10 Practical (and Clever) Ways to Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle
The earth will thank you… & so will your bank account.
Reuse your produce bags.
When you’re at the grocery store, they provide you with plastic bags to tie up each of your vegetables in separate packaging. It just so happens that it takes one of those bags almost 1,000 years to decompose… and the average shopper uses three each trip.
Swap the plastic ones for reusable cloth or mesh bags to cut down on your waste. Plus, you just have to buy mesh bags once and they’re reusable and washable.
Swap your traditional lightbulbs for LED.
Traditional lightbulbs are called “incandescent bulbs,” and they are significantly cheaper than LED… at first glance. Over the long haul, incandescent bulbs use 5 to 10 more energy than LED bulbs, costing you more money. By investing up front in an LED bulb, you’ll make up your money in about a month and save the environment by using less energy.
Don’t throw away your old clothes, furniture, etc… donate them!
Fabric takes a long time to decompose – up to 50 years. And a lot of today’s clothes contain synthetic materials like nylon and spandex that harm the environment and the artificial fibers take much longer to decompose than natural materials.
Luckily, there are lots of alternatives. You can donate your clothes to goodwill organizations in your area! Some resellers will pay you for your items. And with the modern online marketplace, there also happen to be several options to sell your giveaway pile of clothes online.
Shop at goodwill.
From furniture to clothes, you can purchase lightly used items at goodwill organizations. Not only are you recycling clothes within your community, but you’ll be saving money on your wardrobe!
Slow your roll with the paper towels.
If we’re honest, we’ve all pulled way too many paper towels off the roll at one time or another. Every time we spill something or wash our hands, we vigorously pull on the paper towel roll and use 10… when really, two would’ve gotten the job done.
Ditch the paper towels and buy actual cloth rags. You can find these at a reasonable price at your local grocery store or online, and the best part is – you won’t have to replace your paper towels. That’s money every month you could be saving.
Some can’t quite commit to going paper free. But we can lower our paper use. Even by using 3 fewer paper towels than you normally would to clean up a mess, or intentionally tearing off a single paper towel to dry your hands – you can decrease your personal waste.
Choose a reusable water bottle… ditch the plastic ones.
Instead of buying a pack of plastic water bottles for your home, buy one reusable water bottle and bring it everywhere with you. You’ll make up the cost in about 3 months, and on top of that, you’ll save landfills the hundreds of 5 years it takes to decompose water bottles.
BYOS (Bring Your Own Silverware)
Instead of accepting plastic silverware at restaurants, bring your own! This is a simple solution, but plasticware takes hundreds of years to decompose and lets harmful chemicals into the environment the entire time. By bringing your own utensils, you save the environment years of chemical decomposition.
Write on a glass notepad instead of wasting paper.
We all write things down. Whether it’s jotting down a reminder or keeping a grocery list, a glassboard notepad makes a more sustainable solution than paper.
Obviously, you don’t want to carry your glass notepad grocery list to the store. Snap a photo of it and bring your list with you.
Hang your clothes out to dry.
Bottom line – the less energy you use, the better. Obviously, there are many items you can’t help but dry (towels, sheets, etc.), but for the most part – investing in a clothes rack saves you a lot on your energy bill. By simply hanging your clothes to dry, you use less energy and help save the environment one air-dried blouse at a time.
Don’t put you computer to “sleep,” turn it OFF.
If it’s on, it’s going to be using energy. No matter how small an amount of energy it’s using, it’s better to turn it off and have more battery power leftover tomorrow.