20 Simple Life Changes to Help You with Sustainable Living
Regular readers of The Life of Stuff will know that this year, 2016, I became a Sustainability Ambassador for the Ikea Live LAGOM project. For those not familiar with this project and my sustainable living journey have a read of my post IKEA, Live LAGOM, My New Sustainable Lifestyle – The Intro – you should find it of interest.
In the meantime though stick with me here as I give you my 20 simple life changes / Tips to help you with sustainable living …
In essence sustainable living is about using less electricity, less heating, less water, recycling and caring for the environment’s health which also means caring for your own health.
Some of these simple life changes you will already know of but haven’t actioned, some may be new to you. I know that some of the tips I’m sharing with you here, I actioned a long time ago but then forgot about so instead of starting all over again it was really about reintroducing them to my life. Of course some changes I have only actioned this year.
Becoming more sustainable doesn’t mean you have to go without. I’m not suggesting using leaves for toilet paper, and hanging your teabags out to dry for reuse. You can live your life with all the simple pleasures and little luxuries you had before, you just need to be smart about it … in fact the more you save on the likes of electricity, heating and food (by eliminating food wastage) means the more you can spend on those luxuries you love – like travel and holidays, wining and dining and, if you so wish designer outfits (yes you can clothes shop and live more sustainable at the same time).
So without further ado and my ramblings here are my ‘20 Simple Life Changes to Help You with Sustainable Living‘:
- Change all the lightbulbs in your house/apartment to LED – they use less energy and last years and years longer than regular bulbs.
- Use rugs – they help keep rooms warm by providing another layer of insulation -meaning you aren’t using as much gas or burning as much oil or solid fuel.
- Use blinds and curtains where you can – they help keep the cold out and the warmth in.
- Wash your clothes on an eco wash or 30 degrees (make sure your washing powder/tablets allow for it first) – washing at a lower temperature saves on energy. Your clothes will probably stay in better shape for longer too, so it’s a win win situation.
- Hang clothes out to dry, whether it’s on a washing line or on a clothes horse – refraining from using the tumble dryer saves lots of energy.
- Clothes shop smart – How many t-shirts do you really need? Buy well and not often or in the words of Vivienne Westwood “Buy Less, Choose Well, Make it Last”.
- Recycle, reuse, re-love – paper, plastic, glass and clothes – writing notes, children’s art, pretty bottle vases, charity and vintage shops.
- Use rechargeable batteries – for remotes, wireless items, children’s toys … the works!
- Turn off appliances on standby – if you aren’t using them why waste energy on them! Even that screen saver on your PC uses energy so set your PC to sleep mode instead.
- On that note if you are buying new appliances always purchase AAA or A+ appliances when you can, even if it means saving up a little more to buy them – these European Union energy labels relate to energy consumption and performance.
- Use the dishwasher, it uses less water than normal hand-washing. If you don’t have a dishwasher use a basin in the sink to wash your dishes, again it saves on water.
- Fill the kettle with only the amount of water you need – it saves on wasted energy and water.
- Take shorter showers, again they use less energy and water.
- Sort out your kitchen cupboards and know what you have in stock – buying too many groceries results in food wastage.
- Make use of lunch or dinner leftovers to create another meal, or pickle, bottle, dry or freeze what you don’t eat.
- Buy foods with less packaging and try buy local foods when you can – why buy that frozen fish when you can visit the local Fish Monger and buy fresh fish that hasn’t used all that energy being transported from afar and then frozen … do you really need to put that bunch of bananas into a bag before you put it in another bag?
- An on that note – Use reusable bags – keep one in your handbag, bike or car so it’s at hand when you need it.
- Grow your own food – start by growing your own herbs and then try vegetables and fruits. If you don’t have a garden use a window sill.
- Make friends with plants in your home – not Robert and … I’m not crazy, some plants such as the Spider Plant, Boston Fern and Snake Plant have amazing capabilities of removing toxins in the air which means the air you breathe is cleaner and who doesn’t want to be friends with those kind of plants.
- Stand more, Sit Less – as a mother to a toddler this hasn’t been a problem for some time. However as a blogger I do sit at my desk for some time – if you work from home – change it up, raise up your PC and stand at your computer more often, your body will thank you for it.