How to be sustainable in 2021
Hello my friends, we are into the last week of January. With us being in lockdown (number 4 here) it has made it easier to be more sustainable and it has also given me a lot more time to really sit and think about what being sustainable actually means to me.
Last year with the outbreak of Covid I started to pay more attention to me, and my families impact on the planet. I have been trying to improve our carbon footprint, our waste and our understanding of what sustainability means going forward for us as a family. I’ve done a lot of reading and trying to put what I’m learning into practice.
When I started reading the information out there, I felt this big need to declutter, clear out my house, get rid of lots of plastic items and buy environmentally friendly items. Thankfully, this was just an initial reaction and I didn’t do it (there is something to be said for not making rash decisions) as I would have been being more un-environmentally friendly!
I feel that the way forward is to always have sustainability in mind especially when it comes to making decisions with regards your waste, purchases and travel.
First and foremost is to reuse…..everything that you can. Before anyone in the house puts anything in the bin, they have to ask themselves can I reuse this or can it be repurposed. Can clothes be mended before they go into the bin? If you have clothes that you no longer wear but are still in good condition think about selling them so you can make some of your money back. Or think about giving them to local shelters or the homeless. We have found a clothes bank nearby our house that gives clothes to those in need in our local area, so this is my go-to from now on. Our eldest daughter is determined to learn to sew. She got a sewing machine for Christmas and has started keeping her old clothes in the hope to up-cycle them into something like bags or hair scrunchies.
When you are out buying ask yourself do I need this? If the answer is yes then ask yourself questions like ….. could I buy a reused one? Is this the best place to buy this item? Is there a better alternative in this shop? Is there a Fairtrade alternative? Is there a more environmental packaged alternative? Like instead of buying mayonnaise in a plastic squeezy bottle why not buy the glass jar? Did you know that glass can be recycled over and over again whereas plastic normally can only be recycled once and because plastic gets recycled into a different forms and mixed with other recycled items (we are now seeing clothes made from recycled plastic) it means that, that’s the end of its life and that it needs to go into landfill once it is no longer usable?
I don’t think you should bin items in your house to make way for more environmentally friendly items (this is wasteful). Wait until they are well and truly finished then when you need to replace an item them think about the best option available to you at that time.
One of the realisations I came to last year was that I wasn’t using my bins as efficiently as I could have been. Did you know that pizza boxes and brown bags can go in the compost bins (along with a few other items that aren’t food or grass) also did you know that a lot of tea bags still use plastic and so really should not go in the compost bin? I also got some shocking facts about how little our plastic actually get recycled! This has all lead to me really trying to stop and think about every food purchase I make and also made me question what I can do better. Like planting some veg at home. Last year we did plant a fair bit. Things we really got good use out of was lettuce and tomatoes so I hope to do these again this year along with a few extras.
When it comes to transport, ask yourself ‘do I need to take the car?’ Maybe you could walk or use local transport instead. Since Covid there has definitely been less traffic overall which is amazing. One of the biggest impacts has been on air travel. With very few of us being able to go abroad for our holidays this has meant there are less planes in the sky, it has also meant that more of us are having staycations at the moment which in turn may encourage us to holiday like this more in the future? Another bonus of going on a staycation is that you maybe able to use public transport instead of driving?
As for my business, I have been applying all of the above to every decision I make. Last year I re-branded and I have lots of jewellery boxes left over (lesson learnt that buying in bulk isn’t always the right choice) from my old branding, I will keep using these boxes until they run out to avoid wastage, at which stage I will buy a more environmentally friendly box in lower quantities. I have invested in jewellery bags which I package your jewellery boxes in and I’m currently testing if these turquoise linen/cotton bags will decompose naturally in the soil. The bags can also be reused to hold coins/keys/hair bobbles in your handbag/purse or pocket (it is such a gorgeous colour you are going to want to keep it and use it over and over again).
I use as much recycled silver as I can, I also use sea glass which is recycled from the ocean and by collecting it we are helping to keep the ocean clean of glass. When packing up your wonderful jewellery I use compostable envelopes, the padding inside the envelope is recycled from packaging I have received in the post. When posting your packages I always walk to the post office, keeping my carbon footprint as low as I can (and keeping me fit in the process). You can also pick your jewellery up from my studio if you live in the area, cutting out the need to use the post office altogether. Going forward I will always question with every purchase I make ….. is this the best place for me to buy this item or could I purchase a more environmentally alternative? My aim is eventually to only use recycled silver, currently my sterling silver items such as chains and some findings are not recycled (I hope by the end of this year that will not be the case).
KL jewellery designs signed up to Ecologi in 2020, which is planting a forest on my behalf and also using a portion of the money I donate to help out those that need better living conditions etc…please do check them out, they are awesome here is the link to my account if you want to see how many trees our forest has https://ecologi.com/kljewellerydesigns
Well, I’m gonna say goodbye until next week. I hope you have enjoyed reading how I am trying to become more environmentally friendly and I would love it if you shared your journey with me too.
If you would like to see what happens behind the scenes here at KL jewellery designs, then do follow me on IG here and if you would like to keep up to date with new pieces/collections or any offers then please do sign up for my newsletter (bottom of page).
Until next week, stay safe, keep communicating and always sparkle.