Earth Month just finished up and while conversations about sustainability aren’t just limited to one month in the year, it can be overwhelming figuring out what you can do in terms of environmental changes.
While I do believe major corporations are largely at fault and are the biggest contributors to environmental damage, it is important to be conscious of how you move through the world.
As much as we need to see accountability from companies who waste and pollute our earth, it’s necessary to have healthier habits for our planet. There are countless articles, videos and TikToks about $1000 (R18000+) Shein hauls, returns and overconsumption. While the Global South is more likely to feel the effects of the current climate crisis, there are still ways to return to habits that our parents and grandparents used to do regularly.
If you live in South Africa, I won’t even begin to tell you about saving electricity, as that would imply that we have a regular supply to begin with.
Start composting or recycling or both
There’s no time like the present to get into your recycling or composting routine. You can start with your kitchen scraps and depending on your space, you can have a dedicated composting area. In terms of recycling, it’s always good to start with finding out what you actually can recycle. It doesn’t have to be perfect but it’s always good to start
Get into closet care so your wardrobe lasts longer
The first route to a sustainable closet is just using what you already have. You don’t need to thrift or buy secondhand as much if you’re able to wear what’s already accessible to you. The fact is, a closet that works for you and doesn’t need to constantly be replaced is already somewhat sustainable. But one way to ensure that your clothing lasts longer is to practice proper closet care. What does that mean? Getting your pants tailored, mending rips that can be fixed and not just throwing out wearable items if there’s a minor issue. Alternatively, if the clothing is beyond repair, cut those old t-shirts up and turn them into reusable rags.
Start your own clothing swaps
Clearing out your wardrobe is never a bad idea, but it’s important to get rid of your clothing responsibly. As mentioned, you can always repurpose some items so you get another use out of them. But if you can, it’s always great to host a clothing swap with friends. You each bring a couple of items and see who wants what. If there’s still some clothing left over, you can donate it to charities that actively ask for donations.
Get involved with beach cleans or join your local community garden
Lastly, if you want to get outside more often or meet new people, volunteering is one way to start. Sign up for beach cleans and help keep our coastline clean, or find out where your nearest community garden is. Permaculture is one way to learn more about our natural habitat and how to work with what we have so it can thrive.
Other choices include joining a carpool, using public transport more often when it works for you and walking around more if that’s possible.
Hope this is helpful