Sustainability Tips for Beginners
Green Outlook is delighted to introduce our customer Niamh who is studying for her MSc in eCommerce. As part of her course, she is undertaking various marketing activities in areas such as blogging and podcasting. She has interviewed CEO Fiona on Spotify and has written the following blog post for the Green Outlook website. Read on to find out why Niamh chose sustainability as her content theme and her desire to educate people, much like Green Outlook, on how to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.
I started The Suss in February 2021 with just an Instagram account @the_suss_ and a blog site. The aim was to share tips and tricks with my friends and followers on how we can live more sustainably. I was very conscious that there can often be a lot of pressure to be environmentally friendly and sometimes there is judgement involved. I wanted The Suss to be focused on what people are doing for the planet as opposed to what people are not doing. Building an awareness of our carbon footprint is a huge step towards being more eco-friendly, so this was a good place to start. Here’s what I’ve learned so far …
As I mentioned, we need to become more aware and conscious of our own impact on our surroundings. This can be down to the amount of waste we create, the energy we consume, or even how we shop. A sustainable lifestyle is all about creating good habits and constantly checking in with ourselves in terms of how we can improve. The first lesson to be learned is that as long as you’re making an effort, you’re doing great. As Fiona mentions in episode three of The Suss Podcast, you don’t have to be using all sustainable products or foraging in the woods to make an impact.
Fashion is somewhere that I can definitely improve with regard to sustainability. The world of fast fashion is all too captivating, where celebrities and influencers are constantly sharing outfits and styles that are hard to resist. I’m guilty of ordering clothes I will never wear without questioning the origin of the pieces.
While running The Suss, I’ve learned that we need to be aware of ‘greenwashing’. Greenwashing is where deceptive marketing is used to persuade the public that a certain brand’s products, policies and aims are sustainable. While plenty of brands are definitely making an effort in terms of being more eco-friendly in their production, it’s trendy to be ‘green’ and we have to watch out for false claims of sustainability.
I’ve also been reminded of the importance of ‘wardrobe audits’. Before you buy new clothes, take a look at what you already have. Invest in good quality clothing that’ll last you a long time and consider upcycling pieces. When you’re ready to part ways with clothes, donate them to a local charity shop or clothing bank – or if this isn’t an option, make sure you recycle. Another way to be more sustainable with regard to fashion is to buy from vintage stores and charity shops. You’ll often happen across gems and will save money in the process.
You don’t have to be vegetarian or vegan to help the environment through diet. It’s still important to support local farmers and producers! Before you go grocery shopping, start by considering how much food you actually need. This will help you to reduce the amount of waste created. Being prepared is more sustainable, but it will also save you money on food you don’t need and you’re more likely to stick to a healthy diet. Try to purchase loose fruit, vegetables, and bread. Cutting down on the amount of packaging you take home is a great step. Where possible, shop with local grocers and producers or at markets. Not only is it fantastic to support local businesses but opting for local produce helps you to reduce your carbon footprint as the items don’t have far to travel to get to you.
Fiona also believes there is balance to be found between Ireland’s agriculture industry and the Irish diet
The final point that’s been hugely important as I continue on my sustainability journey is the value of education around the topic. I’m constantly learning more! There is no shortage of resources where you can gain knowledge and tips on how to treat the planet better. Social media can be a very negative place, but I’ve found some amazing accounts that share fantastic insights around sustainability and advice on how to be more eco-friendly such as Green Outlook. Look for hashtags like #sustainablelifestyle or #sustainablefashion on Instagram and Twitter to find like-minded people.
“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” – Anne Marie Bonneau