Sustainable living can sound like a huge undertaking, but in reality, with only a few changes to your daily routine you can follow an eco-friendlier way of life. As with any positive change you make, to ensure these good habits stick, take it slowly and don’t overwhelm yourself. Here are 10 top tips to start you off on a path to living sustainably.
1. Ditch the Plastic Bottles
7.7 billion plastic water bottles are used each year in the UK. On average, in the UK, 150 plastic water bottles are used per person every year. Having access to quality drinking water does not mean that you have to live less sustainably. With a water filter you can enjoy clean and safe water without adding to plastic pollution.
2. No Junk Mail Please!
Think about the junk mail we receive everyday through the letterbox. A simple note on your front door could limit or stop the piles of paper waste lying to greet us each day. This top tip is an easy win towards your sustainable living goal!
3. Switch Off
Devices left on ‘standby mode’ or even switched off still consume power, if they are plugged in to an energy source. Approximately 10% of your energy bill is down to ‘phantom power’ usage. Not only is it better for the environment to unplug your devices when they are not in use, but it saves your hard-earned cash in the long run.
4. On your Bike
For shorter journeys, leave the car on the drive and get on your bike. Cycling to work or to run errands has many benefits. Firstly, it will decrease fuel consumption and reduce your carbon footprint. Secondly, think of the health benefits a bit of pedal power can offer you. Cycling is a great cardio workout and the perfect excuse to get out in the fresh air.
5. Learn to Sew
Before you chuck your favourite item of clothing in the bin because you’ve snagged it on something, think about whether it is salvageable. Picking up a new skill such as sewing can help you to repair and reuse many garments which may have ended up going to waste. Learning a simple darning technique can save your favourite jumper or perhaps repurpose it into something else entirely!
6. Get the most out of your Beauty Products
High-end hair and skin care products can be pricey, so it makes sense to make the most out of them. If you live in a hard water area, you could be using more product than you need to. Hard water reduces the amount of lather created from soaps and shampoos, tricking you into applying more. By installing a water filter in your shower you can enjoy softer, cleaner, filtered water which soaps up your beauty products nicely and is less drying on your hair and skin.
7. Green Gifting
There are a number of ways to give a greener gift to your friends and families. Things you can do straight away are; ditching the cards and sending emails instead and reusing wrapping paper and gift bags. If you already do this, why not try donating to a cause or planting trees as part of a charity initiative, instead of a throwaway gift.
8. Sustainable Shopping
A simple sustainable shopping tip is to always use your own bags when popping to the shops. Beyond this, avoid buying products wrapped in excessive packaging and shop at local markets for nutritious, seasonal fruit and veg.
9. Eat your Greens
Reducing your meat consumption can have a positive impact on lowering green-house gas emissions. Deforestation to create more space for rearing cattle to cope with a growing global population has had disastrous effects on climate change. Meat-free Mondays are a great way to cut-down your weekly meat intake. Choose vegetarian protein sources, such as lentils, chickpeas and tofu.
10. Swap Café Coffee for a Quality Cuppa at Home
Treating yourself to a barista style coffee every now and again is perfectly fine, but if you stop by the café every day for your takeaway coffee, a sustainable swap might be in order. Making your coffee at home using a cafetiere or coffee machine means that you won’t have to give up on the premium quality you are used to. Using a water filter will take your coffee to the next level, taking away the taste of tap water so you can really enjoy your favourite blend.
Just making a few of these changes, to start with, will go towards reducing your carbon footprint and will help you to achieve your sustainable living goals.