20 Ways To Experiment With Sustainable Living
Sustainable living. It's a topic that's gained some traction over the last year or so, with plant-based and zero waste lifestyles entering the mainstream in a way that once seemed impossible. Riding a bike to work isn't whacky, it's sexy. Giving up meat has never been cooler. Heck, Cowspiracy 's now on Netflix.
Often ethical living feels like taking a multiple choice where every answer is a bit wrong but I just have to find the best of a bad bunch 🙈— Anna 🐚 (@thislastmoment) October 18, 2016
Should I veto buying leather, or its plastic-based alternatives? Should I learn to drive or just vow to only travel with public transport? Do I tell people why I'm vegan or do I lead by silent and non-preachy example? And as for going zero waste... HOW?!
Last month, however, I had an epiphany of sorts. There is no one perfect way to be kinder to the planet, nor is any effort in vain.
Sustainable living shouldn't stress us out or make us feel judged. It should just be an individual process of experimenting, getting educated, and finding what works. I so agree with Gittemary Johanssen's views on how to introduce greener habits; she was the first voice I heard saying that experimenting takes the pressure off, and conversely makes changes more likely to succeed.
Hence the title of today's post; here are 20 ways to just experiment with living in a more environmentally conscious way. No pressure, no fuss, no commitment; just some ideas to make living sustainably feel approachable rather than preachy.
- Shop secondhand - try Depop, Gumtree, CeX, Amazon for books, charity & vintage shops, car boot sales. It's cheap and it's easier than ever, yippee!
- Eat what's in season. It actually saves money too.
- Buy less. It makes an incredible difference.
- Buy better. Invest in things that last over accumulating cheap "disposable" items.
- Pick up a meat-free cookbook or try a veggie blog recipe
- Try a bamboo toothbrush. I am amazed by how much I love my toothbrush - for me, this was the easiest switch.
- Sign up at the library if you're always buying books new... Plus libraries are just gorgeous spaces to be in
- Streamline your self-care regime. So often, we're told that we need a million products to do similar jobs, but it is just marketing madness.
- Ditch plastic water bottles.
- Take the train. It's romantic. It's greener than flying or driving. It's the transport of choice for young wizards and witches on the way to get their education.
- Bring a reusable bag. The UK brought in a charge for plastic bags last year, and I love the difference it has made. Take it further and bring bags for your vegetables and loose items in the supermarket.
- Have a clear-out. Usually, I find a load of items that I don't need, and a few that I do. Plus they are mega cathartic
- Carpool. James Corden knows what's up
- Minimise the post coming through your door - I recently put up a no junk mail sign, and signed up for e-statements from the bank, and I elate at the thought of having fewer envelopes to throw out at the end of the month
- Borrow from friends and family. Try your mate's camera lens before you buy it yourself. Borrow a book. Instead of buying a load of new dishes for a party, collect a few from a mate's. Simple.
- Shop locally. Products local to you don't have the air miles attached to those flown in from overseas
- Try a safety razor. Soooo much less waste than disposable razors and razor heads.
- Experiment with a meal plan. Knowing what you want to eat for the week means you're less likely to have unused produce needing to be binned at the end
- Fix what you have. Get handy with superglue and a needle to make things you like last longer
- Get inspired. Watch documentaries and YouTubers; find blogs and magazines that show sustainable living needn't be about endless compromise. I'm hoping to share a post with recommendations soon!
How do you feel about sustainable living? I'm really curious to hear from people who don't actively follow the vegan and zero waste communities... and what are your ideas for green living, if you have them? I love hearing about simple ideas that work, so come let me know in the comments!