Small Actions, Big Changes
A lot of people often think that sustainability is a big thing. They also think that a big effort is needed to put in practising sustainability. But, are these statements true?
Yes, I agree that big effort is needed for sustainability, but this big effort is resulted from every small effort that we contributed. I believe that sustainability is a long journey. We might not see the immediate changes right after we take action for sustainability. However, every small action that we take will have a long-term impact on the environment. Sometimes, smaller steps get us further along.
Nevertheless, these little actions are often neglected. A lot of people have the wrong perception of thinking these little actions won’t make any big changes or good impact on the environment, so they feel unmotivated to do it. In fact, these are the actions that will make big changes to the environment. If you feel unmotivated to put in big effort into sustainability, why not you consider taking some small actions that don’t need too much of your time and effort?
I admit that I’m not a person that is concerned much about sustainability, but it doesn’t mean I’m not concerned about the environment. I recognise that I’m not a person that understands sustainability very well, but it doesn’t mean I couldn’t take action to protect the environment.
It is hard for me who don’t know much about sustainability, to share what I know about sustainability. Yet, I still love the environment, I love what our mother nature brings the beauty of the earth to us. Therefore, I would like to share the little sustainability actions that I do every day. I hope that this could inspire you a little bit to start practising sustainability by carrying out some little and easy ways.
1. Bring your own reusable bags for groceries or shopping
I always have these small and handy reusable bags with me in my handbags, even if the purpose of going out is not for groceries or shopping. This is because I never know whether I need a bag. Sometimes, I will see something that I want randomly and buy it, and at that time, I need a bag. Furthermore, every plastic bag that we got from the shop will be charged $0.20, which pushes me to bring my own reusable bag. You might think that it’s just $0.20 for a plastic bag, but if I visit 50 shops, I will be paying $10 in total for the plastic bags and create more wastes which are the 50 unwanted plastic bags. Reusable bags are ecofriendly and reduce the wastes of plastic bags.
2. Sort your own waste
It might be confusing at first when you start doing garbage sorting. Due to the confusion, a lot of people will throw all the rubbish into the general waste bin instead of sorting them out. We live in a modern world where we could easily search for information on the internet. You can easily use the time of watching one episode of drama to learn how to sort the rubbish out.
3. Use your own reusable straw or reusable utensils
Since the implementation of replacing plastic straws with paper straws, I start using my own reusable straws. Whenever I’m using a paper straw, I felt an unpleasant taste, which I don’t like it. I always think that it’s inconvenient to bring reusable straws until I have one. Only then, I realise I could have reduced so much plastic straw wastes. Besides, I can place a pair of chopsticks in my reusable straw containers. Therefore, I will use my own reusable straw and utensil when I buy food and drink in school.
4. Bring your own water bottles
I was influenced by my mother to have a habit of bringing along my own water bottles wherever I go since I was young. Therefore, I’m not used to buying plastic water bottles. Compared to my home country, Malaysia, it’s more convenient to refill water in Australia. There is more water refilling station here and most importantly, tap water is safe to be drunk. It might be common to you but is uncommon to me. This is because tap water is not safe to be consumed directly in Malaysia. The convenience of refilling water in Australia eases the ways to be sustainable. We could reduce waste by bringing and reusing our own water bottles.
5. Support fast fashion in a sustainable way or give away your unwanted clothes
“Fast fashion” is the term that I always heard nowadays, and this trend is getting more and more attention. However, I personally think that we can support fast fashion in a sustainable way. I love buying cheap clothes and am a huge fan of Uniqlo, H&M, Cotton On etc. However, I have worn the clothes that I bought from these shops for more than 3 to 5 years. I will always consider thoroughly whether the clothes are worth buying, and will they be outdated any soon before I buy them. Most of the clothes from fast fashion brands have good quality and could be worn for many years. If I have unwanted clothes, I will give them away to someone that needs it or recycle them instead of throwing them.
Don’t feel rejected for sustainability just because you think you need a deep knowledge of it. Learn sustainability little by little, and start doing it from simple steps. Most of us are just ordinary person and we know that we personally don’t have a big power to influence or make changes to society. Yet, remember that little things could make a big difference. We can be responsible for the environment and contribute our little effort. All our little efforts gathered will make big changes.
Start practising sustainability by taking some small actions! Love your environment, love our earth!