Sustainable living is the new normal. Most of us really do want to do our part to lower our carbon footprint but wonder, “how do you do that, doesn’t it cost a lot of money or do you have to put in a lot of time?”. We asked Anne Drake about her 5 most sustainable acts anyone can do.
We are borrowing our planet from our children!
Gothmother of Zero Waste
Anne’s story is pretty atypical. Anne is the woman who made the switch from a job in the plastic packaging industry to the “gothmother” of Zero Waste in Flanders.
Before she started her own business with ecological élan, she worked for many years with her husband Lode, for an international company that produced plastic packaging. Anne did the bookkeeping in the company and Lode was the manager.
Life changing moment
At the end of 2013 Anne happened to see a reportage ‘Plastic Planet’. The name says it all: our planet is polluted by plastic waste and we consume as if there are seven or so planets left as reserves. The documentary hit hard; she had tears in her eyes. She felt that her life would never be the same again.
Sustainable and money saving lifestyle
Anne decided after ‘Plastic Planet’ to turn things around at home and started looking for ecological alternatives to make her own actions more sustainable and healthy.
After a few months Anne noticed that this lifestyle was not only very satisfying, it also saved her a lot of money. Her new conscious and sustainable lifestyle saved her family of five no less than 5000€ in one year!
5 sustainable acts you can do right now
I want that too, you’ll think. Anne gives you all her tips and recipes in her books, but with these five tips you can already ‘do green’ from the comfort of your sofa today.
1. Choose a sustainable bank
We don’t stop to think about it, but we use our bank almost daily, so we better be with the proper one right? Did you know that there is also such a thing as a sustainable bank? For those who don’t only care about the ecological but also the moral or ethical side, this is one to consider. If your bank invests in coal mines, weapons and big bonuses, maybe it’s time to say goodbye. You can check if your bank is investiging in the “wrong” kind of things here.
2. Choose a sustainable, green energy provider
Just as with the right bank, it is important to think about the right energy provider. Green energy is more sustainable and more loving to our planet than the other energy sources. Not sure which one to choose? Then this site will help you on your way.
3. Compensate your CO2 emmision
You can offset your consumption by making your flights, your car and your home carbon neutral. You do this by joining an organisation of your choice where you indicate how much you use. They will then tell you how much you need to pay as compensation. The contributions are very democratic. Your CO2 emissions are compensated in developing countries with sustainable projects such as planting trees, installing better cooking ovens, helping with efficient farming techniques, etc. Anne herself prefers this organisation: Green tripper.
4. Plan a veggie week menu
By eating less (or no meat at all), you make a very important contribution to reducing greenhouse gases. And meat-free cooking is easier, tastier and cheaper than you think. To do this Anne has a very practical week planner you can download on her site. If you need inspiration you can have a look at this site for recipes.
5. Buy more consciously
Nowadays, buying has become so easy. In just a few clicks, we have ordered our favourite items, which are then delivered to our doorstep in record time. So we don’t have to tell you that online shops probably have the biggest impact and environmental footprint. Fortunately, there are green options. Through the platform Cosh! you can find a series of ecolifestyle shops and web shops in just a few clicks.
Do you want more tips? Then get one of her books, or both, through this link.
If you are inspired by Anne’s story and tips, have a look at her blog and eco webshop.