Based on a recent study conducted by Southern Cross University, 93% of people in America and Australia share a general concern for the environment. Of that same sample, 77% want to learn how to live more sustainably—and, fortunately, a few simple tips can help make the process easier.
Reduce your waste
Reducing your waste should be a top concern if you’re looking to live more sustainably. One of the easiest ways to do this is to invest in reusable versions of the items you use every day. Do you normally grab a bottle of water from its case each morning? Pick up a reusable bottle and fill it yourself. You can even buy them with a built-in filter if you’re worried about drinking water from the tap. Need to bring your groceries home from the store? Stock up on reusable totes to transport all your items.
Not only do reusable alternatives save money over time, but they’re a great chance to express yourself, too. Add a sticker to your bottle or pick up a bag that features your favorite quote. Be sure to apply this concept to reduce your energy waste, too. Turn off the lights, stop the water from running, and unplug your appliances when you aren’t using them.
Where you can’t reuse, replace
While reusable alternatives are a good idea whenever possible, sometimes it seems like a bit of stretch, especially if you’re just starting. Not up for trying something like family cloth (experts actually discourage the practice in terms of both sanitation and sustainability)? Make the switch to biodegradable toilet paper instead. It might not eliminate waste, but it will make it more sustainable. This eco-friendly toilet tissue is not just better for the environment—it’s also comfortable (maybe even more so than standard toilet paper) and good for your septic tank. Talk about a win-win-win! The concept applies beyond this example; if reusing something seems like a stretch, try to find a more sustainable replacement.
Think about your eats
Your diet can have more of an environmental impact than you think. Enjoying produce that’s in-season and locally grown decreases the effects that the import process has on the environment, like transportation emissions. While you’re enjoying your local produce, consider starting Meatless Mondays (or, if you’re up for it, trying vegan-or vegetarianism)—meat products have a significantly higher carbon footprint than plant-based foods. You can even make your shopping itself more sustainable with reusable bags (as mentioned above) and purchasing in bulk where possible to cut down on packaging.
Get around a little differently
If you normally drive everywhere, try biking or walking for a change (that locally-focused shopping routine should make it easy). When you do need to go somewhere a bit farther, try carpooling whenever possible. If you want to make an even bigger change, consider switching to a hybrid or electric car—it’s a big adjustment to make but makes strides in terms of sustainability.
Listen to those email footers
Have you gotten an email that asks you to “Think before printing?” It’s a good idea to do just that. Do you need to print out that message, or can you refer to it digitally? Consider opting for an e-ticket for your favorite events rather than having one mailed or printed. Are prints of every photo from your last vacation necessary, or could you take advantage of a cloud photo manager? Not only are these options more sustainable, but they might just help you get more organized. Embrace cloud storage to get those scattered folders of photographs and old pay stubs in order—all while helping the planet.
Plant a tree or grow a garden. Donate the items that no longer spark joy for you rather than sending them to a landfill. Contribute your time or money to an organization helping the earth and choose businesses that do the same. However you choose to give back to the environment, you can feel good about making a difference.
Living sustainably really is easier than you’d expect. A few small lifestyle changes are enough to make a significant difference and help save the planet—one step at a time.