One of my main goals this year is to start living a much more sustainable lifestyle. I think it’s really important to make differences in how we live to aid the planet. I think one of the biggest problems with our current lifestyles is that we’ve grown lazy and complacent. We’re completely used to the fact that we can use things once, throw them away and never think about them again. I mentioned in a recent blog post about how simply using a reusable bottle filled with water or squash from home has lessened my impact on climate change. These little differences have a huge payoff. If we all took little steps to be friendlier to the planet then I think we could see a real difference. So here are some small things you can do to be nicer to our planet.
Get a reusable bottle
This is by far one of the easiest changes you can make. Reusable bottles are sold everywhere and they can be so cheap. I got the one in the picture below from Wilko’s for £5. You can splurge on a fancy Chilly’s one but honestly, one that costs £1 will still make the same difference. Tap water is free. Like it makes so much sense just to bring it from home rather than pay £1.20 for a bottle. It irks me when I still see people buying so much bottled water. To remember to take my bottle when I go out I put it with my keys and purse, I can’t possibly forget those things so I don’t forget my bottle either.
Get a reusable shopping bag
I have two tote bags that I take with me whenever I do any kind of shop. If I forget these then I have a foldable shopping bag in my handbag at all times. It can take effort to remember these things but the little things like plastic bags and bottles are some of the worst culprits when it comes to waste. Think of the money saved too. Strong shopping bags are usually 20p, if you use three of them when you do a big shop weekly that’s £31.20 a year you’re spending on plastic shopping bags when you could just spend £3 for three reusable ones which will likely last years.
Refuse what you don’t need
This one sounds a little cheeky and if you’re shy like me then it’s a hard thing to do but also a necessary thing. If you go to an event and you’re offered tacky freebies then politely turn them down. When you’re walking around a shop and they offer you a sample in a plastic cup, nicely say no thank you. You have to stick to your guns and be a little brave on this journey but it’s all worth it!
Turn stuff off when it’s not in use
My family are absolute fiends when it comes to leaving electricals on even when they’re not in use. My brother’s bedroom light is on 24/7, my sister leaves the TV on when she’s going out and my dad has about a thousand things plugged in at once. I go around like the electricity police turning all these things off during the day. Flicking a switch is literally so easy. Make a habit of checking things are off while you’re out or when you’re not using them. You can also save on your electric bill this way so it’s a double whammy.
Lots of companies now give you the option to go paperless with what they send you, either that or you can opt-out of letters being sent. All of my bank statements are paperless now which is good news for the trees. I know sometimes you need these documents so I’m sure you can request a bank statement to be sent out even if you are paperless if you really need it.
Learn to reuse and repair
We live in a world where we can so easily replace things when they are done with or get broken but you really don’t need to throw these things away. Old body butter containers are perfect for storing home-made beauty products. Empty spray bottles can be filled with home-made cleaning products. Ripped clothes can either be repaired or turned into something new. I cut up old t-shirts to make cleaning rags with. There is almost always a way to give things a new purpose.
Have food prepped
Fast-food has such a huge impact on the environment. One easy way to combat this is to prepare things. I used to get food when I went to university either from the canteen or from a fast-food place nearby but now I meal prep and take that in with me. Doing this helps in three ways: it saves me money, it helps me eat healthier and it helps the environment. As Mufasa would say “Be preparedddddd”.
Take part in events that can help make the world a lil’ cleaner. These might be eco-bricks challenges, clearing rubbish from around your area, workshops that teach you to sew or create home-made beauty products. There is loads of stuff out there to get involved with. The nice thing is that you’ll get to meet like-minded people while you’re doing it!
Politely educate others
Often, people don’t realise the impact that things such as single-use items, not recycling or leaving electricals on can have on the planet. I have nicely spoken with my family and we now make more of an effort collectively to recycle. My sister loves drinking through straws so I got her some reusable metal ones. I’m educating my younger siblings on little things they can do to make a change. Not everyone will be on board but be really nice about it and people tend to help out.
My opinion is that a lot of the problems with the environment stem from laziness. We are so used to using things once and then chucking them away. It’s easy to do that and that’s half the problem. Be mindful about what you’re buying, using, eating, throwing away etc. Put a few more seconds of thought into it. Doing these things isn’t easy at first but making them habits helps so much.
♡ What changes have you made to live a more sustainable life?
“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Until next time,