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50 Tips for Sustainable Living
Sustainable living isn’t just about reducing our carbon footprint. It’s the change we can individually make to improve the well-being of our planet as a whole. Living sustainably means being mindful of the way we consume energy, and taking actions to look after the Earth that we live on.
If you want to be kinder to our environment take a look at our 50 tips for sustainable living that you can implement today. We’ve covered all aspects of life from the home to the office, and all areas in between. Read on to learn how you can start making a change today.
Sustainable living ideas
Reduce your food waste
Did you know that over one third of all food that’s produced globally goes to waste? And what’s worse is that 25% of the world’s freshwater supply is used to grow all of this wasted produce? Do your part to combat food waste by buying only the ingredients that you need to avoid cooking too much food. Plan your meals at the start of the week to make the most of your groceries and use up all those leftovers.
Use reusable cups
Think about every coffee shop you’ve been to, and every paper or plastic cup that you’ve drunk from. Unfortunately, many standard reusable cups aren't even safe for recycling, so even our best efforts may not make an impact. That’s why it’s important to find a more permanent, planet-friendly option. Grab yourself a reusable travel mug or flask when you next stop off for a coffee.
Use less plastic
Single-use plastic causes pollution on a huge scale, filling up landfill sites, beaches and our oceans. It’s non-biodegradable and damages our wildlife. From swapping out your regular toothbrush for a bamboo alternative to selecting plastic packaging alternatives, try to cut down on your plastic consumption in day-to-day life.
A small percentage of plastic materials can actually be recycled, which isn’t to say that plastic is good, but recycling where you can is a huge step to living sustainably. Whether it’s paper, glass or metal, helping to transform your rubbish into something new is something that we can all do. Look for the green bin the next time you go to dispose of something.
Go paper free
What’s even better than recycling is to go paper free. Reduce the amount of unnecessary paperwork that you produce or receive by opting to switch from paper to electronic documentation. You can receive e-bills for your utilities, phone contract and card statement by contacting your provider.
Get an e-receipt instead of a paper one
Another paperless change that you can make is to request an e-receipt instead of a traditional paper one the next time you shop. Not all retailers offer this, but many high street stores can send you an electronic version of your receipt via email. Not only is it a more environmentally friendly option, but it means that you’ll never accidentally lose a receipt again.
Switch to reusable makeup remover pads
Ditching makeup wipes is kind for your skin, and the environment. Any form of disposable wet wipe will inevitably go on to clog our sewers and pollute our natural landscapes, so consider switching to a more eco-friendly solution. There are plenty of reusable make up removal products on the market nowadays that use less chemicals, are equally as effective and don’t harm our wildlife.
Use shampoo bars to cut down on plastic packaging
Toiletry bottles that our shampoo, conditioner, soaps and lotions come in are often non-recyclable and unnecessary. Replacing regular toiletries with soap and shampoo bars eliminates plastic packaging completely. Or look for products that are housed in plastic-free or zero-waste packaging. Here at Fushi, we understand that we have a responsibility to the environment, that’s why almost all of our products come in recyclable glass bottles.
Upcycle empty bottles and containers
In some instances you may not be able to avoid plastic containers, but that doesn’t mean you have to let them end up in a landfill. Consider upcycling your old, empty bottles and containers into something new instead. Planters, bird feeders, water sprinklers and light fixtures are just a few things you can craft your unused plastic bottles into.
Use rechargeable batteries
Non-rechargeable batteries contain hazardous metals and chemicals that need to be disposed of properly. Even still, the throw away factor of regular batteries is definitely not sustainable. Rechargeable batteries may be more expensive initially, however they will be more cost effective and safer for the environment in the long term.
Eat less meat
Ideally, eliminating all meat products from your diet is the best way to live a more sustainable life, but it’s a big lifestyle change to take on board. However, cutting down your consumption of animal products is better than not doing anything at all. The meat industry and dairy industry leaves a huge carbon footprint that’s only damaging the planet.
Borrow from friends or buy second hand
Certain household items can be expensive to buy brand new, especially if you only need to use it once. A steam iron, an electronic carpet cleaner, an industrial water boiler? Obscure, we know, but there may come a time when you might need one. When the occasion arises, ask around and see if you can borrow one first from a family member or friend. If not, consider renting or purchasing one second hand.
Go green in hotels
The next time you stay in a hotel, opt for the greener choices. The easiest and most obvious is to let housekeeping know that you won’t need your sheets and towels changing every day. Many hotels already roll this out as an option, so actively choosing to forego this luxury is a lot less hassle than you think.
