For some people a zero waste, carbon neutral and a minimalist lifestyle either isn’t for everyone or too huge of a change to make here and now. If so, that’s okay. Start by making small steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle and build on those over time. Here are 10 easy steps to make small changes.
Watch your water.
Do you have a habit of leaving the tap running when brushing your teeth or shaving? Do you look away and overfill the sink or the bath with hot or cold water and have to let some water out to make it right? All these little things will add up to a huge amount of wasted water in a year. You could also install a low flow shower head to save water with every shower use.
Installing solar panels at home.
Solar panels are a great way to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. They are an investment though. It is thought it will take 20 years for you to break even on the investment of installing solar panels. But this is a lifelong investment and an investment in our planet. You may be fortunate enough to have schemes in your area to help fund solar in your home. Not only is it large solar panels at home but solar power alternatives. Where you can, use solar powered items over electric and battery powered. You can even purchase transportable solar chargers for your smartphone and tablets:
Choose natural cleaning products.
This is a topic I posted about not long ago, What cleaning products are polluting our ocean? A lot cleaning products we find in store are toxic to our environment. Thankfully there are stores out there like Big Green Smile battling against those big companies producing millions of bottles of toxic cleaners.
Items such as recycled toilet and kitchen roll are easily available. Consumers have the power and if we place a demand on recycled goods companies will listen and produce more eco-friendly products.
Insulate your home.
Invest in a good insulation in your roof and walls. If you rent and don’t own your home you can still make small changes. Keeping your warm home without turning on your heating saves energy and money. Invest in blinds, curtains and draught excluders for the gaps under your door. They can be really quirky and homey too:
Recycle your food waste.
If you have access to a green space then you can make your own compost out of non-animal food waste, garden trimmings and even tea bags. You can buy outdoor composters very cheap now, plastic or wood are the most popular materials. Creating your own compost for your home will also improve the quality of your soil. If you don’t have a green space you can dedicate to composting you can buy an indoor one. Take the waste outside when full and bury it in a small “cathole” or “trench”. The one I use at home I love and I published a review on this in case you were curious.
Batch cooking is a great way to save energy and time. It’s very easy to cook 5 or 6 portions of chicken with a sauce in a slow cooker in the same amount of time as an oven. This is a much better alternative to cooking 1 or 2 portions in the oven wrapped in foil. If you are a fan of your coffee machine, look at buying reusable pods rather than single use. The app Too Good To Go is also actively combating food waste in restaurants.
Live a sustainable lifestyle.
Society wants more than ever, not need. “Impulse buys” have been a thing for a long time and shops set-up for these. Whether it’s hair ties, ankle socks or sweets, there are various cheap items at the point of purchase ready for you to grab last second, even though you don’t need them and never intended to buy them. The problem of “Fast Fashion” is now getting a lot of recognition and if we buy less less whether fashion, technology or food we can reduce our carbon footprint.
Buy second hand or borrow.
It’s easy to look for second hand items as it is to buy new. You can search for an item on Gumtree, Facebook marketplace and various other sites. There are very few situations where you “need” to have new. Furniture, tools and appliances are readily available second hand and they will save you some money.
Avoid single use items.
Plastic bags, straws and cups are some of the most used single use items. All of which have alternatives. Tote bags, metal straws and reusable cups are all really simple changes to make.
We can all make small changes to make our home more environmentally friendly. If we just take one step at a time to a greener life change will happen. If we can all make One Change Now we will see the benefits in years to come.