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With the BBC recently claiming that 2020 was the second hottest year in recorded history, it’s clear that we all need to start doing our bit if we are to save the planet from catastrophe. To really understand why the climate is changing so rapidly, we need to look at the actions of companies as well as our own actions. Deforestation, huge wastage and plastic pollution have all contributed to the current climate but fortunately there are ways we can combat this before it’s too late.

Photo by Alexandra Andersson on Unsplash

With that in mind, here’s over 10 sustainable living ideas to help us all change the way we live this year, for the better:

1. Ditch plastic items in your bathroom

It seems that plastic, despite being a terrible material for the environment, is all around us. Just take a look in your bathroom for examples. Plastic hand wash, plastic toothbrushes and even plastic soap dishes.

Whilst on the surface it may look like an impossible task to eliminate plastic from your bathroom, it’s actually pretty doable!

Companies like goBambu offer a host of plastic-free options for the bathroom including bamboo toothbrushes, soap and shampoo bars and also bamboo soap dishes.

2. Reuse your bags

Plastic bags, especially when it comes to food shopping, is one of the most common types of plastic to end up at landfills. As they’re made out of polyethylene, they require specialist recycling techniques and can’t be thrown in your curbside recycling bin.

Purchasing reusable bags made out of organic materials is often a good sustainable idea. For example, you could buy an organic produce bag and never have to use a plastic bag for your fruit and vegetables ever again!

3. Opt for vegan options

Going for vegan options of products when possible is not only sustainable for animals across the world but is also an ethical choice.

There are many products that have vegan alternatives including leather-based products, soaps and even candles. A quick Google for vegan alternatives will open up a world of sustainable ideas for you.

4. Buy into a circular economy

Ultimately, we’ll become more sustainable as a nation when we adopt a more circular economy. A circular economy is basically repurposing an item once you’re finished with it. A good example of this is dog leads made out of mountain climbing rope.

Mountain climbing rope is an incredibly strong material but once it’s worn out too much to hold a human from daring heights, it can be used as a dog lead and still do a great job! With the circular economy in mind, let’s move on to the next sustainable living idea…

5. Buy second hand clothes

Fast fashion is responsible for a surprising amount of carbon emissions. Whilst fashion brands push out new clothing lines at lightning speed, perfectly good, barely worn clothes can end up at the bottom of people’s outfit choices, perpetuating a vicious waste cycle.

Sites like Depop and Preloved are great places to buy high quality, second hand clothes, eliminating the need for new production.

6. Take shorter showers

Water wastage is a big problem in UK households and one of the easiest ways you can cut down on your own water consumption is by taking slightly shorter showers. Even taking 2 minutes less in the shower can amount to hundreds of litres saved over the course of the year.

7. Turn off your devices when you’re not using them

Both a sustainable living idea as well as a money saving idea – turning off your devices when you’re not using them ticks both boxes. UK households waste roughly 10% of their energy on devices that aren’t doing anything. This phantom energy could easily be reduced if we just turned our switches off.

8. Get on your bike

Quite literally, get on your bike. Motor transport is one of the most polluting activities in the UK so if you have a bike and your commute is short – use it!

9. Grow your own forest

OK, slow down. I don’t mean throw some seeds into your garden and wait for a thousand trees to grow.

By planting trees via organisations such as Ecologi or One Tree Planted you can create your own personal forest and in the process offset all of the emissions you’re personally responsible for. Talk about sustainable living!

10. Switch up your search engine

We all know Google are the undisputed kings of search – so much so that the word ‘Google’ can pretty much be used as a verb nowadays. There are greener alternatives however such as Ecosia. Ecosia uses their profits from advertising to plant trees so every time you search you could be having a positive impact on the environment.

11. Attempt to go meat-free

The UN has estimated that almost 20% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are related to the meat industry. By eating more veg and less meat you could be responsible for a big reduction in emissions. You don’t have to go all out vegetarian or vegan to have an impact. Even something like meatless Mondays can go a long way.

So there’s 11 sustainable living ideas you can start implementing from today. Don’t just limit yourself to these ideas though – think about other ways you can have a green impact in 2021. If you have some sustainability ideas, feel free to put them in the comment section!

59 Comments

  1. This is such a helpful post & these are all manageable things to do! Some I currently do such as using a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one, using reusable bags, buying second-hand, biking, and I am vegetarian.
    However, I do need to look into Ecologi & set my search engine to Ecosia!

  2. Love this tips. I am already vegetarian but there is a lot more to do for the environment indeed! I try to never use plastic bag at the supermarket but always have a reusable bag with me. However, ditching the plastic in the bathroom is probably the hardest but your recommendations are super helpful. My next toothbrush will be made from bamboo 🙂 Thanks a lot!

  3. I don’t have any plastic accessories in my bathroom but, having tried a few bamboo products they’re not great either or at least the brands I’ve tried – once they get wet or damp, they go mouldy very quickly. I now have recycled glass holders in stead x

  4. These are such useful tips!! I definitely want to do more for the environment, like ditching my plastic toothbrush and buy more second hand items! Thanks so much for sharing and for raising awareness!!

  5. These are some really good tips, all of which I need to implement in to my daily life. I already buy second hand clothes. Or even new clothes but off ebay and vinted. Those are two of my favourite apps to buy things off. I very rarely buy new clothes, only for special occasions and if it’s last minute and i don’t have time to shop on those apps xxx

  6. Admittedly, I don’t wear second-hand clothes (personal preference) but I wear my clothes until there are holes in them or they tear. Most of my clothes several years old. My clothes are worn and tattered from wearing them so much. I can’t fathom buying new clothes if my current ones still fit me. I probably look like a hobo half the time because of my fashion choices but at least I’m avoiding fast fashion. Same goes with purses… I use them until they’re tattered.

    Plastic bags is still an issue for me but I’m trying to cut down. I use them to line my garbage can in the kitchen. We have a couple reusable bags though and I need to be more mindful about using them.

  7. This is such a great blog post! I’ve started doing a couple of these things already like buying second hand clothes for my babies, but i want to starting doing it for me too x

  8. I had no idea that switching your search engine could actually help the environment. I’ve also converted to a bamboo toothbrush too. Also using facial oils//balms to remove makeup rather than makeup wipes is also a great way to help the environment x

  9. Really fab tips here! I’ve been trying to live a more sustainable life for a few years and and I’m constantly learning and improving things – I think switching of devices is something a lot of us don’t realise to do xx

  10. These are all great ideas! I love the idea of growing your own forest and the circular economy! I am lucky to have had the chance to ditch bottles of shampoo for quite long now as well as having a waste free period. Thanks for sharing and talking about this, Jenny x

  11. Great post! I try to do little things for the environment- but I definitely need to do better! My family are also very sustainable, so while I’m living at home I’m definitely more mindful of my habits x

  12. Amazing post! Thank you for sharing these ideas! I will definitely try to do some of these ideas this year! I always try to reuse bags when I go shopping and I’ve tried to have a meat free day each week.

  13. Brilliant ideas here. It blows my mind how damaged our planet is and how we are only just waking up to it. I watched some footage of Prince Charles talking abut it in the 70’s and people thought he was nuts! It’s a shame he wasn’t taken seriously at the time.

    I am enjoying being as meat free as I can be and it does help to know that I am helping the planet. I know I have a long way to go though, I will continue to follow these tips and do my bit x

  14. Ooh fantastic post!! I’ve been a lot more conscious over the last year or so, with things like building an amazon order (which I’m also trying to avoid) rather than buying something one at a time to cut back on both packaging and a delivery driver coming more than once. I’ve never heard of Ecosia though so definitely looking into them – thanks!

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