Living more sustainably, or living a greener lifestyle is becoming more popular as we gain more awareness around environmental issues affecting our planet. We're finding it hard to ignore this any longer, and we're looking for changes we can make individually to live a more sustainable life.

Firstly, what does it really meant to live a more sustainable lifestyle? In my opinion, it means to live mindfully, always questioning your descisions and purchases to ensure they are aligned with your knowledge of how you can live a lighter footprint on this earth. Never stop learning, there are always changes you can make, improvements to the way you live, the decisions and purchases you make.

Here are my 10 tips for living more sustainably, which you can do right now without too much effort or money!

  1. Hold off on turning the heating on! With Autumn well under way, and winter just around the corner we are more tempted to turn the heating on at home. But start with putting more clothes on instead - it's amazing what an extra cosy jumper and pair of socks can do!
  2. Use energy efficient lighting around your home, as they last much longer and use less energy. Also remember to always turn the lights off as you leave a room.
  3. When you commute to work in the morning, swap the car for your bike or public transport. I much prefer the added exercise I get in the morning by walking to work, and it's a great opportunity to listen to some interesting podcasts or read a book (if you're on public transport obviously, not your bike!)
  4. Avoid all plastic bags in your food shopping, including the free plastic bags in the fruit and vegetable aisles. Take your own reusable shopping bags as well as reusable cloth produce bags for your loose fruit and veg. Opt for package-free food as much as possible, or at the very least plastic-free. Using your local farmer's market not only supports small local producers, but you can shop package-free, get to know the food producers and exactly where your food is coming from, as well as boosting your health as the food you buy has travelled less miles and is more likely to be fresh and seasonal.
  5. Stop buying bottles water! This is a no-brainer! We are lucky enough in the UK to have drinkable water on tap, so get yourself a reusable water bottle and get filling! If you're out and about, there are also many places for refilling your water bottle, so check out the Refill scheme.
  6. Refuse single-use disposables from today. Just do it. As soon as you make this decision you'll realise how many single-use disposables you are offered! Plastic straws, plastic cutlery and throwaway coffee cups are the obvious ones but be more mindful when you're handed a free leaflet in the street, offered a free 'goody bag' when you're attending an event, more often than not it's a bag of single-use throwaways...
  7. Buy second hand clothes and support the second hand market. Clothes available in second hand shops have many years of life left in them and are a fraction of the cost of buying new. If you really do want to buy something new, then support fashion brands that are ethical and environmetally conscious.
  8. Opt to go paperless with your bank, and put a notice on your front door to refuse all junk mail. Any mail you do get sent from companies (i.e. seasonal clothing catalogues etc) call them up as soon as you receive them and ask to be taken off the postal mailing list, opt to be kept up to date with offers by email instead.
  9. Investigate how you can recycle your devises when they have reached the end of their life, but if you have devises that are still in working order then look at donating them to schools and other institutions instead of throwing them away.
  10.  With Christmas coming up, it's easy to get carried away with our gift purchasing. Investigate giving an experience gift instead this year, or giving your time to someone that needs something done, i.e. 2 days of decorating the house or a weekend of gardening!

There are so many things we can do to work towards our greener goals, but starting with the easy changes, taking it day by day and always staying mindful in our decision making is the best way to live.

 

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October 16, 2017 by Jyoti Shaw