Living Sustainably is an important part of being a Global Citizen. Remembering that we are all interconnected, and that we have a responsibility to each other and the world we share, is our constant duty.
This month, we took part in Sustainable shopping, but that journey doesn't end just because the month does. We have a long road ahead of us to a place where we live lifestyles which are sustainable far into the future, and each and every person has an important part to play in it.
In this short article we will take a look back at the tips from December, and hear from our Head of Global Citizenship, Mr. Elliot Maclean.
We are what we do, as the old saying goes, and a lot of what we do is buy. We live in a consumer society, we buy food, clothes, cars and bikes, furniture and much, much more. The choices we make about what we buy, how we buy, when we buy and where we buy from can have a huge impact on our local communities and the environment that we live in. This week’s focus is being a mindful, Sustainable shopper.
Single use plastics have a terrible effect on our environment, taking hundreds of years or longer to degrade, being eaten by animals and fish, and ending up as microplastics in the food chains. Single use plastic bags account for a notable portion of single use plastics, and it is easy to stop your consumption of them. Choose to buy your own re-usable bags, ideally made of cotton or other fabric, and keep them in the boot of your car. You can fill them up more, you can use them many times (saving on the cost of reusable bags over time) and they can be washed easily if they ever get dirty. Think of your wallet as well as the environment and, this week, choose reusable bags.
The location of a seller can make a huge difference to how sustainable your shopping choices are. Often, you can get the same item from a local seller that you might be buying from thousands of kilometers away. When you can, check the distance an item will travel, and choose a seller as close as possible. On Taobao, for example, this is very easy! Just check the province the seller is located in. Shop consciously, save carbon, and save our beautiful planet.
Environmental and Social responsibility is a rapidly growing area of focus for many large business, so much so that Environmental, Social and Governance reporting (ESG reporting) is now something which many large groups take part in. When making a more expensive purchase, take the time to check the reputation of the supplier you plan to buy from. If they are less reputable for their ESG practice, why not consider a supplier who will do more positive things with your money?
When we purchase something new, another item will be made to replace the stock that has been sold by the company. This comes with all the associated resource use and carbon footprint of producing that item. Often, instead of buying new, we can buy a perfectly good item from someone else who is done using theirs! Not only does this have a lower carbon footprint and reduce resource use, but it also stops the second-hand item from becoming waste, and costs less money, too! Next time you buy, consider second-hand!