Article by: Beatriz C.
Edited by: Kylie C.
Photo from: Toulouse Business School
As consciousness about the world’s environmental issues increases, people are becoming more motivated to make a change and shift to a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. However, it can be truly difficult to start. Often times, people are unmotivated to reduce plastic usage because it can come across as difficult or they simply don’t know how to do it. Being more sustainable doesn’t necessarily mean you will immediately start a zero waste lifestyle- there is a huge buildup to that point. ISM is very supportive and continuously encourages sustainable lifestyles, so we decided to compile five easy changes that will reduce your waste production and resource consumption.
1. Replace your plastic water bottles with a reusable metal one NOW!
Although this may be the most apparent way to reduce plastic consumption a surprising amount of people in the ISM community still don’t do this. It is extremely important to stay hydrated at all times, whether you are playing a sport, walking around high street or going to the movies with your friends. It may seem more convenient to buy a plastic water bottle to avoid the weight of bringing your own in the moment. But try replacing that thought with this one: It is much better to have to carry a 500 gram water bottle of your own than adding to the already 1.6 million square kilometer Great Pacific garbage patch. Killing sea creatures and decreasing biodiversity is a much worse problem than carrying a small water bottle.
2. Avoid buying new clothes so often
Try swapping clothes with friends, cousins or siblings once you are tired of your own clothes. The longer the item can be used for, the better! If you really have no one to trade your clothes with anymore, donate to a charity, service club or anyone in need. Especially in a country like the Philippines where poverty is so prominent, there will always be someone extremely happy to accept your second hand items. This is a much better alternative than throwing it away. The reason why buying so many articles of clothing is bad, is mostly due to how the clothes we buy are made. The conditions for sweatshop workers in countries like Bangladesh, where most of our favourite brand’s clothes are made, include working tirelessly to get underpaid, potentially catching diseases from unprotected applying of pesticides, as well as the the amount of water needed to produce a t-shirt. The list could go on and on.
3. Time your showers
Water consumption does fall into the category of environmental issues, despite many forgetting about it. We are extremely privileged at ISM to have access to clean, unlimited water in a country where many don’t. Especially now, in a time of drought, if you still have water, make sure to time your showers! A shower should take no longer than five minutes. Earth has 1% fresh water: this is a precious resource, and plus, there will be a cheaper water bill if once you get into the habit of shorter showers.
4. If there is a plastic free alternative, use it!
Soap bars, shampoo bars, metal straws and beeswax wrap are just a few examples. If you look for it hard enough, there will be a plastic free alternative to almost everything. And sure, it may be a little harder to use, or maybe a little more expensive, or harder to find, but it truly pays off to have the feeling that you are doing the right thing and contributing to a revolutionary movement of waste reduction.
Look forward to seeing your green acts in action, bearcats!