Pretty fucked, but we’re optimistic.

We’ve made a mess of this planet and we need to stop thinking it’s not our problem, that it’s up for debate or it’s just too hard to fix. Dive bombing our heads in the sand or thinking it’s up to the tree huggers just isn’t an option anymore. Before you start running for the hills, stick with us for a little longer because this isn’t all doom and gloom.

What you’ll find here is a list of head slap-ingly easy things everyone can do to start unfucking things. The power of people can be pretty amazing. But before we get into that, let’s take a moment to refresh our memories. We know fossil fuels, global warming and greenhouse gasses are bad, but to care about something, is to properly understand it.


When good things go wrong.

Earth’s atmosphere naturally has gasses (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) that all work to make the earth a happy, totally balanced ecosystem. Thanks to things like cars, industry and general consumption, a shit-load more methane and carbon dioxide is produced, which totally messes up this natural balance.

So now, these excess gasses are getting trapped in the atmosphere. This is known as the greenhouse effect; when there are more gases that can normally be absorbed by the planet. It’s making the planet warmer and bringing on a whole knock-on effect to our climate. 

Ok, with that knock-on effect in mind, we come to climate change. The change in climate is measured by big, lasting changes to temperature, rain and wind patterns. Most experts agree the changes we’ve seen in the past 50 years like big heatwaves, longer winters and crazy storms is thanks to us.

Greenhouse
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The good news is, we can still put the brakes on this, but only if we do it right now.

So to start, all we’re asking you is to change ONE thing from what you normally do. Just one. Then the hope is that one will turn into two, or more. And while this is by no means the complete list of what you can be doing, it’s a start. A super easy start. 

Remember, what’s the norm now doesn’t have to be the same in the future. But that takes people powered change. So give a bit more of a shit, feel that wave of guilt when you take that plastic bag at the supermarket, buy that pristine white toilet paper or don’t recycle properly. 

Let’s start unfucking things. 

 

When it comes to our weekly food shop, just be a little more aware about packaging, plastic and knowing where the hell our food comes from. You don’t have to go all organic (although that would be great), just be a little choosier at the supermarket and whaddya know, you just did good.


Don't bag

Bagging your banana?

Why it’s fucked

429,000 recyclable plastic supermarket bags are dumped into landfill every hour. 

Change one thing

Your fruit and veg already has its own natural packaging, so what do you really need those plastic bags for? If you’re grossed out by fruit-on-trolley action, just put everything in one bag and separate them at the till.


Bag frenzy

The free bag frenzy

Why it’s fucked

Australians throw away about 7,150 recyclable plastic bags a minute. Around the world, we use and throw away 1 trillion every year. And some supermarkets still don’t charge for them. Crazy. 

Change one thing

Embrace the granny trolley, bring your own bags or put your groceries straight into your bag/backpack/man bag. Let’s stop taking these bags like they're free lollies. 


BUY IN SEASON

Buy in season

Why it’s fucked 

Eating your strawberries in winter or oranges in summer means they’ve been flown in halfway across the world, just because we want access to everything all the time. Do you really want your cravings to come with a huge carbon footprint?

Change one thing

Go to your local market and boom, you’ll be buying stuff that’s in season. It’ll be fresher, there’s no excess packaging, you’ll know where it has come from and you’ll be supporting your local community. Feel-good-o-rama.


Friendly flusher

Be a friendly flusher

Why it’s fucked

Only around five percent of the toilet paper we flush away in Australia is made from recycled paper. The rest of our butts are being wiped on virgin fibre from plantation or native-forest trees.

Change one thing

Buy recycled tissue items. In other words, toilet paper, tissues, kitchen towels and napkins. Recycled doesn’t mean bad quality, you’ll get the same product all while reducing greenhouse emissions, saving water and energy and lowering landfill use. 


Eat less meat

Easy on the meat, man

Why it’s fucked

The meat industry generates more man-made greenhouse gas emissions than transportation. There are so many environmentally unfriendly factors (trees chopped, water, energy, transportation) that go into us eating meat, it’s insane the mentality of eating it for every meal still exists.

