Every day we are given more and more reasons to adopt a sustainable lifestyle. The news is (rightfully) full of stories chronicling the environmental challenges the world faces today. However, whilst presidents, prime ministers and leaders all around the globe set their climate goals, we individually can also make a difference, one household at a time. You don’t need to change everything about your life to start making a difference. You’re actually more likely to make lasting changes by taking small simple steps in gradual increments. So, as we start 2020, what better time to make some changes towards a more sustainable life than now?
10 Sustainable Tips for the House
• Choosing recyclable items is better than landfill but reusable is far better still. Ditch paper towels in favour of cloth alternatives.
• Start composting. Alternatively, if your local council offers it, use the food waste collection effectively as a substitute if home composting is not possible.
• Freeze uneaten fruit and veg to make smoothies. Alternatively try this great vegetable crumble recipe perfect for using up leftovers!
• Switch to LED lighting; they’re notably more efficient. For example, INUI LED Lighting is an eco-conscious company which helps to reduce both physical and energy waste. They even have a handy LED lighting calculator.
• Speaking of light, switch them off when they’re not in use! You’ll save money and the environment. Smart technology might assist with this.
• Time your showers and install a flow limiter.
• Driers are expensive; both to operate and on the environment. Hanging clothes up to dry makes a big difference.
• Busy lifestyles mean we tend to fall back on takeaways; I’m no exception. However, this comes at a sustainability cost. Prepare meals in advance if you can. If you end up with takeaway containers; reuse them rather than tossing them away.
• Refuse junk mail; either have a talk with your postman or put a sign on your door.
• Adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet. Even if you can’t give up full time, condider taking part in Meatless Mondays, reduce consumption to once or twice a week or take part in Veganuary! Even going meat-free for one month helps.
10 Sustainability Tips When Out and About
• Keep reusable bags available whenever travelling. Whether it’s a trip to the local store, town or a loved-one’s home; there is always the chance you’ll come back with more than you left with. Best to have a bag for that.
• Where possible, when shopping, opt for locally sourced goods.
• Keep a refillable bottle, cup or flask with you. There’s no need for disposable coffee cups or bottled water.
• Opt for the stairs over an elevator. Sure, it might take a little longer but it’s better all round.
• Car pool!
• If ditching the car is an option, that’s better still. Walking and cycling are both viable, eco-friendly and healthy alternatives.
• Public transport is also great. Why not also catch up on a book, some music or check out a podcast?
• When out shopping check out the secondhand stores. There are always great deals and excellent items to be found. This applies to all sorts of items; great bargains can be found on cool vintage clothing and accessories in charity stores for example. Antique jewellery is an ideal sustainable choice too. https://carusjewellery.com has a lovely range and an informative blog post about this.
• Zero waste stores are fantastic. You should definitely visit if you have one nearby. They sell a number of household goods without packaging. Buy a couple of glass jars, or reuse containers you already have, then return to top up as and when it is needed; it is a fab way to make a positive change. They’re such lovely places.
• Whilst out, donate! Clothes, toys, tech, furniture, or whatever else isn’t being used. There will be somewhere that accepts it and you will be removing unwanted clutter in an eco-friendly, sustainable way. It might even enrich someone else’s life.
So there it is; 20 simple changes to a more sustainable lifestyle this decade. Do you have any other tips?
*This is a collaborative post