15 Ways How to Live More Sustainable Life
Pollution, climate change, deforestation.. Those and more environmental issues are definitely one of the most important and worrying problems we struggle with.
As we become more and more aware of how our actions affect the environment, we seek ways to reduce the impact we make on our planet. Everything we do, every decision we make from choosing the food we eat to clothes we buy, have an impact on the environment.
There are a number of ways to live a more sustainable life and protect the earth for future generations. However, drastically changing our lifestyle is not the answer here. It’s the small steps and small changes you introduce to your lifestyle that matter and can have a long lasting effect. It doesn’t matter how fast or long it takes, every little step makes a difference for a better future.
But what sustainable living really means? Why should we start living more sustainably and how to start living eco friendly? We will answer all those questions below and with that knowledge you can start your lifelong journey to sustainability today.
What is sustainable living?
Before we begin our sustainable journey let’s start with a definition of what sustainable living really is?
Living sustainably means understanding how our lifestyle choices impact the world around us and reducing personal and collective environmental damage. Essentially, sustainable lifestyle means making decisions with planet wellbeing in mind and better use of the Earth’s resources to minimise our carbon footprint.
More simply, it means having as little negative impact on the environment as possible and living in harmony with nature. There are many ways to do that, which we will talk about later, but why should we bother and live more sustainably?
Why live sustainably?
Economic development and continued growth of the human population puts our planet in danger. As our consumption increases and we over-exploit the earth’s resources we face serious consequences.
Degrading our environment, pollution and unsustainable use of Earth’s resources are only a few reasons why we should consider making changes in our lifestyles and live more sustainably.
The quality of the environment including air and the food we eat affect our health and well-being. Choosing locally-grown produce and eating less processed food is better for the environment and benefits our health. It has a direct impact on our lives, which is another reason why protecting the planet should be on our minds.
Saving money can be another benefit of a sustainable lifestyle. Reducing consumption, reusing and living a low waste life can have a positive impact on our wallets.
Also, an eco-friendly lifestyle brings us closer to nature, makes us feel better about our decisions and helps us to live in harmony with ourselves, animals and the environment.
Living sustainably has many benefits both for humans and the planet. Little changes in our lifestyles and having earth’s prosperity in mind makes a huge difference as we are able to protect the environment for future generations.
How to start living eco-friendly in the UK?
Making changes in our lifestyle might seem difficult. Especially the beginning to a sustainable journey can be overwhelming but don’t worry, we prepared a number of ways that will help you.
Remember to make little steps and don’t fixate on living fully sustainably from day one, small steps are easier and more effective.
Start in an area that you feel it would be the easiest to make changes, find eco-friendly alternatives and implement a sustainable approach.
To help you on your eco living journey, we created a list of what you can do to protect our planet.
- Eat less meat - Animal-based food tends to have a larger carbon footprint. Greenhouse gas emissions caused by the production of meat contributes to climate change, that's why reducing the amount of meat (especially red meat) will help to lower personal carbon footprint.
Buy local products - buying local has a smaller impact on the environment as the products don’t have to travel which reduces their carbon footprint. By buying locally we support the local economy and small businesses which often have a smaller carbon footprint than larger companies.
Buy second-hand clothes - Fast fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries. If you can afford to buy sustainable clothing and support brands that care about the planet, that’s great. But if you are on a budget, buy second-hand clothes. Buying clothes that already exist don't support fast fashion and are also much cheaper.
Save energy - Some methods of energy generation use fossil fuels, which cause damage to the environment. That’s why saving energy reduces carbon emissions. There are many ways to do that e.g. turning unnecessary lights, unplugging unused appliances or air-drying clothes.
Use reusable alternatives - Choosing single-use products produces more waste and ends up in landfills and oceans, polluting the environment. Switch disposable plastic products to eco-friendly alternatives e.g. water bottles, reusable grocery bags or coffee mugs.
Use eco-friendly cleaning products - Cleaning products contain a lot of harmful chemicals which cause water pollution. Choose eco-friendly alternatives or make your own. Natural cleaning solutions like baking soda and vinegar are not toxic and very cheap.
Donate unused items - Reduce the waste by donating unused items. If you have clothes you don’t wear anymore or furniture that clutter your space, you can give it away or sell it.
