Is it your goal in 2019 to start being more conscious about the environment and watching your habits and actions, but have no idea where to start? Try these six tips to make a difference.
1. Educate yourself
Researching about the environment is a fantastic place to start if you’re fairly new to environmental issues or you are looking to touch up your knowledge of the subject. The internet (and my blog, Gippsland Unwrapped) is full of useful information that can help you better understand and develop an awareness of environmental issues like waste and consumption.
Be sure to educate yourself before you start implementing actions, as it’s always good to understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. For example, many people jump into the zero waste movement by buying new things – there can be more appropriate ways to have an impact.
Try expanding your horizons as well in terms of resources, so that you gain a holistic perspective about the environment and its issues. While the internet may have loads of articles, look at books and maybe even public speeches to see what knowledgeable professionals are saying about the topic.
- Start Living Plastic Free Without Spending A Cent
- 3 Guidelines For Successful Plastic Free And Zero Waste Living
- Our Plastic Free, Zero Waste Family Home (Your Complete Guide)
2. Teach others and share
Once you’ve gathered your knowledge base it’s only right to share what you’ve learned with people you know. They say education is a powerful weapon, so using your “ammo” to help spread awareness is very important.
Sharing what you’ve learned with people (more than just family and friends) has never been easier with social media now part of our everyday lives.
Social psychology research tells us that social media is a tool of cultural change and can actually mold our society’s value system. It plays a large role in influencing consumption patterns and lifestyle.
So, the more we portray sustainable consumption habits and lifestyles, the more chance we have at creating sustainable social norms and a more sustainable future.
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3. Set an example
One easy first step for being more environmentally aware this year is to be mindful of your waste and to properly recycle. In your home, try taking simple steps like getting separate waste bins to help you remember to separate waste from recycling, or to store certain items in until you are ready to take them to a recycling drop off location.
Setting an example not only makes you feel great but also raises environmental awareness in people around you. Your actions might start conversations about why you do certain things, and also helps people to see sustainable behaviours as normal, leading them to think about their own behaviours and adapt to fit in.
More information: Recycling in Gippsland.
4. Try fundraising
If you’re looking for a more “hands-on” experience, getting some friends or family together to raise money for an environmental cause is a great way to raise awareness. There are tons of ideas out there for throwing a successful fundraiser, and organising an event like this has never been easier.
Walk-a-thons and recycling drives are always great ideas and can lead to a big turnout, but don’t be afraid to try more unique fundraising ideas that might resonate better in a more niche community.
Fundraisers are a win-win as well, because not only are you raising money and awareness, but you also meet new people and connect with more inspired people who can carry out and spread the message you’re trying to advocate for. There are so many great charities to choose from as well, so try getting active in your community!
5. Join a local group
Other ways of raising awareness in yourself and others include joining a local environmental group or activity, or starting one yourself. This is a great way to do some good while meeting new, inspiring people who can teach you more about the message you’re trying to advocate for.
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These legends – Emily, Lisa, Kirsty, Erin and Che from @zerowastevictoria – did an awesome job organising Victoria's first Zero Waste Festival today at Brunswick 👏🏻❤️ I'm pretty chuffed they asked me to be part of it! 😊Head over to Zero Waste Vic to see all the action and others fighting the #waronwasteau. Ladies, I hope you're back home resting up now 😴, you deserve it. #womenagainstwaste #zerowastefestival
6. Stop waste at the source
If you really want to make a difference, it is essential to raise awareness within businesses, governments and media too. They need to know we care about environmental issues and the impacts of their operations on the planet.
You can write letters, sign petitions, make submissions during public consultation periods, leave messages via social media, invite staff to be part of your events, or participate in peaceful rallies.
- An Open Letter To Business Managers
- Ask Businesses To Take Responsibility For Their Waste
- You Have An Opportunity To Demand Product Stewardship & End Planned Obsolescence
- Orang-utans Need Your Help NOW, Here’s What To Do
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Look at this! My simple request while placing my order has had a wonderful outcome. It got @ecoyarns thinking more about their packaging options and searching for better solutions. I'm really happy to have been surprised by their post today. I always say that each action and each request plants seeds of change. Even if your request is turned down, someone else might come along and make the same request, and gradually change happens – or more quickly as is the case here! #Repost @ecoyarns ・・・ @gippslandunwrapped asked for her order to be plastic-free. That was the first time someone had made such a request and we were more than happy to oblige. The fibres she ordered were wrapped in tissue and were posted in the "old school" paper AusPost tough bags. Tammy was very happy with her packaging and the beautiful fibre.⠀ .⠀ This got us thinking and we would like to hear your opinion. What are your thoughts on us switching to tissue paper to wrap fibres?⠀ .⠀ We normally use resealable plastic bags for fibre orders and AusPost plastic satchels. The logic is that the resealable plastic bags will keep the fibres clean and dry through the postal system and the customers will store the fibres in these bags for a long time. We also hope the bags get reused again afterwards.⠀ .⠀ Switching to tissue wrapping and still using the AusPost satchel is a small improvement as the satchel should reduce the risk of rain damage to the fibres and yarn inside. It is not as perfect as going plastic