Having a sustainable lifestyle is simple. A lot of the effort needed to live sustainably is being mindful. Thinking about the choices you are making, or taking action to make those choices effortless in the moment.
These are 20 things I personally try to do, to lead a more sustainable life.
1. Bring a tote bag with you every time you leave the house. Reducing the single use plastic of a shopping bag, and replacing it with a reusable tote bag is simple. You just got to keep them in your car, or in a visual place to remind you to grab them before you leave. You could even fold one up and keep it in your purse.
2. If you can, pick paperless billing. Whether it's a monthly statement, or a receipt at a store. One less piece of paper used, and potentially one less lost receipt when you need to return an item.
3. Think sustainable with your oral care. Buying a toothbrush that has a head replacement feature could reduce the overall plastic waste when it comes time to change it. You could also choose to buy bamboo or compostable tooth brushes.
4. Save your leftovers. Either save them for the next day, or freeze them. Don't throw them away, it's basically a free extra meal. You could even use parts of what is left over to make a completely different recipe.
5. Create a wildflower garden. If you don't have a green thumb, this is perfect for you. Either in a pot or a section of you garden plant a premade bundle of wildflower seeds. Wildflowers are amazing for the pollinators in your neighborhood. They are also usual very easy to care for.
6. Harvest the seeds. After you've planted your wild flowers, download a plant app that can identify what has grown. Find out how to cultivate the seeds for next spring and store them during the winter months. This way you can have an endless supply of flowers each year, without having to repurchase any.
7. Bring your own container to a bulk store. A lot of dried goods are available in bulk, and you could save the excess plastic packaging by reusing a mason jar. Most bulk stores allow you to bring in your own jars / containers. Make sure you check the guidelines of the bulk store of you choosing first.
8. Propagate your favorite indoors plants. Each plant is a little different, but there is a huge amount of literature on house plant propagation online. Most indoor plants just need a sunny place, and water to root. Make one plant in to many!
9. Walk up the stairs, instead of taking the elevator. Walk to the corner store next time instead of driving. If you don't feel like walking you could always bike! Just not up the stairs, that doesn't end well.
10. Buy second hand clothing.
11. Donate or sell your old clothing. You could offer them to friends or family as well. Do not throw them out. Even if they are ripped or stained, there is a way to recycle them either with a local charity or a specific drop off box.
12. Instead of buying baggies for your snacks, buy reusable baggies. There's a huge variety of reusable snack bags in all shapes and sizes.
13. Try a reusable metal straw. If you buy a multi-pack, pop a few in your purse. Next time you go out, you can use your own straw and kindly ask to not be given a plastic one with your order.
14. Buy a reusable travel mug. Some stores require you buy their specific mug, but some also offer a discount for using it. Ask your barista, at your local coffee shop. If you go there often, it's worth the extra couple dollars for the initial purchase of the travel mug. Especially since you should only need to ever buy one!
15. Recycle. Always recycle what you can. If you don't know if you can recycle it, download your cities app. Or look on your local recycling centers website. Figure out what is allowed in your area, and keep a note in your phone for future reference.
16. Turn off the lights as you leave the room.
17. Get outside. Read a book, or draw a picture instead of watching television. Pick any activity that has less or no electricity required.
18. Have a compost in your back yard. Depending on your region you can purchase a composting bin from a recycling / landfill depot. Some regions also offer compost pick up. If you choose to keep your own, there are also a lot of DIY's on Pinterest to make one. Then when the time comes you can add it to your garden to feed your plants.
19. Drink water from the tap. This is better then drinking it from a bottle. It is also even better then drink a fizzy drink or juice that takes more energy / waste to make. That is on top of the plastic to bottle the drink.
20. Get crafty. We all end up cracking our favourite mug or vase. Instead of running out to buy a new one, why not try to fix it. There are special glues you can buy to seal the crack. Or you could use the old ceramic to make an art piece. Pinterest has a lot of great DIY solutions for many broken or worn things in your life. Next time try to give it a new life before you throw it out.
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