Go plastic free
We get it, this seems like a pretty bold statement and completely eradicating plastic from your life seems intimidating and almost impossible, because plastic is everywhere. Instead, why not try and go plastic free in just some of the things you buy. Opt for unpackaged fruit and veg where possible, remember your reusable bag when going shopping, or even check out a zero waste or refill shop. These are opening up all over the place and you’d be surprised at just how many things you can find to refill! Some of my favourites include Arden & Scott, Seed1, Maya’s Refillables and Fleet Scoop.
Cut down on fast fashion
I bet you didn’t think you’d hear a blog on a spirits brand’s website talking about fashion, did you? But, the sad truth is that fashion is one of the world’s biggest polluters, with fast fashion brands being the biggest offenders. According to House of Common Environmental Audit Committee, 2019 “Clothing production is the third biggest manufacturing industry after the automotive and technology industries. Textile production contributes more to climate change than international aviation and shipping combined”. What’s more, far too many brands are not paying their workers fair wages or providing decent working conditions – 93% of brands surveyed by the Fashion Checker in 2020 weren’t paying garment workers a living wage
It’s not just manufacturing and production that is causing issues, but the amount of clothes we are throwing away – three out of five fast fashion items end up in a landfill (Clean Clothes Campaign, 2019).
This is scary stuff, but what can you? The easiest thing is simply to buy less, and make the most of the clothes you already have. Repeat outfits with pride, and repair things when they break instead of just throwing them away. If you’re craving that feeling of having something new in your wardrobe, try shopping second hand – you can check out your local charity shop or apps like Depop, Vinted or Vestiaire. For every item of clothing you’re coveting from a fast fashion brand, I can guarantee you’ll find something similar if not the same on one of those apps. Looking for something for a special occasion that you’re not likely to wear again? Try renting – sites like Hurr, Hirestreet and By Rotation are great for this and offer huge selections to choose from.
Reduce your food waste
Did you know 33% of all food produced globally goes to waste? The UK currently wastes over 15m tonnes of food each year, and of the 7 million tonnes of food waste discarded from homes, nearly half is edible, according to Insinkerator. Not only is this a huge waste of the resources that went into producing food, but when disposed of in landfill, food releases planet warming gases as it decomposes. Planning meals and shopping trips, and only buying what you need can really help reduce food waste. Get creative with meals that use up things before they go out of date, and make the most of your freezer.
There are also some great companies that are trying to tackle waste in the food production industry by using things that would otherwise be wasted. Dash Water infuse sparkling water with wonky fruit; Rubies in the Rubble make tasty sauces from ingredients that would otherwise be wasted; and Oddbox deliver surplus or wonky fruit and veg straight to your door, to name but a few.
Shop from sustainable brands
Okay, I know at the beginning I said I wasn’t going to tell you to buy more stuff, but let’s face it, we live in a capitalist society and you’re going to buy stuff whether I tell you to or not. If you’re reading this, you probably have an idea of how passionate the Gorilla Spirits team are about reducing our negative impact on the planet. Last year we switched to bottles made from 100% post-consumer recycled glass, which has had a huge impact on our carbon footprint, and we’re constantly looking to improve the way we do things to make our business more sustainable.
There are so many other great brands out there doing great things for the planet, far too many to name in fact, but we thought we’d finish by sharing a few of our other favourite drinks brands doing good things-
– Nc’nean – Certified as a B Corp and verified net zero, Nc’Nean produce organic Whisky bottled in 100% recycled glass.
– Avallen – planet-friendly Calvados – every bottle made removes 2.73kg of CO2e from our atmosphere.
– Toast Ale – craft beer brewed with surplus fresh bread that would otherwise be wasted.