Looking for some ways to live sustainably in your day-to-day life? Then check out my 10 top tips for sustainable living, right here…
The pressure to start living sustainably is becoming more and more prevalent as the years progress. As climate fighters remind us daily, now really is the time to start pulling our fingers out, and making a difference. But, for the average laymen, the prospect of helping the cause can be extremely daunting. After all, what can little old me do, right?
As one single person, it certainly may seem as though you have no control over our earth’s impending demise. However, in that, you’d be wrong; there is hope, for us yet.
Over the years, I’ve made a conscious effort to start living sustainably in a number of ways. These ways don’t break the bank, aren’t huge sacrifices to my daily routine, and are actually beneficial to me in many ways. So, to discover 10 easy ways to live sustainably in your day-to-day life, read on…
1. Walk or Cycle to Work
There’s no doubt about it, the Coronavirus has brought with it a huge amount of social change. But, one of the biggest ways it may affect us all is through encouraging us all to think of new ways to get to work.
Long-gone are the days where we all crammed into a stinking, sweaty bus for hours, before being spat out the other side. Now, we have the chance to rethink our route to work, which could perhaps prove much more sustainable for us all.
For those who have the option to walk or cycle to work, taking the time to get on the Cycle to Work Scheme might be on the cards now. Or, if you’ve put off walking to work due to laziness (I know we’ve all been culprits of that at some point), what’s to say that you can’t give it a go now? During a time of such huge change, if you have the option to commute more sustainably, why not give it a try?
2. Eat Packed Lunches
Preparing packed lunches whenever you leave for work each morning is another easy way to live more sustainably. Not only are you likely to reduce your waste this way, you can be less tempted to buy something containing meat along the way. You’re also much less likely to support corporate businesses who are really the ones most responsible for our climate crisis.
This doesn’t need to come at the detriment of your lifestyle; by all means, treat yourself to lunch out every so often. You’re probably also wondering where you’ll find the time to pack a lunch before work each morning. Well, one of the greatest tips for doing this is to simply cook extra dinner each night, and pack a portion away for your lunch the next day.
By packing lunch most days, not only will you be helping to save the planet, you’ll also save a huge amount of money, and will definitely eat a lot healthier along the way.
3. Invest in a Stash of Tupperware
I’ll tell you this now – just after I’ve mentioned the packed lunch tip – that Tupperware will be your best friend throughout your sustainable living journey. Investing in a hefty pile of Tupperware from your cheapest outlet will do the trick. This way, you can start living your best life, taking packed lunch into work each day, making batch-cooked food and stashing it in the fridge for later use, and so on.
4. Start Using Soap and Shampoo Bars
One of the best things I ever did was to start investing in shampoo bars and soap bars. These are pretty much exactly what they say on the tin; bars of soap, which you use to clean your body or your hair.
These have a number of benefits worth mentioning; not just environmental benefits. Not only do they last way longer than than you’re usual body wash and shampoo, making them a much cheaper option for everyone. They’re also usually made from much more natural materials too, which makes them a great choice if you’re looking to take better care of your body and hair.
Ultimately, though, by using bars instead of body washes, you’re avoiding wasting hundreds of bottles of the stuff being thrown away each year. This is one of those options that’s basically a no-brainer, and although it might seem like a bore at the start, you’ll get used to it in no time.
5. Consider a Sustainable Period
Our periods are responsible for a huge amount of waste every single day. In fact, every year, around 4.3 billion menstrual products are thrown away every single year! For something we women have a little control over, it’s pretty heart-breaking to throw away all this waste every single month, so what’s the answer?
As a woman, our periods are a monthly ordeal where we simple want to be as comfortable as possible. That said, there are a number of ways we can avoid all that waste, including:
- Reusable sanitary pads
- Menstrual cups
- Period pants
- Menstrual discs
Some of these alternatives may certainly seem a little daunting, especially if you have a heavy period, and are unsure how you’ll get on with them. So, what better time to try these out than during the Coronavirus crisis, when most of us are barely leaving the house, right?
Now’s the time, folks. Not only will they save you a lot of money in the long-run, but they’ll help you to avoid any chemicals from your usual pads and tampons, whilst saving the environment in the process. I can assure you, as someone who now uses reusable sanitary products every month, that it won’t be as scary as you think it will be.
6. Take Reusable Bags to the Shops
When shops began charging five pence for a plastic carrier bag, this definitely made waves. That said, now, people are more than happy to pay this small expense if it means less effort at the checkout.
But, why not make that little bit of extra effort before every shop, and start remembering your reusable carrier bags every time? It really is no skin off your back, and will help you to avoid using up so much plastic in your daily life. Remember, it’s the little things that make all the difference.
