“ We don’t need a handful of people doing sustainability perfectly. We need millions of people doing it in perfectly.”
I have heard that quote, or variations of it, countless times over the last few months. For me the journey to live a more sustainable lifestyle is about focusing on changes I know that I can make. I know that it will take years of practice and years of change, but Also I am doing my very best and that’s what counts. For everyone, sustainability is going to look a little different, and that is completely fine. I think it is unfair to set an unrealistic expectation on ourselves and other people, and that as long as we all do something we can make the world a better place.
There are so many different ways that we can try to live a more sustainable life. We don’t have to choose them all, but instead focus on making a few changes that we know we can achieve and live with forever.
The thing I found most interesting when I created this list, is that most of the choices we make that effect the planet in a negative way come out of convenience for us. If we reverted back to many of the things that our grandparents or even parents did we would make a big difference. Even things as simple as going to the library instead of buying books.
Below I have put together a list of 60 different changes, which can be implemented to make steps toward change for the good. I think if you can choose at least five to work into your life, then you are doing so great! Then once you get the hang of those, refer back to this list to other changes to add into your life!
Now I’m not going to claim that I am perfect. I am perfectly imperfect and trying my best, and definitely do not do all of the things listed below. I hope they inspire you to find your perfectly imperfect change…
1. Drink tea from a metal tea strainer instead of buying teabags.
2. Look at buying secondhand clothing and other items.
3. If something comes in plastic packaging just don’t buy it.
4. Carry around a usable coffee cup in your handbag.
5. Carry around a reusable straw.
6. If you go to buy takeaway take your own bowl or eco friendly container for the food to be put in l, instead of plastic containers. I know this is less convenient but come on you’re helping to save the planet.
7. Pop your own knife, fork and spoon in your handbag to use when on the go, if you are offered plastic cutlery.
8. If you have the budget install solar panels we are just about to!
9. Eat less animal products. Even if you have one meat free day a week you will make a huge difference.
10. If you have a baby try reusable nappies￼
11. If you can’t stand the thought of reusable nappies then try using reusable swim nappies.￼
12. Turn off appliances, lights and fans when you aren’t using them. I know in my household we are terrible at turning of fans and that is something we are going to work on.￼
13. Hang clothes out to dry instead of using the dryer all the time.
14. Reuse as much packaging as you can. I save all of my jam jars to put things like sauces in, use craft and for planting flowers.
15. Donate unwanted items to charity stores.
16. Don’t buy drinks in plastic bottles. If you forget your water bottle then try to hold out until you get home. My exception to this rule would be if I were travelling overseas where the water was questionable, I would always buy bottled water. In terms of juice and other drinkable items there are so many varieties available in glass bottles these days.
17. Rely less on your car or car share.
18. Think twice before buying an item. Do you really need it? Do you love it? Do you have anything similar that could be used?￼
19. Buy items in bulk to save on packaging.
20. Put on an extra layer of clothing instead of using heating. Likewise take one off or open the windows instead of turning a fan or air conditioning on.
21. Use natural light as much as possible instead of always reaching for the light switch.
22. Put a note saying no junk mail on your mailbox and limit the amount of paper waste.
23. Change all of your bank statements over to receiving them via email instead of post.
24. Stop using garbage bin liners. You can empty your bin into your main bin, wash it and spray it with essential oils.
25. Purchased recycled toilet paper.
26. Use organic fertilisers in your garden.
27. Take the stairs instead of an elevator.
28. Don’t use plastic bags at the checkout. If you forget your bags then just deal with it.
29. Stop using plastic wrap and start using an eco-friendly alternative.
30. Shop at stores that have paper bags to put your groceries like seeds and nuts in, same with fruit and vegetables. Or ones that allow you to bring jars to be filled.
31. Bring your own containers to the deli instead of getting things wrapped in plastic and paper.
32. Invest in better quality household and clothing items that last longer.
33. Support ethical and sustainable brands.
34. Reduce how frequently you wash your clothes.
35. Re-purpose everything you can in your life.
36. Send electronic invitations to weddings and parties.
37. Ask shops and suppliers to email you receipts instead of printing one for you.
38. Add plants into your home.
39. Choose wooden children’s toys over plastic.
40. Purchased reusable nursing pads instead of disposable ones.
41. Use coconut oil instead of nappy rash cream.
42. Repurposed your fruit and vegetables by making them into compost.
43. Juice the cut-offs of your fruit and vegetables.
44. Use cloths instead of paper towels.
45. Make your own coffee instead of buying takeaway.
46. If you forget your reusable coffee cup then don’t just buy takeaway sit down and enjoy your coffee in a cafe.
47. Have make up free days.
48. Don’t leave the water running whilst cleaning your face or rubbing your shampoo in.
49. Buy bigger bottles of beauty products less often.
50. Stop using gift bags and wrapping paper. When you do use gift bags and gift boxes save them for future use.
51. Create a thoughtful video and send it instead of sending birthday cards.
52. Donate to a charity instead of sending birthday cards and Christmas cards.
53. Think of providing someone to service instead of a gift like offering to give them a massage or babysit for them. Give experiences over things.
54. Spend more time outside.
55. Eat more whole foods.
56. Borrow books from the library instead of buying them.
57. Use a handkerchief instead of disposable tissues.
58. Plant a tree.
59. Hire clothes for special occasions instead of buying something you might only wear once.
60. Start a veggie patch or fruit garden.
I would love to hear which of these 60 suggestions you choose for your five changes. Email me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Lots of love,