We all want to live a more sustainable lifestyle and reduce our carbon footprint. But, with so many ways to go about it, how do you know what to do first? This guide will show you how to start living a more sustainable lifestyle.
Start small and work your way up
While it's easy to feel overwhelmed by all the changes you need to make, remember that you can start small. Try picking one area of your life where you want to make a change and find ways to make it more sustainable. It's best if your first step is something simple, like swapping out plastic water bottles for reusable ones. Once you've made that change successfully, pick another area in which to focus your efforts—maybe it's reducing waste or eating grass fed meat—and tackle that one next.
If changing an entire aspect of your lifestyle sounds too daunting, remember: It takes time! You won't be able to fix everything overnight. Some things may take longer than others—like finding alternatives for cleaning products or finding out what goes into making the clothes in your closet—but eventually everything will fall into place once more sustainable habits become second nature for you.
Look at some of your habits and see if they can be changed.
Before you can take action, it's important to understand your habits. Are there things you do that might have a simple, more sustainable alternative or swap? Where in your life do you feel drained of energy—a lot of times that can help us figure out what is unsustainable! Do you waste energy or money on non-essential items? By knowing what our current habits are, we can see where we need to make changes and start living a more sustainable lifestyle.
Change the way you shop
If you have a choice between two products and one is more environmentally friendly than the other, choose the one with less impact. This can be difficult when there are so many options out there and it's not always clear which brands are eco-friendly. But if you're looking for some guidance, check out the Good Guide website. It rates over 60,000 consumer goods on environmental impacts such as climate change, toxicity and human rights abuses linked to their production processes.
The next step is to consider the packaging when buying new items. If a product comes wrapped in plastic or paper that can't be recycled easily (and most can't), then recycle what you can before you purchase new products.
Reduce waste at home (COMPOST!)
It's easy to forget how much food we waste, but the average household in the United States wastes up to 20 pounds of food each month. That's a lot of money and resources we could be saving by eating more leftovers and learning how to properly store our fruits and veggies. Here are some tips for reducing food waste in your home:
Buy in bulk (but only what you will actually use). Buying dry goods like rice and beans in large quantities can save money, but it may not be worth it if they take up too much space on your shelves or expire before you get around to using them all. If you want to try buying things like this in bulk, keep an eye out for sales or shop at stores with frequent coupons for non-perishables like these items so that when you do buy large amounts of them, they don't cost as much overall!
Repurpose containers from takeout dinners into storage containers for leftovers or snacks during the week instead of throwing away packaging materials every time!
COMPOSTING is one of the BEST ways to reduce food waste and to even turn it into something healthy and usable...and heal our soil!
Change the way you travel
One of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to change the way you travel.
Use public transport: If you live in a city or large town, using public transport is almost always going to be more sustainable than driving yourself. You can also walk or cycle if there's not a direct train or bus route available.
Car share: If everyone shared cars instead of owning them individually (or only having one for two people), it would lead to less congestion and pollution on the roads - and fewer accidents! Many cities now have schemes where members of your workplace can join together, pooling their resources so they don't need to own their own vehicles individually.
Try carpooling: If none of these options appeal for whatever reason, then try carpooling with someone else who lives nearby (or someone at work).
Make your own cleaning products
Switching to homemade cleaners is an easy way to reduce the amount of chemicals in your home, and it's a simple method for reducing waste because you can make several batches at once. Vinegar and baking soda are both great at cutting through grease, so they're perfect ingredients for homemade cleaners. You can also add essential oils like lavender or mint to create scents that are pleasant without being toxic.
If you have time on the weekend, try making larger batches of cleaner and storing them in airtight containers until they're needed again. This will help prevent any mold or mildew from developing as well!
For more on how to make your own cleaning products, check out The Lady Farmer Guide to Slow Living.
Small changes make a big difference
If you're looking for ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle, but don't know where to start, it might help to think about the small changes that can have a big impact. Even if we're just considering our own mindset and how it slowly adjusts and evolves over time, those mindset shifts lead to BIG changes!
We hope we’ve given you a few new ideas for how to live more sustainably. A lot of people are intimidated by the idea of making big changes, but the truth is that it doesn’t have to be difficult. You can start by making small changes and building up from there—and this article has some great tips on how! We think the most important thing about living sustainably is not necessarily what you do, but rather that you make an effort to change at all; after all, every little bit helps us become better stewards of our planet. So go ahead and get started today—we wish you all the best in your journey toward sustainability!