50 Easy Ways to Adopt Sustainable Living
We all want to live more sustainably, but it’s difficult to know how to embrace a more eco-friendly lifestyle. That’s why in this blog, we’re sharing 50 sustainability tips to help you make some easy swaps in your day to day lives.
Tips To Live More Sustainably
In no particular order, here are some tips for living more sustainably.
1. Buy Locally
From food to furniture, every product has a bigger carbon impact the further it goes. So, instead of driving, why not walk to and from a local farmers’ market, antique store, or independent clothing store? This is an excellent way to get some exercise, reduce your carbon footprint, and support smaller local businesses.
2. Buy UK-Grown
If it’s in season, fresh produce has fewer “food miles” (and hence lower carbon emissions) than fruit and vegetables flown or driven in from elsewhere if it’s in season.
3. Choose Eco Delivery When Available
We all enjoy the ease of online shopping, but did you realise that going for “click and collect” can help you shop greener? Picking up your package at a shop or locker rather than having it delivered to your door can help cut your carbon footprint if you don’t have to drive — and the same goes for returning products.
4. Plan Out Your Meals
Instead of stocking your fridge with food you’ll forget about until it’s way past its expiration date, try to plan your meals for the week ahead of time, so you only buy what you need. If you have an abundance of fresh food, prioritise using up the items that will expire first to reduce waste.
5. Try Food Waste Apps
Food waste apps like Olio and Too Good To Go connect those with surplus food to those who want or need the food. It’s a steal for you, and it’s also healthy for the environment!
6. Get Clued Up On Best Before Dates
Always check the expiration and use-by dates on the food you buy. Check to see if you’ll be able to utilise the item before it expires. It also aids in comprehending the significance of these dates. After a ‘best before’ date, food is often still good to eat; the ‘use by’ date is what tells you when it’s no longer safe to eat.
7. Double Check Your Fridge Temperature
The temperature inside your refrigerator should be no more than 5 degrees celsius. This will help keep food fresher for longer, perhaps reducing food waste, which is a significant contributor to climate change.
8. Store Your Fruit Right
Rethinking how you keep your fruit can help you reduce food waste. If you keep your bananas in a bunch, they’ll all ripen simultaneously, forcing you to either eat them all right once or toss away the ones that go bad – breaking apart the group will prevent this. And there’s a reason the term “bad apple” exists! Apples can spoil other fruits in a fruit bowl, so keep them separate to keep your produce fresher for longer.
9. Reduce Your Animal Consumption
According to Greenpeace, land cleared to grow our food contributes to as much as 80% of worldwide deforestation. This is often due to the growth of soya beans, as the agricultural industry is reliant on these beans for animal feed. Cutting down on your meat consumption will help to fight deforestation across the world.
10. Make Friends With Your Freezer
If the food you’ve purchased is nearing its expiration date or you’ve got too much, try batch cooking and freezing it to eat later. This is also a money-saving tip!
11. Get Yourself A Smart Metre
Smart metres allow you to send your metre readings automatically. It’s a simple method to keep track of your energy usage and make more energy-conscious decisions. The best part is that it’s absolutely free!
12. Don’t Trust Standby
We’re all guilty of leaving appliances on standby rather than turning them off, but standby devices consume 9-16% of the electricity we use in our homes. Turning items off, especially TVs, computers, and game consoles, can help you save money and minimise your carbon impact.
13. Draught Proof Your Home
Draught-proofing doors and windows is a simple sustainable living tip that will save both energy and money. It can help you save money by lowering the amount of energy needed to heat your home throughout the winter months.
14. Buy Energy Efficient
In March 2021, the energy efficiency ratings for appliances were revised, and the scale now runs from A to G. Even an appliance that would have received an A+++ rating under the old system will most likely receive a C under the new one.
15. Switch To Green Energy
Electricity generated by the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal and gas contributes directly to global warming and pollution. You can avoid this at home by simply switching to a tariff or supplier that uses solely renewable energy sources such as wind or solar electricity.
16. Learn To Repair
It may be less expensive to replace an appliance or a small electric product than to repair it, yet this contributes to the growing problem of electronic waste.
Manufacturers must make replacement parts available for an appliance for at least seven to ten years after it has been discontinued, according to new “right to repair” legislation. This should make it easier to maintain the household appliances we rely on. Before writing off an appliance and buying another, always seek an estimate to determine if a repair will be cost-effective.
17. Recycle Your Old Tech
When your electronics reach the end of their useful life, make sure they are recycled, either through your local authority’s kerbside e-waste collection system, if one exists, or by taking them to your nearest e-waste collection site.
Alternatively, if you purchase a new iPhone or another Apple product, you may be eligible for a gift card if you return your old Apple tech to Apple for refurbishment or recycling.
