The idea of sustainability can seem pretty overwhelming to those who’ve been set in their ways of living. It can seem even more daunting when you wish to embrace a conscious lifestyle in whatever little way possible but don’t know where to start — we hear you. Changes like these require a proactive will to make adjustments and fortunately, we’ve come up with a handy guide with simple steps to take up charge towards living a greener life.
Appliances around the house can take up a lot of energy and conserving it is one of the easiest things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. Preserving energy may seem boring but the idea of a noticeable reduction in your electricity bills should definitely motivate you to do more. Consider air drying your clothes and dishes instead of using your dishwasher or dryer’s heat setting. Additionally when it comes to lighting, try switching to LED bulbs instead as they last longer and are a lot more efficient as well.
Chances are, you’re already doing a little bit of recycling, but it could be better. There are a surprising amount of things we are all hoarding around the house or unconsciously tossing that can actually be recycled — things like CDs, DVDs and their cases, cardboard, batteries, old chargers and power cords, printer ink cartridges and even your old books. Platforms like Earth911.com can actually help find recycling spots in your vicinity. Then there are those household items that are capable of further use like glass bottles that can be repurposed for storing liquids or planting, old t-shirts that can be converted and cut up to make cleaning rags — the possibilities are endless.
Adopting a plant based diet is a lot easier said than done but carving out a day in a week to try it out shouldn’t be too hard to try out. Alternatively, some would consider it more realistic to cut down their meat consumption to just a couple of days a week. The changes you will feel physically and mentally during the no-meat consuming days will be telling and help automatically tilt you towards make better food choices. Making changes to what you eat is great but not enough, try to consume what you eat by using up leftovers instead of tossing it in the bin. A whopping £13bn of edible food thrown away from homes in the UK annually, according to the government’s waste advisory body, Wrap.
Wet wipes are convenient but they are also clogging the environment, most wipes take up to 100 years to break down in a landfill. Switching it out for some good old flannel to wipe your face is a better choice. But if you have a baby and wipes have been your saviour then perhaps its time to seek out more biodegradable options instead. Microbeads are also another ingredient that are wreaking havoc in tiny ways. These are small bits of solid plastic which aren’t biodegradable and that end up into watercourses and ultimately end up damaging the environment by entering the food chain. Avoid them by looking out for them in your toothpastes, body washes, face scrubs and other products.
Donating unwanted wears to charity is great but mending and repairing your old clothes is a lot better. It’s not too hard to hand-sew and stitch up a hole in your sock or chop up a pair of ripped or worn out jeans and repurpose them as a pair of shorts. If sustainable brands don’t fit your budget, then realistically reducing your shopping habits and extending wears out of what you already own is a great alternative. If you have to shop, try heading to vintage or second hand thrift stores instead.
Published by: Vibhuti Vazirani/ 2020-04-14