It can potentially be daunting to make the decision to live a greener and more sustainable life, especially if you’re not sure where to start, what to look for and the best products to use. British Mums has teamed up with some of the leading businesses in the UAE that offer services or products that promote and support an eco-friendlier lifestyle to find out what their top tips are on living more sustainably.

Be active, not passive

Maison Mathis are committed to acting responsibly and holding themselves accountable for doing business the right way. As one of the almost 12,000 F&B destinations in Dubaithey have taken the lead in setting an example on how to offer eco-friendly services and apply sustainable living to their daily operations.

Buy local

Emirates Bio Farm says that purchasing more food locallyprovides many environmental benefits such as preservingsmall farmland and reducing food miles – which in turn helps alleviate our dependence on fossil fuels, reduces air pollution and cuts back on greenhouse gas emissions.

There is no excuse for single use

AZRAQ, a marine conservation organisation, suggests looking at biodegradable take away containers such a bamboo, cardboard or paper and supporting outlets that aim to reduce plastic use. Sustainable ways to wrap food without using plastic includes the use of paper, jars, tea towels, using reusable wraps (wax wraps, made from cotton, candelilla and soy tree resin and jojoba oil) and reusable produce bags. There are many eco-friendly alternatives to using plastic bags, made from materials such as paper, cotton, canvas, jute, denim and rattan. Crotchet bags and foldable personal trolleys are also great options. Skip the use of plastic cutlery and straws, buy bulk if you can and recycle.

Educate the youth

RISAECO aspires to eliminate single-use plastics in the UAE and globally and advocates for parents to educate their children from a young age about recycling and ensuring they understand the importance of their role. Small changes to our daily lives can bring about massive change globally if everyone aims to do their bit. When it comes to recycling, clean the products to remove any food residue to maintain good quality plastic to be recycled, always carry reusable bags with you, reduce the number of plastic bags used from the shop and limit the number of bags you throw away after one use.

Choose ethical/organic beauty products

The Organic Glow Beauty Lounge advises using beauty products which don’t contain toxic chemicals, have minimal packaging, are multi-functional and don’t test on animals (cruelty-free). Replace disposables in your beauty regime such as cleansing wipes with a face towel that can be reused.

Be a green leader

Liquid of Life,  provider of water filtration products, believes in taking action. Start taking the steps to incorporate sustainable strategies into your everyday lifestyle; not everything may work for you but have a plan of action and make a list of some of the things you can start changing and then make those changes. Then share what works for you to inspire others to also adopt sustainable habits.

Invest in reusables

According to The Good Karma Co, reusable items are a great way to easily reduce everyday waste. Reuse involves making multiple use of products so that limited waste is thrown away. It helps as it reduces environmental and economic waste in the process. Try switching to reusable face pads or swap your single use sandwich bags for long lasting silicon bags.

Invest in period-proof underwear

ModiBodi warns against the impact on the environment of single use disposable pads and tampons. Most disposable tampons and pads and their packaging contain nonbiodegradable — and potentially toxic — plastic and other synthetic materials like glue (most tampon cords are glued rather than woven in) and petrochemical additives. A package of conventional sanitary pads can contain the equivalent of about four plastic bags. Don’t delay, make the switch.

Consider your choices

One Good Thing knows it’s not easy choosing to be responsible, ethical and sustainable but the growing community of likeminded entrepreneurs and conscious consumers has shown a shift in how we choose, so the options are greater, and more accessible than ever before.

Beauty without harm to animals or the environment

Natural and organic ingredients across product categories are becoming more popular for their positive health and environmental impacts. But it takes both consumers and brands to take action to protect people and the planet. Neal’s Yard is encouraging customers to bring back the blue bottles by NYR to receive 10% of the next bill. This way you are reducing waste and supporting reuse.

Give clothes a second chance

We all have items in our wardrobe that we’ve never worn (or in some cases, no longer fit), so instead of hoarding them, drop them in at RETOLD, where clothes get a second chance of happiness. Choosing to wear used clothing means you are helping to recycle useful items that might otherwise end up discarded in landfills. There’s also the option to buy pre-loved clothes which helps lower the demand for new clothing to be produced.

Taking care of the environment is everyone’s responsibility

According to Lush, a beauty brand that makes fresh, handmade cosmetics, buying beauty products that use almond and olive oil – not mineral oil – is much more sustainable as minerals come from oil fields. Also make sure that you support companies that uses little or no packaging and if they do, that these materials have been recycled.

From these tips you can see that it’s absolutely possible to enjoy a greener, eco-friendlier and more sustainable lifestyle. Teaching our children about environmental challenges, such as climate change and the overuse of natural resources, and how their actions can improve life in general, is just the beginning. Apply these tips to your daily lives and set an example to friends and family.

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