How To Live More Sustainably, Even If You Have No Idea Where To Start
Living in Australia and seeing first-hand how climate change is affecting our country with the drought and then the fires was the wakeup call I needed to see how important it is to live sustainably.
But, if you’re like me, you might not have any real idea where to start.
Here are some super simple tips you can start implementing in your daily life that will help make the planet a better place.
1. Use a reusable drink bottle and coffee cup
This one is so simple and many people already do this, but if not, it’s time to get on it! There are so many cute drink bottles and keep cups out there so there’s really no excuse.
Plus, some cafes will even give you a discount if you have your own coffee cup!
2. Take your own bags to the shops
If you live in Australia, then this isn’t something you can avoid when you’re grocery shopping anyway. But, another little tip is to also buy reusable bags for your fruit and veg so you’re not using those little plastic bags that aren’t good for anything else.
3. Buy second-hand clothes
The fashion industry’s carbon impact is bigger than the airline industry.
Fashion accounts for more than eight per cent of global carbon emissions and fast fashion, in particular, is really bad for the environment.
So, if you want to buy something ‘new’, try checking out second-hand stores. Another great idea is to rent clothing when you have a big event coming up. This way you get to wear something different and feel good about helping the environment!
Living more sustainably requires consuming less. So, only buy something new if something else actually needs replacing.
4. Use a dishwasher instead of handwashing
You might not realise this, but hand washing uses a lot more water than the dishwasher. So, save your energy (and time), by stacking the dishwasher instead.
5. Eat as seasonally and locally as possible
If you eat seasonally and locally, you know your food hasn’t had to travel very far to get to you and it hasn’t required a massive amount of resources to grow.
Or, if you can, grow your own fruit and vegetables!
6. Take public transport, ride a bike or walk
Taking public transport, riding a bike or walking will help reduce energy consumption, greenhouse gases and other pollutants. Plus, if you’re riding a bike or walking you’re also getting great exercise — it’s a win-win!
If you can buy a second-hand bike, that’s even better!
If you absolutely can’t do without a car, maybe consider investing in an electric or hybrid model.
7. Gift people experiences instead of things
Let’s be honest, we don’t really need more stuff in our lives.
Experiences can be priceless and the memories last forever. And, if the gift is something you can do together, even better!
Another great idea could be to make a donation on their behalf to something they’re passionate about. Or you could even sponsor an animal in their name.
One of the best gifts I’ve given where the person was so grateful was tickets to the movies and the offer of babysitting to a new mum. So simple, but the perfect gift for her that didn’t involve anything material.
If you really want to buy someone a physical gift (maybe a reusable drink bottle or coffee cup?), make sure the gift wrap is actually recyclable. Or use a gift bag that they can then reuse.
8. Go paperless
Where possible, choose to have your mail and receipts sent to you electronically. If you’re a student or an office worker take notes on your electronic devices instead of notebooks if you can.
If you’re planning a big event like a wedding, send electronic invitations — this will also save you a decent amount of money!
Put a sticker on your mailbox that says ‘No Junk Mail’ to reduce paper waste (this won’t always work, but it’s better than nothing!).
This will also drastically reduce the paper clutter in your home.
9. Recycle your old devices
When you’re ready to upgrade your electronic devices, recycle your old ones, or even sell them on to someone else.
On the flip-side of that, another good idea is to buy appliances and electronics secondhand!
10. Take shorter showers
Try not to leave the water running unnecessarily when showering, brushing your teeth or washing your face. If your shower takes a while to heat up, why not leave a bucket to catch the cold water, which you can then use to water your garden?
I hope these simple steps help you on your way to living more sustainably!
I’d love to hear from you too, what are your simple tips to being more eco-friendly?