Currys PC World has a similar recycling programme for electronics like phones, toasters, and TVs.
18. Go Peat Free In The Garden
Peatlands play a significant role in climate change mitigation because they absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere. As a result, peat should be left alone rather than dug up and used in compost. Before buying, be sure the compost is labelled as ‘peat-free.’
19. Learn To Compost
Even if you’ve reduced your food waste at home, certain non-edible items, such as peelings, stems, and leaves, will end up in your bin. Unless, of course, you have a home compost bin in which you can put them.
Making your own compost can not only help you put some of the contents of your kitchen caddy to good use, but it may also save you money on bags of compost from the garden centre.
20. Buy little and often
Shopping in bulk, grabbing “bargains” at two-for-one prices, and making impulse purchases rather than making a list of what you’ll eat leads to a lot of waste. Working out what type of cook you are and then figuring out how you shop is also helpful. Doing a weekly food trip is pointless if you want to plan your dinner just before you eat. You may save money if you shop in smaller amounts.
21. Trap microplastics
When we wash synthetic clothing and other fabrics, the microfibres that are released can pollute our oceans and seas. Many of the synthetic microfibres that are released during a wash may be captured with a laundry bag. In addition, using a lower temperature and a shorter wash cycle can help, too.
22. Reuse your old clothes
Cleaning cloths can be made from worn-out cotton T-shirts and towels by cutting them into strips using a pair of scissors. These squares will be an excellent addition to your cleaning supplies.
23. Green Clean Your Toilet
Pour a cup of bicarbonate of soda down the toilet once a week to naturally neutralise odours instead of using bleach or a harsh chemical toilet cleaning. Allow to sit for a night, then simply flush away.
24. Eco clean your microwave
Microwave a small dish of water until the inside of the microwave is steaming. Wait for the steam to dissipate, then use a clean towel to wipe off the insides of the microwave. Before boiling the water, you can even add a couple slices of lemon to freshen things up in the microwave.
25. Descale your kettle with vinegar
You don’t need to use a harsh chemical descaler to keep your kettle clean, this is another job that distilled white vinegar is more than up to handling. Pour half white vinegar and half water into a kettle, then let it sit for a few hours before using. Before brewing your next cup of coffee, just make sure to properly rinse out the kettle.
26. Unclog your trains
While drain unclogging liquids might be useful in an emergency, they can also be detrimental to aquatic life. But with regular upkeep, it should be possible to prevent needing to use them too frequently. Pour 125g of bicarbonate of soda and 125ml vinegar down a clogged drain. Cover with a wet cloth, wait 5 minutes and flush with hot water.
27. Ditch the branded cleaners
Vinegar can be a cheaper and more environmentally friendly cleaning solution than commercial brands. In order to keep the limescale away, mix a spray bottle of half white vinegar and half water and use it as often as you would a basic bathroom cleaning spray on tiles, basins, bathtubs, showers, and the taps. Always follow up with a thorough rinsing.
28. Eco clean your windows
You may save money and the environment by making your own window cleaner. If you have an old spray bottle, fill it with one part of distilled white vinegar and nine parts of water. Use a microfibre cloth to buff dry your windows after spraying them with window cleaner and wiping them clean.
29. Try out soluble cleaners
If making cleaning products isn’t your thing, try out soluble cleaners. Using soluble cleansers reduces the amount of packing and fuel required for transportation because they dissolve in water. They are frequently available in refillable bottles, allowing you to cut down on both your plastic consumption and your carbon footprint.
30. Borrow from your friends
Purchasing a brand-new item for your home, such as carpet shampooers, hedge trimmers, and power washes is expensive to buy if you only use them a handful of times. Check whether a friend or a family member has one you may borrow for a short period of time. You could also look into renting or buying one used.
31. Go paper free
Going paperless is even better than recycling. Make the conversion from paper to electronic documents to cut down on the amount of paperwork you generate or receive. E-bills for your utility, phone, and credit card statements can be requested from your service provider.
32. Opt for an e-receipt
Another paperless improvement you may make is to request an e-receipt instead of a paper receipt the next time you go shopping. This isn’t available at every store, however it is available at a number of high street businesses. Not only is this a better choice for the environment, but it also ensures that you will never misplace another receipt.
33. Recycle your paper
Homes and offices are notorious for using up a lot of paper rapidly, so it’s a good idea to recycle whenever you can. Initiate a recycling programme in your workplace if there isn’t currently one.
For those who are heavy printer users, is it possible to save paper by printing two-sided? Even if you can only do this sometimes, it’s better for the environment than consuming twice as much paper.
