On World Environment Day, we’ve asked our friends and colleagues fighting the good fight for advice on the actions we can take to lighten our tread. Some of these 16 suggestions are small and simple but all of us and all of these actions collectively can help the regeneration of our planet. Remember what the Dalai Lama says:  “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

1. Refuse plastic shopping bags from all stores, not just for groceries. Make this commitment and proudly take your own reusable bag every time you shop. Hayley McLellan, Environmental Campaigner

 

2. Line your small kitchen bin with newspaper so that no plastic bin liners of any kind are required. If recycling and composting are practised then the paper will suffice for hygiene purposes. Hayley McLellan 

 

3. Carry your own reusable water bottle. It’s so important to keep hydrated and we are lucky enough to have safe drinking water in South Africa. Even though most water bottles are made from recyclable plastic, think of the unnecessary waste of resources used to make the bottle which could be avoided by using your own. Aaniyah Omardien, Founder and director of The Beach Co-op

 

4. Avoid using plastic straws. If you can use your mouth to sip then that’s the best alternative, otherwise use bamboo, metal, glass or paper straws. Aaniyah Omardien

 

5. I have made the decision not to have children. I’m no anti-natalist, but I feel there are enough children in this world looking for forever homes, and I feel no strong loyalty to my genes to continue my family that way. In doing so, I reduce my environmental impact considerably. Emma Jones-Phillipson, Climate Change and Environmental Consultant, C4 EcoSolutions

 

6. Have one less child. Chandru Wadhwani, Director, Propet SA 

 

7. Buy better, re-use, look after your clothes and wear them longer to avoid wasteful manufacturing and wasteful consumption. Jackie May, founder of Twyg

 

8. Support local and support brands that speak about paying their staff fairly and being good to the environment. As consumers we need to place value on the importance of social compliance. The Rana Plaza fire and building collapse is an example of what can happen when we do not pay attention.  Cyril Naicker, Cape Town representative of Fashion Revolution.

 

9. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle… Find out which plastics are accepted for recycling. We need to close the recycling loop by looking for durable recycled plastics, and keep recycling these. Cyril Naicker

 

10. Consume less. Just don’t buy it. Chandru Wadhwani

 

11. Switch off lights and unused appliances to conserve energy. Janneke Blake, Founder of Shop Zero

 

12. Plant a tree. Janneke Blake

 

13. Globally, flying accounts for 5% of all greenhouse gas emissions. If you must travel by air, offset those carbon emissions. Twyg recently offset carbon emissions from a press trip through the Climate Neutral Group. Jackie May 

 

14. I’ll continue to preach the sustainable gospel on Twyg and through my private and professional lives. Emma Jones-Phillipson

 

15. Unify people, and together demand change. Sarah Farrell, Environmental communicator and activist @sustainablesarah

 

16. Eat less meat. Jackie May 

Image credit: Unsplash