20 Little Things To Do To Live A Greener And More Sustainable Lifestyle

Although a long time in the making, we’re all finally realising it’s time to live life in a much more eco-friendly manner. We’re all paying closer attention to our dangerous attitudes to fast fashion, brushing up on our recycling knowledge and taking extra caution to avoid plastic straws when out for a few drinks at the weekend.

There’s a lot to keep track of in terms of what you should and shouldn’t be doing in order to help the environment we all live in and while most of us are making a conscious effort to live an eco-friendly lifestyle and reduce wastage, there’s so much more we should be doing. As consumers, we like to think we’re doing the right thing but right now, we live so far removed from the impact that these choices are making it can be hard to appreciate the difference that a small change can make in the long run.

Rather than getting overwhelmed with the work we have left to do, let’s all start small and make a commitment to making one small change to our habits every day in order to live a more sustainable and greener life in the near future. These are 20 small changes we can all make to live a greener lifestyle.

Turn off all lights and electricity when not using them and especially at night or when you’ve left the house – the easiest of them all to help you in kickstarting positive habits.

Look out for the leaping bunny to ensure beauty products are cruelty-free and against animal testing.

Cut down on water use: turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth and only wash full loads of clothes (preferably in cold water as this uses less energy).

Walk where possible or hop on a bike as opposed to driving or getting a cab.

Try to commit to at least one meat-free day per week to reduce your carbon footprint by up to 73%.

Invest in a keep cup for your morning coffee.

Cut down on paper use by paying bills online and swapping your calendar for a digital version.

Take a break from fast fashion and get creative with the clothes you already own. If you can’t resist the shopping, opt to swap, not shop.

Ditch the makeup wipes. Not only is it bad for your skin but it also takes approximately 100 years for makeup wipes to biodegrade.

Learn how to make your own cleaning products. Between use of harmful ingredients, testing on animals and packaging materials, household supplies don’t tend to be the most environmentally friendly.

Wave goodbye to single-use products and welcome their eco-friendly alternatives. Swap grocery bags for canvas totes, bamboo utensils, keep cups, stainless steel straws. In this day an age there’s an alternative for everything.

Dry your clothes on a rail or rack to reduce electricity use from the tumble dryer.

Invest in a shower timer to reduce time spent and water used during your morning shower. Take things one step further with a water-saving shower head.

Support fashion brands that are ethical and eco-friendly in their product lines.

Turn off your computer before leaving work.

Recycle your devices when upgrading to a new model.

Borrow books from the library instead of purchasing them yourself. Alternatively, make use of your Kindle more.

Use washable clothes and napkins as opposed to paper napkins/serviettes.

Re-use gift bags, wrapping paper and bows and ribbons when packaging gifts.

Build your own zero waste tool kit including a reusable drink bottle, reusable cutlery, reusable drinking straw, keep cup and a reusable shopping bag so that you’re never tempted by single-use items while out and about.

Yes, there’s a lot to do but one step at a time, between us all we can make positive changes to live our lives more sustainably and care for the planet we all call home.

Niamh Crawford-Walker

Niamh is a full time fashion and features writer at The Style Edit. Her work has previously appeared in IMAGE magazine, image.ie and Emirates Woman.

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