How to become more sustainable in your shopping habits

by Lily Friis

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do” – Edward Everett Hale

There are a few approaches that can be taken when trying to consume less and in doing so create less waste.

Refrain: Refraining from buying unnecessary items is the best and easiest way to reduce your waste contribution. Refuse items that you don’t need or that won’t last you for a long time.

Minimise: Are there areas in your life where you could reduce the amount you buy? If there is something that you really need, try and limit how much of the item you buy to ensure you are only buying what you will use.

Re-use: This is a super important step in reducing your waste. There are so many items we throw away that have so many other uses. The trick is thinking outside of the box and knowing how to extend the life of an item. So many items can either be repaired, used for something else or even given to someone.

Recycle: If there are items that cannot be reused or repurposed, try and recycle these items if you can. Not all items can be recycled but there are many different organisations committed to recycling tricky items. Terracycle has great programs that recycle items you wouldn’t usually be able to.

Upcycle: This is similar to repairing and repurposing but it involves altering the item for a new purpose. This is commonly done with items such as clothes as there are often so many uses for old clothes.

Research: There are a few things to consider before buying a new item. Is there a more sustainable alternative to buy? Can I find this item second-hand or preloved? Or can I borrow this item from someone? Asking these few questions will help you reduce your waste contribution and can often save you money too!