- Learn how to mend your clothes if you don’t know how! If you already know, set a goal to tackle that mending pile. Pro tip: set up a bag next to your laundry (or other convenient spot) to collect clean clothes that need mending. Make note of holes during use and separate those clothes out after being washed. Once mended, the garments are ready to be worn again!
- Try a Buy Nothing Challenge (or do your own version). Kate Hall (@ethicallykate) is doing the #wardrobefreeze2022, where nothing (!!) can enter her wardrobe all year. No gifts, secondhand items, or even ethically made pieces. Sabs Katz (@sustainablesabs) is doing #spendingpending, which is 3 months (or more, tbd) without new clothes, accessories, decor, books, plants, or skincare products. These rules are completely made up by each person, so maybe you’d consider doing your own challenge! Or it could just look like shopping less or being more intentional about the purchases you do make. You want to set yourself up for success while giving yourself a bit of a challenge.
- Create a sustainable swap goal that makes sense for you. You could try to make a certain number of sustainable swaps for the year, or you could set a regular goal for every quarter or month if you want something to keep you more on track. Pick something that feels achievable so you don’t get overwhelmed. It’s also ok to change the goal throughout the year!
- If you’re on social media, clean out the accounts you follow just like you would your closet. There’s no rule saying once we follow someone, we have to follow them forever! Maybe make this a regular activity, for example every 6 months or year. Are there accounts you don’t get anything from? Are there accounts you feel like pressure you to buy things you don’t really need? If you’re unsure, try unfollowing them for a month and see if you miss them. If you do, you can always re-follow.
- Also unsubscribe from emails and paper mail that are no longer serving you and might be tempting you to buy more. You’ll also reduce the amount of paper and digital storage space (which takes energy to maintain) that you consume! To unsubscribe from paper junk mail, you can try using a free service, like Catalog Choice, or you can do it manually. Google the company name followed by “catalog unsubscribe,” which might bring up and easy form to fill out. If the search results don’t seem promising, send customer service a quick email. Here’s what I typically say:
Subject: Unsubscribe from [Postal Communications/Catalog]
I’d like to request that my address be removed from your promotional mailing list. I no longer need to receive these communications and am trying to reduce the paper waste coming to my mailbox.
My address is:
[Insert address here]