Many of us have the idea that we would like to live more sustainably. It can just seem a little overwhelming to get started. So, at DILLING, we’ve been in touch with Johanne, a blogger from the Danish blogger-network Sustain Daily. She knows the journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle and she’s been kind enough to share her best tips with us (and you).
Where did you start your journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle? / What motivated you?I was raised with an eco-friendly mindset at home, but for many years I didn’t think it was “important”. For example, I didn’t want to sort my rubbish, since I found it to be a waste of time. When I started my education in design technology, I learned a lot about sustainability and the lack of it in the fashion industry. I learned that environmental- and social conditions were connected and that it was the same struggle. This motivated me to get started. Today I can find the time to sort my rubbish, buy sustainable clothing, and to search in second-hand shops first when I’m decorating a new room, just to mention a few things.
What really got me started was learning about how the cotton farmers live in India. How they walk the fields to spray poison on the plants; and their bare feet and arms. In general, all the bad conditions in the fashion industry really pissed me off. So I decided that I would never again buy conventional cotton, and then it just kicked off like an avalanche from there.
Would you recommend that others start in the same place as you did?No, not necessarily. I always think that you should start with the topic you find most interesting. I studied for a degree in clothing and fashion, so it was natural that this was my biggest area of interest. And if it is yours too, you should definitely start in the same place. If not, find out what you find interesting and start to watch documentaries or read books about that topic.
What’s your best advice for those of us who would like to live more sustainably—but perhaps find it a bit overwhelming to change all of our habits?Start with a single thing that you find enjoyable. It can be exciting to set yourself some small, time-limited challenges and then examine what it does to you. For example, eat vegetarian food for a week. Or don’t buy anything for a month. To start with a small project over a short timeframe can often kick-start a bigger transformation over time, because you start thinking in the necessary direction, but it’s less overwhelming than saying “from now on I will never buy more new clothes.”
Do you have any concrete tips for a more sustainable lifestyle?• Start by looking in second-hand shops, if you need something.
• Sort your rubbish. It can seem like a small thing, but it actually results in big savings in terms of resources whenever an aluminium can is recycled.
• Take your bike when possible.
• Take a look at your expenses: can you switch to electricity from windmills, a more responsible bank or a phone company that supports a charity?