Global Good's Millennial Guide to Greening Out

New Zealand tends to be known as a clean and green country, but I’m sure our generation has seen it differently. I’ve definitely had to shove other peoples rubbish down in public bins, just so I could add my own to the pile, I’ve tripped over one of the many rubbish bags lining Queens’ Street at night (more than once), and had to remove old plastic waste from the beach so I can tan in peace, however my avocado loving friends, it doesn’t have to remain this way, and it all starts with you!

Have a scroll through for our top 5 tips to starting the journey to a more sustainable you!

Tip 1. Be one with your bin!

The first tip I can give you is to figure out what it is that you are throwing away the most! Keep living your week as you normally would, then before rubbish day arrives, have a look through what you are throwing away, this will help you know where to start with finding sustainable solutions.

I for example was throwing away a lot of empty food packets, straws from morning smoothies, plastic bags, and makeup related items like cotton pads and facewipes!

Tip 2. Start small!

Becoming more sustainable shouldn’t be a costly job, lots of us already live in expensive cities, so start small with the most key changes, and gradually build up your sustainableness (definitely a word).

I started by getting cloth bags from the supermarket, so my weekly shop wouldn’t generate tons of plastic bags, I also bought a couple cheap jars from Look Sharp which I filled up with chocolates, nuts, and snacky foods from the Pick & Mix bins to reduce food packets, and after a few weeks I got myself a reusable set of smoothie straws. I also switched to using a flannel instead of facewipes.

Tip 3. Keep it handy!

Keep a few of your sustainable goods in your car/bag.

One thing I noticed when I first started using sustainable alternatives is that I always forgot them! For the first few weeks I still generated quite a few plastic bags, and food packets, to combat this I always left a cloth bag in my car (came in handy A LOT), and I put a couple straws, plus my reusable coffee cup in my handbag as soon as I washed them. I also kept a lunch box in my boot, to pop in any leftovers from dining out!

extra tip: set a reminder on your phone on shopping day to grab your reusable bags before you leave!

Tip 4. Get on the Gram

Find sustainable groups or pages online to join.

Finding like-minded people online can help a lot with sticking to your goals, I have found a lot of creative tips and tricks by joining a few Facebook groups (Zero Waste in NZ is my fave) and following some useful Instagram accounts.

Tip 5. Have fun with it

Being sustainable doesn’t have to be a pain or an inconvenience, if you focus on the positives of your efforts and have fun with it, it makes the changes so much easier.

Three of my mates and I have Cocktail/Dinner evening each month, and we came up with a fun idea to help us remember our cleaner habits. We all have reusable straws, which we aim to bring along with us, however if someone forgets their straw that evening, they must buy a round as their penalty. Safe to say we don’t often get shouted drinks anymore!

Just from these changes alone my weekly rubbish was at about ¼ of what it used to be, and it didn’t require that much effort, or money!