Top 10 Small Steps for a more Sustainable Life

Top 10 Small Steps for a more Sustainable Life

When we attend the Brisbane Eco Expo, we always count down the days when we will learn more ways to be sustainable in our daily lives. 

Here are our top 10 steps for a more sustainable life. We hope you'll find them useful.

  1. Bring your reusable bags every time you go shopping. This is an easy one to start with, but harder in practice. The trick for this one I’ve found is to have a few of the small reusable bags that fold up with a clasp so that you can always have a few in your bag. The bigger bags always seem to stay in your car boot. We love our cute range of Justice Bags and our own Washpool bags.

  2. Check for sustainable packaging. You can try going completely waste-free like the Carter family from Spiral Garden, but that might be a bit daunting when you’re just starting out. One small step you can take is to check the packaging of the products you purchase, and if they can’t be composted or recycled, then look at other brands that take more care sourcing their packaging. You might also prefer to purchase items in bulk like our boxes of 10 soaps.

  3. Pick up rubbish when you see it. You could take a bag to collect rubbish when you go for a walk or visit the beach. The Take3forthesea project encourages you to pick up three pieces of rubbish every time you visit the beach. Take 3 pieces of rubbish when you leave the beach, waterway or…anywhere!

  4. Make a mindful effort to shop locally. Whether it is local food and produce, the local florist, gift shop or nursery, buying local counts. Buying local means that you are directly employing people in your local area. It also means less shipping costs on both your wallet and the environment.

  5. Only use washable and reusable containers to store your food and consider reusable beeswax food wraps to replace plastic wraps. We love Apiwraps, but you can make your own too!

  6. For each product you purchase consider what happens to the packaging at the end of the life-cycle. This can be pretty daunting if you think you have to look at all of your products at once, but try just look into one product at each weekly shop - pretty soon you’ll know the good brands from the not so good brands. Is the packaging paper & ink that can break down in your compost bin (like our soap bars)? Is it glass that can be recycled over and over again? Does it have the 1 symbol in the ♻️ triangles - that means it’s PET which is one of the easiest plastics to recycle (most councils will recycle PET). After careful consideration and research) we have chosen to use  PET packaging for some of our products, as we find it the best choice for safety reasons, particularly where children are using the bathroom.  We purchase our BPA-free PET from Ant Packaging in northern NSW "Australia's First Carbon Neutral Plastics Factory". Ant is always working on new earth-friendly packaging solutions and they're within a three-hour drive from Washpool. Melissa (Washpool owner) had a great tour of the Ant factory last week & was inspired by their dedication to sustainability. Locally made, carbon neutral, recyclable and small business is as good as it gets. Often when you receive a parcel from us you’ll notice that we recycle our boxes, We’re not won over by the whole unboxing experience thing when it involves dumping perfectly good reusable boxes and getting new ones made with branding. We think it’s what’s inside the box that counts, so if we have a box on hand we’ll use it.

  7. Buy what you love and then care for those items so you’ll have them to enjoy for as long as possible. Learn how to mend & repair clothes, shoes, household objects. Keep using that plate even if it’s chipped and not perfect, or turn it into mosaic art when it falls apart. Season your cast iron, oil your chopping boards, clean your secateurs after use. Learn what makes things last. Our soaps last longer if they have time to age or “cure” for a few weeks before use. We pre-cure our bars for you here so that they’re nice and hard when you receive them, however, if you’re buying a bargain bag they’re usually freshly cut soaps, as we can hardly keep up with demand. To continue to cure these bars at home leave them standing up with a little space in between in your cupboard. The bonus is that they will infuse your linen with the gorgeous scent of essential oils. ​When using our soaps, they also last longer if you let them dry out on a soap stand between uses. We do have effective plastic soap savers in stock or you could use the leftover loofah from our loofah bars, and sit your soaps on top of them - great air flow and you can also soap up the loofah for a gentle exfoliation.

  8. Take your reusables with you. Leave your water bottle and reusable coffee cup next to your keys and sunglasses so that you always remember to take them when you leave the house.

  9. Choose eco-friendly cleansing products. Check the ingredients - are there lots of unpronounceable names? (Though sometimes naturally derived ingredients do have long scientific names - it pays to research these) Do they contain palm oil or microbeads? Are they biodegradable (particularly important if you live with a septic system - but also important in cities). All our Washpool products are biodegradable, palm oil free, no microbeads & are made with sustainably sourced ingredients (local where possible). When we source from other suppliers we check their eco-credentials as well before we stock them.

  10. Learn. Do your research of other like-minded stores for ideas and inspiration to help with your sustainability journey.