We live in a society strongly influenced by consumerism. We throw away items rather than repair or pass them on.
Every product we purchase has an environmental footprint, from the materials involved in its creation, to the pollution emitted during manufacturing, to the packaging that ends up in landfill.
If we all just took a step back to really think about our buying habits, most of us could probably say there are things we could do differently. We have some suggestions below.
How many times have you purchased a new dress or pair of shoes and only worn them once, or maybe not at all? Before you buy, ask yourself do I really need this? If you do, is it something that you could buy secondhand or is it available with no packaging?
You can ask yourself these questions about anything you think of buying. Furniture for example, is often mass produced and not designed to last long, which inevitably ends up going to landfill, negatively impacting on the environment. Quality furniture is usually very expensive. So why not buy secondhand?
There are so many good resources to find quality secondhand items. Just some examples are Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, eBay, Preloved, car boot sales, charity and antique shops. Shopping around for a bargain can be good fun and furniture can always be upcycled!
How many of us stress over what presents to give our friends and family, panic buy and know they have probably got something that is going to be used once and thrown away. Or maybe you go the way and buy lots of gifts. Instead, why not choose one item you know they would realy love or go for a gift card or experience, maybe even hand make a gift.
Being more mindful about our shopping habits, not only helps the environment, it helps our bank balances. Friends and family seeing you make these changes can also inspire them to look at their own habits and make different choices.
Remember who you are is not about what you own!
Upcycling can be lots of fun, it gives you the opportunity to pick up a good quality item, with a history behind it, get creative, learn a new skill and have some fun doing it! You can give a piece of furniture a totally different look.
To give you some ideas, here is a short video with 10 easy DIY projects to upcycle old furniture.
You could learn how to make simple clothing repairs, so you don’t have to replace items as soon as they get a rip or fray. There are some fantastic blogs for beginners and ‘Sewing Machine Life’ round up the top 15 here.
A quick internet search will bring up step by step guides on how to make simple repairs or why not check to see if your area has a Repair Cafe nearby. Perhaps you have someone in your family or network of friends that would be willing to do the repair?
If you have enjoyed this page, check out our other pages with steps you can take to reduce your waste.