Every day, it’s possible to make better choices by purchasing and using sustainable products that have less of an adverse impact on the planet. Whether it’s what we eat, how we travel or the products we buy and use in our homes and workplaces, we can commit to living sustainably and help reduce our environmental footprint. 

Choosing Sustainable Work Practices

If you’re looking to incorporate more sustainable products into your workplace, the Greener Choices range is a great place to start.

Every product in the range can be reused, recycled or composted, or are made from materials that have a low environmental impact. Opt for printer paper that’s made from recycled materials and is recyclable again, like this J.Burrows Recycled A4 Paper – which supports the Restoring Australia initiative. Then ensure your office is kitted out with paper recycling bins, with one placed strategically next to every printer and copier. 

Encourage your co-workers to be conscious of their paper usage and to print double-sided where possible. Another sustainable office solution is to set up paperless systems for filing and note-taking, with staff using laptops, tablets, scanners, hard drives and cloud technology. 

When it’s time to source stationery, like pens, pencils and sticky notes, keep an eye out for eco-friendly options. We like these BIC ECOlutions pens because they’re made from 74% recycled materials and feature smooth-flowing ink. And these Post-its boast a plant-based adhesive, as well as being made from recycled paper. 

What to Try

Sustainable office solutions include recycling and creating a paperless office.

SEE ALSO: How To Adopt Sustainable Business Practices

Make Your Kitchen More Sustainable

Take steps towards running a more sustainable house by starting in the kitchen. Where possible, swap single-use plastics for reusable or environmentally-friendly options. Before you head out for the day, fill a drink bottle with water and grab a reusable cup for your morning coffee. If you need to use a napkin or straw, opt for biodegradable paper ones. 

A packed lunch is not only healthier and more cost-effective, it’s also better for the environment too. By eating leftovers or making yourself a sandwich at home, you’re helping to reduce food waste – a huge issue in Australia with 7.6 million tonnes of food going into landfill each year. We love this Smash glass bento lunch box or try this Decor Lunchbreak Lunch Box – it’s the perfect size for a sandwich. Also, don’t forget to sort your kitchen waste into bins or buckets: one for compost-friendly scraps, one for home recycling, and perhaps a double-compartment bin option so you can separate general waste from your recyclable soft plastics. 

What to Try

Eliminate single-use plastics and instead use sustainable kitchen utensils and accessories.

Living Sustainably at Picnics and Parties

Sometimes reusable items just aren't an option. If you're planning an outdoor event or a big party, disposable cups, cutlery and plates simply make sense. You can, however, still shop smart and hunt down party supplies made from sustainable materials like wood, paper and sugarcane pulp. These BioPlates are microwave- and freezer-safe and can be placed in the compost bin when no longer needed. The range also includes these clever coffee cups with a special bioplastic inner lining that’s made from plants rather than oil. And don’t forget the napkins, cutlery and chopsticks – you can find eco-friendly options for all of these – and you can even get compostable garbage bags, for cleaning up any waste after the event. 

Hot Tip: At the end of the day, try to take your rubbish home and sort it into its correct bin for recycling or composting.

What to Try

When planning a picnic or party, use plates, cups and utensils made from sustainable materials.

SEE ALSO: More Sustainable Packaging Ideas for Small Business

Sustainability for Kids at Home and School

Make greener choices when you choose the products you buy for your kids, starting with the playroom. Avoid purchasing more plastic toys, and buy them sustainable gifts instead. Did you know toys and games made from wooden materials are more eco-friendly? Wood is a renewable resource and it can be sustainably sourced to make cool things, like puzzles, blocks and musical instruments. These items are not only better for the environment, they’re also durable, educational and look good in your home.

Then it’s time to tackle the craft box. When shopping for art supplies, aim for items that are vegan, free from plastic or made from recycled materials. This Kadink Recycled Butchers Paper Pad is a sustainable choice for painting and drawing. For cut-and-paste activities, try this Bostik Green Stik – it’s glue made from 77% natural ingredients and the container is made from recycled materials – and these Fiskars scissors are made from 100% post-consumer plastic. Look for the words “non-toxic”, “washable” and “water-based” when buying paint, inks and markers – that means these products are free from harmful chemicals and are safer for both the environment and your kids.

What to Try

Teach them about living sustainably from a young age with wooden toys and environmentally friendly craft materials.

Sustainable Living at the Shops

 Become an advocate for sustainable living by riding your bike and taking reusable bags to the shops.

Going shopping? First up, don’t forget your reusable shopping bags so you don’t need to buy plastic ones. Next, consider shopping locally and either walking or riding your bike to the nearest store (yay for pollution-free modes of transport!). 

Once you get there, keep an eye out for products with sustainable packaging. Little to no soft plastics is best – instead aim for cans, PET bottles, paper, cardboard boxes and sleeves. Show your support and spend with the companies who offer more eco-friendly processes and packaging, and provide feedback to those companies who could improve their sustainability practices. 

Planning your shopping can help avoid impulse buys that can end up going to waste. Remember that every single item you buy has a footprint, from the way it was made to how it was shipped to the store. Before you hit the registers or add to your shopping cart, consider if you truly need it.

What to Try 

SEE ALSO: Practical Ways Schools Can Become More Eco-conscious