Drive less - Whenever you can, choose other modes of transportation. If your destination is close, walk or bike. It’s healthier for you and the planet. Public transport is another option worth considering. It helps to reduce your fuel consumption and limit greenhouse gas emissions which cause global warming.
Don't waste food - Before you go grocery shopping, make a list, so you know what you already have in your fridge and don’t buy unnecessary items. If you have any leftovers, freeze them for later or compost.
Think twice before shopping. Before you make any purchase make sure you really need it. Every product has its environmental footprint. If you really need to buy a product, choose a sustainable option, consider used and locally manufactured products.
Switch to plastic-free. Plastic pollution is a serious issue affecting humans, wildlife and the environment. Whenever you can, buy products without any packaging or choose paper or glass containers that are either compostable or recyclable.
Avoid brands that endanger wildlife - Don’t support brands that don’t follow a sustainable approach, test their products on animals, use palm-oil or destroy wildlife habitats. Vote with your wallet, shop consciously and buy products made from sustainable materials.
Don’t replace it! Fix it! Before you throw something away and buy a new one, try to fix it. It will give you a sense of accomplishment, reduce waste and help the environment. Fixing is usually much cheaper than buying new, so if you have a piece of clothing or furniture that needs fixing, give it a chance.
Go paperless - and reduce paper waste - write notes on your phone, write emails and get digital receipts. However, if you can’t imagine your life without physical notepads, choose the ones made of recycled paper and fully compostable ones.
- Find eco-friendly alternatives - Nowadays, there are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives on the market. From cosmetics to kitchen essentials, you can find zero waste, plastic-free and sustainable products.
Easy Eco-Friendly Swaps?
Swap to eco-friendly product alternatives which you can easily introduce in your life.
Bath Salts - Switch to plastic-free and natural bath salts that smell amazing and are hand made in the UK. A selection of bath salts, available in a glass jar or paper refill bag, are a perfect choice for a home spa without the guilt of creating unnecessary waste.
Toothpaste - This plastic-free toothpaste is made from only natural ingredients, packaged in a glass jar. Available with charcoal for whitening teeth or mild toothpaste for kids. Swap your plastic and full of chemicals toothpaste to a natural and sustainable option
Shampoo Bar - Try switching your shampoo to a shampoo bar. This plastic-free and natural shampoo washes your hair without compromising the environment. Choose the shampoo for your hair type and swap from plastic packed products to a natural, vegan and handmade shampoo bar.
Soap Bar - Instead of buying liquid soap, which usually comes in plastic packaging, switch to soap bars. Made in the UK from natural ingredients, this gentle soap doesn't pollute the water with harmful chemicals and comes in plastic-free packaging. Perfect vegan and palm-oil free alternative.
Paper Pens - If you are looking for pens that are not made with plastic and are fully recyclable, look no further. Those eco-friendly pens are hand made from recycled paper and an easy eco-friendly alternative.
Lip balm - Fully compostable lip balms in paper packaging are an alternative to plastic ones and are made in the UK, only from natural ingredients. Vegan and palm-oil free, these lip balms are a great eco-friendly alternative.
How to live eco-friendly on a budget?
Switching to eco-friendly products is usually more expensive. There are a few reasons for that. Sustainable businesses put extra care into making their practices eco-friendly, pay employees fairly and use high quality natural ingredients, which makes the products more expensive.
If you can afford, support small businesses and local entrepreneurs, but if you are struggling with money, sustainable living doesn’t have to cost a lot.
There are many ways to live sustainably on a budget and even save some money. Switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet is less expensive and better for the environment, buying second-hand clothes and shopping consciously can help you save and limit waste at the same time.
Whether you have money to support sustainable brands or you are on a budget, you can start your journey to sustainability right away. And remember whatever you can do will make a difference!
Small steps towards sustainable lifestyle
Nobody is perfect and a lifestyle change is not an easy thing to do so don’t worry if you don’t get it right all the time. Small steps toward sustainable lifestyle are easier and more effective than a strict approach, which can quickly kill your spirit. Every decision you make is an opportunity to choose a more sustainable option. Every little step makes a difference!
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