The world has a lot of big problems and often we feel like we can’t do much about them. But there are lots of little changes we can make to our lives to help do our little bit towards making things better.
Living a more sustainable life with a constant view of our impact on the world is a great approach for this and here are 10 ideas how you can start doing this today.
1. Cut back on animal products
This doesn’t mean you need to become a vegan (unless you want to) but cutting back on animal products can help make you live a more sustainable life. That’s because it takes a lot of resources to produce those animal products – one gallon of milk uses 2000 gallons of water due to the amount of feed that the cow needs. Plus by eating a more balanced diet you may find yourself generally healthier and less needing of healthcare resources. Why not try going meat free for 1 or 2 meals each week?
2. Filter your tap water and drink it
This doesn’t apply to all parts of the world but if you live somewhere that you can filter the tap water and drink it, then do this. This saves money on buying bottled water and also cuts back on the waste – landfill sites are a huge problem so every item you don’t send to them is good. You could also purchase a reusable water bottle to use if you’re out and about each day.
3. Unplug unused appliances
Many appliances use a dribble of electricity when they are plugged in, even if they aren’t doing anything. By unplugging them when not in use, you not only save a little money on your electricity bill but help cut back on the demand for fossil fuel created power resources. Remember to switch off any lights when you leave a room.
4. Start car sharing
A car-sharing pool in your area can be a great way to cut down on costs around travel and can be fun as well. Talk to people in your area to see where they work and if you can share cars with them or them with you. Think of the savings you would make on petrol costs too!
5. Use public transport
In lots of places, public transport has been cut back but there are still many areas with a good network, especially in the cities. So if you can use public transport to get to work, the shops or anywhere else, try to do it. This cuts back on car use and all the pollution and fossil fuel use associated with it. Or better still, is your city bike friendly?
6. Use those stairs
Using the stairs has a couple of benefits. Not only does it get that extra little bit of exercise into your routine, but it also saves on the energy needed to run the escalator or elevator. These take a lot of power to run and if people used them only when they needed to, this could save on electricity and therefore fossil fuel use. Plus if you use the stairs a lot, you could save on a gym membership! If you’re feeling energetic, try running up a set of stairs to get the blood pumping.
7. Turn off the water while brushing teeth
Water waste is a big problem and one of the top causes of wasted water is when we brush our teeth, especially if we’re aiming to brush our teeth for 1-2 minutes each time. So when you have used the water and are doing the brushing, turn off the tap. You can even catch some water in the sink if you need to refresh the brush. Then turn it back on to rinse the brush and the sink.
8. Switch to LED light bulbs
Conventional light bulbs waste around 95% of the power that they use. New LED light bulbs are more expensive to buy and also far more energy efficient. They also last much longer – some as much as 25 years depending on how much you use them.
9. Try to buy second hand
There are some things we need to buy new but there are others where a good second-hand option can be more cost-effective. Plus this helps with living a sustainable life because you are saving something from going to the landfill site. Do the same when you are clearing out things – offer them to people on swap sites or Facebook groups rather than send them to the landfill. Have you tried your local charity shops for second hand items?
10. Try a reel lawnmower
A reel lawnmower is one that doesn’t use any electricity or battery and is very simple to use. They may need a little more effort than electric mowers so might not work for everyone but if you can, it can be worth considering it. This would count as a great home workout and they do a great job of cutting the lawn!
These are just 10 examples of ways you can live a sustainable life and cut back on the resources that you use. If everyone put two into action, the difference on the planet would be huge. So which two could you start with?