Living sustainably is one of the newest and healthiest trends that you can jump on, but it can be difficult to change your lifestyle to be more environmentally conscious. If you’re wanting to start living sustainably, these are 20 easy ways to begin.
1. Buy a reusable straw
One of the most popular ways to start living sustainably is to stop drinking out of disposable plastic straws and instead simply carry a reusable straw with you. They’re sold almost everywhere now, and it’s a simple way to limit how much waste you’re creating.
2. Shop for groceries with your own bags
Most shops around the world have begun charging customers for plastic bags, so not only is shopping with reusable bags a great way to begin living sustainably, but it’s also the more affordable option! Buy some cloth bags the next time you’re at the store and always carry them with you in your car so you never forget.
3. Don’t package fruit in plastic
Though it may be habitual to package your fruit in plastic at the grocery store, it’s an unnecessary waste and can be avoided by just putting fruit in your cart or reusable bag on its own and then rinsing it with water when you get home.
4. Drink from a reusable water bottle
Along with reusable straws, you can start living sustainably by cutting down on the amount of plastic water bottles you throw away and drink from a reusable water bottle instead. Plus, it’ll save you on continuously buying plastic water bottles when you’re out and in need of water.
5. Look for clothes second-hand
Fast fashion is one of the most harmful industries to the environment today, so shopping for clothes second-hand is a great way to bypass this and reduce your carbon footprint. You can shop at donation stores like Goodwill or charity shops, or you can look on apps like Poshmark and Depop where other people sell their clothes!
As easy as it can be to just throw all your rubbish away in one bin, taking that extra step to sort your trash into the correct recycling bins goes a long way to saving the planet and living sustainably. When you’re not home, try to still look for recycling bins so you continue to stay in this mindset!
7. Air-dry your laundry
If time isn’t of the essence and you’re able to air-dry your clothes, do it! It will help you save on your electricity bill and it’s better for the environment, plus there are certain clothes that should be air-dried anyways like undergarments and workout gear.
8. Take shorter showers
As much as you may not want to hear it, taking shorter showers is one of the best habits to develop a sustainable lifestyle by reducing the amount of water you waste and practising conscious thinking about your carbon footprint. Start by timing the average length of your normal shower and try to trim a few minutes off!
9. Limit your meat consumption
You don’t necessarily have to go vegetarian or vegan to start living sustainably, especially as this can prove difficult for some people due to dietary restrictions and physical needs, but simply eating meat less often will go a long day to helping the environment by contributing less to the meat industry, which has a huge carbon footprint.
10. Stop buying paper towels
Paper towels are a serious waste that most people don’t even realise they’re contributing so heavily to, and by not buying paper towels at your next shop you’ll force yourself to use cloth towels and start living sustainably.
11. Clean your face with a cleanser, not wipes
Face wipes can cause a huge backup in the drainage system and therefore to the oceans and pollution, a waste that most people aren’t even aware of. By cleaning your face and taking makeup off with a cleanser instead of face wipes, you’re living sustainably even in your skincare routine and making a positive difference to pollution.
12. Drink tea and coffee from mugs
Instead of drinking tea and coffee from disposable cups, using mugs or reusable coffee cups are a simple way to limit the amount of waste you’re producing, and it’s a great excuse to buy more cute mugs for your house!
13. Turn off lights when you leave a room
This one is simple but so underused! If you’re concerned about not living sustainably, an easy step to make in the adjustment process is to check that all lights are off as you leave a room. This not only saves you money on your electricity bill but it saves the environment, too!
14. Don’t leave electronics plugged in
This is of a similar vein to turning lights off as you leave a room, but it’s important to note this separately because most of the time we are unaware of the electronics we keep plugged in all the time! If you’re not using something or a device is fully charged, unplug it and save on your electricity bill and your carbon footprint.
15. Keep the faucet off when brushing your teeth
There is absolutely no need to have the faucet running as you brush your teeth, yet most people do it twice a day without thinking. Instead of this, just rinse out your sink when you’re done brushing your teeth and save on a ton of water.
16. Cook more meals instead of eating out
Eating out comes with a lot of unexpected environmental effects, including disposable cutlery and takeaway boxes. By cooking more meals in the house or meal-prepping, you’ll save on all that waste and have some extra spending money in your wallet!
17. Bike, walk, or use public transport where possible
Individual cars commuting every day has a detrimental effect on the planet, seen with the air pollution in cities where this is more common. Instead, try to use other methods of transportation that have less of an environmental impact, including biking, walking, and taking public transport, whenever it’s possible for your route.
18. Donate instead of binning
Even if you feel no one may want your old things, there is no harm in donating things instead of throwing them away, and it will contribute to the reuse cycle of recycling that promotes second-hand shopping and not supporting industries with a significant environmental impact. You can donate anything from clothes and kitchen appliances to furniture and decorations, all locally.
19. Only wash clothes if you need to
If something is wrinkled or was only worn once, you do not need to throw it in your next wash! Be cautious about how much you’re washing to limit the amount of energy you’re using.
20. Encourage others to live sustainably
If everyone practised these tips, the world would be a healthier and safer place! To take things to the next level, encourage your friends or family to adopt some of these habits or share this article to gain momentum for the movement of living sustainably.