When we think of sustainable living, our minds usually go to cutting out meat, going green, growing our own crops, and living off the land, but living a more sustainable life doesn’t have to be that drastic or that difficult. There are many different ways for us all to live more sustainably by making small and simple changes to our existing habits when it comes to the consumption of goods and services and the way we treat our environment.
Here are 10 easy ways to live more sustainably:
Donate your old household items and clothing when you no longer have a use for them, and thrift for new things that you need. Thrift stores always have an abundance of things like activewear, denim, winter coats, suitcases, kitchenware, photo frames, puzzles, the list goes on. There are so many great finds at thrift stores.
- Upcycle and reuse household items:
Use your old sauce jars as vases or keep them on your desk for storing pens. Use old bottles to store cables and chargers. Refurbish old furniture and paint old decor to give them a new look. If something in your home isn’t to your taste anymore, or no longer serves its purpose, transform it into something new that you can keep using.
- Use up what you have:
When we decide to live more eco-friendly, our first instinct is to get rid of everything we own that is plastic, single use, or bad for the environment, but this is just as unsustainable. Finish off all those bottles of shampoo, keep using your plastic razor, plastic bags, plastic containers, until they’re not usable anymore, before swapping to eco friendly products.
- Store perishable items in the freezer so they last longer:
Don’t let your loaves of bread or fresh fruit go bad and end up in the trash, store them in the freezer and use them again in the future. Cut everything up or divide it into meal sized servings to avoid waste and for sake of ease when looking for something to eat in the future.
- Buy items in bulk to save money and save on packaging waste:
There are plenty of stores that stock bulk items. Finding what you can purchase in bulk not only saves you money (and multiple trips to the store), it’s also a great way to save on packaging waste. Things like cooking oils, sauces and snacks can all be bought in bulk.
- Wash bigger loads of washing on cold wash to save energy:
When washing your non-whites, washing them with cold water will save energy and still leave your clothes nice and clean. For an added bonus, skip the clothes dryer and dry your clothes the old fashioned way, in the sun!
- Stop impulse buying:
When out shopping, if something is on sale, ask yourself whether you would have bought the item at full price. Will you still like or use the item in six months? Is it a perishable item that you will use within the next few days? If you answered no, maybe you don’t need it as much as you think. Another way to stop impulse buying is to write a list of exactly what you need to buy when shopping, and stick to it.
- Purchase reusable items instead of buying single use items:
There are so many reusable items on the market these days. Everything from reusable makeup wipes, washing bags, lunch bags, food covers, and even rechargeable lighters! Stocking up on these items at home is an easy way to live more sustainably.
- Pre-plan meals before shopping to reduce food waste:
Food waste is a huge factor in sustainable living. If we can do our bit at home, then we are playing a part in the bigger picture. Pre-planning meals and working out exact ingredients will eliminate over-purchasing and excess waste. Once you’ve prepared your meal, freeze any leftovers to eat another time, or take them to work with you the next day and have leftovers for lunch.
- Recycle your old devices with Beneko:
Beneko is a sustainable solution for those wanting to dispose of their devices in an eco-friendly way. We encourage consumers to take responsibility for their consumption of technology by offering Beneko consumers the opportunity to pass on their pre-loved devices. In the event that a device is unusable or can’t find its new home, Beneko ensures responsible recycling so that the cycle of sustainability can continue. Visit Beneko.com to learn more or download their sustainable shopping app!