A small change – Sustainable swaps for the time challenged individual.
We live in world that is fuelled by conspicuous consumption. We constantly want more; a promotion at work, a newer car, a bigger house, the latest iPhone, styles fresh off the runway. Our egos are supported by what we can obtain, what we can purchase, what ‘things’ that we can add to our lives, and not by what we can do. This ‘buy now think about it later’ culture however, is harming the planet. We are told this on an almost daily basis, that we need to change our habits, change our lifestyles so that our great, great grandchildren have a hope of surviving in a world heated to boiling point, yet we still continue to live excessively, un-consciously and somewhat recklessly.
Now we know what it’s like. The 9-5 rat race, which in reality is more like 8-7, doesn’t leave much room for thought. You hit snooze on your alarm 3 times, before rolling out of bed, throwing on a dubiously mismatched outfit because all of your clothes are in a pile on the floor next to your overflowing washing basket, you run to the tube, or car, or bus, grabbing an overpriced, takeaway coffee and a pathetically small plastic pot of granola on your way, before stumbling into the office 10 minutes behind schedule. 11am rolls around, those margaritas last night mean that your first two hours at work were spent in a foggy cloud, and therefore you NEED a coffee, so you run across the road and spend more of your hard earned money on a lukewarm cappuccino, which again, comes in a takeaway cup that you throw in the nearest rubbish bin on your return to the office. Another two hours pass and its lunch time, the best time of the day (apart from home time, of course). Last night’s cocktails mean that you didn’t get to make the Jamie Oliver vegan bean chilli that you have saved on your Pinterest board, and instead you are forced to grab an unappetising plastic wrapped sandwich, and a muffin, because it’s only Tuesday, and you need a treat to get you through the rest of the day. You finish work late, feel guilty about the lunch time muffin and so drag yourself to the gym. On your way home you realise all that you have left in the fridge are some out of date eggs and half of last Saturday’s drunken pizza (oops), so have to run into Sainsbury’s to find some sustenance. You pick up some plastic wrapped veg to counteract the muffin, but it doesn’t fit in your unpractically small handbag, so you have to grab a plastic bag, and consequently feel immense guilt because you know that it will probably end up in the insides of a small sea creature shortly down the line, and know that by now you should have probably invested in a sustainable tote for such a time as this. You finally get home at 9pm, cook your dinner and then crash on the sofa, with that to do list you promised yourself that you would tackle today still left untouched. Sound familiar? As busy millennials trying to hold down a career, a relationship, a social life and keeping up with trends, this is our common reality.
Life is busy. We see pictures of half-starved polar bears, turtles with bottle holders wrapped around their necks, beaches littered with a rainbow of plastic, and we feel guilty, yet it seems like such an enormously overwhelming problem that we don’t know where to start. We get caught in a cycle of guilt, but then sill continue to live un-sustainably, as making huge changes to our daily routines seems like something which is too big, and too hard to address.
But, we want to change this. We are like you. Ordinary people, who want to make a difference, but don’t have the money to go out and buy an electric car, or have the time to sail across the ocean instead of taking a 1 hour flight. We believe that if enough people start making small, and we mean really small changes, then we can start to make a big difference to our planet. Start by getting a dedicated recycling bin, and actually washing out your milk cartons, and making sure that they end up in the back of a recycling truck, and not in a black bag along with the remnants of that drunken pizza. Recycling plastics will mean that they do not end up in the ocean, and will turn them back into something useful, and is the first important step in your journey to sustainability. As well as recycling, it’s good just to just simply use less. Those takeaway coffees? Don’t stop drinking them, we all need a caffeine hit to function, but invest in a reusable coffee cup, and actually bring it with you each morning. This will save countless plastic lids from being thrown away, and will actually save you money, as most coffee shops offer a discount for people using a reusable cup. You can also do the same with your lunch. Now it may seem like a lot of effort to prepare lunch to take with you to work each morning, but your body, your bank balance, and the planet will all thank you if you do. Instead of spending your Sunday on the sofa in a carb coma, whip up a storm in the kitchen and make a massive pasta bake that you can portion out and have for your lunch throughout the week. And when it comes to grabbing bits from your local Sainsbury’s, take a reusable bag. This will again save you pennies, and save the planet from drowning in a sea of plastic.
We hope that has showed you that it’s very easy to make small sustainable swaps, without affecting your daily routine, or making any extra work for yourself. This means you don’t have to feel guilt when you are confronted with images of polar bears, as you are doing your bit. We understand that not everyone is perfect, we know that sometimes life gets in the way and stops you from doing good, and that’s why we want to help. We are here to bring you quick and easy swaps that you can make to make every aspect of your life more sustainable. From hosting a dinner party, to day trips, to your Sunday brunch, we have so many simple and easy hacks that make being sustainable that little bit easier.
We want to make sustainability sexy. Gone are the days of crocs, compost bins and lentils. Instead we have Chilly’s bottles covered in peaches, neon metal straws, vegan burgers that ‘bleed’, tote bags made in our ethical factory in India, and leather shoes made from pineapples. We are part of a revolution, part of a change. Help be the change that the world needs to see.
To find out more about our sustainable business, go to Supreme Creations to see how we make tote bags that are ethical and sustainable. And for more daily tips, tricks and hacks, take a look at our Instagram page, @bagsofethics.
Daisy from Bags of EthicsTM