Often going “Green” can seem like a challenging, and expensive task. However, there are simple ways to make small changes to your daily routine that can have a big impact on the environment.
Read on for 10 simple ways to practice sustainable living.
What is Sustainable Living?
According to LandLearn NSW, an Australian organisation dedicated to environmental education, sustainable living is the practice of taking what we need to live now, without jeopardising the potential for people in the future to meet their needs. This can be achieved by reducing your demand on natural resources and making sure that you replace what you use to the best of your ability. There are varying degrees on how much you practice sustainable living, so we have collated suggestions that are easier than you think!
Simple Ways to Practice Sustainable Living:
1. Become a member of a community garden: Community gardens aren’t just about growing your own food, it’s about being part of a community that share produce. When gardens are in urban areas they can play an important role in offsetting carbon emissions. Most importantly, a community garden helps to promote sustainable living in your area by raising awareness. You can guarantee that when you tell friends, family and passers-by about your hobby, they will ask about what you do exactly, and why you have chosen to do so! By talking about organic produce and alternative ways to consume, you are taking part in a much larger and needed global discussion.
To find a community garden in your area visit http://communitygardenswa.org.au/.
2. Change the lights in your house: Most households could reduce the amount of energy they use for lighting by 50 per cent or more by making smarter lighting choices and moving to more efficient technologies. In Australia traditional but inefficient types of lighting (incandescent) are being phased out. There are other more efficient types of lighting available, including compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), light emitting diodes (LEDs) and fluorescent lights. Using longer lasting, light bulbs will also reduce the amount of waste going into landfills.
3. Plan your errands in advance: This tactic requires a little research but will increase your productivity and reduce your emissions! A little planning on what errands you need to complete and their location, ie shopping, school drop-offs and visiting friends, can go a long way and save you time racing around town for errands when they could be completed in same vicinity. Who wouldn’t like to save their time by planning what errands you do based on locations?
4. Start using natural cleaners: Take an old school approach for natural cleaners by using home remedies. Tara from the Sustainable Baby Steps blog suggests using vinegar and water which can clean most surfaces, and the saponin from quinoa as natural laundry detergent. By using natural cleaners you saving money by using products you already have around the home, are reducing the packaging being made, and the amount of chemicals that are being introduced to the water system.
5. Walk, bike or car pool: Exercise and increasing your sustainability, two birds with one stone! This is a tactic that has been promoted for years, but is still a challenge for many people to do. Why not make the most of Perth’s beautiful weather by walking to your local shop or park instead of driving.
6. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: Reduce your need to buy new products. If there is less waste, then there is less to recycle or reuse. Learning to reuse items, or re-purpose them for different use then what they are intended for is essential in waste hierarchy. Recycle old glass bottles or aluminium cans. Keep a recycle bin at your home and try making more trips to recycling station than to the landfill.
7. Unplug device when not in use: Did you know electronic devices, like your TV, kitchen appliances and chargers, use electricity even when they’re off? To reduce energy usage, simply pull the plug when not in use. It will help you to save energy and reduce your monthly electricity bill.
8. Use daylight as much as possible: Your mum might have told you this one already, but its one of the easiest ways to be increase your sustainability and its free! Using sunlight during the day helps to reduce dependence on fossil fuels to produce electricity and your bulbs and tube lights are going to last longer.
9. Stop unwanted mail: Many people dislike receiving junk mail and bills, so why not opt out by going paperless. It will take you a few minutes to choose to receive online bills from your providers and so you can help save natural resources. The ADMA can help you register your address to stop receiving addressed and unsolicited mail.
Visit them here: http://www.adma.com.au/consumer-help/do-not-mail-service/
10. Change your washing habits: This sounds challenging but in reality it’s only a matter of being more mindful. Try to keep in mind how long you have been in the shower, because we all know how easy it is to daydream! When washing dishes, do so in a sink of water and then rinsing them instead of leaving the tap going.
For more information about ways that you can be more sustainable, visit the blog Sustainable Baby Steps http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/ or the Australian Government Website http://www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/environment/environmental-sustainability.