We only have one planet, and although many people express their interest and concern about climate change, studies have shown that only a very low percentage actually do their bit to help preserve it. New Zealand is famous for being ‘clean and green’, and we’re lucky to live in a country that is making changes to become more environmentally friendly. Just this year, Countdown supermarkets got rid of single-use plastic bags, and slowly but surely, plastic straws are being phased out of restaurants. But even you can make a small change that can have a big impact.
We’ve put together 5 simple ways that you can become more eco-friendly and do your bit to help save our beautiful planet.
SKIP DISPOSABLE BOTTLES
Skip plastic disposable bottles and instead invest in a quality drink bottle that will last. Did you know that 91% of plastic water bottles end up in our landfills each year? Plus, drinking from plastic bottles can actually change the taste of the liquid inside! Stainless steel drink bottles are a great alternative as they last years, can easily be cleaned out, and they keep your drink extra cold (or extra hot). There’s also some great options with built in tea infusers.
We especially love IkoIko’s great range of drink bottles which come in a range of funky colours and patterns.
USE RECHARGABLE BATTERIES
With so much technology in each of our homes, it’s easy to buy the cheapest batteries on the market to quickly get the home remote or other gadget back up and running. However batteries are made up of many chemicals and these are extremely toxic and actually cause pollution in our soil and in our oceans. Buying rechargeable batteries will save you money in the long run, and also tend to last longer. You’ll also find that you’re never out of working batteries!
MAKE THE SWITCH TO LED
Ever notice how hot regular lightbulbs can get? That’s because a lot of the energy within the lightbulb actually gets wasted as heat, with only some of that energy being converted into light. LEDs are 80% more efficient – with 95% of their energy converting into pure light, and not a lot of heat. Not only does this make them safer, but it also saves you money on power. LEDs are also available in multiple colours and can be wifi or Alexa enabled for an extra cool factor.
TRY NATURAL CLEANING PRODUCTS
Although cleaning products are supposed to get rid of messes, they can cause a bigger mess for our environment. Many of these are packed with harmful chemicals – which can also be harmful to you and your family when used in excess or accidentally inhaled. Making the switch to plant-based products makes for a toxic-free household – and is also a better option for those that suffer from allergies. Many natural cleaners are also packaged in biodegradable bottles, which is also an added bonus.
We especially love the Eco Store range available here.
ADAPT AN ORGANIC BEAUTY REGIME
Many of us are guilty of having a bathroom filled with lotions and potions – everything from our cleansers, moisturisers, toothpastes, shampoos & conditioners and hairspray – but so many of these products contain toxic ingredients and are packaged in plastic packaging that can’t be broken down. Did you know that in the US, many of the toothpastes we use here now have to have a poison warning on every tube? Imagine what that’s doing to your insides! Making the switch to organic products is much better for your skin – as the chemicals in other products can clog your pores and lead to wrinkles and other signs of aging.
One of our favourite skincare brands is the Skinfood range, which is readily available in NZ supermarkets.
CHANGE YOUR TRAVEL HABITS
With so many accessible public transport options in Auckland, making small adjustments to the way you travel doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Opt to bike or walk to work over summer instead of taking the car, or take an uber, zoomy or carpool with a friend to reduce the amount of cars on the road. Not only will you save money on fuel (and often arrive faster with the amount of fantastic bus and bike lanes), but you’re also decreasing the amount of pollution in the air and also saving greenhouse gas omissions which occur from driving a car.
Bosch E-bikes are a great option if you’re looking for bike to get started.