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Trying to suddenly live a more sustainable lifestyle can be daunting, especially when you’re being bombarded with information left right and center. As with anything in life, it’s always best to start slow. Here are five simple tips that you can start to incorporate into your routine in order to start living sustainably. They couldn’t be easier.

 

  1. Ditch the Car
sustainably ditch the car
Picture Dan Russo

Most of us need to drive at times, and depending on where you live, your car might be a necessity. Yet if you have the option, leave the car at home for once. Walk down to your local shops or cycle to work. You can even try the bus! Driving uses fuel and releases greenhouse gases. Setting up a carpool with work colleagues can drastically reduce this. Think mindfully about your journeys – can you complete multiple errands in one trip? An easy thing you can do to reduce your emissions is to give you car regular tune ups. Under-inflated tires can cause fuel consumption to increase by as much as 6%.

 

  1. Switch Off

I always used to leave my TV on standby and never thought about the thermostat so long as the house was warm. Once I started my slow living journey however, I realized just how much energy these things use over the course of a year. Getting into the habit of unplugging items after use is an easy way to live more sustainably. Try putting on a jumper and lowering your thermostat or opening a window before rushing for the aircon. Similarly, turn off the water tap when you’re not using it, and have a shorter shower! This can save liters of water each year.

3. Go Plastic Free

Ditching single use plastic must be the easiest way to life more sustainably. There are loads of reusable alternatives out there now so there’s no excuse not to ditch the disposable coffee cup! Bringing canvas bags out shopping means you won’t be using plastic bags anymore, and eventually you can even change to shampoo bars instead of plastic bottles. The more you think about it, the more things you’ll find to swap.

 

  1. Shop Mindfully

How much food do you throw out each week? On average, 88 million tonnes of food is wasted in the EU every year. Yet when cheap food and special offers are advertised to us, it’s hard to resist a bargain. One way to combat this is by creating a shopping list before going food shopping. Sounds simple right? Not only does this encourage healthy meal planning, it also means you’re not buying too much food. If it’s not on the list, don’t buy it! (You’ll be amazed at how much money you’ll save.)

 

  1. Recycle

This is one you’ve probably all heard about, but recycling is a major part of living sustainably. Taking the time to sort out your rubbish, visit a bottle bank and donate old clothes is not only sustainable, but a great way to live mindfully. Deliberate before you throw anything out. Can it be recycled? Can it be reused? Once you think about it, you’ll be amazed how many household items can be turned into something useful – instead of going out and buying something new.

 

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