If everyone followed at least a few sustainable lifestyle tips the world would be a better place. Many people have good intentions, but find it too hard to change their lifestyle. However, by making just one change per month, you easily get into a new habit and before you know it, are doing many things that will make a big difference to the earth’s resources – and often to your own costs as well.
By starting small you won’t feel overwhelmed. Here are 8 easy steps towards sustainability.
- Create an urban eco-pack to use when buying take-aways. It should contain a re-usable food container, eating utensils and a mug. This will enable you to refuse plastics, especially those that are disposable after only one use.
- Never wash dishes under running water; it is very wasteful. Instead, use a soft rubber scraper to remove food waste, then wash filling the sink only to half or a third full. If you have a large sink, you can save water by washing up in a container that fits into the sink but is smaller. This works well especially for smaller wash-ups. If you use a bio friendly detergent you’ll be able to water pot plants or some of the garden with that water, afterwards.
- Do you get a lot of junk mail or catalogues you don’t want? Take time to get off their mailing lists and to use a ‘no junk mail’ sticker on your mailbox. This will save on paper waste.
- Washing clothes with cold water will save on electricity. Using the washing machine early in the morning or late at night often does too, because those are off-peak times.
- Air dry your clothes to save heaps; clothes dryers are very hard on power. Get drying racks and place them near your heater or a sunny window in the winter. Clothes usually dry overnight – without it costing a cent.
- Half a cup of vinegar and quarter of a cup of baking soda mixed with two litres of water make a great cleaning product that can be used in the bathroom or kitchen on a variety of surfaces, including glass. It’s much cheaper than supermarket products and has no toxic fumes or ingredients.
- Save water used to flush the toilet by adding a jar or bottle full of water to the cistern. It will displace the water used and save that amount at each flush. Just make sure enough water is going through to cleanse waste away.
- Unplug electronic devices when they are not being used, even the phone charger. Leaving them plugged in means they can draw power, especially if that little red light is still showing. Unplugging them from the powerpoint will save a great deal of power and costs.