The word sustainable is familiar to everyone, but do we really know what it is about and what areas of our lives it covers. Let’s start from a definition of the word ‘sustainable’ or ‘sustainability’.
Research program at ‘UCAL’ explains “sustainability presumes that resources are finite and should be used conservatively and wisely with a view to long-term priorities and consequences of the ways in which resources are used.”
In simple words, sustainability is about thinking not only about our personal egocentric needs, but also taking into account our children and our grandchildren, and the world we will leave to them.
Sustainable living considers several areas of human lives and has numerous goals. Here are few of them: quality and available education; gender equality; industry disruptive innovation that could lead to better change; climate action; peace and justice and a few others areas.
Of course, it sounds strong and idealistic, although not entirely clear how can we directly affect the future of our planet and our grandchildren.
Well, it can be as simple as paying more attention to certain areas of daily life, like consuming food, buying clothing, caring about items used in daily life carefully and wisely.
For example, did you know that increasing the life of clothing just by 9 months could reduce annual carbon, water and waste by 20-30% each, and cut the costs by $5 billion. By the way do you know how much water it takes to make your jeans? 7,600 litters of water, including the growing of cotton and manufacturing.
Wow! That’s a lot of waste, especially considering that I own roughly 10 pairs, and I guess next season we all like to refresh our wardrobe with a new item, or perhaps a few.
Here are 5 steps towards sustainable living.
- Use your items longer.
I guess when ‘wants’ overtake ‘needs’ the bag that still is in a great condition goes to waste. That’s a small step, whereby we can simply stop ourselves from overbuying new stuff and decide to re-ware and re-use existing ones.
- Try to make your wardrobe adventures not for the sake of quantities, but for qualities.
I understand it is difficult, especially in our social media era when every new ‘shot’ requires a new piece of clothing. But hey, if wisely chosen, 8 items could create up to 25 great combinations. So we have nearly a month of new daily styles, and by the end of this time you can go round again and no one will remember your ‘Day 2’ shoot.
- Do not throw away broken or ripped items they deserve transformation.
You can repair them or remake them into something new. I am sure Instagram and YouTube is full of those videos that teach you such tricks. Did you know that there are craft classes? I found at least 15 in London. What a great date, to take your broken recycled material backpack and go there with your friend or boyfriend, to have a good time and do good for the planet.
- Here is another trick how to be sustainable and fashionable.
I love my charity shops and flea markets. Since I arrived in London, this has become a favourite place to shop. Resources like charity shops allows you to be fashionable and sustainable. By simply buying an item in a charity shop you not only support the charity organisations, but also our planet and its future.
- And finally, what about recycling?
And consider the attraction of everything that is made from up-cycled or recycled material (e.g. UppyBags). This is even better, knowing that your bag is made from pre-used cement bag material that wouldn’t have value in its original form, but has value to you in its new way and look. 1000’s of companies has developed technologies that allow us to repurpose unwanted materials or goods. UppyBags does that in a simple way very traditional, creating zero waste, because our community producers collect old sacks from rice and cement and simply reuse them.