Start living in a more environmentally friendly way with these sustainable living ideas. Every step you take adds up and helps make the planet better for all of us.
You have likely heard people talk about sustainable living but what is sustainable living all about? It’s the idea of living your life in a way that is good for the planet instead of harmful. It’s a way of life that the world is able to actually sustain.
Every day it seems like there is some new article telling us something we are doing is bad for the planet. It can be overwhelming and even make you just want to give up.
The key is to remember you can’t likely do it all and that’s okay. If we each just do what we can and keep working to do better we can make a huge difference.
I always recommend trying just one or two things at a time and letting those things become habits before moving on. This makes the process of living more sustainable so much simpler and less overwhelming.
Sustainable Living Ideas
- Rinse a sink full of dishes at a time in a sink full of water. Don’t just leave the water on the whole time you rinse.
- Use earth-friendly cleaners. You can get a free set of Mrs. Meyer’s cleaners to get you started.
- Use old t-shirts, or unpaper towels, as cleaning rags to cut down on paper towels.
- Get a microfiber cloth for mirrors.
- Ditch the Swiffer, or use a reusable pad, and get a mop that doesn’t require disposables. There are many options out there including options that work like the Swiffer minus the waste.
- Wash your clothes in cold water.
- Wash dishes and laundry in full loads
- Use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.
- Buy a bagless vacuum. Better yet one with a washable filter so it has no trash other than what you vacuum up.
- Use a drying rack or line dry your clothes.
- Clean the coils on your fridge, this helps it run more efficiently.
- Look for organic options. Organic food is grown in a way that is easier on the planet and possibly better for you.
- Be careful with labels like “all-natural.” It’s not a regulated term.
- Save more on organic food by using coupons and meal planning to avoid food waste.
- Buy local. Have a farmers market? Use it. The farmers love to tell you how it is grown and a lot of times you will find foods grown organically just not certified. And you cut the C02 because it’s not being shipped as far.
- Don’t use bottled water. Most of it is just processed tap water anyway.
- Drink Vodka. Fewer chemicals are used to make it than most other alcohols. You can also find organic alcohol.
- Use real dishes. You will save money and is it really that hard to wash some dishes?
- Use reusable containers instead of disposable baggies.
- Use cloth napkins, most people say it makes dinner seem fancy.
- Make meals in the amounts you will eat.
- Eat leftovers.
- Eat at home. Better for the waist, wallet, and the environment.
- Take timed showers, time yourself now, and cut back as much as you can, even a minute saves a lot of water over time.
- Use a low-flow showerhead.
- Don’t keep the water running while you brush your teeth or while you shave.
- Ditch the toxic makeup most are wearing these days and switch to a true mineral makeup (don’t be tricked by the big companies making “mineral makeup” check them out on Skin Deep).
- Keep your car tires inflated to the right amount to save on gas.
- Use the car A/C as little as you can to also save on gas.
Related Post: 10 Ways to Improve Gas Mileage and Reduce Fuel Expense
- Switch to CFL bulbs or LED bulbs.
- Recycle, find out if your town has curbside and what they recycle at earth911.org
- Recycle plastic bags at your local grocery store.
- Better yet use reusable shopping bags. Many stores even offer a discount if you bring your own bags.
- Use sunlight, on bright days open the curtains and let the sun in, it will kill a lot of the germs in the house, give you vitamin D and you can turn off some lights and save power too.
- When replacing appliances get Energy Star items. It will save you money on your electric bill.
- Get power strips and turn them off when items aren’t in use to keep from wasting standby power.
- Use junk mail for scrap paper.
- Fill trash bags as fully as you can to save on trash bags.
- Unplug items you rarely use.
- Buy items you use a lot in bulk (check cost), it uses less packaging.
- Use leftover water from glasses to water your garden.
- Get a rain barrel to use rain for water instead of freshwater.
- Use nature-friendly bug sprays and lawn sprays instead of toxic chemicals.
- Use natural plant food.
Related Post: 7 Frugal Gardening Tips for Beginners
- Donate items you are through with but are still in good shape.
- Go paperless at the ATM.
- Set up your bills to be paperless.
- Donate health magazines to your doctor’s office.
- Donate other magazines to other offices you have seen with magazines.
- Spend more time outside, be sure to turn everything off when you leave the house.
- Use a reusable mug when you get coffee out.
- Ditch disposable straws and get a reusable one.
- Buy organic clothing. Or rent clothing instead.