Have you often found yourself thinking you need to be more sustainable but without atcually knowing where to start? It’s completely understandable, sustainability is a hot topic these days, and for good reason.
The way we live our lives has a significant impact on the environment, and it’s crucial that we start making changes now to ensure a better future for ourselves and the planet. But where do we start? And once we do start is it really going to make a difference?
Well, here are 10 tips to help you live a more sustainable life, and remember whatever path you’re on, whatever you’re trying to change, you don’t have to be perfect. It’s the small acts that will make a big difference, we’re all trying our best.
REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE
OK, so we’ve all heard it many times, but the mantra ‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ is the most basic principle of sustainability, and it’s one that we can all be practicing pretty easily. Reduce the amount of waste you produce by buying products with minimal packaging, and recycle/reuse and repair as much as you can.
OPT FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Use public transportation or bike instead of driving. Cars are one of the biggest contributors to air pollution, so reducing your reliance on them can make a big difference. We know it’s not easy, in some cases it’s near impossible when you have to commute from rural areas with next to no public transport, but you could see it as a great way to take up cycling and get in some exercise or better yet another incentive is that it’ll save you money on petrol.
EAT LESS MEAT
Now, this one can be a little more controversial. But, eat less meat! Animal agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, so cutting back on meat can have a big impact. We’re not saying you have to go totally vegan, although there are many health benefits to this. But we are saying maybe eat less.
It’s a lot easier to try vegan alternatives, there is so much choice now in all supermarkets from more reasonably priced own brand options to bigger brands offering meat-substitutes that taste pretty good! Try incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet, for both the environment but if you do it right, also for your health and well-being.
ENERGY EFFICIENT APPLIANCES
Our next tip requires a little bit of upfront costs but could really save you money in the future. Replace your old appliances with energy-efficient models can save you money on your energy bill and reduce your carbon footprint.
GROW YOUR OWN
Plant a garden, a window box or a kitchen shelf. Growing your own food is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and eat healthy. OK so space can be an issue especially if you don’t have a garden, but do you have a window? Then why not grow some lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries even all on your window box. The possibilities are endless, plus, it’s a fun and rewarding hobby for all the family.
MAKE SINGLE-USE BAGS A THING OF THE PAST
Use reusable bags and containers. Single-use plastic bags and containers are a major source of pollution, so switching to reusable options can make a big difference. In fact a great way to use your containers is to find a local eco-refill food store, where you’ll be able to shop packaging-free.
Support sustainable brands. When you buy products from companies that are committed to sustainability, you’re helping to create demand for more environmentally-friendly products. We list a whole range of brands in our directory, but there are so many more to discover. Even choosing more ethical products in fast fashion high street stores is showing them you want more than just an item of clothing, so do look at labels and brands ethics before giving up your hard earned cash.
Another easy one here and one you’ve no doubt heard countless times, is simply, conserve water. Simple things like turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth or taking shorter showers can save a lot of water over time.
With so many second-hand apps and charity shops on the high street, it’s impossible not to find a bargain. Buying used items instead of new can save resources and reduce waste. Plus, it’s a great way to find unique and affordable items.
GET IN THE KNOW
Finally, educate yourself. The more you know about sustainability, the more you can do to make a difference. Read books, watch documentaries, talk to experts and demand answers from big brands and retailers to get them accountable. The more we learn about the issues and hold others to account the more we can help.