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3 easy things to strengthen your sustainable lifestyle and keep more cash in your pockets

March 18, 2020

3 easy things to strengthen your sustainable lifestyle and keep more cash in your pockets

The success of us as individuals, society, and businesses as a whole has been sadly linked with mass consumption. We are often persuaded to spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need.  Today, we are facing challenging circumstances where we need to adapt quickly. We have to change the way we do things. Instead of returning to business as usual as soon as possible, we should challenge us to reduce our consumption and adapt to a more sustainable lifestyle for the future. Out of crisis comes creativity and our well-being depends not on being consumers but on being part of a community and helping each other. 


1. Our clothes are doomed for the landfills

This really shocked me.

You drop off a bag after with your last season clothes at the red cross and expect the donation piles will get an extended life.

Sadly though, only 20% are reused or recycled, 80% of discarded textiles are doomed for the landfill or incineration.

The clothing that ends up in landfills can sit there for 200-plus years, and as it decomposes, it emits methane—a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon.

Right now, less than 1% of collected clothing is recycled into new yarns and fibers.

So, what can we do to save our clothing from a landfill?

We need to extend their life and ensure good quality. By becoming the keepers of or clothes, choose high-quality and earth-friendly methods for laundry.

Earth-friendly laundry day, yeah!

By choosing earth-friendly methods for laundry day you prolong the life of your clothes.

And it’s not even hard to do.

  1. Be lazy. Don’t do laundry too often. By that I don’t mean that you should waltz around covered in stains and dirt, it just means that you probably don’t have to wash clothes, towels, and sheets after using them for a day, or even a few days if they aren’t visibly dirty.
  2. Clean the stain instead of the whole garment. If your garment is only dirty in one teeny spot, just clean the stain and don't put it in the washing machine.
  3. Switch from hot to cold. Switching from hot water to cold or warm your clothes will last longer as heat can break fibers down
  4. I recommend using biodegradable detergents. All of that soap and volatile, stain-removing stuff has to go somewhere. I doubt that the fish, invertebrates, and microorganisms living in our waterways want anything to do with it.
  5. It's super green to hang your clothes out to dry instead of using the dryer. The dryer uses a significant amount of energy. It can also shorten the life of your clothes because of shrinkage and other wear and tear on the fabric.

Hang your clothes on a clothesline or drying rack to save energy and your clothes.

Simply keep in mind at all time that whatever you do, it matters.

Double the life of your clothes

By doubling the life of clothing from one to two years, we can help reduce emissions from clothing production and disposal by as much as 24%.

  1. Fix the pieces when possible.
  2. Wash less.
  3. Buy higher quality.
  4. Choose stronger fabric.

Spend more time fixing some of the gently worn pieces that are already in our closets. It’s pretty easy to sew on missing buttons, patch small holes, and learn correct washing methods to give our favorite tops and bottoms an extended shelf life.

2. The more I pay the more I value the things I buy.

As a consequence, there is less waste.

”Choose quality over quantity and you are one step closer to increasing the well being of all life on our planet"

Heidrun founder of Dimmbla

“This is expensive” is a common statement about sustainable products.

I say you should rather ask how is it possible to offer a cheap product and still be accountable.

Imagine this: One of four clothing purchases made by citizens of Hong Kong ends in the garbage after being used only once or twice. The most common reason is low quality or that the clothes didn’t fit.

"When people buy low-quality clothes they care less". Think about it, do you really care as much if your $5 shirt gets ruined in couple of months.

As a result, millions of clothes end up in the landfill every year.

If we continue to go shopping and expect to buy a dress for a few dollars then we might be aware that it’s not going to last us long. It’s often mass-produced at a low cost.

Also, it’s often made by factories that are cutting corners on safety and health, and I think we can all agree that's not right, at low cost.

Carbon-neutral living

Many people may not do a lot to save the environment but are careful to not make it any worse.

It is called living carbon neutral. If you embrace a natural lifestyle that mandate generally extends to what’s hanging in your closet.

Namely, clothing made from sustainable, natural materials. While these natural materials can be slightly more expensive.

The long-term benefits to your health easily pay off.

No matter what choices you make as part of your natural lifestyle you are only as healthy as the world around you.

Who will benefit? The planet benefits from environmentally friendly clothing.

Because it means one less person is buying chemically-treated, mass-produced clothing, fewer pollutants are ending up in our water and waste facilities.

Sadly, with fast fashion, the result is cheap production and a throwaway mind-set.

Let's reverse this process.

Become more present and mindful of the choices you make.

You can commit to shopping sustainably, with the intent to preserve the environment

In your effort to minimize your ecological footprint, you can shop second hand, reduce packaging and save energy.

You can:

  • Shop smarter
  • Read on the labels
  • Check the materials.

I have a list of sustainable brands that have become my favorite and have helped me reduce my impact on the environment in one way or the other.

The list is constantly growing but I carefully choose the brands I love:

3. Simplify your life

Simplifying as much as possible is the first of two essential steps for kick-starting a sustainable life.

This includes surrounding yourself with only the things that you use and need.

Ditch things that aren’t meaningful or valuable to you. This makes a huge difference and often reduces stress.

Take a full inventory

Shifting to a sustainable lifestyle may involve making radical shifts in how we spend our days. Integrating these changes into our lives involves first shifting toward wanting to make each change.

Making smaller changes leads to a larger change as the benefits of each change become clear. What follows is an effective path for shifting into a sustainable lifestyle.

Take a thorough inventory of your life:

  • Your purchases of products and services
  • Your modes of transportation.

 It helps you understand how you are living now to identify and shift away from unsustainable choices.

Surround yourself with only the things that you use and need.

Ditch things that aren’t meaningful or valuable to you. This makes a huge difference and often reduces stress.

  • Organize your home with boxes and bins. Make it easier for you to put things away. Make everything a one-handed operation.For example, don't hide your laundry basket in the back of the closet. Instead, use an open bin that you can throw your clothes into from across the room.
  • Avoid lids and use open containers for things you use often like toiletries and cooking supplies. It makes it easier to put them away. The fewer steps, the better the organizing system

Only keep in your life things and activities that you find useful.

Get rid of things you don't need and cut out any activities that don't add value to your life. This is an effective way to start a sustainable life.

Declutter, declutter, declutter

By creating a decluttered home, you start with the intention to live sustainably. You will get rid of a lot of garbage that you no longer need.

It is a way to let go of the past and become focused on how you want to live your life going forward.

When you start to get organized, don’t run out and buy storage supplies immediately. First, evaluate why you have so much stuff, to begin with, not find new ways to house your junk.

You won't have any idea of what you need in terms of containers or shelving until you've gotten rid of things.

Simplifying also leaves you committed to not re-clutter your life. You end up buying much less at stores – which makes it easier to buy sustainably.


Keep in mind

Our everyday decisions, at home, as well as work, determine our performance.

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed while adapting to a sustainable lifestyle ..it is understandable.

So start with small sustainable action each day.

You can think about it like school grades, you don't fail out because you got less than 100%.

The fact that you care at all - that's the kind of energy we need more of in the world. 

We don't need a few people doing it perfectly we need a lot of people doing it imperfectly.



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