The world is changing, and so are we……
If there’s one thing that we all can agree on though, it’s that sustainability matters NOW more than ever.
But what do we mean by sustainable living? What does sustainable living look like?
What is Sustainable Living?
Sustainable living helps us reduce the impact of our lifestyle on the environment while still enjoying all the comforts and luxuries we have come to love.
In this blog post, I’ll take you through ten easy-to-follow tips & products that will help you adopt a more sustainable lifestyle starting today!
Living a more sustainable lifestyle is not as difficult as some will have you believe. According to The Big Issue one of the easiest ways to lower your carbon footprint is to swap out single use plastic bags for long life or reusable ones.
In fact, implementing a few simple changes over time, can significantly reduce your environmental footprint. For more information check out my blog ‘Sustainable Swaps For the Home‘. If you’re new to green living then a great way to remember how is to adopt the 3 R’s:
This simple mantra can have a huge impact on your life and the environment by reducing landfill waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
Sustainable Living Audit
The best place to start is to complete a short lifestyle audit. Fear not I’ve made a handy table for you to check with an audit where you could make a eco-swap today. Click here to get the PDF download checklist.
|Thinking About it
|Not Swapped Yet
|Reusable Face wipes
As you can see the list is quite short and full audit is more extensive as there are a lot of areas in your life that could be less eco-friendly than you first thought!
My top nine main tips to consider when thinking about sustainable living are:
- Reducing energy consumption
- Reducing water usage
- Sustainable Transport options
- Reduce food waste
- Use natural cleaning products
- Buy Organic locally sourced food
- Selling and donating old clothes and products
- Buy second-hand products and clothes as much as possible.
- Educating yourself and your family about sustainable living.
Having read through all the nine tips I bet you’ll realise you were already doing a few of these things. We’ll also be discussing how technology and businesses can play a crucial role in promoting sustainable living.
Why is Sustainable Living Important?
We know that adopting a more sustainable lifestyle is crucial if we want to ensure a better future for our planet. The key takeaway from this article is that sustainability is all about reducing our environmental footprint and preserving natural resources for future generations.
By minimizing our carbon footprint through actions such as recycling and reducing waste that goes into landfills, we can do our part to help combat climate change.
My top tips include planning ahead and making small changes such as using public transportation to go to the shops or reusable bags can have a huge impact on the environment. Whilst the government has made some small steps to regulate companies not enough is being done quickly enough so it falls to us to make changes as well.
The benefits of sustainable living are manifold- not only does it promote healthier living. It is great for your mental health it gets you out into nature and it also encourages a sense of community as people work together towards a common goal of preserving biodiversity and promoting sustainable development.
How To Reduce Energy Consumption
Sustainable living includes, reducing our energy consumption is vital. Not only does it help minimize our environmental footprint and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it also saves us money in the long run. Simple energy reduction tips include:
1. Turning off lights when not in use.
2. Using energy-efficient appliances (this should include a yearly service for bigger appliances)
3. Adjusting thermostats for better efficiency.
4. Using renewable energy such as solar or wind power should be considered as well because it reduces our reliance on non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels.
5. Recycling electronics that have reached their end of life is a great way to reduce landfill waste and conserve natural resources.
How To Reduce Water Usage
Conserving water is a vital aspect of sustainable living since it safeguards this scarce resource. By spending just one minute less in the shower each day, a family of four can conserve both water and energy while also reducing their carbon footprint, as per the Energy Saving Trust.
There are numerous other simple ways to save water, tips include:
– Repairing leaks.
– Reduce the number of baths to once a month treat.
– Using brooms to sweep and clean instead of hoses to clean outside areas.
– Gathering rainwater for irrigation purposes and selecting native plants that require less watering.
Conserving water not only benefits us but future generations through reduced greenhouse gas emissions and decreased strain on natural resources.
Sustainable Transportation Options
To make your lifestyle more sustainable, it is important to consider eco-friendly ways to get around such as:
- Push scooter
Instead of driving alone consider using public transport or lift-sharing (aka carpooling). This is a great sustainable living alternative to reduce your carbon footprint.
Road transport accounts for roughly a fifth of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions and the government’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) says we need to cut car travel by around a tenth by 2035 to help control climate change.
Not only do sustainable transport options benefit the environment but they also save you money on petrol gas and car maintenance costs.
