Homes

Easy eco-friendly habits for sustainable living

When it comes to adopting eco-friendly habits, NADIA and Your Home and Garden magazine features editor Fiona Ralph has many tips to share.

As a features editor with a focus on sustainability, Fiona lives and breathes the green lifestyle; she collects the soft plastics for her work team – taking them to the supermarket to recycle when the box gets full, picks up litter on the street or beach if it crosses her path and always tries to give unwanted items a new lease of life before they get relegated to the rubbish bin.

For Fiona, actions like these are second nature and her environmentally conscious tips are endless. Here are a few of her favourite, easy-to-adopt habits for living more sustainably.

Search op-shops for vintage and second-hand clothing

"I shop second hand or buy ethically made pieces to try to reduce waste from the clothing industry and ensure I'm not supporting unethical manufacturing conditions. I borrow and swap clothes with friends and family and frequent op-shops, vintage stores and flea markets. When I get sick of my clothes, I donate them to charity. When donating your pre-loved clothing, make sure your pieces are in good condition to ensure the charity doesn't have to pay to dispose of them if they're unsellable."

Say no to straws

"I try to remember to ask for no straw when I order a drink at a café or restaurant as for me, personally, straws are such small, unnecessary pieces of single-use plastic that can easily end up in the ocean. I have my own reusable aluminium straw for those times when a straw is 'essential'."

Remember your reusable container

"When I can, I take my own reusable container to get sushi or takeaways, and carry my own cutlery and reusable drink bottle. If I don't have a cup or container on me, I go #toplessforthesea – ask for no lid, that is! You have to always be on your toes to try and cut down on waste."

Make your special occasions eco-friendly

"When my husband and I got married last year, we tried to make the event as sustainable as possible. My dress and much of my husband's ensemble were bought second-hand from Trade Me, the vases and napkins were vintage or borrowed and we avoided buying anything disposable. We even made sure our beer and wine was sourced from local suppliers. Kegs for the beer helped to reduce our waste, too."

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