Each and every day we make choices in our lives that affect the environment. Many of us are currently consuming energy and producing waste at an unsustainable rate. As Karen Ellis from WWF put it, “we are living in a time when human impacts on the environment are changing the face of our planet […] we as a society must do better.” Fortunately, we are all becoming more aware of our actions and the importance of taking care of our planet. By implementing a few small changes to our lifestyles, we can make a huge difference by reducing our personal carbon footprints.
With a brand new year, comes an opportunity for a brand new start, so what better time than now to make some changes for the better. We understand that knowing where to start can seem overwhelming so we’ve created this simple guide to living more sustainably in 2023 and onwards!
Here are our 5 top sustainable living tips:
1) Buy less and buy better
Every item you buy has an environmental impact, from the materials used to make it to the pollution produced during manufacturing to the packaging that is thrown away to landfill. So before you make your future purchases, ask yourself if you really need it. When possible, opt for fair trade and sustainable products, and consider buying second hand items when you can. Also, choose products with minimal packaging and shipping.
2) Avoid single-use plastic
8 million pieces of plastic end up in our ocean daily, killing thousands of marine creatures every year. This year, aim to reduce your plastic waste. Some easy wins to do so include:
- Using reusable bags when you shop
- Stop buying single-use water bottles – invest in a refillable one instead
- Take a keep-cup when you go to grab a coffee
- Avoid plastic straws
- Choose unwrapped produce at the grocery store
- Try to avoid products made from or packaged in plastic
3) Reduce your consumption of meat & fish
Farming animals is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, due to producing a large percentage of the planet-warming gases. Fish farming is rapidly increasing, also causing serious environmental harm. We’re not saying you have to go vegan to do your part for the planet, but if we all simply cut down our meat and fish intake, it would make a huge difference. Why not try opting for a vegan diet once a week? Check out our recent Veganuary blog for tips.
4) Go green at home
If you’re looking to cut down your energy consumption, a good place to start is your house. Here are some simple steps to reduce your carbon footprint in the comfort of your own home:
- Make sure your home has adequate insulation
- Use a programmable thermostat for more efficient heating and cooling
- Use energy-saving light bulbs or LED lights
- Wash your clothes on an eco-friendly cooler wash & avoid using the tumble dryer when you can
5) Reduce your waste
Every year as a worldwide collective, we dump a whopping 2.12 billion tons of waste. We are generating far too much rubbish and in turn our landfills are releasing a dangerous amount of methane – a greenhouse gas contributing to climate change. As we are all becoming increasingly conscious of our impact on the environment, most of us now recycle regularly. However, did you know there’s such a thing as ‘wishful recycling’? According to the non-profit Sustainable Connections, 25% of what we recycle is not actually recyclable. To avoid more waste going to landfills, it’s extremely important we all recycle correctly. Check out our recycling tips here.
It’s also important for each of us to be mindful in the kitchen, reducing our food waste. When cooking at home, don’t throw away your leftovers. Put them in the fridge for a healthy snack or lunch the next day! Produce bags are a great way to reduce your food waste. Veggie Saver keeps your fruit and vegetables fresh for weeks! It’s also plastic and waste free, and is made out of a compostable cotton.
Remember, all small changes can have a huge impact. Whether you can implement just one or all five of these sustainability tips, you’ll be contributing to the protection of our planet.