Living in a warm climate makes us no stranger to the sweltering heat. But did you know that the earth’s temperature has been increasing at an alarming rate since 1980 with 2019 being the third-warmest year on record? In fact, a study done by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ranked 2020 as the second-hottest year ever recorded! While that’s a genuine cause for concern, we can still do our part in reducing our carbon footprint.

Photography: Andrey Grinkevich/Unsplash

Over the years, we’ve seen many eco-friendly alternatives that have quickly gained popularity – like metal straws, reusable cotton pads and biodegradable packaging. Not only do these options help train us to care for the environment, they’ve also made us aware of what we’re using and its impact. To take it even further, we’ve come up with more ways (or rather, practices) that you can include in your daily lives that steer you towards a more sustainable, mindful and low-waste lifestyle.

1. Swap, upcycle or thrift shop

Like it or not, it’s no secret that the fashion industry is one of the most polluting and unethical industries out there. One of the issues we face is the large amounts of waste from factories and our closets that ends up in landfills. To combat this, give clothing a second chance at life by shopping second hand or swapping your unwanted clothing with your friends. You can even pick up some basic sewing skills and upcycle them into something new.

2. Support locally-produced brands

Another way to shop sustainably is to buy from brands that produce or manufacture locally. Buying within your vicinity helps to reduce the amount of time it takes to reach you via overseas transportation, therefore reducing the carbon footprint of the product. On top of that, you’ll be supporting local businesses and the economy at the same time – it’s a win-win!

3. Go vegan or opt for meatless days

If you’re a meat and cheese lover, you’re probably about to skip this part, but hear us out. According to this study, following a plant-based diet significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions as compared to recycling or hang-drying clothes. That said, reducing our meat consumption can help protect the environment. But if you can’t quit meat just yet due to health reasons or preferences, consider meatless days or eating less meat whenever you can.

4. Go plastic-free while shopping for groceries

This one may require a slight effort but in addition to bringing your own shopping bag, opt for products that use little to no plastic packaging at all. Sounds like a stretch? We know it may be challenging but hey, it’s possible! Zero-waste stores like The Hive Bulk Foods, Seedy Zero Waste Store, Go Bulk and A Bit Less Bulk Store keep their ingredients in large jars or containers and all you need to do is bring your own container, bag or even beeswax wraps when you’re purchasing them. So, on your next shopping trip, bring along some lightweight reusable containers, produce bags, mini spice jars or even beeswax wraps.

Featured image: @thehivebulkfoods/Instagram

For more stories on sustainability, click here.

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