Being sustainable doesn’t cost the earth; literally, figuratively or in any other sense.
Begin with the basics
There are the now-obvious things we can do to live a more sustainable lifestyle:
- Insulating our homes
- Recycling and composting
- Choosing eco-friendly alternatives (electronics over paper over plastic)
- Switching off appliances when not using them
- Shopping local and organic, growing your own and limiting meat intake.
But what clever, often overlooked, environmentally-friendly habits can we make at a lesser level that still have impact?
There are so many sustainable substitutes for their plastic or less-ecofriendly counterparts that won’t break the bank to adopt.
How sustainable is your home? See for yourself.
- Do you use cardboard food and storage containers?
- Do you use eco-friendly, reusable shopping bags?
- Do you use BPA-free drink bottles?
- Do you air dry dishes during warmer weather and only wash full dish loads?
- Do you use pot lids when cooking?
- Do you minimise opening your refrigerator/freezer doors as much as possible?
- Do you buy in bulk to a) save on cost and b) reduce packaging waste?
- Have you installed a water-saving shower head?
- Have you lowered your water heater tank temperature to 120 degrees?
- Do you use low-flow faucets?
- Do you have any leaky taps?
- Do you choose appliances with better water and energy efficient ratings?
- Do you steam your clothes while having a shower instead of ironing them?
- Do you open the window instead of using the extractor fan?
Lounge and general household
- Do you air dry clothes during warmer weather?
- Do you make your own cleaning products using lemon juice, vinegar and sodium bicarbonate?
- Do you buy compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or LED light bulbs?
- Have you installed double pane windows?
- Are your hot water pipes and heater tank insulated?
- Have you switched off any wall sockets that aren’t in use?
- Do you use rechargeable batteries?
- Have you installed any solar solutions, for example, roof panels, solar-powered lights or DIY-solar solutions?
- Do you regrow your leftover herbs? Tip: Snip off the stem ends, pop in a glass of water, wait for the roots to regenerate, and replant.
- Have you maximised shelter and coverage from natural shading?
- Do you capture and reuse rain water as irrigation?
By Lydia Truesdale