Say no to newness!
How we spend our cash is a key part of tackling our carbon footprint, more new stuff uses precious resources and energy and water to make. Did you know one t-shirt requires the same amount of water as three full baths?
Did you know? Around 30% of clothing in the average UK wardrobe has not been worn for over a year, most often because it no longer fits. Also, an estimated £140 million worth of used clothing is thrown into landfill every year. That’s equal to 350,000 tonnes or 27,777 buses!
Sadly recycling isn't the answer either, we must first reduce the amount of everything we buy.
A tricky challenge, when our society is based upon consumerism and we receive messages constantly to buy more. Manufacturers specifically design products with a short life expectancy so we buy more of them. Models are upgraded so we need the latest version. We are told that our lives will be better, we'll be happier, we'll find love, we'll have more friends if we buy the latest gadget.
We must work together to break the mould and change the system, we need to talk about giving and getting second-hand presents, to brag about our charity shop finds, to share things like lawn mowers and ladders, to fix things. And when we do buy new things, as we invariably will, we must shop thoughtfully.
ZERO WASTE GIFTS
Here are some great zero waste gift ideas for your loved ones…
1. Time spent together – movie night, picnic, afternoon tea in the garden.
2. Toy library subscription or membership to a charity e.g. National Trust, Devon Wildlife Trust.
3. Tasty home-baked treats – chocolate brownies, cupcakes, biscuits or if you grow some delicious fruit in your garden you could make some jam.
4. Rewilding starter kit with a homemade blue heart and seed bombs.
5. Plants and seeds for an allotment or planter.
6. Donation to a charity on their behalf, or adopting/ sponsoring an animal with WWF UK, Born Free Foundation or Wildlife Trust UK.
7. Digital entertainment memberships such as: Spotify, Netflix, Audible.
8. Zero waste books – E-books or second hand books.
BUY SECOND HAND
A shift to more sustainable shopping practices requires us to appreciate what we already have. Shopping second hand is an excellent way to act with our wallets and change the economy for the better. Charity and second-hand shops have excellent product control procedures, which means the clothes are of the highest quality. You can get the clothes you want for a fraction of the cost. There are lots of ways to buy second hand online, but you can also buy from charity shops online too, here is a directory of some online charity shops.