How to be more environmentally friendly in 2019

Publish Date
Tuesday, 8 January 2019, 1:16PM

As of the 1st of Jan, supermarkets have stopped selling plastic bags in an effort to help the environment. So what can you do to be more ethical and eco-friendly?

Here are 7 small changes you can make, that will have a big impact on our planet:

1. Use a reusable cups and straws

309 million takeaway cups are used every year in New Zealand. And although this one is pretty basic, it's also probably one of the easiest changes to make ( most places will also give you a discount as an added bonus).

And why stop at cups? Using metal or bamboo straws cuts down on single-use plastic, saves the turtles and did we mention they're also super cute? You can find these almost anywhere, including these cute sets from Kmart for just $3!

2. Op shop/ buy second hand

Sure, not all op shops will have just what you're looking for, but the more you shop second hand the more you reduce your impact on the planet.

Shopping from Facebook groups, apps such as Carousell and local op shops will also help you find one-of-a-kind items that everyone will be jealous of! 

3. Check a brands ethical status

Sometimes you just can't resist a sale, but next time you're at the mall or shopping online, search the brand on the Good On You app, and it'll tell you just how ethical the brand really is.

The app is easy to use, and not only tells you what the brand does to create a better impact on the environment, as well as offering alternative brands with a better score.

4. Reusable bags aren't just for groceries!

Reusable bags are great for carrying your groceries and limited the number of single-use plastic bags in the world, so why not take on when you go shopping too?

Kiwi's use 673 million single-use shopping bags every year, so anything we can do to cut down, is better for our planet and the world's wildlife.

5. Meat-free days

This one isn't as basic as some of the others, but meat-free days can be a great way to cut down and help Mother Earth.  Meat production is a leading cause of climate change and water depletion, due to the resources it requires.

Going without one meat burger per week is the equivalent of taking your car off the road for 515km. For Meat-free day recipe inspo, check out Meat Free Monday NZ.

6. Ditch the plastic wrap!

Most of us use plastic wrapping when it comes to storing or transporting foods. But there are so many options that impact the environment way less! Options like glass containers or mason jars, wax paper and cloth are all great alternatives, but one of our favourites is wax wraps. 

You can learn how to make your own, or find them in stores all around the country. They work a lot like plastic wrap, except you can wash them and use them multiple times, unlike the plastic kind!

7. Switch up your makeup

It's 2019 and more brands are becoming cruelty-free than ever! Covergirl, Too Faced, and Elf are just three of the huge number of our favourite brands that are cruelty-free, meaning they vow not to test their products on animals. 

Sadly places such as China require companies that sell in their country to test on animals, so many companies have even pulled out of these markets in order to look after our animal friends!

A full list of cruelty-free brands and even some vegan brands can be found here.