34. Use rechargeable batteries
There are toxic metals and chemicals in non-rechargeable batteries that must be appropriately disposed of. Even yet, normal batteries’ depletion rate is too high, making them an unsustainable waste stream. Initially, rechargeable batteries are more expensive, but in the long run, they are more cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
35. Get a solar charger
Invest in a solar charger for your phone, laptop, tablet, power bank, or camera so that you don’t have to rely on fossil fuels. Solar chargers, in addition to being ecologically beneficial, may help extend the battery life of your gadgets.
36. Ditch the makeup wipes
It’s better for your skin and the environment if you stop using makeup wipes. Wet wipes, whether disposable or not, will eventually block our sewers and contaminate our natural landscapes, so it’s worth looking into greener options. Reusable make-up remover solutions are now widely available, and they utilise fewer chemicals, are just as effective, and don’t harm the wildlife.
37. Switch to bars
Shampoo, conditioner, soaps, and lotions typically come in plastic bottles that can’t be recycled. Using soap and shampoo bars instead of traditional toiletries avoids any plastic packaging. Alternatively, look for items that come in packaging that is made from recycled or biodegradable materials.
38. Menstruate the green way
Your period product of choice might include up to 90% plastic, which is the equivalent of four plastic grocery bags in just one pad. Period-related plastic waste generates a remarkable 44,000 plastic bags per person throughout their lifetime. The answer? Organic cotton tampons and pads, reusable menstrual cups, period pants , or even disposable tampon applicators are all great alternatives.
39. Don’t fall for minis
Travel-sized cosmetic products are enticing but often result in a lot of waste and little product. Refillable travel bottles and pots can be purchased for a one-time cost and you just decant your favourite full-size bottles and reuse them. Vitamin C and retinol serums should be kept in their original container to ensure stability, but everything else can be decanted and taken on the road with you. In the event that you don’t use all of your minis from flights and hotel stays, donate them to your local homeless centre.
40. Have a bath
Showering has traditionally been considered more environmentally friendly and less wasteful than taking a bath, but a new study suggests that using a pumped power shower might actually consume more water than taking a bath. It’s possible to have a lovely bath that’s also good for the environment. Relax by using sulphate-free oils, salts, or foams. If you wash your hair over the bath before getting in, you could conserve even more water by letting the water fill the tub as you shampoo.
41. Or shorten your showers
You could reduce your carbon footprint and save money on your water and electricity costs if everyone took a minute less in the shower each day.
42. Buy second hand clothes
A pair of jeans generally requires roughly 1,800 gallons of water to make, which has a significant impact on the environment.
You’re in luck, since finding gently worn or antique clothing is easy as pie. Find out about local charity and antique stores, or organise a clothing swap with a buddy. Browse vintage collections on GoEthical, ASOS Marketplace, Depop, and eBay while also supporting smaller shops and up-and-coming businesses.
42. Invest green
You may utilise your funds to benefit the environment by avoiding banks that invest in fossil fuels. You may avoid the fossil fuel industry by banking with institutions such as Triodos & Ecology, Charity, The Co-operative, or Reliance that don’t invest in it. The money you save by investing in an ethical investment fund might also go toward environmental preservation.
44. Choose slower delivery
For purchases that you don’t need right away, opt for a longer delivery time. By doing this, retailers are able to better manage their delivery schedule, which means that they are more environmentally friendly, as a result.
45. Recycle your water
Summer is a time to save water. Use rainwater collection containers in the garden to water thirsty plants. If you don’t have a tub, use recycled bath or sink water. Just avoid watering edible plants with soapy water.
46. Stream in lower quality
Consider watching in standard definition instead of high definition if you’re streaming video to a small screen. As a result of this, video streaming may minimise its carbon footprint without sacrificing quality. By turning off your webcam when you don’t need it, you can reduce the carbon footprint of online conferencing.
47. Reduce car travel
We must reduce car travel by about 10% by 2035 in order to help curb climate change. The CCC estimates that road transport contributes to around 5% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
48. Or buy electric
The government has said that it intends to phase out the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles by the year 2035. An electric vehicle may be more appealing than ever after the year we’ve had with petrol shortages, and it may help you reduce your carbon footprint, too.
49. Travel Green
It’s time to go green the next time you stay at a hotel. The quickest and most obvious is to let housekeeping know that you won’t need your linens and towels replaced every day. Many hotels already roll this out as an option, so consciously deciding to skip this luxury is a lot less work than you think.
50. Change Your Shopping Habits
Whether you’re a dedicated zero-waste or are exploring more environmentally friendly lifestyle choices, you’ll be happy to know that there are a growing number of ethical brands offering low-waste products, which you can find right here on the GoEthical marketplace.
If you are passionate about living a more sustainable lifestyle, then consider downloading the GoEthical app available on IOS or Google Play.
You’ll find a wide range of ethically vetted sellers, as well as a collection of pre-loved items. You can also register yourself to sell any of your own, beautiful items.