Sustainable living can, in my opinion*, be divided into a few categories; Shopping & Fashion, Eating & Foods and Habits. Although my tips below may be common sense to some (hopefully most!), to others, new to wanting to live better, hopefully this is helpful and enlightening information! It never hurts to be reminded either :) That’s why I made this page.
Sustainable Shopping & Fashion:
When it comes to shopping, there are a few easy rules to live by in order to do what you can for the planet. Here are my top tips:
- Buy only what you NEED, not what you WANT. Be honest with yourself when you it comes to what you really need. New work-out sneakers may be a need, while more holiday decorations are NOT.
- Buy good quality items. They will last much longer, and help reduce your environmental footprint over time. A bit of investigating before you make a decision never hurts.
- Check tags and try to shop locally made. The shorter something ships, the better, and by doing so you are supporting your local economy, and you are educating yourself about where many items you buy are made. Awareness is great.
- Buy previously owned, or swap with your friends. Thrifting can be intimidating, online re-sale shops may be a good place to start, a way to ease into it and get comfortable with having things which have already been used.
- When you shop online try to buy many items from the same place at the same time to reduce shipping and trucking of your items. If you know you are coming back for more anyway, lump it together. Order together with friends and have it shipped to one address if you are a frequent online shopper.
Learn more about Sustainable Fashion:
Sustainable Eating & Foods:
Eating is a big part of our lives, and what we choose to eat affects the planet greatly. Here are my top tips:
- REDUCE your meat consumption, especially beef. The very best thing you can do for the planet is to build your diet around plants, grains and vegetables. Meat, fish and dairy (yes dairy too!) are luxury items you should enjoy scarcely. (This saves you money too) Raising livestock causes deforestation, methane emissions, CO2 emissions and drought.
- Check tags and try to shop locally made. The shorter something ships, the better. If fruit has been imported from far away, across the ocean, it means that that fruit is not in season where you live. But great news, some other fruit is! Go with what’s in season, and can be grown/harvested/made close to where you live.
- Avoid any products with palm oil. Palm oil is grown in areas where rainforest used to thrive. It’s one of the most devastating products in terms of deforestation. Peanut butter, Nutella, processed foods, jams, candy, chips, in other words all sorts of products may contain it so watch out – another great reason to read the labels!
- Look for the fair-trade label on chocolate, coffee, tea, rice and other imports to ensure fair wages and ethical treatment of cultures and lands.
- Choose organic if available (if not imported). It IS better for the soil and workers.
- Don’t buy water at the store, if the water in your home is safe. Filter it, bottle it in reusable bottles. Be smart. Save the planet and save lots of money.
- Buy in bulk to reduce packaging.
Learn more about Sustainable Eating in these documentaries:
There are easy changes to make to help the planet a little bit extra. Here are my top tips:
- Change your electricity provider to one that only invests in and sells 100% green energy, like wind power and/or solar. Or install solar panels on your roof.
- Be mindful about your electricity use. Hanging clothes to dry instead of throwing them in the dryer is a great and easy savings tip. When you are away from home, don’t blast the A/C or heater.
- Avoid plastic. Plastic is made from fossil fuels. Opt for paper, carton or metal, whenever possible. These materials are easier to recycle. Always recycle them!
- Take your own to-go cup and shopping bags with you every day. If you are in your car anyway, what’s the problem bringing them? There’s no need for fancy stuff, as long they’re reusable.
- At home, use reusable containers for leftovers, lunches, veggies and meals, instead of using a one-time Ziploc or other bag. (Recycling a Ziploc takes effort, people and trucking = energy). Use fabric cloths instead of paper towels.
- Be mindful about your waste. For example, plastic produce bags: are you going to eat the peel of your melon, kiwi, banana or onions? No? Then why do you need to protect them with a bag? Do you need a straw to drink that water? No? Then why did you ask for one?
- Don’t leave water running for no reason. While you’re brushing your teeth or washing dishes, turn it off and turn on again when you need to rinse.
- Drive an electric car. I have to say it, though I wouldn’t call it an easy tip. In the current car market it is not easy to buy a new, good car in that category. But when it’s time for something new, consider it! Combined with solar panels or a green electricity provider, you’re on your way to major CO2 savings.
Decoding the Rule of Sustainability:
Reduce: SAVES energy and REDUCES emissions, pollution and waste. Heroism.
Re-use: Status Quo when it comes to saving the planet. You’re helping by not wasting more resources! Awesome.
Recycle: Costs money, USES energy and resources. This is your last resort. Band-Aid.
Off-set your Carbon Footprint:
A great idea to help out is to use a Carbon Footprint Calculator to see approximately how much CO2 your household produces. Try a google search or use this LINK. When you know your number, offset the same amounts by purchasing carbon credits! One way to do that is by investing in planting trees at, for example, Stand For Trees dot org. Here’s a LINK to get planting!
*Blogging is subjective. I believe 100% in living by the tips on this page in order to live greener and help save the planet. Don’t waste your time providing me some scientific research that “proves” that the above is not valid, please. If you have great tips for sustainability and eco-awareness, of course, leave me a comment!!