How to Start Living Sustainably

The fact that you’re reading this means that you are probably already on your way to living sustainably.

You’re considering what impact you’re having on the environment and what you can do to reduce that. You’ve probably already taken your own bags to the supermarket and chosen not to have a straw with your drink?

So, how can you live even more sustainably / low waste? It’s a change in the way you think and the everyday choices that you make.

The best way to start living sustainably is by making small changes, that work for you and your lifestyle. Most importantly, they are changes that you will stick to.

So, here’s a list of 5 things you can start doing today to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Some of which you may already doing! Woohoo!

1. Reduce your Food Waste

It’s estimated that 7 million tonnes of food is wasted in UK households every year. The majority of this ends up in landfill.

The amount of food we throw away is a huge waste of resources. Think about all of the energy, water and packaging used in food production, transportation and storage which all goes to waste when we throw perfectly good food away.

Most food in the UK ends up in landfill sites where it rots and releases methane, a severely damaging green house gas.

Here’s what you can do.

1) Plan.

You can help to reduce your food waste by planning your meals in advance. I always try to do my plan on a Sunday evening ready for the week ahead.

Buying the right amount of food for the meals you’re going to make is an easy way to reduce the amount of food you waste at home.

2) Use it up!

In the UK we waste 1 million loaves of bread every day!

Bread freezes really well. If freeze your loaf before it goes off, you can use it slice by slice from the freezer for months!

You can make a sandwich for work with the the frozen slices and by the lunchtime it’ll be defrosted and ready to be eaten! Saving that loaf from the bin!

https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com for loads more ideas on how to reduce your food waste at home.

3) Join the food waste reducing community.

Apps like Olio and TooGoodToGo enable you to actively prevent good food from going to waste in you area by giving you the opportunity to use it first!

2. Start to love Pre-Loved

It takes 1,800 gallons of water to make 1 pair of denim jeans!

Buying second hand clothes helps to reduce the amount of energy used to create new products and prevents clothing from being sent to landfill.

Just buying one pair of jeans second hand helps save all of that water and energy being used again to create a brand new pair that are probably very similar to the ones in your local charity shop..

Here’s what you can do.

Before you buy your next item of clothing, search for it second hand, online on Gumtree, eBay or Facebook. Or look for it in charity and reuse shops!

This is something that I now do naturally. If I want something for the house or myself, I’ll always look for it second hand first. I’ve found some of my quirkiest and nicest things second hand.

A great way to get the most out of online second hand is to set up a ‘saved search’ for your favourite brands in your size on eBay. It’ll notify you every time a new item is listed!

3. Say ‘No’

Saying ‘No’ to unnecessary things like straws, receipts and carrier bags you are preventing this waste being created in the first place!

Let’s face it… who’s ever used a food shop receipt for anything… ever. Just say no!

Here’s what you can do.

Just by asking for no straw, declining a carrier bag or asking for your receipt to be emailed to you you’re reducing the amount of waste you produce on a daily basis!

This is something you can start doing right now!

4. Go Green Energy

A typical home produces 3.4 tonnes of CO2 every year – that’s the equivalent weight of an Orca Whale!

Here’s what you can do.

Change to a renewable energy supplier. Here’s a list of the green energy suppliers in the UK – https://www.cable.co.uk/energy/guides/green-energy/

By changing to a renewable energy supplier you’re helping to preserve fossil fuels whilst also reducing the carbon footprint of your home without much effort at all!

We moved to Bulb a few years ago as it was the cheapest option for us in Bristol and uses 100% renewable electricity and 10% green gas.

5. Make your Own

Shop bought cleaning products can contain chemicals that are extremely harmful to the environment.

Washing powder contains Phosphates which can cause eutrophication upsetting the balance of nutrients in rivers and streams, decreasing the biodiversity in those water courses.

There are so many different chemicals in cleaning products, it’s impossible keep track of them all. However, making your own cleaning products takes surprisingly few ingredients and is super easy to do.

Here’s what you can do.

You can make effective environmentally friendly household cleaners with a handful of ingredients at home!

By making your own you can reduce the amount of plastic packaging you are purchasing and reduce the amount of chemicals being released into the environment.

Here’s a link to my post on how to make your own surface cleaner with only 3 natural ingredients.

I hope you’ve read something here that’s inspired you to live more sustainably!

Let me know if you have made any of these changes!

Thanks for reading!

Emilie x

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