Always check if there are renewable alternatives before buying products packaged in plastic or other fossil-based materials. For example, you can choose chopped tomatoes packed in a carton rather than a tin, and you can buy juice and cottage cheese in carton instead of plastic containers. Certain snacks brands are even starting to look at paper-based options for packaging nuts and chips. A good example of this is cosmetics brands that are now looking into switching plastic tubes to paperboard tubes. Keep your eyes open!
Recycling is important, but not always easy. Find out how recycling works in your local area, so you can dispose of as many items as possible in the correct way. For example, in some countries, a plastic cap on milk- and juice cartons should be left on the packaging and will be separated in the recycling process, while in others the plastic cap should be removed and recycled separately with other plastics. And remember that certain materials can only be recycled a certain number of times. Choosing materials that are renewable as well as recyclable (such as cartonboard) will ease the strain on the earth’s finite resources.
Viscose is a good example of a textile made from natural fibers that come from trees. Not only does it feel smooth against the skin, it's a great material for your training outfit, as it breathes well and stays fresh. Always check the labels when buying clothes so you can make a conscious decision based on the materials used. Natural fibers from sustainably managed sources are preferable over synthetic in the quest for a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
Excessive packaging is never good, but in the case of food there is often a legitimate need to protect the product and prevent food waste. Packaging made from renewable materials like carton board or formed fiber is ideal for preserving fresh produce and keeping your food safe all the way home. After all, you don’t want your eggs to be scrambled inside your shopping bag!
Choice of packaging material is important but often accounts for only a small fraction of the entire environmental footprint of a product. For example, if you buy a take-away coffee, the production of coffee and milk may have a bigger environmental footprint than that of the cup. Recycling the cup however will halve the carbon footprint of the cup itself.
Ok, it’s not always possible to choose the material your house or apartment block is built in, but if you have the opportunity, choose one that's made from wood. Besides being environmentally-friendly and storing carbon for decades, wood can also help avoid heat escaping the home, meaning that less energy is required to maintain the right temperature. Studies also show that living in a wooden house makes people feel good!