Minimizing Food Waste
Sustainable living means planning your meals beforehand and purchasing only what is necessary. I’ll be the forst to hold my hands up and say ‘this is hard’ but according to Business Waste, UK household throw away 9.5 million tonnes of food waste each year!
Utilizing leftovers are all simple but effective methods to minimize food wastage at home and as I mentioned before save you money £800 per year to be exact!
I found that when we started using our food waste bin the rubbish in the main bin halved. We also started batch cooking and freezing meals for later in the week. This was an absolute game-changer.
Currently, I use a food waste bin provided to me by my local council but not all UK councils are the same (my last one didn’t provide a bin for food waste). Tips include:
- Purchase a kitchen compost bin similar to this one and buy a compost bin for your garden to compost green-only waste (i.e. no meat dairy or fish).
- I also recommend using biodegradable bags as transferring food waste into your larger compost bin is much easier.
Once the compost is complete you can use it in your garden on new plants or if you are growing your own vegetables. It’s very satisfying!
Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Switching to eco-friendly cleaning products is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint and promote sustainable living.
Traditional cleaning products often contain harmful chemicals such as parabens, petrolatum and other nasties that harm the environment and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. Traditional cleaning products also have a lot of plastic waste and are not always easy to recycle.
Choosing environmentally friendly alternatives like homemade solutions or eco-friendly biodegradable brands, you can take a step towards a more sustainable lifestyle. My top tips include: reading my last two blog posts!
I created a blog on The Best Natural Cleaning Products where I listed some great eco-friendly products to buy as well as a multi-purpose spray cleaner recipe. I also have a blog listing great zero-waste natural laundry products. This gives an in-depth overview of the best organic natural detergents available.
Buying Locally Sourced & Organic Foods
Choosing to buy locally sourced and organic foods is a significant step towards adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. By supporting local farmers and avoiding food grown with harmful pesticides, we can help reduce our environmental footprint. Pesticides can also be harmful to our health.
Additionally, in-season produce not only supports local agriculture but also ensures that the food is fresher and more flavoursome, making it a great alternative to excess packaging found in supermarkets.
Farmer’s markets and community-supported agriculture programs are excellent options for those looking to access locally sourced and organic foods.
Through these efforts, we can help sustain small businesses, and rural communities, preserve biodiversity, and work towards achieving United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals while creating a positive impact on climate change.
Indoor Air Quality Improvement
Improving indoor air quality is a crucial part of sustainable living that shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s vital to keep in mind that poor indoor air quality can cause allergies, asthma, and respiratory issues.
To tackle this problem, it’s essential to use natural cleaning products, open up windows for proper ventilation, or consider using an air purifier like the Levoit Air Purifier to ensure pollen and other toxic air fumes are kept to a minimum.
Another eco-friendly option is to add plants to the rooms in your house. I have a range of plants that I have collected over the years. Apart from adding texture to every room, they also serve as an excellent means of ensuring good air quality.
Selling, Donating, & Recycling Old Items – Eco-Friendly app
Adapting sustainable living practices such as selling, donating, and recycling old items, you can contribute to reducing landfill waste and protecting the environment and make a bit of extra money!
There are lots of people these days making £200 and more per month selling things they no longer need!
Clothing production alone has a massive environmental impact, a typical pair of jeans requires approximately 1,800 gallons of water to produce! My tips include using online marketplaces such as:
- Facebook marketplace.
I personally use Vinted for me, my little one and my husband’s clothes and shoes. Once we no longer need them we resell them on Vinited and use the money to buy something else. It’s a win-win! Vinted is also a super simple app that you can use on your phone.
If you don’t want to sell your clothes. Donating items to local charity shops or charity collections is another great way to reduce waste while helping your community and improve your sustainable living goals.
Educating Yourself & Advocating For Change
So When thinking about sustainable living I’m not saying you should glue yourself to your local park fence in protest, but there are informed decisions we can all make to change the world we live in.
Making decisions such as taking action through activism or voting for local and national governments that are going to help the environment and not harm it are two important steps in achieving a more sustainable lifestyle.
By educating yourself and your family on sustainable practices, such as reducing food waste or using reusable bags instead of plastic ones, you can help reduce your environmental impact.
As well as reading this blog! there are other spaces you can check out that give the latest news and tips concerning eco-friendly and sustainable policies and companies.