Sustainable grocery shopping ideas
Bring your own reusable shopping bags
Always remember to bring reusable shopping bags with you when you go to the grocery store. This saves you from having to buy single-use bags every time you shop. You can even purchase reusable fresh produce bags for your fruit and vegetables. Keep them in your handbag or by your weekly shopping list so you don’t forget!
Buy from local markets
Living sustainably isn’t just all about preserving the planet, it’s supporting your local community too. If possible, instead of buying from the supermarket, shop locally grown produce to pay back to your local economy. It also means that less carbon is produced in the transportation process.
Avoid plastic packaging
We know that we’ve already spoken about reducing plastic packaging, but there are so many different ways that you can cut down on this nonbiodegradable material. Another way is to swap your plastic shopping bags for paper bags. Now, you might be thinking of the brown paper bags used in American sitcoms, but there are sturdier paper bag options available too. And they even have handles.
Stop buying bottled water
Bottled water is a true luxury, one that we could all live without. Start using a reusable water bottle to drastically cut down on the amount of plastic you don’t need to be using.
Fill up your own containers and jars
As our society strives for a more eco-friendly way of working, we’re lucky enough to have a lot more environmentally viable options for shopping. For example, zero waste shops where you bring your own containers to fill up with food and household items are a great way to eliminate unnecessary plastic packaging. To cut down our environmental footprint, we created our Go For Zero refill range. Our award-winning, 100% pure and natural products are available at refill stations across the country - just bring your empty Fushi bottles and fill up on your favourites. Find your nearest Fushi refill station here.
Get your food shop delivered
Ordering your grocery shop online and having it delivered to your door might sound strange, but it’s actually a genius way to reduce carbon emissions. Just think, one van can deliver your food shop and your whole street’s groceries, rather than multiple different vehicles driving down to the store individually. Some supermarkets even offer you a cheaper delivery price when you use a greener timeslot.
Sustainable fashion ideas
Buy second hand
Charity shop and second hand store shopping helps to combat the throwaway fast fashion culture, and is also a gold mine waiting to happen. By shopping second hand, you’re reducing the amount of potential waste clothing, and you could stumble upon a beautiful vintage find!
Donate old clothing
Similarly, instead of throwing away your unwanted clothing, donate it to your local charity store. It’s essentially recycling, but for your clothes.
Invest in quality clothing over fast fashion options
Building a wardrobe of entirely second hand clothing is a drastic lifestyle change, so a more realistic option is to invest in quality pieces rather than supporting fast fashion culture. These higher quality pieces will last longer, meaning you won’t need to shop as often.
Support ethical, conscious brands
If you live in the UK, high street brands like H&M, Mango, Weekday and Reformation are all doing their bit to be kinder to our environment. They have put into place different ethical practices to try and reduce the amount of pollution the garment production process creates, or implemented recycling schemes to turn waste materials into clothing. Make a conscious effort to be more aware of where you shop.
Shop for sustainable materials
As well as where you shop, what fabrics you buy can also impact the environment. Not all fabrics are made equal, and some shed more fibres than others with every wash. These fibres go on to pollute our ecosystems. As a general rule of thumb, natural fibres tend to shed less than man-made fibres, which are the biggest culprit. Recycled or organic cotton, hemp and linen are some of the most sustainable options on the market.
Try to mend clothes before throwing them away
A button fallen off your favourite shirt, or the hem starting to fray on your best jeans? Before you instinctively go to throw them away, why not try your hand at mending them first? Repairing your clothes gives them a longer lifeline and means that you can do your bit to help save the planet, and your money, by not having to buy a replacement.
Sustainable transport ideas
Reduce your reliance on your car
Driving creates a large carbon footprint, so looking for alternative methods of transport is a great way to become more sustainable. Whether you walk, cycle or take public transport, every carbon conscious choice you make helps our environment.
Take stairs over the lift
Even the smallest of actions can contribute to a more eco-friendly way of living. If you can, take the stairs rather than the lift. It’s good for your health and means you don’t have to use any electricity.
In some instances, you might not be able to walk, cycle or take public transport to get to where you need to be. The solution? Ask around and see if you can carpool with someone else. Cutting down from two cars to one car’s worth of carbon emissions is better than nothing.
Opt for an electric vehicle
If you’re in the market for a new car, why not go electric? Electric cars produce a lot less, or no carbon emissions at all. While they still require electricity, it’s a lot less damaging to our atmosphere than the pollution that petrol and diesel cars cause.
