Our Guide to Thinking More Sustainably
The climate crisis can sometimes feel like an overwhelming challenge to tackle, but changing the way you think about sustainability can make a huge difference.
In the busy hubbub of day-to-day family life, it's easy to get swept up in the quickest and easiest options when it comes to purchasing, getting rid of waste and travelling from A to B. Sometimes, it feels like there really isn't a second to spare!
Yet, worldwide, we are facing a climate emergency and scientists say that "the overexploitation of the earth" has reached a tipping point. So, what we all do now matters.
We can no longer afford to push our concerns aside, continue to buy fast fashion and consume irresponsibly. However, changing our habits and the way we think about sustainability can be challenging.
At Hiccups & Buttercups, we recognise that it can be difficult to switch into sustainability mode, so we've created a guide on how to think more sustainably and make a change for you and your family.
A big part of thinking more sustainably is making sure that you're up-to-date with all the facts. There's a digital maze out there, and it can be tough to know where to start. However, there are some fantastic resources on the web and beyond that can help keep you in the loop.
Of course, it's always important to approach media outlets and blogging sites with a critical mind and cast a wide net to ensure that you're getting the whole story. That said, tuning in to sites like the ones listed above will help you keep your finger on the pulse, stay informed about sustainability, and change the way you think for the better.
If you're looking for a more in-depth exploration of sustainability and climate change, there are some fantastic books out there too. 'The Uninhabitable Earth' by David Wallace-Wells, will shock you into action with his staggering depiction of a ravaged earth. He emphasises that we have the tools to fight its destruction but that we must act now.
'Ocean of Life: The Fate of Man and the Sea' by Callum Roberts is another shocking but inspiring book that reveals the impact we've had on the oceans and marine life. It offers proven facts and potential solutions to remedy the damage we've done.
Meanwhile, a book that explores how to avoid burnout when fighting the climate crisis is 'A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet' by Sarah Jaquette Ray.
'There's an app for that'
These days there's an app for everything, and luckily that extends to sustainability too. It's important that sustainability becomes more than just a hobby, and using apps is an excellent way to fully integrate it into your life and change your behaviour.
Whether you're looking to learn more about ethical shopping or your environmental impact, there is a wide range of apps that can help you on your journey of discovery.
When you're running around the supermarket trying to shop for what you need before picking up the kids, time is of the essence. You may feel like you don't have a chance to think sustainably while shopping. Luckily, the Giki app does that for you! Using the app, you scan a product's barcode with your smartphone and learn about its sustainability level quickly and on the go.
Meanwhile, Oroeco can help you think more sustainably by allowing you to track your climate impact with its footprint calculator. With greater insight into how your decisions affect the planet, you will feel more encouraged to rewire your brain and make more sustainable choices.
Often, it's easy to overlook the unsustainable nature of personal care and makeup products and choose a very 'in' brand. However, many of the big brands employ harmful practices and use unsustainable ingredients to make their products. Think Dirty is an app that teaches you all about this and rates brands based on the ingredients they use, their certifications and health impacts.
Amazingly, you can now even apply sustainable thinking to your search engine too. Switching from Google to the Ecosia extension lets you plant trees as you surf the web. Last year, it directed all of its search profits to plant trees in response to the Australian wildfires and planted 26,000 trees in a day.
Talk to people
A huge step towards thinking more sustainably is discussing important issues, such as the environment and climate change, with neighbours, colleagues, friends, and those outside your social circle.
Research from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication found that climate change and sustainability discussions can help change people's perceptions. So, openly discussing sustainability can help you educate yourself and expand your horizons.
Chatting with your children about the planet can teach you a thing or two about sustainability too. Children are often much more in tune with nature and the environment, wanting to explore and discover the outdoors, something many of us become disconnected from as we grow up. Spending time with your child in nature can help you reawaken your appreciation for and connection to the planet and think more deeply about ways to preserve it.
Challenge yourself and get involved
Speaking to The National, Ivano Iannelli, chief executive at Dubai Carbon, recently stressed the importance of people challenging themselves regarding sustainability: "To address climate change", he said, "you need to take people out of their comfort zone."
Getting out of your comfort could involve attending a sustainability or climate demonstration, conference or convention. Immersing yourself in these kinds of environments will expose you to new ideas and give you access to further information on sustainability.
Being presented with the facts and the importance of sustainable living is likely to bolster your own attitudes towards the planet and light a spark inside you. Coming together with like-minded people is a great way to think more deeply about sustainability and help you challenge any preconceptions that you might have.Final thoughts
So, if you're a person who's interested in finding ways to think more sustainably, you now have some tools to help you on your journey. Slowing down in this fast-paced world and taking the time to think about our decisions can be transformative.
Thinking more sustainably is not something that will happen overnight, though; it takes dedication and research. So, making small steps each day is a fantastic approach to take and will help you become the eco-warrior you’ve always wanted to be.@hiccupsandbuttercups