Advocating for change can also make a significant impact on global sustainability efforts by promoting renewable energy sources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and preserving natural resources.
I’m constantly thinking of ways that I can educate my little one on how to live sustainably. Part of this is living by example (e.g. taking a shorter shower) but also letting her get out into nature and appreciate the natural world.
Making Sustainable Choices Through Technology
Technology has revolutionized the concept of sustainable living, making it easier for everyone to make conscious choices that benefit our planet. By using technology, households can monitor and reduce energy consumption, contributing to a more sustainable lifestyle.
Additionally, investing in renewable energy sources such as solar panels or wind turbines is a great alternative to traditional fossil fuels that produce greenhouse gases.
While solar panels are such a great way to save on energy, they are also pretty pricey and so may be out of budget for many. Tips include using budget-friendly options like:
- Installing smart home meters that automate and optimize energy. They can save you a ton of money while reducing carbon emissions.
We installed a smart meter and managed to save £450 over the winter months first by monitoring how much energy we were using but by insulating our home and wearing thick Oodies and wrap-around-hot-water bottles (worked a treat!)
Utilizing online resources and apps not only introduces more sustainable products but also makes them accessible to everyone, promoting sustainability on a global scale.
Sustainable Packaging (Recycle & Reuse) Alternatives
Using sustainable packaging alternatives instead of traditional ones is so much better for the environment. These alternatives include biodegradable, reusable, minimalist, compostable, or recyclable options.
Choosing biodegradable options made from natural resources reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps prevent deforestation caused by the creation of traditional petroleum-based plastics. Reusable bags are a great alternative to single-use plastic bags that end up in landfills and oceans, polluting our planet.
Minimalist products reduce excess packaging while still protecting products during shipping and distribution. Compostable products like bamboo utensils or plates are an eco-friendly alternative for items that would typically end up in landfills or oceans.
My tips include: opting for products with recyclable certifications like those offered on marketplaces like Amazon is one more way you can live a more sustainable lifestyle while promoting circular economies that reduce waste and support biodiversity.
The Benefits Of Recycling & Reusing
A more sustainable lifestyle involves reducing our environmental footprint by choosing to recycle, reuse, and reduce excess packaging. Recycling conserves natural resources, reduces waste such as plastic bottles, saves money, creates job opportunities in the recycling industry, helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and positively impacts public health.
You can adopt a more sustainable way of life by shopping locally sourced organic foods, using reusable bags instead of single-use plastic bags from UK supermarkets. There has been an issue of late whereby people have been just buying more and more reusable bags. One way to combat this is to keep reusable bags in a place visible to you before you head to the shops.
Dairy Alternatives For A Sustainable Lifestyle
Rather than contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and water usage through dairy production, sustainable living can involve opting for plant-based milk alternatives such as:
I’ve tried loads over the years and the best for tea and coffee is definitely oat milk. Aldi does a great version that is budget friendly and tastes great! Check out my recent blog comparing Non-Dairy Milk For Tea.
Tips for making the switch from dairy to alternative is to try them all in different foods and drinks you like. for example, almond works really well in cappuccino and flat white and oat is great in black tea.
These environmentally friendly options not only reduce the environmental impact of dairy products but also offer a great alternative source of essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin-D.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different plant-based kinds of milk to find the perfect taste and texture for your more sustainable lifestyle.
Composting/Gardening 101: How To Get Started
Composting is an excellent way to decrease the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills and produce nutrient-rich soil for gardening purposes.
Incorporating these small changes into our everyday lives can have a huge impact on creating a more sustainable future for generations to come.
By following my simple tips and tricks you could start today:
Step 1: Choose a Compost Bin or Area
Select a suitable composting bin or designate an area in your garden for composting. This can be a traditional compost bin, a compost tumbler, or a simple pile. Ensure the location is convenient and easily accessible.
Step 2: Layer Green and Brown Materials
Start your compost pile by layering green and brown materials. Green materials include vegetable scraps, grass clippings, and fresh leaves, while brown materials consist of dry leaves, straw, and wood chips. Alternate between the layers to create a balanced compost mix.
Step 3: Add Water and Aerate
Moisten the compost pile with water to achieve a damp but not soggy consistency. Regularly check the moisture level and water as needed to maintain the ideal balance. Additionally, aerate the pile by turning it with a garden fork or using a compost aerator tool. This helps provide oxygen and facilitates decomposition.