Drive more economically
Making little adjustments to the way that you drive can reduce your fuel consumption, so you burn less petrol or diesel. For example, don’t leave the engine running or turn it off if you’re not actively driving, accelerate and brake gently and drive at a slower speed. These tips will help you to drive more economically and make your fuel last longer.
Take fewer airplanes
One of the biggest culprits for pollution is air travel. Airplanes burn through a huge amount of fuel per passenger in comparison to cars. Cut back on your overseas travel or look for ways to offset your carbon footprint the next time you have to fly.
Sustainable home ideas
Install a water-efficient showerhead
Not all paths to a sustainable life mean drastic changes to your regular routine. A one-time tip that keeps on giving is to replace your showerhead with a water-efficient one. These help to reduce the amount of water you use, without compromising pressure.
Turn down your thermostat
Whenever you turn on your central heating, use a lower temperature than you normally would. Even if it’s only by a few degrees, it’s still better than doing nothing. Even better, layer up instead of using your heating at all.
Change your lightbulbs
Replace your incandescent bulbs with fluorescent or LED bulbs. LED bulbs are a lot more efficient and use less energy than regular bulbs, but still shine just as brightly. While they cost more initially, they’ll last much longer than standard bulbs.
Unplug unused appliances
So we know that leaving appliances on standby is a big no-no for sustainability, but did you know that the only way to truly stop the flow of waste energy is to unplug them completely? Vampire power is when appliances pull electricity from the plug that they’re connected to, even if they’re turned off. Vampire power can even account for upto 20% of your energy bills. Scary, right?
Air dry clothes instead of using the dryer
Air dry your clothes with a clothes rack instead of using your tumble drier. Your electricity bill will thank us later.
Have shorter showers
As well as having a water efficient showerhead, taking shorter showers will help you to use less water and be more sustainable. Try the 5 minute shower to reduce your water footprint.
User recycled toilet paper
Make the switch to recycled toilet paper to be kinder to our forests. It’s made from paper recycled from homes and offices, meaning fewer trees are destroyed in the production process and less paper ends up in landfill.
Insulate your home
Invest in properly insulating your home. A well insulated home means less energy is lost through your walls and roof. Reducing your waste energy may also reduce your energy bill.
Use eco friendly cleaning products
Many household cleaning products are filled with harmful chemicals that aren’t environmentally friendly. These can seep into our ecosystems and natural landscapes if not disposed of properly, potentially damaging our health too. Look for green cleaners and natural products which can do the job instead.
Wash on a lower temperature
Wash on 30 degrees rather than 40 for the same results, but at a lower energy consumption and cost.
Cook in bulk
Cooking in larger batches will also reduce your energy consumption. Rather than heating up your oven to cook just one thing, cook in bulk instead. This way, you eliminate the need to use your oven every single time you want to cook something individually.
Use a solar charger for your electronic items
Purchase a solar charger for your phone, laptop, tablet, power bank or camera to use the sun’s energy instead of burning fossil fuels. As well as being environmentally friendly, solar chargers can actually help to maximise the battery life of your electronics.
Sustainable garden ideas
Grow your own produce
Reduce excess carbon production from produce transportation by growing your own. Homegrown always tastes better too!
Use organic fertilisers
If you do decide to grow your own produce, you can even go one step further by growing organic and eliminating unnecessary pesticides from your diet.
Find a use for your leftover and expired food by composting. This will create a natural fertiliser that you can use for your garden.
Sustainable office ideas
Recycle scrap paper
Offices often run through paper really quickly, so making the effort to recycle where you can is a great way to be more sustainable at work. If your office doesn’t already have a recycling scheme in place, introduce one.
Add plants to your office
As well as looking pretty, having plants in your office improves the indoor air quality. Invest in a desk plant like a cactus, succulent, spider plant or aloe vera to help filter out the pollutants.
Turn off your computer
How many electronic devices run daily in your office? With laptops, printers, lights and telephones galore, always try to switch off your devices completely before you leave for the day. Electronics running on standby are wasting energy.
Print double sided
If you use the printer a lot, can you cut down on paper by printing double-sided? This might only be possible sometimes, but it’s more eco-friendly than using twice as much paper when you don’t need to.
Being environmentally friendly doesn’t just start at home, it starts with your most trusted and favourite brands too. That’s why here at Fushi, we recycle our waste, reuse our paper and card, and reduce our energy consumption to as low as we can. Shop online to support the sustainable option today.
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