Sustainable September

September is when children start back at school or students are starting a new year at university. It can be a very exciting time. Every September, as soon as the weather starts to cool and the leaves turn orange, I have my own drive to get organised, start new projects and stock up on new stationary. It doesn’t matter if you’re no longer studying, there is no better feeling than starting a new notebook, but how can you be sustainable this September?

Cambridge is an amazing place to visit to get that ‘back to school’ feeling.

Stationary 

Offices can have a surprising impact on the environment but you can choose environmentally conscious stationary so that you minimise your impact on the planet. You can choose plastic free stationary, by using recycled pencils, refillable pens or paper tape rather than cello-tape. You can also find sustainable notebooks, including these gorgeous climate-positive notebooks made from reused stone, that contain no wood-pulp, no water and no added chemicals. 

Clothing

The dark academia aesthetic is all the rage this year, and to me, it’s the epitome of September. If you want to try a dark academia outfit yourself, it’s so easy to find the “essentials” in charity shops. Chunky jumpers, knitted cardigans, checked skirts and relaxed trousers are all suggestions when searching for a dark academia outfit, which coincidentally are also the easiest things to find in a charity shop. Before you go contributing to fast fashion, you probably have unworn things in your wardrobe that you can style differently for a new look. 

There are an estimated 57 items of clothing per person left unworn in our wardrobes. – Oxfam, 2016

If you do want to buy something new for your wardrobe, choose secondhand first. If you prefer to buy online, Vinted is a fabulous place to start. To avoid buying things that are unnecessary, I always make a list of specific things I’m looking for, if I don’t find them the first time, I just keep looking. You are less likely to throw things away if you avoid impulse buying – it’s easy to do this when browsing secondhand too. 

This month is Secondhand September which is a campaign set up by Oxfam to encourage you to only buy secondhand for 30 days or more. It also asks you to donate your good quality pre-loved items, so what better excuse than to have a clear out? You can get involved by interacting with the hashtag on social media #SecondhandSeptember.

Activities

If you are feeling inspired by the academia feel in the air, why not sign up to your local library? More people need to use libraries and I don’t understand why you wouldn’t. All the books you could ever want to read – for free! I’m a member of my local library and it’s full of inspiration. If you’re not sure what to read, go for a browse, I’m sure you’ll discover something new.

If you do choose to buy books, choose secondhand or support your local independents. The Haunted Bookshop in Cambridge is a must-visit for any book lover!

I also want to mention the cute book swaps that are dotted around the UK. You can find your local one on Little Free Library and simply take any of your old books and leave them for someone else to enjoy, while choosing from the books that others have left and taking them to read. This is another free and sustainable way to enjoy books – you might just find your new favourite!

Final thoughts 

I may be biased, because September is my birthday month, but it really is my favourite month of the year. September has the right balance between the warmer weather of summer and the beautiful colours of autumn. 

Every year around this time I have an overwhelming urge to read more, drink hot chocolate and watch Dead Poets Society over and over again. How ever you are choosing to spend September, try to be more mindful and think about your environmental impact when purchasing new autumn clothes, stationary or anything else.

What are your favourite things to do when autumn rolls around?

Until next time,

Rebecca x

I am so appreciative of all your support. If you like what I do and want to support me further, you can buy me a cup of tea over on ko-fi. Thank you!

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