It is great to read articles explaining all the ways to become a sustainable environmentally friendly warrior who produces no waste and contributes negative Co2 emissions. However, for most people it is unrealistic and makes being sustainable an unattainable goal. So, for that exact reason we have made a list of a few small changes you can make in life to live more sustainably.
Where possible it is beneficial to use modes of transport that do not burn fuel, so walking, cycling, skateboarding etc. Whether it is popping to the corner shop or going to a friend’s house. If it is possible to get there without using motor transport where you normally would, it will be a benefit to the environment. And also, your health.
Maybe it is not possible to reach your destination by foot or bicycle. But if you need to go to a city or town centre it is more environmentally friendly to use public transport, if it’s a bus or train, by you sharing that service rather than driving, you are reducing Co2 emissions that could have polluted the air. Often times it is easier to use public transport if you are heading to a city centre as there is no need to find or pay for parking.
Sometimes it is just not feasible to use public transport, it might be too expensive, or it may not be available for your destination. So, another way to lower emissions could be to car share. If someone from work lives nearby it could be worth sharing a ride with them. If you split costs it could be cheaper for both of you and it will half the emissions of both people travelling separately.
By planning meals, you will only buy what you need for your food for the week. By doing this you will not over buy food meaning you are less likely to need to throwaway produce that has gone bad, because you will have already used it. Not only a great way to reduce your food waste, but if you are only buying what you will use, but you will save money by only buying necessities.
It is well known that certain foods are not as great for the environment as others. Completely cutting food groups out of your diet may not be doable however it may be beneficial to try and lower your intake of certain foods such as meat and palm oil just by one meal a week will lower your carbon footprint.
The fast fashion industry revolves around always buying new. Clothes are made from low quality materials at cheap prices to create a system where things are thrown away and bought new. By avoiding low quality materials such as Polyester or other synthetic materials your clothes are likely to last longer. These plastic based materials will not allow for breathability and will cause sweat staining giving your clothes a shorter life.
Buying and donating clothes from and to second-hand shops and charity shops will give old items a new life. Something may no longer fit you or may not be to your tastes anymore, but someone else might love it. You may also be able to find high quality clothing for a much cheaper price. Whatever your motives, it keeps the clothing’s lifecycle going and keeps them out of the bin.
Learning to sew is a great way to reduce waste. Being able to fix holes in items of clothing, take things in if they are too big or learning to take them out if they become too small. Sewing is a great way to avoid throwing clothing away. You can also customise clothing, being able to always keep it on trend.
Minus consumables you should consider everything you buy as an investment. Meaning that everything you buy should be bought to be kept for an indefinite amount of time. In order to make sustainable changes in your life your buying habits need to switch from disposable to reusable. Things like carrier bags, straws and water bottles need to start being looked at as long-term purchases.
As they say, buy cheap, buy twice. And this really is true. If you are on the lookout for new furniture sometimes it is worth just saving for a little longer for something of a higher quality because it will last you so much longer. If the purse strings are a little tight, then there are plenty of good finds at second-hand and charity shops. Perfectly sound pieces of furniture that people have no more need for. By buying items that will last you longer, you will be able to avoid throwing things away so often.
Want to know about sustainable tourism? Read our blog all about it here