Seven Steps for
Seven Steps for Sustainable Living
by Bec Stott | Director Philanthropy and Enterprise, Anglicare WA
What better way is there to starting a journey to a more sustainable life than starting with a month dedicated to just that. When accepting a challenge to do better for the Earth we have to look at what parts of our lives we can tweak to leave less of an impact on our world for our future generations. So we really should ask . . . what is sustainability?
Sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The concept of sustainability is composed of three pillars: Economic, Environmental and Social – also known informally as Profits, Planet and People.
There are seven easy ways that each of us can work towards making an impact through sustainable living:
- Consider your shopping habits
- Buy and eat local
- Eliminate plastics
- Choose renewable energy
- Create a greener home
- Conserve water
- Consider your driving habits
At Anglicare WA, we work towards enabling people to live a little more sustainably through our Op Shops, which help people to be mindful of their shopping habits. Taking consideration with your purchases is where the largest impact can happen. Op Shopping is one of the most sustainable ways to style yourself, whilst indulging in some guilt-free shopping that funds so many amazing services within the community. On top of this, Op Shops are the last stop for diverting clothing from landfill.
Anglicare WA Op Shops alone divert an astounding 350,000 kgs (350 tonnes) from landfill every year, and while this is an impact we can be very proud of, if we can educate people of conscious purchasing and sustainable living we could further lessen the impact on our Earth.
Our Op Shops rely on donations from the community, but when clearing out your wardrobe some things to consider are:
- Would I gift this to a Friend?
- Have I washed it?
- Is it in sellable condition?
Our team work hard to sort the items for each of our stores, so if the garments are not in sellable condition (stained, ripped, smelly or shrunk) these can still be donated, however we ask you to donate them in a bag labelled rag to save us the time (and the icky job!) of checking the items.
When shopping, a helpful tip is to have these questions saved in your notes on your phone to ask yourself before making a purchase:
- How long will the item provide value or usefulness?
- Will it end up in landfill in the future?
- What materials were they produced from?
- What is the company’s history regarding environmental and social issues?
- What type of packaging did they come in?
So, how can you make September a sustainable one? Write a list of items you are needing to purchase and see how many of those items you can find to purchase in an Op Shop. Next time you’re out shopping take some time and consideration and let’s create a future we want to handover to our future generations.
Be sure to visit one of our Anglicare WA Op Shops and help support the WA community.
Photo courtesy of Jonathon Gladstone
Our Op Shops are not merely places where we can generate income to help others. They are places where the church can interface with the local community.