What does it mean to live a more sustainable lifestyle?
This is a question Maša, and I have been asking ourselves a lot lately. Over the past couple of years, we’ve focused on pairing down and giving up the consumption of animal products. We’re proud of these personal developments, but it’s just a few aspects of what it means to live mindfully, at least in our opinion.
For those of you who might not know, we used to run an online store called Fairlings, where we connected essential day-to-day products that are fair trade, vegan, eco-friendly and organic with conscientious and compassionate people. We interviewed the founders of the brands we stocked to get a better understanding of their production process so we could give all of the information required for our customers to make an informed decision.
Through this process, we were inspired by these amazing founders and their desire to not only create products that perform exceptionally well but to also ensure that they put systems in place to limit their impact on the environment.
So we’ve taken this inspiration and turned it into a list of tips to help you live greener and happier. You may already be doing a few of these things, or perhaps all of it, which is fantastic! But hopefully, you pick up some opportunities to do your part to help mother nature.
PS – we’re also creating an online course to help you create Minimal-Waste in your kitchen.
Let’s get into the tips.
Living sustainably around the house
- Use LED lighting or CFL bulbs instead of incandescent lighting as it’s proven to last longer, which reduces the need to keep purchasing light bulbs.
- Put on an extra layer of clothing instead of turning on the heating. Seriously, doubling up on your socks does wonders!
- Open up your blinds and use as much natural light as possible before switching on your light bulbs. You all get to enjoy some more sunshine 🙂
- Turn off your lights when you leave a room.
- Put up a no junk mail sign on your letterbox to limit the amount of paper waste.
- Hang your wet clothes on a drying line or rack instead of using a powered dryer.
- Hand wash your clothes, particularly if you only have a few items to clean.
- Start timing your showers. Or better yet, invest in a shower timer.
- Grow your own herbs, fruit and vegetables even if it’s just a few pots around the house, it all helps!
- Turn off your devices at night, including your wifi box.
- Get a water-saving shower head.
- Use organic fertilisers.
- Buy a second-hand bicycle and start using it to commute everywhere.
- Take stairs over the elevator. This also doubles up as a booty workout.
- Use public transport. It’s also an excellent opportunity to catch up on reading and other things you couldn’t do if you were driving.
Sustainable grocery shopping
- Don’t use plastic bags at checkout. Instead, take your own bags for groceries.
- Buy your produce in bulk from your local farmer’s markets.
- Avoid buying plastic-wrapped products, opt for a paper bag instead.
- Stop buying bottled water!
- Buy second-hand clothes where possible.
- Become a minimalist and take the 333-time capsule challenge.
- Invest in better quality items that last longer. Slow fashion trumps fast fashion.
- Support fashion brands that are ethical and environmentally conscious.
- Opt to receive digital letters and notices.
- Send electronic wedding invitations.
- Read this article on how to use an app to scan and organise all of your paperwork.
- Collect scrap paper in a tray.
- Turn off your computer before leaving work.
- Get rid of your home printer. This will encourage you to seek a printer when you absolutely need it.
Sustainable baby items
- Switch to cloth diapers.
- Use stainless steel drink bottles (or at least plastic-free).
- Juice the off-cuts of your vegetables and fruits.
- Repurpose glass jars.
- Use washable metal straws instead of disposable plastic straws.
- Use cold water when hand washing dishes.
- Use cloths instead of paper towels.
- Make your own coffee instead of buying takeaway.
- Go makeup free for one week each month.
- Limit the amount of water you use to brush your teeth.
- Make your own face cleanser and scrub.
- Save gift bags and boxes for future use.
- Give people experiences instead of things.
- Use solar energy charges for your smartphones and tablets.
- Use rechargeable batteries where possible.
- Recycle your devices when ready to dispose of.
- Donate your old devices to schools and other institutions.
- Spend more time outside.
- Eat more whole foods. Better yet, go vegan!
- Become a member of your local food co-op.
- Plant a tree with someone.
- Borrow books from the library instead of purchasing them directly.
- Read your favourite newspaper publications online instead of reading the paper versions.
- Create a video, a slideshow or a blog post of how you implemented these ideas and publish them publicly.
- Regularly prepare home cooked meals and save on takeaway storage containers.
- Adopt pets instead of buying them from a breeder. There are so many orphaned pets out there who need a family. And the same can be said for children!
- Stop accepting disposable cutlery and napkins.
- Have a sniffle? Carry around your own handkerchief instead of using disposable tissues.