11 Easy Ways To Go Greener Today

A row of gorgeous green leaves in the beautiful blue sky.

'But it's so time consuming to be sustainable'. This is what someone said to us when we asked why they opposed reusing, recycling and reducing their consumption. Off the back of their thought - we thought we would provide an easy guide for anyone who's unsure where to start. A simple list of the things you can do to make yourself, your home and your family go greener TODAY. Enjoy!! 🤩

① Eliminate plastic straws (and icky paper ones)

This ones easy. We have made it so. One of the main frustrations that led to us launching our store derived from a particularly graphic photo (you may or may not have seen) in which a plastic straw was lodged in a turtle's nostril. We won’t show you that here - trust us the description is enough - but that was our ‘enough is enough’ moment that led to our conception. That and those mushy paper straws that were debuting everywhere as a plastic replacement 🙄 Those who have made the step to eliminate plastic straws - we applaud you - but there is a better way, and it ain’t paper. We offer two amaaaaazing solutions (if we do say so ourselves) to the mushy paper straws of your nightmares and the plastic straws of turtle’s…

Our Sustainable Stainless Steel Straws are perfect for hot and cold drinks, completely recyclable and even come with a cute silicone tip to make for a comfortable sip. If you want to go suuuuper sustainable - our Compostable Bamboo Straws are completely garden compostable, come in larger packs and with a hand-woven carry bag. It’s such an easy change to make that will make you more sustainable, save you money and make turtles smile everywhere when you do! 🐢

② Reuse your shopping bags

This one speaks for itself. When you’re going shopping, make sure to take your reusable ‘bags for life’ with you! Don’t forget them in the car or at home and have to pick up another plastic bag that takes hundreds of years to biodegrade. If you can eliminate plastic bags (reusable or not) altogether, even better, you’re a star! There are plenty of woven, biodegradable options out there! If you hate the mess of keeping bags check out this quick trick below 🛍️ Easy.

Illustrates the 4 steps to fold your bags for life to a handy size.

③ Eliminate plastic wrap

We hate plastic wrap. It is the easiest thing to replace in your kitchen. By doing so, you will eliminate tonnes of needless plastic every year. Since it, alongside straws, were the key motivations for our store, we have ensured two solutions. Silicone Stretch Lids and Compostable Beeswax Wraps. Both reusable. Both plastic-free. The first stretchy, the latter mouldable with the heat of your hands. The first recyclable, the latter garden compostable. An easy green miracle! 🙏

④ Go paperless

So simple, yet overlooked. A study in the US found that if just ⅕ of households committed to paperless billing and banking, as many as 1.8 million trees 🌳 could be preserved per year - astonishing! Check the websites of your billing and banking accounts and check for “paperless”. If you can’t find it or don’t know how, give them a call. They should be able to switch you over to email notifications right away and FOR GOOD.

⑤ Use a reusable water bottle

There’s an old saying here in Scotland that water companies don’t sell water - they sell plastic bottles. While this phrase may not hit the nail on the head so accurately as it does here in Scotland - where tap water comes from fresh groundwater sources - that doesn’t mean you have to accept buying multipacks of plastic water bottles every week (they’re literally covered in the most unsustainable resource there is - plastic). Choose a reusable water bottle! If relevant to the water quality in your area, look for one with a filter to purify it for drinking. You will be shocked at how much you will save, plus, you know, all the single-use plastic bottles that will avoid the ocean 💁‍♀️ An example makes this super clear: say you buy a reusable water bottle that lasts you 5 years and costs £20. Seems expensive at the time, but what if we told you that in the same amount of time your reusable bottle is designed to last, you could use as many as 1000 single-use bottles (based on recommended intake) and spend as much as £650!! Would you change your mind then? We hope to soon offer you a rescue from this tiring reality - keep an eye 👀

⑥ Bring a reusable cup to Starbucks

Like with water bottles, your Starbucks cup is single-use and a total detraction from your sustainable lifestyle. By bringing a reusable cup with you next time you go for coffee and asking the staff to fill it you can save a serious amount of needless waste entering our environment. Feeling apprehensive about asking them to fill your cup from home when you’re going to a drive-thru? Don’t! They seriously don’t mind, they actually encourage it; you’ll get a discount for being so amazing ♨️ There are some awesome options out there - we will be offering one soon, watch this space 👀

⑦ Upcycle, repair and reuse

As much as we implore everyone to recycle - it is certainly not the most sustainable option you have. That award would go to upcycling and other forms of reuse. It can be as easy as repairing something when you would usually toss it in the bin - every little bit you do keeps something out of landfill. It may seem small in the context of your household, but more people choosing to reuse like you can make a huge difference cumulatively. If you want to take it a step further - you don’t even need to try and repair that old damaged guitar so it will work as an instrument again - why not turn it into a fun project and get an awesome shelf out of it? That is literally what we used to do all the time - check it out for inspiration below.

Four upcycled guitar shelves from our previous projects at ReLove.

⑧ Check labels for the right symbols

'Composable' may be a new term to many of our UK readers - in fact a symbol to represent it was just added to packaging last year - but it is much more commonly practised in the USA. Its recent introduction in the UK, plus the current lack of compostable products on the market, mean it is currently more of a change you can make soon than immediately implementable. In the meantime, check for ‘widely recyclable’ and ‘biodegradable’ on packaging labels and be sure to choose the bin most appropriate. The symbols you should look out for are below.

Biodegradable, compostable, recyclable icons in shades of green

⑨ Make recycling fun!

Take control of your waste with a little creativity! Why not develop a home project to weigh what you recycle every month? You could even make it a competition with your kids or neighbours. You could even decorate your bins to make them look cool - the prettier they are the cooler you’ll feel every time you add to them (sounds silly but don’t knock it). This writer has annotations on their bins at home to indicate what goes in which! You don’t have to go to my extent (I think you should) but doing something of the sort will ensure recycling doesn’t feel like a chore ♻️

⑩ Reuse, resell or donate

Fast fashion is a trend that's pretty difficult to eliminate in the wider scheme of things. You can avoid it individually by choosing to reuse what's already in your closet and doing a kind of 'wardrobe audit' every now and then to keep on top of what you already have can be a pretty fun way to be more sustainable and find awesome clothes you forgot you owned. However, we aren't blind to the fact that for a lot of people, fast fashion brands are affordable way to stay trendy and feeling good about themselves. Particularly when we are finally putting COVID behind us, it is unfortunately pretty likely that fast fashion will be front and centre as people flock to pubs + clubs for that first night out (in like a freakin' year at this point). So instead of assigning blame (because you don't know the mental battles people could be fighting), isn't it better to equip folks with a bit of direction to stop it becoming a problem?

Once you finally get that next night out, just keep in mind that clothes are designed to be worn more than once. And the coolest thing you can do is own the fact that you choose to re-wear that awesome getup. And if you intend not to use that dress again - make sure that someone else can get the use out of it! Pop down to your local charity shop or donation area every few months with clothes you want to move on. Better yet, pass them onto a friend or family member. Folks even do clothes swaps nowadays - what a great idea!! You can even make a few bucks from them by reselling them on apps like Depop 🤑 You’ll have more room in your drawers, someone else will get the use out of them and you’ll cut your carbon footprint. Win-win-win!

Tell someone all of the above

Last but certainly not least - we leave it in your sustainable hands! 🤝 The 10 easy changes listed above are powerful - but they are more powerful when your friends, family and anyone else that will listen know about them too! Share this article with them 💕

Check out our range of eco-friendly products to help you go greener today!

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