Collective individual action and lifestyle shifts can be a dynamic part of climate action. From choosing eco-friendly hotels and fashion to dining in low waste restaurants, we can all be a part of the solution.
The Sustainable Living program brings together a diverse array of events to inspire everyone to be an ally to our planet and shares tips on how our day to day can be transformative to ourselves and the environment.
Here are some resources to help you learn more:
Sustainable living is a lifestyle that strives to reduce our individual impact on the environment by using less of the Earth's resources. Sustainability looks different for everyone and can be incorporated into our lives through many different actions, adjustments, and lifestyle shifts.
"Sustainable fashion should not be overpriced or marketed as a new phenomenon. My family proves it works when it's not. When your community is taken care of by its members, there is incentive to look out for those growing up after you. The pride I have in my culture is evident in my speech, my mannerisms, and every pre-worn garment I put on."
Zero waste aims to redesign our "take, make, and waste" culture and system of producing and consuming and instead opt for a more circular system where we use less and reuse more.
In its most simple form, upcycling can be reusing a jelly jar or revamping an old chair instead of buying a new one. Junk Kouture demonstrates upcycling in its most inspiring light. See how three students turned 150 milk cartons, LCD computer screens, and fishing line into a breathtaking gown called, 'Plastic Surgery'. This will make you reconsider how you see junk.
Isaias Hernandez, @queerbrownvegan, breaks down what composting is, and why it is ultimately beneficial to the environment. If you are interested in starting your own compost, scroll down to our 'Watch' section and check out the video on composting for beginners.
"The zero-waste movement felt very exclusive. It had sort of a privileged veil over it and the conversations that were taking place in the zero-waste community never paid homage to the black and indigenous cultures who created that mandala to be zero-waste or to be resourceful. Being resource is something communities of color have had to do for generations."
There are many benefits to starting your own compost. Compost creates nutrient rich material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. When we compost our food scraps and yard waste, we prevent these materials from reaching landfills where they decompose and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
Upcycling, or creative reuse, is the process of transforming something that otherwise would have been tossed, recycled, or forgotten into a product that is often more beautiful or functional. We can 'up' the value of an item or material by creating something new that we would like, like a planter out of a paint can. Or, we can consider something that we want to give a second life to, like old records or bottle caps.
Eating locally not only cuts down on the time and energy it takes your food to arrive at your plate, but is also a great way to invest in your community. Use this tool to locate your local farmers market.
Shopping does not have to hurt your wallet or the planet. Opting for pre-loved, second-hand, or gently used items is a great way to both, extend the life of clothing and support a circular economy.
About Junk Kouture
Junk Kouture, our Sustainable Living Program Partner, believes that youth activism and education are both essential elements of the global response to climate change and when hand-in-hand, can result in profound and lasting impact. Harnessing the power of youth activism and education, Junk Kouture is a year-round program for secondary schools, that challenges students aged 13-18 to create couture fashion from 100% recycled materials, before ultimately showcasing their creations to a global audience.