Five Everyday Choices You Can Make To Change The World

Written in partnership with Bank Australia

So you're passionate about helping people and the planet but you don't know where to start?

It's easy to feel there is so much wrong in the world that you can't make a difference, but that's not true! Your simple everyday decisions such as your fashion, food and financial choices all add up in big ways. Laura from Bank Australia decided to try to make ethical choices for a day and found it surprisingly easy.

8am Wear ethical

Who made my shirt? Where? How? It can be tricky to navigate the minefield of ethical fashion. Luckily, there is a great guide at that has done the work for you – outlining where major brands track against ethical manufacturing criteria.

It's also better to choose second hand, borrow, repair and repurpose clothes rather than buy new when you can!

8.30am Use active or public transport

If you can, opt for walking, riding a bicycle or public transport – it's a better option for the planet than driving. A single full train can take more than 600 cars off the road. Imagine how much your choice to take public transport could add up over a month or a year? As a bonus you could spruce up your bike with a few of our favourite DIY projects.

10am Caffeinate consciously

Did you know that Australians drink 1.3 million cups of coffee a day? If you always buy your daily caffeine fix in a takeaway cup you're adding to the 5 billion coffee cups that end up in landfill each year. Check to see if your favourite brew is served in a 100% recyclable cup (and ask for no plastic lid) or consider a Keep Cup for your daily pick-me-up.

You might also want to read up on disposable coffee pods. In Australia we consume 3 million of them a day; the majority of which end up in landfill.

1pm Check your cash

Did you know that your bank can invest even the 'everyday money' that sits in your main transaction account? So take a few minutes on your lunchbreak to check what your bank does with your money.

If your money is with a bank that invests in fossil fuels even your weekly wages could be supporting projects that you would never choose to support yourself.

Market Forces is a useful resource that explains how banks invest your money and how you can opt to ensure your money is used for good. Bank Australia is a great option to consider if you are looking for an ethical, responsible bank that will never invest your money in fossil fuel projects.

6pm Eat local, plastic-free and plant-based

Food is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions. The environmental cost of agriculture, wasted food and shipping food from source to supermarket is very high.

Get into the habit of meal planning – it's a great way to ensure you're being mindful in your food choices while also saving money.

A few tips to make your menu as environmentally friendly as possible:

  • Choosing local (farmers markets or a cooperative veggie scheme) is a great way to reduce the kilometres your food has travelled to reach you.
  • Consider taking reusable containers and canvas bags when you do your weekly shop rather than accepting packaging. Stores such as Source Bulk Foods, or your local co-op allow you to buy what you need in your own containers and nothing is wrapped in packaging.
  • Opting for vegetarian even for a few nights of the week helps to limit the climate emissions from meat production through reducing consumer demand.

With all of the social and environmental issues facing our planet it can often seem as if one person can't make much of a difference, but you can see how over 365 days of the year making thoughtful, ethical choices really will add up.

Imagine what would happen if everyone made these ethical everyday choices.

Read this next: The A-Z Of Sustainable Living

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