Sustainability- what is it? how can you help?

If I am being honest, sustainability had always been a topic that I had never fully considered in my day to day life- aside from recycling and trying to reuse plastic bags. And this is probably because, I didn't have a complete understanding of what 'being sustainable' actually meant. So this inspired me to educate myself further around the issue. I guess this blog post is here, to inspire you to be more sustainable or maybe even help you to understand what sustainability is and the importance it serves today. So, please take a seat, get comfortable and read on...

Now, I am not being funny but if someone had asked me to define sustainability a week ago I probably would have struggled to produce some sort of credible answer. If you type this question into Google, you will discover that it is

"the interaction with the environment to avoid depletion of natural resources and ensure environmental quality."

Ok, so this gave me a starting point. Doing some more reading, I began to understand more about what suitability was and how it was interlinked with so many of our daily activities. The human race is powerful, so powerful that we are able to damage our own environment, simultaneously effecting our own chances of survival. We've all heard about climate change and global warming, but sustainability also relates to the conservation of energy and the consumption of the worlds natural resources. Essentially, it aims to ensure that we keep a good quality of life, for both our environment and ourselves.

Alongside this, the topic has been divided into 3 pillars of importance, the economy, people and environment. To achieve global sustainability, all of these factors must be considered equally. Lets look at the economy, as a general rule of thumb it is often cheaper to buy the product that does more harm to the environment, rather than a more sustainable option. Take simple supermarket produce as an example, to shop at a sustainable farmers market you are looking at spending twice as much, as buying from the local supermarkets packaging most products in plastic. Because of this, it is starting to become more apparent that the world needs to take steps towards tackling these issues through the development of new technologies utilising renewable energy, the reorganisation of living structures to form eco-villages and sustainable cities and the re-imagination of the economic practices, such as those in agriculture.

That all sounds quite daunting if you ask me. And reading about it, I definitely thought to myself, so how an earth can I help? Turns out that there is plenty I can do. We alone may not be able to challenge the larger problems, but there is an endless list of sustainable alternatives that we can do to help. Here's a few to get you started...

  • Use reusable cutlery and coffee cups- it is far too easy to use plastic cutlery when out and about or to use the reusable straws given to you in a drive-thru. But, we can make a small purchase of reusable versions of these items to make a difference. Check out these websites for some ideas and

  • Ditch the car and go for a walk- this is such an easy switch!

  • Buy produce from a local farmers market- I know this is not possible for everybody as it can be more expensive. So, maybe just even consider how much produce you buy from the supermarket with plastic packaging. There are even opportunities at certain supermarkets to package produce yourself in reusable containers.

  • Repurpose or upcycle old clothing.

  • Hanging your wet clothes out on the line to dry, especially when we are in summer time.

  • Buy a bicycle to commute to work- with the current concerns around using public transport, if you are fortunate to own or buy a bike then utilise this mode of transport instead.

  • Take your own reusable bags to the supermarket- I am guilty of forgetting to take mine from time to time, but if you even just put a couple in the boot of your car you are saving the use of plastic.

  • Buy from charity shops.

  • Support ethical fashion brands- recently I discovered Lucy & Yak, which you should definitely check out.

  • Go paperless- everything these days can be completed through some form of technology!

  • Use reusable cotton pads to remove makeup (check out my June favourites post)

  • Use soap bars.

  • Carry a handkerchief rather than using tissues.

  • Buy beauty products from sustainable companies or better still... buy less!

  • Spend more time outdoors.

Images from Instagram

When it comes down to it, sustainability is a massive global issue. Not only does it effect our environment and our wildlife, but it effects our health care. The poorer the environment we live in, the higher the chances of health problems in the future.

Reflecting upon this post, I know how much I have to go towards making my own life more sustainable. But, by actually educating and considering this topic it has made me more aware of how I can take more notice of it daily. After all, we all have a part to play.

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Thank you for reading,

E x

#sustainability #environment #recycle #healthyliving


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