Sustainable living – small steps to make a big difference
Sustainability. It’s a bit of a buzz word right now, but for very good reason!
I don’t know about you, but I find it all a bit overwhelming. I wholeheartedly want to do my bit – we all have to if we’re to find a better, more sustainable way of living and reduce the impact we’re having on the planet. But sometimes it all feels like too much effort.
For me, sometimes it feels like I’m fighting a losing battle when I’m sifting through the tonne of packaging I’ve accumulated trying to work out if it can be recycled or not! And I hate that we have all this plastic that can’t be recycled that will go to landfill or might end up poisoning some marine-life thousands of miles away. Can’t we just banish the plastic?!
So I’m determined to up my game!
We all know we need to tackle this together, but what is ‘sustainable living’? The World Wildlife Foundation says that it’s a lifestyle that attempts to reduce the use of the Earth’s natural resources by reducing your carbon footprint through changing your methods of transport, energy consumption, and diet.
I’ve given this quite a bit of thought recently and I’ve joined various groups on social media to help with some inspiration. I’ve found local groups can be a fantastic way of learning more and understanding what we can do as a community to be more sustainable. For one, I learnt that we can recycle a lot more in our green bin than I thought, as the rules have changed! So double check your local recycling rules to make sure you’re up to speed!
There are lots of things we can do to make a difference, so here are my top tips:
- Compost – make your own at home or see if there’s a local scheme.
- Buy second-hand – clothes, books, toys… anything really! It’s amazing what you can find and with lots of selling sites now available, it’s never been easier. And you can grab a bargain too!
- Eat less meat – the environmental impact of meat production is well documented, so consider having at least one vegetarian meal a week instead.
- Use less paper – mop up spills with a re-usable cloth instead of kitchen paper and cancel that unwanted mail through your letterbox.
- Walk/bike more – as well as the physical and mental wellbeing benefits, by not jumping in the car you’re reducing your carbon footprint and saving money on fuel too! Public transport is also a more sustainable option.
- Use less water – take a shorter shower or turn the shower off when you’re lathering up! Only do the washing with full loads.
- Turn off electrical items when not in use – lots of electrics still use energy when not in use, so try unplugging your hairdryer, microwave and phone charger etc. – it’ll also save you money on your electricity bill!
- Re-usable containers and bags – use a re-fillable water bottle and take a re-usable coffee cup for your morning caffeine fix. Find a zero waste shop and take your own containers along for stocking up on food. And always take re-usable bags with you on shopping trips!
- Change your lightbulbs – switch to energy-saving LEDs.
It’s that simple! We can all easily make some of these changes and do our bit, so let’s get started!