The Observer

Pledging to consume less in 2022? 6 ways to be more sustainable

Pledging to consume less in 2022? 6 ways to be more sustainable

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New Year's resolutions might be a bit naff, but it's impossible not to be swept up in the optimism of a new year and set intentions for yourself and your household.

With society's focus narrowing in on our environmental impact, many have made the pledge to consume less in 2022 and observe their own habits when it comes to how they shop and dispose of items. Here are 6 ways to be more sustainable in 2022.

1. Give homemade gifts

Before you jump on Amazon for birthdays and the festive season, consider making gifts for your loved ones. By using wholesale gemstones in Australia, you can make some beautiful jewellery that is one of the kind, and unlikely to end up in a landfill by the next year.

Homemade gifts like this are more meaningful and allow you to personalise the gift entirely to that recipient, rather than giving something that is one of many in the world.

2. Recycle, reuse and repurpose

When the couch starts to creak and your jacket isn't as dark as it once was... it can be tempting to want to replace those items. Resist this urge and start to think about how you can upcycle your furniture, clothes and anything around the house requiring a new lease of life.

In fact, you can always repurpose an item to an entirely different part of the house if it adds more value there - allowing you to be creative and save money at the same time.

3. Interrogate the brands you support

If you haven't had a deep dive into the brands you love to see what their green goals are and how they are setting their business up for the future - now is the time.

Big businesses will act faster and more meaningfully if their customers start to choose more sustainable alternatives, and so choosing to buy from greener brands is a small but significant step you can take.

Often these brands are more local, and who doesn't want to support up and coming brands?

4. Becoming more self-sustainable

Having a few herbs in the backyard is one thing, but planting fruits and vegetables that can sustain you year-round is the ultimate goal.

This can be a big task initially to set up your vegetable garden, but when it is established all you have to do is harvest your food and enjoy the ease and taste.

Setting up a compost bin is also a great system, as you always have a source of rich soil and it saves you cramming your bin with green waste that shouldn't be in there anyway.

If you are unsure about composting, start with a small bucket or tub before maturing to a larger one.

5. Getting from A to B

Do you rely on your car so much that you wouldn't even know how to catch public transport to your destination if you tried?

Well, this might be the year that you add some other modes of transport into your schedule.

Riding a bike or catching public transport gets more cars off the road and it contributes to a society that can thrive on shared services and make way for other amenities that a community can utilise.

You might be able to grab a bike from GumTree, Marketplace or any other platform like that - so so why not make exercise work for you this year?

6. Share and swap

Prior to the pandemic, we were seeing large events where people would come with their unwanted food, clothes and homewares, in the hopes of swapping them for something they need.

While you might not be able to attend a big event like this in 2022, why not create such an event with your circle of friends?

You might get exactly what you were considering buying, and it's a great way to offload items that are in great condition but not for you!

You can also open up the lines of communication with friends and neighbours about sharing items and amenities that save you buying unnecessarily.

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These goals might not be as sexy as precious resolutions, but we bet they are going to have a far better impact.

Sustainable practice isn't about doing everything right (although that is great), but it's about making small changes that have big benefits.