A sustainable lifestyle doesn’t come easy, but it can be worth it. My life is a work in progress. I’m trying to implement more sustainable habits in my everyday life, one by one. Don’t do everything at once, but take it slow and easy and change the habits that you can control in your life.
We all have days when the idea of changing our habits seems too big and scary. It takes time to adjust! But when we consciously change our well-being, the benefits are worth it.
If you’re interested in making your life more sustainable- and I mean really interested- then it’s time to make some changes.
A sustainable lifestyle usually means simple, green practices, such as composting and recycling. It would be best if you were doing these things already. You don’t need any special effort to change your life for the better. Everyone can make small changes that add up to a big difference.
In this article, I want to share what I like to do for a sustainable lifestyle- simple habits that can be incorporated into anyone’s day.
What’s Does it Mean to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle?
Living a sustainable lifestyle means everyday decisions that reduce our carbon footprint and make us feel good about ourselves. Sustainability is an individual responsibility, but many tools and resources can help you along the way!
My journey from a sustainability standpoint started when I became more conscious about my well-being and the environment around me. It’s not necessary to know everything about global warming for you to make small changes for a more sustainable lifestyle. But you have to start somewhere, right?
Everyday Habits for a More Sustainable Lifestyle
Starting your day with a sustainable routine is one of the best changes you can make to improve your well-being. (And it can also save a few pennies in the meantime). Becoming aware of your daily rituals will make you realize you could make minor adjustments to be more sustainable. Here are some ways you can start today.
Around the House
- Use LED lighting or compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescent lighting because they have been shown to live longer, reducing the need to replace light bulbs regularly.
- Add on an extra layer of clothing in the cold season instead of turning on the heating system. Doubling up your socks can do wonders!
- Recycle all your non-recyclable waste. Most hardware stores and small shops have a recycling program in place. Don’t forget to ask.
- Use cloth bags for a grocery shop instead of plastic or paper bags. You can wash them afterward, too!
- Catch rainwater to water your plants.
- Turn off the lights when not in use.
- Unplug appliances when not in use, like your mobile charger.
- Don’t leave the TV or computer on standby mode; turn them off and unplug them when you’re not using them (or set up a power switch for them).
- Use a drying rack instead of drying your wet clothes.
- Buy used furniture if possible. It’s often better than buying new ones!
- Get a bike! It’s better for the environment, and it’s fun!
- Buy a hybrid car or electric car to help lessen your carbon footprint.
- Drive less, walk, or take public transit.
- When you drive, do so right, like following stoplights and creating space between cars on the road to avoid accidents (this is especially important if you’re riding your bike around).
- Embrace a car-free living style. I love living in a city that is walkable and close to public transit.
- Fly minimally, and try to avoid expensive flights.
- Use carpooling apps like Lyft or Uber if your city has these apps.
- If you’re biking, try to ride where there are bike lanes and bike paths to avoid accidents and ensure your safety.
- Park in a parking lot instead of on the street when possible- it’s safer for everyone!
When Grocery Shopping
- Buy organic produce when possible.
- Seek out local farmers, especially if you’re from an area where organic food is rare.
- Buy only what you need when you need it.
- Use reusable grocery bags instead of plastic bags whenever possible to help decrease bag waste and cut down on pollution. You can find reusable bags or make your own!
- Refrain from buying bottled water; instead, buy a reusable water bottle.
- Buy local food and support local farmers, if possible!
- If you’re shopping for non-food-related goods, try to buy second-hand or refurbished goods. Just make sure they are safe and not damaged in any way!
- Use digital post-it notes instead of sticky notes on your laptop or phone if absolutely necessary.
- Go paperless -don’t print anything unless you really need it!
- Turn off the printer completely to save energy.
- Use free cloud storage apps, like Google Drive or Dropbox.
- Get used to reading digital files on your mobile devices instead of using paper.
- Go digital whenever possible, like digital photos instead of photo albums.
In the Office
- Take the time to unplug all your electronics daily, especially if you work in an open office.
- Try working at home if possible. It’ll help cut down on commuting expenses and help make you get more things done!
- Create a workstation by setting up your computer hardware in an organized manner.
- Create a workstation for your electronic devices like a printer or scanner- it’s no longer necessary for you to clutter up the rest of your desk!
- Buy a shredder to get rid of all those papers you don’t need anymore!
- Clean as you go when working and open windows occasionally. Just make sure that no stuff gets flung out the window while doing this!
In the Kitchen
- Cook with less plastic! Use glass, stainless steel, and wooden mixing bowls instead of plastic, and don’t buy produce in a bag.
- Use rags instead of paper towels to clean- they’re reusable!
- Use reusable metal straws instead of single-use plastic straws to reduce waste.
- Make your own coffee instead of takeaways.
- Try making natural cleaners.
- Buy in bulk if you can (especially organic foods- there are many organic grocery stores everywhere nowadays!)
- Refrain from buying paper napkins and paper towels as often as possible.
- Invest in a pressure cooker to reduce cooking time and energy consumption by 70%!
- Avoid Tupperware and other plastic containers. Use glass jars and ceramic storage containers instead; they’re easy to clean, durable, and sustainable!
- Purchase second-hand clothes and hand-me-downs whenever possible.
- Just say no to fast fashion!
- Be conscious of your clothing choices, so you don’t contribute to the over-consumption of resources in developing countries.
- Buy second-hand shoes and boots instead of new ones.
- Transform your old clothes into brand new ones. For example, a dress no longer in use can be transformed into a top and a skirt.
- Use your clothes for more than just one season.
In Your Lifestyle
- Eat whole foods or go vegan!
- Get at least 10 minutes of sunshine a day, this will help keep positive moods, improve your mental health and you’ll also have a better immune system to fight against illness.
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep – sleep deprivation can be a serious issue, don’t take it lightly!
- Eat breakfast!
- Drink eight glasses of water a day to be healthy (this is especially important in the summer months when it’s easier for your body to overheat, trust me, I know).
- Exercise daily – Any physical activity like running, biking, swimming, and walking are great ways to do this!
- Think about what you’re buying when you’re shopping- Does it have a lot of packaging? Is it reusable? If not, can it be replaced with something that is more sustainable? Ask yourself these questions before buying anything to improve your consumer habits.
- Plant trees! It’s a great activity, and they look beautiful when the leaves come out in the spring!
Hopefully, these habits will encourage you to rethink your lifestyle so that you can care for yourself and the planet as well. I genuinely believe that we need to help each other and work together if we want a positive impact to be made. Even though people are doing things in their communities, they don’t always have the resources or support for their needs. We need to help each other, we all live on this planet, and we need to start becoming responsible for our actions and the actions of others.
Now, I know that this list could go on even further, but there’s always something more than one person can do to help reduce their footprint. The most important thing is to take action!