A New Year always comes with many good intentions, but not all are realised. Starting with a few small steps is a great way to kick off 2021, and we think making better choices for a healthy home should be a-top of that list.
Here at ENJO, we aren’t really into big New Year's resolutions.
We do however believe that by doing little things, taking small steps, doing something imperfectly perfect, we can make a big difference.
We also believe that what we surround ourselves with is often what we become. This is especially true for the place we call home. In a time where we have spent, and are still spending, more and more time at home, it is more important than ever that our personal environment reflects our values and the mindset we want for ourselves.
Have you ever felt stressed or overwhelmed and felt the need to clear out your fridge or spring clean your wardrobe? That is because a calm, clear, and positive mindset starts with calm, clear, and positive surroundings.
Making conscious decisions for self-improvement can be a small action which when done daily will create long-lasting change and have a bigger impact then you realise.
Start by making better choices for your home, clear the clutter, and clear your mind with these 5 small steps to make 2021 the year of making better choices.
Declutter and give items a second life
Identify items that you no longer need or haven’t used in months (or any timeframe you set for yourself) that can be donated, swapped, or even sold to clear your space and give the goods a second life with someone who’ll appreciate them.
Donations to traditional op shops, local donation drop sites, or other charities that accept contributions is not a new idea, but the purpose or reasoning for doing so has broadened over time. It not only supports the charities and organisations that give back to the community, it also reduces waste and prevents greenhouse gas emissions from items that would sit in a landfill.
With buy, sell and swap groups specific to your community available on social media, this practice is even more efficient and accessible than ever.
A good declutter not only creates space you never knew you had, but it can also help relieve stress, bring a sense of calm to your life, is beneficial for the environment, and is a great place to start.
Replace outdated cleaning products with earth-friendly ones
Not only will you reduce air pollution both indoors and out, minimise exposure to both asthma and allergy triggers, as well as chemicals that can be harmful to your health, but you can also save money and time for things in life where they are better spent.
Be a serial outfit repeater
Fashion may not be something that comes to mind when we talk about sustainability, however, sustainability has become quite fashionable in the retail industry in recent years.
In Australia, more than 500 million kilos of unwanted clothing ends up in landfills across the nation each year. This doesn’t include the 94 million kilos exported overseas.
This is largely a result of ‘fast fashion’. Fast fashion is cheap, disposable clothing that is produced rapidly by mass-market retailers keeping up with the latest trends. This strategy encourages consumers to shop regularly to stay ‘in fashion’ at a cheap price which means they buy more.
Reducing your contribution to the amount of waste that ends up in landfill each year could simply start with buying quality of quantity. Having good quality staples means that the items of clothing you wear regularly will last longer.
Another way could be to research the brand you are purchasing and see if the product is sustainably and ethically produced. Or simply resist the urge to buy items you don’t need and make the most of the ones you already have.
“The most sustainable garment is the one already in your wardrobe” - Orsola de Castro, founder of Fashion Revolution.
Use reusable containers and plastic alternatives
Investing in a good range of reusable containers and plastic alternatives not only offers the joy of a well-organised space but also reduces plastic waste which is a big problem worldwide.
For example, start carrying around a refillable water bottle or bring your reusable shopping bags to the grocery store.
Whether you ditch the single-use plastic sandwich and shopping bags or get serious about recycling, changing your household habits around plastic consumption and disposal can make a huge difference to the environment and make you feel good.
Give everything a really good clean
We all have a cleaning routine that we complete on regular basis, but what about those not-so-regular cleans - did you know that it is recommended to vacuum your mattress once a month? And to regularly clean your washing machine and dishwasher?
Cleaning and maintaining large home appliances is essential to ensure they last as long as possible which benefits you financially, but also the environment.
2.5 million household appliances are discarded each year in Australia and potentially sent straight to landfill. Not to mention the environmental impact of manufacturing these goods when needing a replacement.
Once you are aware of the enormous impact waste and pollution are having on our environment, you begin to understand that your choices, however big or small they may be, do matter. You don’t have to make all the changes overnight; it starts with small actions that can then inspire and influence the people around you to follow suit and make small changes too.
Try these simple steps around the home to refresh and reorganise your surroundings – and make this year one of your best, and most productive, yet!
Interested in how ENJO can help you make better choices?