Change one thing

Eat less meat and you’re doing one of the most easy and effective things to combat climate change. Cut it by half or if you need baby steps, start with one meat-free day a week, and when you realise you're not withering away from fatigue, go on to two or more. 

Most of us don’t realise we’re wading through a sea of plastic throughout our day. Disposable items have become the norm, but changing this is easy. Seriously, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do some of these things earlier. So for this section, it’s all about saying no. 


BYO

BYO coffee cup

Why it’s fucked

Sure, we’re all fiends for a good cup of joe, but in Australia, we bin 2.7 million disposable coffee cups a day. That’s nearly 1 billion a year and that is, quite frankly, insane.  

Change one thing

Get yourself a reusable cup. There are some pretty good looking ones out there. Keep it in your bag, at home or at work and BYO everywhere you go. Some cafes even give you a discount if you have one.  


Right bin

Aim for the right bin

Why it’s fucked

Throw a can of Coke in a non-recycling bin and the can will spend the next 200 years decomposing (or not) in landfill. Recycle it and you save enough energy to power a TV for three hours. Decisions, decisions.

Change one thing

If you’re out and are wanting to throw away something recyclable, hold it and wait until you come across a recycling bin. There’s enough around the place, so hold your horses you trigger happy throw away-er. 


Ditch the disposable

Ditch the disposable

Why it’s fucked

Some 100 billion disposable pieces of plastic cutlery are used and thrown out every year. Parts of the ocean are turning into a plastic soup. That’s because of single use and disposable plastics. The culprits? Takeaway containers, water bottles, straws, plastic bags and plastic cups. 

Change one thing

Say no to bags, extra napkins and cutlery. If you’re going back home or to work to eat your takeaway, use the cutlery there. If you’re clothes shopping, put bought items in your own bag, or get one bag and put everything in there. Be aware of the crap you’re collecting.


Bye to bottled water

Say bye to bottled water

Why it’s fucked

Water has to be pumped out of the ground, packaged, transported and chilled before it gets to us. This creates over 60,000 tons of greenhouses gases a year in Australia alone. What makes it even more fucked is that we could just get it from the tap. 

Change one thing

Buy a water bottle and take it everywhere you go. Refill it at cafes, restaurants or parks. It’s unbelievably easy to take care of this one. Plus, who wants to pay stupid prices for bottled water?

Let’s reduce waste and reuse what we’ve already got. When we start doing a few extra things, we’re not only changing things for the better, but we’re also saving ourselves money. Talk about winning. 


Washing up

Watch out when washing up

Why it’s fucked

Washing up by hand with hot water and rigorous rinsing leaves a bigger carbon footprint than a dishwasher (on an eco or energy efficient setting of course). That’s because little over eager hands are using more energy, more water and more soap.

Change one thing

If you have a dishwasher, always put it on when it’s full and on an energy efficient setting. And remember, you don’t need to rinse the dishes first. If you’re handwashing, don’t use the hottest water, only fill the sink to a quarter full and fill a little water in the other sink/a big pot for rinsing.


Use it up

Use what's in your fridge

Why it’s fucked

In Australia, we throw out 1 in 5 bags of shopping every week. Not only is it a waste of money, but of all the energy and resources it took to bring us the food in the first place.

Change one thing

Use up everything. Freeze old fruit to use in cakes and smoothies. Use up old veggies in a stirfry. Plan your meals ahead to stop excess waste and remember, it’s better to buy too little than too much.


Plastic wrapping

Kill the plastic wrapping

Why it’s fucked

The notorious line up of plastic wrap/cling film/tin foil/aluminium foil/sandwich bags is made from energy intensive resources and people often use them for single, wasteful uses. Take the plastic covering your leftovers. After it’s binned, it toddles off to landfill or incineration – nice. 

Change one thing

Stop using plastic wrap. Invest in Tupperware, use old takeaway containers, wash and reuse sandwich bags and get more uses from your tin foil. Did we say stop using plastic wrap?

There are loads of things you can do around home that can make a big difference to the environment. Like everything else here, they’re not a big deal. Small changes that if we all do, can start reversing a whole lot. 


