Surely, you’ve read a lot about how important it is to live a more sustainable lifestyle. There is a growing demand for people to be more environmentally conscious now more than ever.
It would be fantastic if everyone—especially big companies—immediately made the necessary changes to reduce their carbon footprints, but even small acts count when enough people make them.
How much better for the planet and for you if everyone did that, right? It seems like a no-brainer. Or does it?
How can you be more sustainable in the ways you live day-to-day? Sure, you’ve asked this question before and thought it was a lot more complicated than it really is.
The truth is that it doesn’t have to be that challenging and exhaustive. Start small, then aim big. Here are seven simple steps to take to lead a greener life.
1. Buy clothes that are made to last
Almost anyone is guilty of taking part in the ‘fast fashion’ trend at least once in their lives. If you’re one of the ‘add to cart’ persons every sale season, you need to reduce your personal wastage by choosing to shop at ethical brands and buying well-made garments.
Stay clear of badly made pieces that will likely cost you more in the long run. You need to think about both how often you’ll wear the item and how long it will likely last.
You don’t have to become a minimalist overnight, but a small start is to detach yourself from the idea of shopping for clothes as a hobby.
2. Go plastic-free
If you don’t recycle your plastic bags, you should consider taking reusable eco-bags with you when going out. Plus, tote bags are totally “in” right now! You also don’t have to worry about breaking paper bags when grocery shopping since eco-friendly bags can bear a stronger load than conventional ones.
3. Use eco-friendly beauty and personal care products
Not only does going green in your beauty products help the environment, but you also get to use natural ingredients in your skin and hygiene care! If you think switching is difficult—that’s not true, as there are many alternatives and options available.
You can start by using shampoo bars instead of liquid products from bottles. For guys, you can stop using disposable razors and aim for electric ones. For gals, you can try using menstrual cups rather than the usual sanitary pads.
4. Reject single-use items and bring your own
Did you know metal straws are not the only single-use items you bring when going out? Leave a lower carbon footprint by ditching plastic bottles and plastic utensils. You can also bring your own tumblers and cups to your favorite coffee shop and enjoy a small discount!
5. Upcycle your materials
Upcycling means reusing discarded objects or materials to create a product of a higher quality or perceived value than the original. If you’re feeling creative, there are several easy upcycling projects you can try at home.
You can look into DIY home decor ideas, like turning an old rug into a pinboard. Or try simple ways to upcycle old materials, like turning a t-shirt into a hanging plant holder or turning old jars into coffee or food containers.
Want something a little more advanced? You can try turning your old furniture, like a TV, into a cat bed or a bookshelf.
6. Buy less, consume less, throw away less
Before you purchase anything, consider whether you actually need it. If possible, buy locally grown products to reduce your carbon footprint from transporting those goods. Conserve water by taking shorter showers and choosing low-flow and low-water appliance options.
Going meat-free once or twice a week is also an easy eco-friendly swap you can make. Plant-based foods generally have a lower carbon footprint and use less water than animal products.
Additionally, you should opt to go paperless with bank statements, receipts, etc., and bring laptops or tablets to meetings instead of printing out copies of documents.
7. Use your voice and your vote
Advocating for change by first informing yourself of the current sustainability issues is essential. But what can an average person do about the climate crisis? It is to vote—for people who have good policies, for candidates with strong environmental platforms.
Urge your representatives to pass stronger policies limiting greenhouse gasses, protecting endangered species, and addressing human population growth.
There are a lot of changes you can make to your lifestyle to make a difference. So if you have the means to change or follow the steps mentioned above, you should do it for the benefit of yourself, the community, and the world.