In recent years, the need to embrace sustainable living has become more critical. We all have a role to play in contributing to a healthier future for our planet. With corporations and individuals alike adopting more environmentally-friendly habits, there’s no better time to review opportunities for sustainability improvements in our homes and routines.
Whether you’re a sustainable living expert or you’re just beginning your eco-conscious journey, here are seven simple tips that can pave a more sustainable way forward.
#1. Reduce, reuse, recycle!
One of the most empowering changes you can make is to embrace the mantra of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’. This can create better outcomes not only for the planet but also for your wallet.
The first element – reduce – is all about consuming less. This isn’t solely about purchasing fewer items, it’s also about considering how your belongings can serve a purpose for longer. Purchasing a smaller amount of new items can reduce waste from month to month. Before purchasing an item, try asking yourself how much you actually need it and how often you’ll use it. If the item is essential, do your research to understand if there’s an alternative product made with more sustainable material, or by a different manufacturer with a greater commitment to sustainable practices.
The second element – reuse – involves getting creative, but it’s super rewarding! By choosing reusable alternatives to single-use products (such as reusable grocery bags) and repurposing your belongings when their initial purpose is fulfilled, you can significantly reduce the amount of rubbish your household is creating. This can be as simple as reviewing your food wastage and looking at how much you’re throwing out before each grocery shop. For instance, some items can be pickled, frozen, or preserved instead of thrown away. It’s a great excuse to get busy in the kitchen.
The third and final element – recycling – is perhaps the most immediately beneficial. Our natural landscapes and waterways are literally becoming clogged with plastics that aren’t properly recycled. By sorting recyclables into the correct bins, waste can be reduced in small ways that add up to significant changes. Your local council will be able to provide advice around which bins are appropriate for different types of recyclables, making sure there’s no risk of commingling between recyclable groups.
#2. Review your energy and water usage
This is another great sustainability tip with a natural advantage for your wallet. Conserving energy and water usage is one way we can each contribute to a healthier planet while saving money on our utility bills in the process.
Simple adjustments throughout your home can lead to ongoing water and electricity savings, such as using energy-efficient appliances, using natural cooling and heating options, timing your showers, and turning off electronics and lights when they’re not being used.
#3. Use sustainable transportation options
While public transport is more limited in some areas of Australia than others, making use of sustainable options where possible can reduce your carbon footprint. Public transportation reduces the amount of damaging carbon emissions per person on a commute.
If you need some convincing to take the bus, try to look at it as “me time”. Use the trip to listen to a podcast, read a good book, or practice a hobby such as writing or knitting. That way, you can sneak some extra relaxation or recreation into your day.
#4. Choose sustainable food options
Did you know that certain food choices can also contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle?
Some foods have larger production footprints than others, so choosing a diet that’s rich in low-impact, environmentally-friendly foods can have ongoing advantages for your carbon impact.
Plant-based eating is another way you can support the environment through your food choices. Even by consuming just a little bit less meat on a regular basis (try having one meatless meal per week!), you’re helping to conserve environmental and energy resources.
#5. Shop local
One of the incredible benefits we have in Australia is the vast range of high quality local products we can access. Food, clothing, furniture, beauty products… the list goes on! By shopping local instead of sourcing an item from overseas, fewer resources are used to import products, therefore your carbon impact is smaller.
Plus, you’re also contributing to the health of our local business sectors. This creates a win-win for the environment and for the Australian economy. Now you can feel good on two fronts!
#6. Reduce your use of single-use plastics
Many major Australian retailers have now removed all single-use plastics from their stores, encouraging shoppers to bring reusable bags with them when they shop (or to make the most of paper alternatives). This is an excellent step towards ongoing sustainability because single-use plastics are wreaking havoc on the environment and our health. By choosing to take a reusable bag with you for each grocery stop, you can join the fight against the rising tide of plastic pollution.
Consider where single-use plastics are still present in your life – how can you remove them altogether? This may mean it’s time to invest in a Keep-Cup for those morning coffees or increase the amount of Tupperware you’ve got on hand for leftovers!
Most chain supermarkets and smaller grocers also offer refillable pantry basics, creating more opportunities to keep single-use plastic out of your home.
#7. Consume mindfully and intentionally
While the idea of mindful consumption may sound a little fluffy, it’s actually a powerful opportunity for each of us to improve the role we play in our sustainable future.
Mindful consumption is all about choosing quality over quantity, reducing waste, and increasing the sustainability of our lifestyle in the process. Whether you’re shopping for a new outfit or a new computer, looking for products that will stand the test of time means you’re reducing your potential landfill contribution in the future. By opting out of disposable culture, you’ll be able to support ongoing sustainable living practices, reducing the amount of resources you’re consuming in your everyday purchasing habits.
Protecting our beautiful environment is crucial and a great way to contribute to the greater good. By reducing your consumption and making informed purchasing decisions, you can play a part in a brighter future – and it doesn’t hurt that many of these tips could save you money, too!
Looking for support to shift your sustainable living habits? Our Lifestyle Attendants work with customers across every aspect of their daily routines, including making more sustainable changes to their homes and their purchasing habits. Contact us to learn more.