Go Green: Practical tips for how to do your part for the planet
From small, everyday habits to shopping sustainably, it's never been easier to join the eco-friendly movement. Here's our roundup of amazing retailer initiatives to support, as well as small day-to-day changes you can make now that will have a big impact over time.
To the list!
3 easy habits to start today
Who says you need to compromise to go green? These daily deeds may be small, but they add up to a mighty impact on our planet!
1. Love your reusable coffee mug
We all love our coffee. Clutching on that piping hot cup is often what gets us through the morning - and sometimes, the afternoon too. So just think about how many trees you'll save by swapping your daily disposable for a reusable alternative. With an abundance of colours, materials and sizes, you're bound to find your perfect cuppa at Wild Cards & Gifts, David Jones, Myer or Target. Don't forget to opt for one made from glass, ceramic, silicon, metal or wood, and avoid plastic where possible.
The same goes for drink bottles! Purchasing a reusable drink bottle will not only help you to stay hydrated, but it'll also reduce your plastic consumption. As an added incentive, bottled water is also more expensive per litre than petrol, so your wallet will be thanking you, too! Grab yours at Kmart, Big W or Typo.
2. Storm in a teacup
From an antioxidant-rich green to calming chamomile, tea can benefit the body and mind. While one teabag may seem insignificant, the cumulative impact from the world's tea drinkers of the material that goes into teabags is one of the largest, most avoidable by-products of food waste. You can reduce your carbon footprint one teabag at a time but switching to loose leaf tea. You'll find the most delicious brews and nifty infusers at T2, Go Vita or The Reject Shop.
Image source: @t2tea
3. Say goodbye to plastic
While major supermarkets have now removed plastic bags from their checkouts, it's easy to stretch that bit further when you're out and about or at home with these handy tips.
- Pop a few cotton produce pouches into your grocery bags to hold loose fruits and vegetables.
- Buy in bulk, where possible, to reduce packaging materials
- Replace single-use plastic cling wrap for reusable beeswax or silicon alternatives.
- When your plastic containers need a refresh, swap them for more environmentally-friendly metal or silicon options. You can also reuse old glass bottles to give your pantry an insta-worthy rustic look.
- Recycle single-use plastic packaging including produce bags, bread bags, cereal box liners, biscuit wrappers and confectionery packaging, rice and pasta packets and frozen food bags (which can't be recycled through your green bin at home) by dropping them in the allocated bins found in supermarkets, Woolworths or Coles.
Image source: @kmartaus and @ourhomeofbliss
Return and recycle
Many of your most-loved brands are already breaking ground in this space with in-store recycling initiatives. These retailers not only offer a recycling service in-store, some will even reward you for doing so!
Apple's stores, offices and data centres are carbon‑neutral and aim for all their products to be by 2030. With Apple Trade In, you too can do your part by bringing in your old devices to be restored or recycled, in exchange for either credit towards your next purchase or an Apple Store Gift Card. Find out more >
Originating from the markets of Provence, France, L'Occitane now works with over 130 French farmers and 10,000 pickers - from the Immortelle fields of Corsica to the Lavender fields of Provence - to ensure the higest quality, sustainably-sourced ingredients go into their range. In addition to offering eco-refill packs to reduce plastic consumption, you can also bring in your empty beauty products from L'Occitane or any other brand for recycling, to receive 10% off your next purchase of a similar value product. Find out more >
Image source: @loccitaneaus
Whilst we all know and love Lush's bath bombs, soaps and other yummy skincare goodies, the brand has had a proud tradition of swimming against the tide and supporting groups and causes they truly believe in, such as ethical buying, fighting against animal testing and offering preservative-free cosmetics. All Lush PP (polypropylene plastic) product pots are also made from 100% recycled materials. Simply return 5 empty pots to your local Lush shop to be recycled once more and you'll be rewarded with a free fresh face mask of your choice. Find out more >
Image source: @lush_ausnz
With an increasing number of retailers offering sustainable ranges, you'll be spoilt for choice. Check out the exciting, planet-loving products these brands have to offer.
With the goal in mind for all their products to have at least one sustainable attribute by 2020, Country Road uses a host of environmentally conscious materials throughout their range, such as sustainably-sourced cotton, recycled nylon, recycled polyester and recycled brass. Find out more >
Image source: @countryroad
Since 2018, Kathmandu has recycled 16 million plastic bottles into their REPREVE® fabrics, offering clothing, bags and accessories crafted from recycled polyesters. 100% of their cotton is also sustainably sourced through a mix of organic, fairtrade, recycled and Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) cotton. Find out more >
Named the 2019 Responsible Retailer Initiative of the Year at the May 2019 World Retail Congress Awards, Cotton On, in partnership with Business for Development, Base Titanium and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, launched Kenya Cotton. Cotton On funded the training and setup of local Kenyan farms, from which they source their cotton, to help to transition to more sustainable farming practices. The program has not only enabled those farmers to increase the yield of their farms, thereby double their income but will also enable Cotton On to achieve their goal of sourcing a 100% of the cotton used in their range from sustainable sources by 2021. Find out more >
Image source: @cottonon
Long supported by celebrities such as Megan Gale, Miranda Kerr and Lindy Klim, Purebaby not only makes gorgeous designs for bubs, but their clothing and accessories are crafted from environmentally conscious, certified-organic cotton. Find out more >
The Body Shop
Founder Anita Roddick believed that business could be a force for good. With an ambition to become the world’s most ethical and sustainable business, The Body Shop works fairly with farmers and suppliers through their Community Trade programme, produces their plastic packaging mostly from recycled sources, are 100% vegetarian and stand firmly against animal testing. Find out more >
Image source: @thebodyshopaust