While we take our hats off to those living a zero-waste lifestyle, each and every person doing their best to reduce their impact is worthy of some praise, too. In the spirit of "every little bit helps", we're sharing eight small, simple ways we can make a difference on a day-to-day basis – and we also wanted to take this opportunity to let you know the current ways in which we as a company are trying to do better too.
CUT BACK ON PLASTIC
Refuse plastic straws, carry a reusable coffee mug, refill a water bottle and say no to plastic bags or single-use cutlery. You could also contact some of your go-to restaurants and ask them to take steps to minimise waste by re-evaluating their takeaway containers, disposable cutlery and straw policy. When you pick up takeaway yourself, BYO containers when you can, too.
REPAIR, NOT REPLACE
Many things that might have a dent, stain or crack can be restored to their original condition with a little TLC. You could also upcycle an item by giving it a fresh coat of paint to make it feel brand new. It may seem easier to replace something altogether, but consider the value in making good use of your resources. You'll find more on repairing clothing here.
USE-BY NOT BEST BEFORE
Take note of the labels in your kitchen. A use-by date indicates when a product might not be safe to eat, cook or freeze. A best before date indicates quality, not safety. Generally, items with a best before date have a longer shelf life and can be consumed even after the date has passed. While the colour or texture might not be perfect, it doesn't necessarily mean it belongs in the bin.
For clothes that you've cleared out of your closet, dispose sustainably and never just throw anything in the bin. Depending on the quality, you could swap them with friends, sell them through consignment stores or donate them. You can find our full guide to extending the life cycle of your clothing here. For those wishing to donate clothing, The Lane Crawford Joyce Group’s LUXARITY is an initiative that collects pre-loved pieces which are resold to help fund grants around sustainable development goals.
WASTE NOT, WANT NOT
If you make more than you're able to eat, a great first option is to freeze the rest and consume it at a later date. If you have things in your cupboard that you know you're not going to use, however, there are plenty of places that will accept food donations from you and redistribute them to those in need.
SWITCH TO LED LIGHTS
At home, switch to LED lighting which is up to 80% more efficient than the traditional bulb – it’ll help reduce the demand for power plants and lower greenhouse gas emissions. At Lane Crawford Beauty Canton Road, we’ve converted completely to LED lighting.
Instead of buying groceries in plastic, opt instead for loose, package-free produce which you can buy at bulk shops, more of which are cropping up around the world. Bring your own containers and stock up on goods such as pasta, fruits and chocolate – it also helps to reduce food waste when you can measure out the amount you actually need.
RECYCLE AT HOME
If you don't have access to recycling bins in your community, you can find door-to-door collection services in almost every city which provide sorting bags to help you separate your waste at home or your office easily. They'll often arrange daily or weekly collections, too. These companies work with a network of recycling partners to make sure that your waste gets filtered to the right places. At Lane Crawford, we recycle everything from plastic and glass to electronics and clothing. We have two food waste bins at the company, with the waste used to make fish food.
Shop brands that are kinder to the planet through our curated edit below.