Being environmentally conscious and sustainable is needed in order to keep our planet and humanity safe for our current and next generations. It doesn't mean we need to live a boring and insipid life though: it just means to be aware of our resource consumption and to bring our unnecessary waste to the minimum. "Oh, okay, it sounds easy but It's not" - that's why we decided to put together 7 small actions you can take to start your sustainable life. As with everything in life: that's all about practice; once you start and you feel like you are making the difference, you just want to keep it instead of going back to your old habits. At Canbe Group, we are constantly trying to evolve and go greener every day, also making our part spreading the word to our guests, trying to bring this subject to their attention on our facilities, and being responsible when shopping. Find below a list of small steps you can take to join us on this path!
Run away from plastic
We know that going #plasticfree from one day to another is too extreme, and I don't want to scare you, so we should start trying to minimize the use of it whenever possible. Once you introduce this new habit into your life, you start realizing that the amount of plastic we consume is insane and how we are not aware of our own wastes. In the beginning, until it gets to your core, it's kinda hard to even notice every small plastic-based material we buy all the time and that we could avoid. Here you have some tips to minimize its consumption:
- Buy yourself a reusable folding coffee cup: it doesn't take that much space, it's super practical to carry them around and you'll save plastic/paper cups
- Have a zero-waste cutlery kit with you and avoid wasting plastic cutlery when eating out
- Give rid of the straws: they look harmless but their waste in the ocean can actually kill thousands of maritime lives; so make an effort and drink directly from the glass or, should you prefer, Eco-friendly straws are available to be sold - keep it together with your cup + cutlery kit and go green
- Bring your eco/net bags to the supermarket: avoid the plastic bags for the vegetables/fruits and upon check out
- Give preference to products that come in recyclable instead of disposable packages
- Beeswax wrap: have you heard about them? They can actually save you from wasting a lot of cling wraps. If you google it, you'll find plenty of DIY tutorials and, the best thing, they are super easy to be done.
These are only some of the actions you can take. If you feel like going for it, there are plenty of e-books with endless tips to reduce plastic waste in your daily life, just search it and be happy :)
Recycle at home
It's not everywhere that recycling is mandatory, but we shouldn't wait for it to become so to start taking action regarding it! When I started doing it, I got shocked. We are 3 at my place and I couldn't believe when, after the first week, I realized how much plastic the three of us (only three!!!!) waste weekly. If you put it on a global scale, it's crazy! But that's the thing: until you start doing it, you may not be aware of how you can make the difference. Start, see and feel it! It won't take you much time to clean the packages and bringing them to the recycle bin. If your neighborhood doesn't offer a collection weekly, find the closest collection point and drop it there. The environment is our home and will appreciate it! :D
Before shopping, think about its real necessity
We live in a capitalist world where companies and brands literally NEED us to believe that we always need more. I know this is a cliché, but it does make sense. We are used to be beaten by amazing, cute, beautiful, and really well-produced marketing campaigns, that many times washes our brains and give us the will of having and buying. But going greener makes you stop and think about what is really essential. Start questioning yourself about the necessity of buying those trousers that will be, in a month-time, just another pair of trousers in your closet that you'll be bored about. Or that pair of glasses you think you can't go through summer without - believe me, you can.
I like the idea of making the money spent on new things pay off by using the same item many times. Fashion is an industry of high waste numbers and we can try to minimize it by being more creative when getting dressed, like using the same item with different other pieces which allows you to have completely different outfits and styles without the need of spending your valued money on new clothes every month - and it's actually really possible. There is one Brazilian blogger who lives in London who encourages a more conscious fashion - she is the author of the "Um ano sem Zara" (One year without Zara) blog, where she shared her experience about staying a year without buying anything new for her closet and how much she found out about her style and self during that year. The blog itself is not translated to English but she follows this line of content on her Instagram account, where you can actually get it translated, so in case you want to check it out and get inspired, I'll leave her Instagram link here!
And if you go for it, shop local
Supporting local businesses is good for your community and for the environment. If you can't find what you are looking for locally, you can still go for international sellers without overriding your green policies: go for the brands that you know are environmentally conscious and responsible. Check the labels and/or google it: you'll understand a bit more what is the brand production culture - especially for food, look for fair-trade certification, so you make sure they were produced using sustainable methods and that the workers are being fairly paid for the goods they produce.
Plant seeds and become healthier
Besides saving you some money in the long term, you'll be healthier and happier eating your own vegetables, herbs, and fruits. You'll also be saving all the packages that would come with them, as well as all the fossil fuels required for their transportation. Every little thing can make a difference if we act together.
Avoid energy waste
Yes, you've probably heard that "go back and turn off the lights now" famous sentence and thought "ugh, boring". But then you, at some point, moved out and started paying bills, and, wow, you are the person turning all the lights off. Of course, the financial reason is what makes people being more careful about energy waste most of the time, but the truth is that this is a big action you can take to help the environment - amazing that you can put together your social responsibility and your finance control.
- Go for LED lights instead of incandescent ones since they last longer
- Use natural light as much as you can
- When possible, put an extra layer of clothes instead of turning on the heating system
- If you do have the heaters on, hang the washed clothes there instead of turning on the dryer machine
Showering, flushing, cooking, brushing your teeth... from using a timer when showering to dual-flush toilets, all small action counts. Imagine how many liters of water we could save if all of us make our part? Every drop matters.
Starting to take these small actions will already make the difference and open your mind for further actions you can implement - step by step and we are able to adapt to a more sustainable life. Give green a chance!