With a new year upon us, there’s no better time to make some ethical changes to what we do every day. Here at F&F we love sharing tips. Most swaps are easy and require little effort, making it simple for you to get started straight away.
It’s important to remember that each little change helps, so we suggest choosing a few ideas that you think you’ll be able to achieve and do them really well. Read on as we go through some of our favourite tips to make your year a more ethical one.
Upcycle & Recycle
If you’re new to making a few ethical and eco changes, one of the first and most important steps is to see what you’ve already got at home and determine what you can reuse. For example, food containers and jars. Upcycling can be as easy as keeping your glass food jars and using them to store food from a bulk store. If you consider yourself the crafty type, or you're looking for an an afternoon activity to keep the kids entertained, there are lots of projects you can do. For example, turning old clothing into reusable bags or using empty tin cans to make lanterns.
If you’re spending some time over the new year doing a clean out at home, put your empty beauty products aside and take advantage of our wonderful recycling program. We’ve partnered with TerraCycle who collate plastic beauty product packaging and remould it into new recycled products such as bench seats, chairs and tables. Any beauty products bought at Flora & Fauna can be returned to us where we will collate, separate and get them to TerraCycle to be recycled. Plus in exchange for returning your bottles and packaging to us, we will credit your Flora & Fauna account AU $10.00 for being planet friendly and helping our environment.
If you’re looking to declutter in the new year, your local council would offer a range of services for waste and recycling, so it’s worth having a look on their website; we're finding quite a few websites are putting up good guides. They would have a list of what you can and can’t recycle, including specific items you may be unsure of. Your local council may also have a drop-off centre for items that are deemed unsafe for regular waste collections e.g. gas bottles, batteries, computers, car batteries, paint etc. Alternately, you can donate items such as toys and clothes to charity. There are even a few places that come and pick up your clothing from you.
Get into the Habit of Using Reusables
Perhaps you're looking to change one thing in 2019. If so making the switch to reusables is a great place to start. When you’re in the habit of consuming for convenience, it can take some effort to shift your way of thinking, and it all comes down to preparation. If you find yourself constantly forgetting to bring your reusables with you, try setting an alarm on your phone or keeping them in your bag, at your desk or in your car so you have them on hand. It can be frustrating when you realise you’ve forgotten to bring them with you, but it’s important to remember that you are trying to change life-long habits so it will take some time.
Purchasing reusables will require some initial financial investment, but it will be kinder on your wallet in the long run. For example, a reusable drink bottle may initially cost you $30 (we love Water3), but you only need to purchase around 6 single-use bottles of water for this to make up the cost of the drink bottle. By changing to a reusable drink bottle, you’ll be minimising single use plastic and you’ll have your drink bottle for many years to come! The same idea also applies with reusable coffee cups. If you’re an avid coffee drinker, it’s worth investing in a cup as most places offer a discount for those who bring in their own cup. It’s a win/win situation; you save on single use items and money! We have a range of reusable and eco-friendly coffee cups and water bottles online now.
Another way to cut down on plastic is to get into the habit of using reusable cutlery and straws. Instead of opting for the more convenient option that is single-use, carry around a travel kit of reusable cutlery with you. Just remember to tell the staff that you don’t need cutlery or a straw before your order comes out. We have some great reusable cutlery and straws available.
What we also love seeing people use is reusable shopping bags and produce bags. We find having one set in the car and one in our handbag means we never forget.
Make the Switch to Natural Cleaning Products
A new year is the perfect time to reconsider what you use to clean your bathroom and kitchen. If you’ve never really thought about it check the ingredients in what you use, often it's toxic and not something you want on your skin.
A great alternative to harsh cleaning products are all natural options, and we have a great range online now. We love using Soapnuts (or soapberries as they are often called) for washing clothes, but they’re also wonderful for cleaning the home and are grey water safe. The liquid is 100% natural and a great cleaner. If you’re wanting to find out more about Soapnuts, we've got some ways here you can use them around the home. Some other cleaning favourites amongst our customers are Green Addict, Resparkle, ecostore and Koala Eco. These brands all make gorgeous, natural cleaning products that work really well and are safe for the whole family. Resparkle's products are also refillable so you're helping the planet and your pocket too.
Be More Aware of Plastic Use.
There’s no denying that plastic is everywhere, so trying to minimise your use can seem like a big task. We have some great alternatives available to help you reduce your plastic consumption and is often quite easy once you become more aware. Some of our favourites include purchasing products in a larger bulk size instead of lots of smaller plastic containers or making the switch to shopping at a bulk food store where you can take your own containers.
Here at F&F we are extremely conscious of our packaging. That’s why we don’t use any plastic in our orders and only recyclable envelopes, boxes and paper. When you shop with us you can be at ease knowing that your order is packed as consciously as possible - even our boxes are made with recycled card a few kms from our warehouse.
We also have a range of zero waste packaging products available online too. Some of our favourites are our Green + Kind Cleansing Bars, Shampoo Bars, Green + Kind Konjac Sponges, Plastic-Free Cotton Buds and Biodegradable Dish Cloths. Another way to reduce plastic in your lifestyle is by adding a comment to your online shopping orders. On most websites, there’s an order comment section, and it's a great way to let businesses know that you’d like your order to be packed with no plastic, simply by writing “no plastic in packaging please”.
By making some of these small changes during 2019, you can can feel great knowing that you’re on track to have a more eco-friendly and ethical year. If you have any other ideas or would like to share your ethical tips with us, please let us know in the comments below. We love hearing from you!