Plastic bags

Don't recycle plastic bags

Why it’s fucked

Don’t put your recycling in plastic bags and into your recycling box/bin. Recycling workers don’t sort them, they clog up the machines and make what you recycled pointless because it gets tossed into the rubbish pile and into landfill. 

Change one thing

Most supermarkets have recycling stations for plastic bags. Use them. You can still collect recycling in a plastic bag, but toss it all from the bag straight into the bin. Then reuse the bag again. And again and again...you got it. 


Shorter showers

Shorter showers

Why it’s fucked

An average ten minute shower wastes around 75–190 litres of water. And seeing as though most of us don’t roll around naked in mud everyday, long showers are a rather unnecessary waste of water and energy.  

Change one thing

You guessed it, cut down on long showers. The recommended time is under four minutes, so set a timer or buy one. You could even buy a water efficient shower head. Oh, and don’t brush your teeth in there, that’s valuable soaping time. 


Washing

Wash in ccccold

Why it’s fucked

About three-quarters of the energy and greenhouse gas emissions from washing a load of laundry comes from heating the water. Unless you’re seriously soiling your undies, there’s no reason why you should be washing with hot water.

Change one thing

Put your washing machine setting onto cold and the quickest washing cycle available. Your clothes will still come out smelling of Hawaiian sunsets and you’ll have significantly cut your energy use.  In winter, minimise your use of the dryer, it’s money and energy zapper. 


Be a binner not a blocker

Be a binner not a blocker

Why it's fucked

In OZ and NZ, we use around 700 million tampons per year. In the UK it's 1 billion and the US, 20 billion. Unfortunately, there's more than a few of us guilty of flushing them down the toilet. The trouble is, they don't break down in water. Instead, they clog your drain and if they get through, they either end up incinerated, in landfill or washed up in the sea or rivers. Gross.

Change one thing

If there isn't a sanitary bin, wrap your tampons up in toilet paper and put them in the bin. Buy organic tampons that have no nasty chemicals sprayed onto the cotton, synthetics or excess plastic packaging. It's good for the environment and even better for our bodies. And if you want to adventure out further, try a Mooncup or something similar. 

We spend a lot of time at work and just because most of us don’t pay the bills there, it doesn’t mean we should forget what we’d normally do at home. Work isn’t a free-for-all, leave that for the stationery cupboard. 


Stop wasting paper

Stop. Wasting. Paper. 

Why it’s fucked

We throw away millions of tons of office paper every year. That’s a whole load of people printing stuff they don’t need, photocopying their bums (or was that in the 90s?), not using print preview or accidentally printing duplicate copies. 

Change one thing

Print double sided and only print what you need. Oh, and if your office doesn’t use recycled paper or even recycle paper, start crying uncontrollably in front of whoever is in charge to change that. 


Bring lunch

Bring your own lunch

Why it’s fucked

You’ve read the stats on disposable single use plastics, but here’s another one to add to the pile: the average Australian consumes 90 kilos of worth of packaging every year. Yummy. Anyone for takeaway noodles? 

Change one thing

Bring your own lunch. Or, if you’re going to buy it, use your purchasing power. Say no to the extra plastics. Alternatively, take a stand and only buy from lunch places that use paper or biodegradable products. You go girl/boy. 


Turn shit off

Turn shit off

Why it’s fucked

Keeping our computers and lights on when we’ve left work is a huge waste of energy. Sleep mode isn’t good enough for overnight or the weekend. It’s just lazy, turn it off.  

Change one thing

If you’re going to be away from your computer for more than 20 minutes, turn off the screen. If you’re going to be away for more than 2 hours, turn the whole thing off. Same goes for laptops. If it's more than 2, switch-off-er-roo. Who said jingles were dead. 


You did it

By now, you might be feeling something unfamiliar. Maybe you've even fist pumped the air. It's a little thing called eco enthusiasm and you want to share your new discovery with the world or at least all your Facebook or Twitter buddies, right? Hold onto these feelings and meet us over here.