Seven Easy Everyday Switches to Make if You're Looking to Be More Eco-Conscious, with Lottie Dalziel of Banish
We sat down with the sustainability queen to chat simple switches we can all make to start living more green.
June 14, 2022
in partnership with
As we pass World Environment Day for 2022, the year's motto of "only one Earth" lingers. It's a message at the forefront of the news cycle and on the minds of many, with our planet only continuing to get hotter and our need to make lifestyle shifts getting only more pressing.
Enter Lottie Dalziel, the Sydneysider dedicating her working life to everyday sustainability. The self-professed optimist is the founder of Banish, an online marketplace, education platform and recycling platform. With a focus on small achievable changes (which collectively have a large impact), Lottie inspires hope — and change.
"I believe people do want to be more sustainable," Lottie says. "I think the main barrier to people making eco-switches in their life is them not knowing where to start."
One easy way to start? The NSW Government's Return and Earn program. Working towards adjusting the state's everyday consumption behaviours — and highlighting the ease of making a big eco-impact — Return and Earn allows you to easily recycle the bottles, cans and cartons we all amass in our daily lives, with used containers back on shelves living a new life in as little as four weeks. There are over 600 return points where recyclers are given the choice between a refund or charitable donation. Either way — you're taking steps towards making the planet better for all.
Together with Return and Earn, we had a chat with Lottie and asked her to share her favourite switches that will see you quickly — and easily — living a more sustainable life.
1. DITCH THE SINGLE-USE COFFEE CUPS
"Use a reusable coffee cup for your daily brew," Lottie says. With caffeine powering a great number of us through our days, a simple and oh-so-effective switch is ditching those plastic-lined cups and nabbing yourself one for keeps.
2. CHOOSE BAMBOO
"Every plastic toothbrush that every person has ever used still exists somewhere on this planet — and will take at least 300 years to break down," Lottie tells us. The sheer enormity of those numbers is overwhelming, which makes this easy swap from the sustainability queen that much more welcome: "Switch to a bamboo toothbrush," she offers. "Then, when you're done, you can compost the base."
Taking it to even higher sustainability heights is bamboo's rapid growth rate, natural pest-resistance qualities (eliminating the need for chemical pesticides, which can enter the wider ecosystem) and ability to remove carbon from the air (a huge point-breaker in the plastic-or-bamboo-toothbrush debate).
3. GET COMPOSTING
Pump the brakes on throwing veggie scraps in your rubbish bin. "Start composting! On average, 40% of the contents in a household bin is organic matter that could be composted. Grab yourself a kitchen caddy and then join ShareWaste — and get its app — so you don't even need to get your hands dirty."
4. WAKE UP YOUR MAKEUP ROUTINE
Giving a shout-out to another small biz that's as planet-focused as Banish, Lottie suggests a simple switch-a-roo between single-use makeup wipes and these Sabbia Co resusable ones. Removing the day doesn't have to cost the earth, so grab some machine-washable, 100% cotton pads — which can last over 200 washes with the right kind of loving.
5. KISS PLASTIC SHOPPING BAGS GOODBYE
Lottie knows how to keep it simple yet effective: "Remember your reusable tote bag when you head to the grocery store." Have the best intentions but always turn up with empty hands? Pop a tote in your car, or a teeny-tiny fold-away one in your bag, so you're not left with plastic — or a precarious hand-held balancing act — as your only option. If you haven't made the switch already you'll want to do it soon — some of NSW's biggest retailers are farewelling the plastic shoppers for good, which is sure to prove a momentous step towards a greener planet for all.
6. SHOP SMARTER
Think long and hard about whether those four apples really need a bag around them. And surely your bananas can handle themselves? Skip the plastic when you can, but if your market haul — we're thinking brussels sprouts and string beans — is really in need of some organisation assistance, Lottie has an easy solution: "Ditch plastic bags in the fruit and veg section, and use reusable produce bags instead."
7. BLADES OF CHANGE
"Never use a plastic razor again," says Lottie. "Grab a safety razor and for the rest of your life all you'll need to do is replace the blades." That's a sell that's hard to shop past, so if you're not spending winter growing your hair out, head to Banish to see the back of plastic-powered hair care.
Looking to kickstart your eco-journey? Head to the Banish website. Or, if you're ready to put your recyclables to work, look no further than Return and Earn. Crunch your numbers at the impact calculator and see the real-world benefits your recycling will have.
Images provided by Lottie Dalziel.