Practical tips for every day sustainable living

Sustainable living is arguably an overused term and can be interpreted in a number of different ways. I understand it to mean living in a way that you take on board some environmental responsibility and do what you can to reduce the resources and energy you are using. There are some very easy ways you can think sustainably on a day to day basis which won’t take up any extra time – as with recycling at home, it’s all about making it a habit.

There are so many simple things you can do on a daily basis – here are just 10 practical tips for every day sustainable living:

  1. Use reusable shopping bags. Remember to keep some in the car as it’s so easy to get to the supermarket and realise you have forgotten them.
  1. Take away coffee – say no to the cup! The inside of a take away coffee cup is coated with a wax to ensure the coffee stays warm and doesn’t leak through the cup. What you may not realise is this wax deems the cup unrecyclable (and will be sent to landfill upon collection at the MRF). We hope that in the future this will change but as it stands the best thing you can do is to use an alternative cup.

There are some fantastic reusable coffee cups on the market – check out KeepCup. KeepCups are pleasant to drink from, are sealable and splash proof and can also be fully customized via their website – size, colour, branding etc. I have personally had my KeepCup for 2 years and with regular use it is still going strong.

  1. Plan your meals – Planning meals and following a list week to week will prevent food wastage and also save on your shopping bill. Being organised will also make it easier on yourself so you are not constantly thinking ‘what shall we have for dinner tonight?’.
  1. Buy in bulk or larger containers – these use less packaging (and therefore less waste) and will also save you some cash. Also be mindful of what packaging is made of and where possible opt for the version that can be recycled.
  1. Avoid chemicals – look at what is in a product and if you can choose a type that is chemical free.
  1. Think quality! With big ticket items such as electronics do your research and consider purchasing the product that has the greater life expectancy. This item may be more expensive but it’s worth it for both the environment and your pocket if it lasts you a lot longer. While Australia does now have an e-waste programme in operation it’s still obviously best to avoid electronic waste as much as possible.
  1. Think before you use energy draining appliances such as dryers and air conditioning. Is it really necessary or are there other alternatives – i.e. hanging clothes on clothes horse, opening windows and doors?
  1. Go through your clothes and donate anything you haven’t worn for more than a year to charity. Remember that old saying ‘one person’s trash is another person’s treasure!’
  1. Use the car less – walk, run or cycle. Where practical get some exercise! It’s not only better for the environment it’s good for your health.
  1. Incorporate recycling into your daily routine – click here for tips on making recycling easy at home. Consider what unlikely items you may also be able to recycle.

For further tips on what else you could be recycling or on every day sustainable living please contact us.