Step 4: Monitor and Maintain
Keep an eye on your compost pile to ensure it remains healthy. Monitor the moisture level, adjust as necessary, and check the temperature. A well-maintained compost pile should be moist, warm, and decomposing steadily. Avoid adding meat, dairy products, or oily materials, as they can attract pests and slow down the composting process.
Step 5: Harvest and Use the Compost
After several months, your compost will transform into dark, crumbly soil-like material. This indicates that it’s ready to be used in your garden. Harvest the finished compost by sifting out any large, undecomposed pieces. Apply the compost to your garden beds as a nutrient-rich soil amendment. It can be used as a top dressing, mixed into potting soil, or spread around plants to promote healthy growth.
Final Thoughts On Composting
Remember to be patient with the composting process, as it can take several months to a year for compost to fully mature. By following this unique 5-step process, you’ll be able to create rich, organic compost to enhance the fertility and health of your garden.
You can troubleshoot common problems like odours or pests by making minor adjustments to your compost mix.
By making these changes in our daily lives and educating ourselves on sustainable development goals, we can build a more sustainable future for generations to come.
The Role Of Businesses In Promoting Sustainability
In today’s world, where climate change is an ever-increasing concern, sustainable living has become more important than ever before. When it comes to promoting sustainability, businesses have a crucial role to play.
They can reduce their environmental impact by investing in renewable energy sources like solar or wind power. They can also implement green practices such as recycling, reducing waste, and using eco-friendly products which will help them lower their carbon footprint.
My top tips for workplace sustainability are:
- Speak to your employers about their sustainability practices: ask them if they are actively encouraging employees to adopt sustainable practices like using public transportation or reusable bags, water bottles etc. Their co-operation can make a huge difference.
- If you are a business owner like me, consider partnering with other businesses that prioritize sustainability, this is another great way for companies to create a positive impact while encouraging others to follow suit. You can then shout about it on your socials and company blogs!
- Lastly, certification programs such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) can help businesses become more sustainable by focusing on energy efficiency and the use of natural resources. By doing so, they are not only helping the environment but also creating a more sustainable future the company and society.
Why you should choose sustainable brands
Choosing sustainable brands goes beyond just purchasing products. It is a conscious decision to support companies that align with your values and contribute to a more sustainable and responsible future. my top tips for choosing sustainable brands are:
1. Environmental Impact: Sustainable brands prioritize eco-friendly practices and materials. They are committed to reducing their carbon footprint, conserving natural resources, and minimizing pollution.
2. Social Responsibility: Sustainable brands often prioritize fair labor practices, ensuring that workers throughout their supply chains are treated ethically and paid fair wages. They may also support local communities, invest in social initiatives, and promote diversity and inclusivity.
3. High-Quality Products: Sustainable brands often emphasize quality over quantity. They focus on creating durable, long-lasting products that are designed to withstand the test of time. By choosing sustainable brands, you invest in items that are built to last, reducing the need for frequent replacements and ultimately reducing waste.
4. Innovation and Creativity: Many sustainable brands are at the forefront of innovation, developing new materials, manufacturing processes, and technologies to minimize environmental impact. They often embrace creativity and out-of-the-box thinking to find innovative solutions to sustainability challenges.
5. Personal Health and Well-being: Sustainable brands often prioritize the use of natural and non-toxic materials in their products. This can include organic textiles, plant-based ingredients, and non-toxic dyes or finishes.
What Can You Do Today?
There are simple changes you can make over the next few days to live more sustainably. My tips include:
- Buy a reusable bag next time you do the weekly food shop.
- Replace Halogen light bulbs with LED light brands like Lepro Beyonet – they last 10X longer.
- Educate yourself on companies and brands are and are not Eco-Friendly. Education is crucial to create a sustainable society. Small daily choices can have a big impact on the planet.
Final Thoughts on Sustainable Living
Incorporating sustainable living practices into your daily routine can seem overwhelming, but it’s important to start somewhere. We’re all in the fight to help stop global warming and the best place to start is at home.
Whether it’s reducing your energy consumption, minimizing food waste, or advocating for change, every small step counts towards a bigger goal of preserving our planet and your local environment.
Grab yourself a natural cleaning product recipe guide jam packed with easy-to-make recipes for your home. Start your sustainable living journey today!