10 Ways To Live A More Sustainable Lifestyle

 How To Live More Sustainably, Sustainability Tips

With the state the world is in right now, it might be easy to feel like any efforts to help the earth are futile at best. I happen to be of the mindset that if we each do our small part, it would have a cumulative effect. Like it's not a big deal if I bring a reusable bag with me when I grocery shop but if millions of people around the world are doing the same thing, it would actually make a difference. Over the past few years, I've made a conscious effort to shift towards a more sustainable lifestyle by being more aware of my resource consumption and reducing unnecessary waste. Here are some changes I made and a great added benefit of most of these is that they also save money.

1. Bring Your Own Bag
Carry a reusable bag with you at all times so that you won't have to take bag when you shop. I always carry two in my purse and am partial to ones by Baggu which make styles that are both fun and functional. If you have to take a bag, choose paper over plastic which require significant amounts of petroleum to create, are often not recycled, and can pollute waterways and other public areas.

2. Shop Mindfully
Reducing consumption is the most sustainable but we can't just stop buying things altogether.  However we can be more mindful of the way we shop by identifying needs over wants and being more intentional with our purchases. This means paying attention to quality over quantity and not mindlessly consuming and buying things we don't need. When it comes to clothing, consider shopping vintage or secondhand over fast fashion and when it comes to food, try to buy local or fair trade, in bulk when possible and consider options with less or minimal packaging.

3. Recycle, Repurpose, Resell And Donate
Extend the life of clothing and items you no longer use or need through recycling, repurposing, reselling or donation. And consider purchasing secondhand. I love to use old socks and t-shirt as rags to clean the house.

4. Reduce Energy Usage
When you have to replace appliances, make a switch to to energy saving options. Turn off all electronics you're not using and turn off the lights when you leave a room. Open your blinds and take advantage of natural light as much possible. You'll also get to the benefit of some more sunshine.

5. Invest In Reusables
Single use items may be great for convenience but they're terrible for the environment. It's very easy to go reusable with items like straws, razors, bags, and food storage containers. Opt for household items and beauty products that can be refilled rather than replaced. And many places let you bring your own cup when you buy coffee nowadays. For the ladies, menstrual cups are a sustainable alternative to disposable tampons or pads. I'm a fan of period underwear myself.

7. Change Your Lights
Make a switch from to LED or CFL bulbs which are 90% more efficient than incandescent light bulbs. They also last longer so there’s less material wasted saving you money on your energy bill and on buying bulbs.

6. Take Public Transportation
I live in a city and try to walk as much as possible. When it isn't, public transportation makes the most sense. If that isn't an option where you live, you may consider carpooling to reduce carbon emissions, traffic congestion and air pollution. If you're in the market for a new car, maybe look at an electric option and don't overlook biking as an alternative more eco friendly form of transportation.

8. Use Your Library
Take advantage of your local library instead of buying physical books. This will help to save money as well as reduce clutter. I borrow the majority of my books and read them on my iPad through the SimplyE app which connects with the New York Public Library.

9. Eat Less Meat
You don’t have to convert to veganism or vegetarianism but consider consuming less meat. Participating in Meatless Monday or cutting out meat even part of the week can have a major positive impact on lessening global carbon emissions created by factory farming. And it's better for your health. Just make sure you're eating more vegetables not more refined carbohydrates in place of that meat.

10. Don't Run The Water
Conserve water by turning off the tap when brushing your teeth or washing your hands and shorten your showers. You can also switch to a water-saving showerhead or adding aerators to your faucets. And you don't have to flush the toilet every single time.

Are you working towards sustainability?  Any tips you care to share?

15 comments

Jackie Harrison said...

I been doing some like bringing my own bags for produce I purchase these recycles bags and they are amazing. I also use glass straw. Great advice we all should start doing our part to make our planet better.

The Dainty Dolls House said...

These are fantastic tips, it's so easy when you think about it really, to conserve and make changes. Hope you have a great Thursday x

Lena L said...

So many good points, Rowena. Thanks for reminding us! I have a hot pink Baggu shopping bag. I bought this in 2014 in San Francisco and hadn't used it much until last year. Now I bring it everywhere because it folds so compactly. Got many compliments as well probably because of the bright color. ;D

Pilar said...

These are great tips Rowena! I would like to start using my own bags at the grocery store.

Doctor Anne said...

I try to do all of the above, go by bike whenever I can instead of taking the car and just try to be mindful in my decisions. Every little bit helps.

Emmylou said...

Such awesome tips, chingu:) TBH, my husband is much much better at doing all these things than I am. Like...he never forgets to bring reusable bags when we do the grocery, and he's very good at the conserving energy stuff. Mind you, he is also really cheap, which is good:D I am really trying though:)

Shireen L. Platt said...

I am happy to say we are already practising most of these at home except taking public transportation. I live in a small town where public transport is quite horrendous.

Paola Lauretano said...

Great tips Rowena... we have to collaborate to make our planet better!
Kisses, Paola.

Expressyourself

R's Rue said...

I'm guilty of running the water. Thanks for the reminder.

Wren said...

Some great tips! Many of which we have implemented in our household.

Mica said...

These are good tips! We do the reusable bags here - they've changed the law so that you can't have single use plastic bags any more and that is a good way to make sure we remember the reusable bags when we shop, haha! I take a lot of public transport too, and I'm buying more second hand. better for the budget as well!

The kids do seem to be very good at the last part - always having to remind them to flush the toilet and wash their hands, haha!

Hope that you are having a great weekend :)

Away From Blue

Kinga K. said...

I eat less meat and it's good:)

sonia // daring coco said...

The cumulative effect is so true. And something I tend to forget when everyone is painting doom. I sometimes feel like it is useless but then again if there are others out there doing the same practices as I am then it really does have a positive affect on the whole. I've always brought my own bags to the grocery store, long before it was made compulsory in my country (though you can still purchase reusable plastic bags). Public transport is not an option for me as I am on the road a lot for work. That said I have been looking at electric and hybrid cars. The infrastructure for this is slowly developing where I live. Very slowly so am hoping to see far more charging stations and parking spots popping up over the next year. Though there are hydrogen power cars in the works which are even better than electric in terms of sustainability. I think they're only available in LA currently so I do hope this is something that will be introduced in Australia soon. Then again it has taken far too long to see a pitiful number of charging stations pop up, can't imagine how long it will take to implement this.

Sxx
daringcoco.com

FashionRadi said...

I enjoy recycling and whenever I grocery shop I bring my own bag.

Makeup Muddle said...

So many great tips! I carry around a reusable bag, and have some silicone straws in a special little case in my bag. Such small steps, but they make a big difference xo

Makeup Muddle