9 simple ways you can start leading a more sustainable lifestyle (and save money!)
What does it mean to live a more sustainable, eco-friendly life?
On the surface, it can seem incredibly daunting to adopt a sustainable lifestyle and reduce your environmental footprint, especially when you see that others around you are not doing their bit. You might be thinking - surely one person can’t really make much of a difference? But you’d be surprised how much of an impact you can have with a few simple changes and habits.
To help you on your way, we’ve gathered some of the most simple tips that can help you live greener and more ethical. It’s not as difficult as you think and it’s important not to beat yourself up if you slip up sometimes. Small changes to your behavior and habits can lead to a huge, positive impact on the planet. So be patient with yourself and you’ll be living the eco-conscious, sustainable lifestyle you’ve always wanted.
To make sustainable living easier for you, we’ve broken down the tips into three of the major categories: sustainable living at home, sustainable commuting, and sustainable shopping.
SUSTAINABLE LIVING AT HOME: SAVE ON UTILITY BILLS
1. LIGHTS ON - LIGHTS OFF!
We all know we should turn off lights when leaving the house but how many of us really turn them off when we leave a ROOM? Turning lights off in your home not only saves energy, but it can help save a significant amount of money per kilowatt-hours and reduce your electricity bill every month.
Instead of reaching for the light switch, reach for the blinds and open them up to let as much natural sunlight in. If you want to go one step further, consider swapping your standard light bulbs for energy-efficient LED light bulbs. They use 75% less energy, reduces your monthly electricity bill significantly, and can last up to ten years!
2. GO BACK TO BASICS
Believe it or not, there was a time when there was no such thing as a washing machine, heating systems, and dryers! We live in a time of convenience which has resulted in excess electricity consumption.
Instead of blasting the heating or aircon system, ask yourself if you can put on an extra layer of clothing or exchange your pants for shorts- you’ll be surprised how our bodies can adapt its temperature with a little help!
Challenge yourself to reduce the number of times you use your washing machine. For one person - washing clothes only once a week is easily achievable. If you only have a few items to wash in between, hand wash them instead and swap the dryer for a drying line or rack where they can dry happily in the sunshine.
3. ELIMINATE CHEMICALS & TOXINS FROM YOUR HOME
Stocking up on traditional cleaning products not only increases your plastic consumption but also increases your exposure to harmful chemicals that are bad for you and your space. Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found that more than 2,000 cleaning supplies on the American market have chemicals that can lead to serious health problems such as respiratory problems, skin irritation, reproductive toxicity, nervous system damage, and organ toxicity amongst other health issues.
Plant-based cleaners are more sustainable, eco-friendly, and free of harmful ingredients. Most also come in decomposable packaging and offer zero-waste refillable solutions. Wanna get serious about getting rid of chemicals from your home? Make your own cleaning solutions! Making an all-purpose non-toxic cleaner is extremely simple. All you need is water, distilled white vinegar and a few drops of scented essential oil and you’re ready to go!
SUSTAINABLE COMMUTING: SAVE ON TRANSPORT COSTS
4. USE YOUR LEGS AND EXERCISE IN NATURE
We’re a lazy generation. We’ve gotten so used to jumping in the car for the shortest of journeys and have forgotten our God-given gift of legs and feet that are designed to take us places. So ditch the car and start walking. Other options are to buy a second-hand bicycle and get moving. Not only will the planet be thanking you, but your waistline also! Don’t have a bike? Look into whether your city has a rent-a-bike service! You’ll be cancelling that expensive gym membership you never use in no time.
5. CHANGE UP YOUR COMMUTE
Using public transport is not a bad thing that should be avoided at all costs. In fact, riding the bus or train to work could reduce your stress levels (especially if you suffer from road rage...) and gives you an opportunity to catch up on things that you’re not able to do while driving such as reading, responding to endless emails and indulging in some social media scrolling.
Feeling adventurous? Organize and get involved in carpools. There are so many ridesharing apps that encourage and promote this concept. Carpooling is a great way to meet new people who also care about doing their bit to save our world.
6. EMBRACE THE COVID-19 ESSENTIAL TRAVEL CONCEPT
2020 is a year where we’ve been forced to stay at home, take staycations, and stay away from the skies. As a result, air quality levels in the world’s major cities improved dramatically in March and April - emission levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and related ozone (O3) formation, and particulate matter (PM) significantly reduced.
Reducing the number of flights you take per year is one of the most eco-friendly decisions you can make. Instead, opt for road trips, train rides, and overnight bus trips when travelling - you’ll be surprised how much more fun these travel options are and the incredible views and experiences you’ll get along the way!
SUSTAINABLE SHOPPING: SAVE MONEY & YOURSELVES
7. SHOP CONSCIOUSLY AND MINDFULLY
Many countries around the world have now implemented a zero-plastic bag policy in major supermarkets and stores, which is a great leap forward! Getting in the habit of reusing bags at the checkout is a major factor in conscious shopping.
When shopping for beauty products, support brands that are ethical, cruelty-free and environmentally conscious so you can be safe in the knowledge that no animals were harmed in the making of the products, and the ingredients used are high quality, sustainable, and good for you and the environment.
8. READ LABELS FOR TOXIC AND HARMFUL CHEMICALS
Did you know our bodies absorb 60-70% of what we feed it with? Traditional beauty products are crammed with chemicals and harmful substances such as phthalates, lead, aluminum, sodium lauryl sulfate, BHA, boric acid, fragrance (or parfum), and parabens, among many others, which can cause skin irritation, hormone imbalance, organ toxicity, and even cancer.
Using organic, natural products reduces pollution levels for your body and the environment. They produce lower pollution levels, less carbon dioxide, and reduce overall waste. Products such as shampoo bars and crystal deodorants also reduce the amount of packaging and can last for months, which results in a reduction of money being spent on skincare and beauty products!
9. REUSE, REUSE, REUSE!
So many reusable products are popping up in the sustainable, eco-friendly space such as reusable cotton pads, cotton buds, reusable menstrual products, and cotton tissues. Investing in these reusable items not only reduces your waste but saves you money in the long run as you won’t be wasting it on throw-away products.
Reuse your used bottles and find a local refill station. Common Good refill stations are everywhere in America and is an easy, economical way to reuse your bottles. You can refill both plastic and glass bottles and some stores even let you bring any container you like. You can refill products such as hand soap, dish soap, all-purpose cleaner, and laundry detergent.
At Vasarii, we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint by eliminating mass production and inspecting our natural products personally. We believe that skincare is personal and we reflect this in how we serve our health-conscious community with our natural products and by giving back 10% of the profits we make. If you’re ready to join us in saving the planet and doing your bit for the environment, you can find our sustainable, eco-friendly organic products HERE.