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How to live a more sustainable life in 2018

January 18, 2018

Ana Gabriel

Wine

The sustainability movement in Australia has really picked up steam in recent years, with the term no longer reserved just for hippies and environmentalists.

In 2017 alone, sales of Australian reusable coffee cup, Keep Cup spiked by 400%, while shows such as the ABC's War on Waste achieved top TV ratings – not to mention South Australia received the world’s biggest lithium battery.

When you've been operating in a rural environment for more than 168 years like we have, you learn a few things about the importance of sustainability.

Our sustainable practices start in our nursery and vineyard, and extend to every aspect of winemaking, production, packaging and distribution, including the largest solar system in an Australian winery – all with the aim of preserving our natural environment and resources for the generations to come.

So, for those also looking to reduce their impact on the globe, here are some simple ways you can make a difference in 2018.

The hundred mile home

Conscious consumption is the key to sustainable living, and fortunately “the makers” are meeting the market when it comes to producing high quality, handmade or grown and locally produced products that won’t cost the earth.

From buying your weekly vegetables, dairy and eggs from the local farmers market, to sourcing homewares, gifts and sustainably made clothing from boutique producers, the artisan movement has changed our lives, and will hopefully change our world, for the better.

The philosophy of The Hundred Mile Home in the Barossa is an excellent example of this – a conglomerate of artisan producers of wood and metal wares, ceramics, tea and paper who have come together to create and sell sustainable, locally made products to the Barossa community.

“If everyone were to draw a circle 100 miles from where they lived, and only bought things grown and made within it, there would be a shift towards conscious consumption,” Ilona Glastonbury, founder of The Hundred Mile Home writes.

“Old artisan skills would be embraced, people would take greater care with the soil and water, and items would be made to last.“

If we are to truly embrace sustainable living we must become accountable individually and as communities.”

Grow your own

Whether it’s growing and preserving your own fruit and vegetables, collecting your own water, compositing your own food waste or baking your own bread, there are a bunch of things you can do that don’t require dipping into common resources.

You can now buy smaller, more slimline rainwater tanks that can fit into just about any home. While you may not be able to run your whole house on it, collecting and using your own water for drinking or gardening will provide you with a greater understanding of, and appreciation for, water as a shared resource.

The same is true for home grown vegetables. When you understand the time and energy that goes into planting, growing and keeping a vegetable garden alive you’re less likely to waste your food, and more likely to appreciate the food you do buy.

These small steps all add up to living a more sustainable life.

Waste not, want not

Whether it’s food, fashion, plastics, or energy consumption, the other tragedy of sharing common resources is waste.

The world is starting to wake up to the “fast fashion” phenomenon that is leading to a landfill disaster, with minimalist movements encouraging people to buy less “stuff”, or to “go a year without shopping” sweeping social media.

You can also find ways to conserve energy, by simply using your appliances correctly, for example, for the most energy efficient heating and cooling set your temperature gauge to under 20 degrees in winter, and over 24 degrees in summer.

Meat Free Mondays

Launched by Sir Paul McCartney and his wife and daughter, Mary and Stella, in 2009, Meat Free Monday is a not-for-profit campaign based in the UK, that aims to raise awareness of the environmental impact of farming and eating meat.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), have reported that livestock farming is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global”, and estimate that livestock production is responsible for 14.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

And while Paul doesn’t expect people to stop eating meat altogether, the campaign eases carnivores into the idea of cutting down on meat by encouraging them to go “meat free” for one day every week, not only reducing emissions in the short term, but also changing behaviour in the long term. “

Meat Free Monday is the most brilliant excuse to focus on the incredible variety of veggies out there – the flavours, textures and wonderful dishes you can create are beyond belief,” Jamie Oliver said. “So here’s to Meat Free Monday and frankly, meat free Wednesdays too.”