Tips to Improve Your Sustainable Lifestyle
Sustainable Living – a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s use of the Earth’s natural resources and personal resources.
Home – The place where one lives permanently.
There are many reasons why we should live more sustainable lifestyles, but here at Shirtworks we think the reason is clear. If we want our home to have the permanence that forms its definition then we have to start respecting our Earth as our home by protecting it’s natural resources and respecting the natural ecology of our world.
Often the idea of living more sustainably can be daunting, but by following the steps below, you can make small, simple changes to your lifestyle which will help protect and respect our planet.
And no, we’re not going to tell you to start sharing showers to save water, or become a nudist to save on clothes production!
An easy way to make your home more sustainable is to look at power use throughout the home. It is widely known that our excessive consumption of electricity is not currently at a sustainable level, and we are rapidly using up natural resources. So when you are in the home:
Turn electrical items off completely – not just on standby – unplug it when not in use. Turn your lights off when you leave a room, and don’t leave your music playing to an empty room – no one likes a lonely disco.
Insulate your home to use less heating – in loft insulation is a great place to start, and to make a bigger commitment consider changing old windows and doors to new ones that will retain more heat.
Consider changing old appliances to more energy efficient models.
Recycle, recycle, recycle! It’s a message we’ve all heard, but do we really know why we bother? One of the most straightforward reasons is that we’re simply running out of space to bury our rubbish and even when we do bury our rubbish the breakdown of our waste creates Methane – which is widely recognised as one of the key green house gasses playing a part in global warming.
As well as that manufacturing new products from recycled material instead of making it from scratch almost always means less CO2 emissions.
Of course you can create less rubbish in the first place:
Refill water bottles and use these rather than buying a new one every time.
Take reusable bags to the supermarket and give away plastic bags to your local charity shop to reuse. Or, of course, recycle them.
Reduce the amount of junk mail you receive by changing your correspondence settings with your banks/ charities/ energy suppliers/ employer.
We’re often being advised that we should be saving water as part of our sustainable lifestyles. Our water source is finite and it takes a large amount of our valuable energy sources to process water so it is usable again. In the UK every person uses approximately 150 litres of water a day – but there are some simple ways to reduce this:
30% of the water we use everyday is flushing toilets, which is huge considering only 4% of the water we use is for drinking! So, fill a bottle with water, and add some marbles or pebbles to hold the bottle in place. Put a small amount of bleach in the water – to stop it from starting to smell, and place it in the cistern of the toilet. This helps to reduce the amount of water used to flush your toilet every time!
Wash only full loads of laundry – team up with your flat mates if needs be! Also be aware of what chemicals are in your detergents and consider changing to more environmentally friendly products.
Avoid the bath and hit the showers, but don’t just stop there, switch to a low – flow, high performance shower head to have the ultimate in low water cleaning.
What impact does our day to day food consumption make to sustainable living? Our expectations to eat whatever we want, whenever we want means that food production across the globe is a heavy impact industry on the environment. Also consider the Carbon Footprint that’s incurred getting our food from all over the globe, right to our doorstep.
Be aware of what you’re eating. Learn what’s in season and eat that! Eating foods in season are more likely to be local – cutting down on food transport and having avoided the fuel intensive practice of processing food.
Buy meat from animals that have been treated humanely, and from farms in the UK. High intensity farming – which generate the cheaper meats in the supermarket – has a significant impact on the environment.
Learn to preserve your own food. Freeze, dry and pickle and cure to save food waste, and save money! Learn to love jam and cherish that freezer.