With so much public emphasis on helping the planet in recent years, sustainability has become a more important concern than ever for many of us. As such, going green and intentionally making eco-friendly living choices have become hugely important for saving the planet.
While the scale of the climate disaster facing us can seem overwhelming at times, we are fortunate in that there are numerous things we can do to make our lives more sustainable.
With that said, here is a list of the top ten things you can do to reduce your environmental impact. Some of these tips are steps you can take immediately to make your home and life more sustainable, while others are longer-term choices you can incorporate into your life going forward.
Tip 1: Switch your energy provider
While it would be preferable to live in a world where we have completely overcome our reliance on fossil fuels, we are unfortunately several decades away from achieving this possibility. In the interim period, however, an environmentally conscious step you can take is to switch to a provider that uses greener or renewable sources of energy.
Tip 2: Lower your energy consumption
In addition to switching providers, an even more immediate step you can take to reduce your carbon footprint is to lower your consumption. Although it might sound simple, you would be surprised at how much energy you waste in the home!
Make sure to switch off lights when you leave the room, avoid leaving appliances on in the background, and switch off any unused appliances. Having a smart meter installed in your house is a great way of keeping track of your energy consumption.
Tip 3: Recycle where possible
Recycling is a simple, yet effective way you can live a more sustainable lifestyle. If you are lucky enough to have in-home recycling services, make sure you take full advantage of the different types of recycling options available.
Tip 4: Going beyond recycling
While recycling is certainly an admirable habit to get into, an even more sustainable step you can take is to reduce your dependency on the materials that are commonly recycled. This could include steps such as avoiding plastics and buying in bulk or loose goods rather than pre-packaged ones.
Local recycling facilities can often be a minefield to navigate, so save yourself the hassle and avoid using recycled materials completely!
Tip 5: Walk or cycle
For short trips or journeys, there is no reason why you should take the car. If you do not suffer from any physical limitations, you should always opt to walk or cycle when the distance you need to travel is relatively short. As a general rule of thumb, if you can walk there in 20 minutes or so, avoid the car altogether. Walking and cycling have the added benefit of being the healthy option.
Tip 6: Ask yourself what is necessary
A more general mindset shift to get into as a way of living a more sustainable lifestyle is to ask yourself: what is necessary?
This mindset shift can be applied to how you live your life generally — such as buying a second car or going on that extra foreign vacation — it is equally applicable to the smaller decisions you make each day. This could include things such as the time you spend showering, how much heating you use or how much TV you watch.
Tip 7: Watch your heating
With energy prices at an all-time high, many of us are facing the prospect of sky-high energy and heating bills this winter. In addition to lowering your heating consumption, however, you can also take steps to ensure your home is as energy efficient as possible. Be sure to keep your home insulation in good condition and to seal up any potential leak points you might have in the house.
Tip 8: Switch to energy efficient bulbs
Sticking to the theme of energy consumption, switching to LED lightbulbs is a no-brainer. LED bulbs require significantly less energy and last for much longer than conventional light bulbs. This means you will save cash and be considerably more sustainable in the long run.
Tip 9: Watch your flight time
Although foreign vacations might be the highlight of our year, there is no reason why you can’t take them more sustainably. Flying to exotic destinations has a considerable environmental impact. Reducing your air miles will help you to live a more sustainable life.
Tip 10: Eat less meat
As we have already seen, what we eat has a significant environmental impact. This is particularly true when it comes to carnivorous diets which have a significantly higher carbon impact. To lower this and to live a more sustainable and eco-conscious lifestyle, either cut down on the amount of animal products you consumer or avoid them completely.