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Things you can do to be more sustainable

Updated: Apr 23, 2021

Sustainability is a big and important topic in today's society. Being green and environmentally friendly is important, but it can also seem overwhelming and hard, which I think is one of the reasons why so many people struggle with it. I've complied this list of small and easy things I do to be more eco-friendly.

Tote bags

So one super easy thing to do is to cut out single use plastic bags (single use plastic anything, really). Most of the single use bags we get are from grocery stores or from ordering take out, so I just make sure to always have a reusable tote bag on me, either in my bag or in my coat pocket. You can get really fancy ones from nice brands, or you can buy plain and single ones - I mean, why not make it a fashion statement, right? Most of them are small enough to be able to be folded into a tiny thing that you can tie with a ribbon or a hair tie, so it fits better.

Reusable cotton swabs and rounds

Another easy way to be more sustainable is to cut down on your use of single use items, in this case cotton swabs and cotton rounds. I have two different reusable swabs, one for cleaning my ears and one for makeup - they're easy to use, and easy to clean (just use soap and water). I also use reusable rounds for cleaning my face and taking off my makeup. Now, admittedly I do still occasionally use single use cotton rounds, but having the reusable ones had cut down my consumption by a whole lot - and that's really all that matters. It's not about being perfect, it's about trying.

Sorting trash

This one will take a little more time and practice to get used to, but sorting your trash is a huge way to be more sustainable. Basically all you have to do is sort your trash according to your local community guidelines. Where I live we sort into plastic, paper, metal, glass and batteries - please don't ever throw your batteries out in general trash, even if you don't sort it. It's also very easy for me to sort my trash, as all the trash containers in my city are sorted into these categories. Most packaging will have a label on the back stating what kind of trash it needs to be sorted into, which makes it easier. Sorting your trash will make sure that it gets to the proper channel for it to be re-used, or discarded of properly.

Using all the food in my fridge

This one may seem easy, but it's often the thing I struggle with the most. Food waste is a massive problem worldwide, and results in over production of food - which then get's thrown out. Over production of food is one of the biggest sources of pollution, so therefore buying less food and throwing less out will result in less production. I either see if I can make a meal out of what I have left, or see if I can put it into the freezer for later use. I sometimes use the websites Supercook or MyFridgeFood to help me think of ways to use the items I have left.

Eating less meat

Along with food waste, meat is also one of the biggest causes of pollution - therefore, cutting down on your consumption of it is a good idea. You don't have to go full vegan or vegetarian to make a difference, decide on one or two days a week where you don't eat any meat, and take it from there. There are plenty of wonderful veggie meals that can be prepared that'll make you forget all about the fried chicken you wanted the day before.

Other smaller things:

  • Turning off the tap when I brush my teeth

  • Taking shorter showers

  • Collecting rain water to water plants with

  • Making sure the dishwasher/washing machine is full before turning on

  • Turning off lights/plugs when they aren't being used

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