissions. This doesn’t need to be a drastic change to make a difference, starting with one meat free meal a week is a great way to begin. Many classic dishes can be easily made plant-based, try using lentils and mushrooms instead beef mince in your next spaghetti bolognese!
Article contributed by crew member Celia Chalmers