The Latch has teamed up with Vitasoy to encourage Australians to make easy and effective sustainable swaps, from buying a reusable coffee cup, to using plant-based milk.
31 days, 31 swaps; your journey towards living a healthy and happy sustainable life with easy swaps that make an impact starts here.
Maybe you’ve started a compost bin, have swapped your lights to LED bulbs, and have committed to running the dishwasher on eco (good for you! All great steps in the right direction). But while your efforts to live a more sustainable life at home deserve a pat on the back, there’s always more to be done when you head out for the day.
Living sustainably means prioritising the environment in every relevant decision you make. It’s choosing to go to bring your lunch to avoid unnecessary packaging; it’s deciding to take the long way home on foot, rather than hopping in the car; it’s putting your money where your mouth is and switching to renewable energy.
Some choices are easier than others depending on your way of life, accessibility to certain services and of course, your means. But there’s no step too small on the journey to an eco-friendly existence, and in this guide, we want to equip you with the easy swaps you can make for the week ahead, starting today:
Monday: Leave the car at home
Challenge yourself to go about your week either without the car or in a way that makes the most of other, more low-impact ways of getting around. If you’re used to driving to work, try driving to the closest station and then catching the train the rest of the way instead (bonus points if you walk or ride your bike to the station!).
Going without your car for the week will not only save you money on petrol, but will make a huge difference to your carbon footprint. Not to mention, getting around on public transport will make you feel like a tourist in your own city, which can actually be quite enjoyable in this time of border restrictions.
Tuesday: Switch up your coffee order
When the coffee craving hits and you need your daily dose of caffeine, might we suggest shaking up your coffee order and trying a plant-based milk instead? One glass of dairy milk produces almost three times more greenhouse gas emissions than any plant-based milk, so by taking your coffee with soy, almond or oat milk, you could cut your coffee impacts significantly. Even better, plant-based milks like those in Vitasoy’s range are nutritious, delicious and taste just as good with your favourite roast (better in our opinion!).
Wednesday: Bring a tote
You’re surely used to bringing reusable shopping bags to the supermarket, but there are still those occasions where you’re caught without a bag. When picking up lunch and grabbing a new piece of clothing, you’re still often handed plastic. Of course, you can recycle these soft plastics at your local Coles and Woolworths, but there is another way you can ensure you’re always covered. When you next leave home, pop a tote bag inside your handbag or jacket pocket. Something lightweight is best that can be folded down into a little square.
Thursday: BYO fork
You’ve got your keep cup (maybe even a couple), but what are you to do when it comes to eating utensils? Buying food out and about means you can’t always avoid a plastic container, but you can absolutely say no to those little disposable extras like sauce containers and plastic utensils. We recommend grabbing a travel utensil pouch like this one from Seed and Sprout. It comes with a bamboo knife, fork, spoon, chopsticks and straw, all wrapped up in a washable cotton pouch. Keep it in your bag and enjoy saying “no thanks!” to those plastic sachets from here on out.
Friday: Browse second-hand
Every year, 17 billion tons of unwanted textiles are also sent to landfill. But this shocking figure doesn’t include the other items people throw away; things like furniture, utensils and decor. Anytime you need anything new, whether it’s a crockpot or winter coat, try sourcing the item at a second-hand shop first. Vintage items add personality to your home, and more often than not, are made from long-lasting durable materials that aren’t applied to goods made today.
Saturday: Shop at the local grower’s market
It’s the weekend! Congrats, you made it. As a Saturday treat, we’re encouraging you to visit the local grower’s market to stock up on organic produce for the week ahead. With reusable bags in tow, enjoy perusing the stalls and shopping for seasonal fruits and vegetables, organic meats, and artisan-made breads. In supporting local growers and makers who prioritise the planet when preparing their foods.
Sunday: Do the right thing
It’s an unfortunate reality that our streets and waterways are littered with rubbish, even with bins placed throughout our cities. It’s not like you’d toss a can out the window of your car, but unfortunately, not everyone has the same respect for the environment. It’s not the most glamorous of swaps, but this Sunday, as you’re going about your business, we challenge you to pick up three pieces of rubbish. Keep hand sanitiser close once you’ve tossed these in the right bins, and be sure to use it to stay clean and healthy. If everyone did this, no one would have to.