7. Consume Loose Tea Leaves
Tea is something that keeps the UK running, but it may come as a surprise to you that many of our most beloved tea brands still use plastic in their tea bags! I know right, pretty shocking.
Well, one of the simplest ways to counteract this is to start consuming loose tea. Most of your favourite tea brands, including PG Tips and Tetley, sell huge bags of loose tea leaves in the supermarket, which come at absolutely no extra cost to you. All you need to do is invest in a tea pot and some loose tea leaf infusers, and you’re good to go!
Although this may seem life a drag to begin with, you’ll soon get used to it. You may even find that you prefer the taste of your brew this way, whilst emulating your favourite characters from Downton Abbey in the process.
8. Eat Less Meat
Making sustainable living as simple and easy as possible is one sure-fire way to get more people on board. With this in mind, eating less meat is perhaps one of the simplest ways you can become more sustainable at home.
Mass produced meat is one of the biggest killers of our planet, using up tonnes of water, and producing a hell of a lot of methane along the way. So, stamping this out of your everyday diet as much as possible is a no-brainer if you want to do your bit.
Now, I know what you may be thinking: “there’s no way I can become a vegan, or even a vegetarian, for that matter. I love meat and dairy way too much!” Well, let me tell you this now; eating less meat doesn’t have to come at the cost of missing out on this yummy food altogether.
One of the biggest tips I always share with my fellow friends is that learning to live sustainably is a team effort. It’s not about a few individuals living perfectly vegan, it’s about a load of us living imperfectly vegan and vegetarian… flexitarian, you might say.
So, why not start to replace certain foods with dairy alternatives, for example, start drinking oat milk instead of dairy milk. Or, why not cut out meat during the weekdays, and treat yourselves at the weekends? Eating vegan or vegetarian doesn’t have to be boring at all; it provides you with a method to eat much more healthily, and experiment with food in new ways.
Remember, it’s the little efforts you put in, here or there, that will make the difference. Even if it may feel as though little old you has no control over this all, you can take control in small ways like this.
9. Try and Avoid Fast Fashion
This next tip is certainly easier said than done, as we’re living in a world where amazing fashion items can be delivered to our door in less than 24 hours. It’s definitely a convenient way to shop, however, fast fashion really is one of our biggest problems when it comes to our environment. So, if we have the means and the drive for it, let’s make a change!
There are a number of ways you can do this, including buying second-hand, via charity shops or depop. Or, there are a wide variety of conscious fashion companies who can provide you with fresh new looks, which are suitably sustainable. There are also clothes exchanges and Kilo Sales where you can buy gorgeous vintage clothes for bargain prices.
Granted, we can’t be perfect all the time, and buying fast fashion every so often can’t be helped. But, again, where you can make these changes to your life, why not give it a try?
10. Start With the Things You Can Control…
Climate change may seem like a huge and uncontrollable obstacle which we’re unable to clamber over. It certainly is a major cause of anxiety in many people, mainly because of the lack of control we feel because of it. That said, our biggest hope is to start with the things we can control, which all begins with making small daily changes.
Take reading, for example. If you’re a big reader like me, perhaps investing in a Kindle might be the way to go? After all, this is sure to save our trees from being cut down wherever they can be saved.
I know this may seem like a pretty small issue within a much larger problem, and it really is. Book lovers are certainly not the issue; it’s the larger companies who have the power to change, but refuse to do so, who are the problem. That said, this just demonstrates the power we have to change small things in our lives which can have huge positive effects if done on mass.
I won’t lie that these changes may be a struggle for many. Buying a Kindle, for example, is a big cost to begin with, and certainly relies on a person having enough savings to afford it. For many, these sorts of hopes are unattainable.
That said, many of us who are more privileged are able to help in these small ways. By making these small sacrifices here and there, we can all do our bit. So, if you have the money for it, why not? Not only will this save you a fair amount of cash in the long-run, it’ll save you from contributing to the huge amounts of paper used in book production too.
Ready to Start Living Sustainably?
As we’ve seen, sustainable living doesn’t have to be difficult; it’s all about making small sacrifices here and there, which are likely to benefit you in many ways in the long-run. After all, by implementing just the short list above, you’ll be saving time, money, and improving your health in the process!
Of course, we can’t deny the big issue with a number of these solutions; that many require a lump sum of cash to get you started, which not everyone has. However, if you’re one of the lucky ones who is privileged enough to afford these items, why not do your bit where you can? As I’ve mentioned before, it’s all about those who can try to do so living imperfectly sustainable.
What do you think of my 10 easy ways to live sustainably? Have I inspired you with some new ways to rethink the way you live daily, or perhaps you already do many of these and want to share your own experiences and ideas below? Be sure to get involved in the comments!