78 easy switches to live more sustainably and reduce waste
I’ve been exploring ways of more sustainable living and easy reusable switches for some time now. I’m a firm believer that little steps can help! Many of us are already time poor. Whether that is through work, family or other commitments, it can feel overwhelming to take on yet another thing! So these are my 78 easy switches to live more sustainably.
While you’re here, you might also want to check out this guide to what ingredients you need to make your own eco-friendly cleaning products.
And here’s a great post I discovered recently on how to plant trees for free.
1. Use a bamboo toothbrush which is biodegradable.
2. Remember to recycle toilet tubes and toiletries bottles. Both easy switches to live more sustainably.
3. Switch to buying recycled toilet roll.
4. Don’t use disposable razors. Choose a plastic-free safety razor with replaceable blades.
5. Use a shaving foam bar rather than a canister.
6. Don’t leave the tap running when you are brushing your teeth; only use what you need.
7. Even better, before brushing, wet your brush and fill a glass for rinsing your mouth.
8. Swap to biodegradable dental floss.
9. If you use moist wipes (I do with my toddler) then make sure they are flushable and plastic free. I can recommend Natracare.
10. By running your bath just an inch shorter than usual, you can save on average 5 litres of water. Or take a shorter shower. Both are nice and easy switches to live more sustainably.
11. You can regrow some vegetables, such as spring onions, from their bulbs once you have used the stalks.
12. Find new recipes to use up fruit, such as my blueberry and banana muffins.
13. Use beeswax wrap, such as WaxWrap, to cover sandwiches and lunches instead of cling film or foil. It’s an easy reusable switch.
14. Buy a small compost bin, or a larger one if you have room, for food waste.
15. Store your food correctly to reduce food waste.
16. Use your freezer more. I freeze milk, tortilla wraps and much more if I know I won’t finish them in time.
17. Use reusable food covers rather than foil or cling film. Both easy switches to live more sustainably.
18. Try to fill the kettle with only what is needed, this will save water and energy.
19. Steaming vegetables uses a lot less water.
20. If you do boil your vegetable use the water elsewhere. It is a good base for making gravy or soup, for example.
Household and garden
21. If you can’t give up your antibacterial wipes, choose biodegradable ones (dettol do some for example).
22. Dry clothes outside if you can.
23. If you do use a tumble dryer, re-use water from it for watering plants or the garden.
24. Use dryer balls to make your tumble dryer more efficient.
25. Switch to buying recycled paper towel.
26. And to reduce paper towel consumption, use microfibre clothes which are super easy to clean and dry.
27. Only run the dishwasher when it is full.
28. Likewise with the washing machine, wait until you have a full load.
29. Move to low energy LED lights, they use 90% less energy than standard bulbs.
30. Buy rechargeable batteries so you don’t throw dead ones into landfill.
31. Invest in a water butt to save rainwater which can be reused for watering plants.
32. Use a watering can rather than a hose or sprinkler, as you will waste a lot less water.
33. Water plants either early or late in the day when the temperatures are lower, to reduce evaporation and risk the need for rewatering.
34. Switch to cotton buds made from bamboo, not plastic.
35. Try re-usable cotton wool pads.
36. Move to products that have reusable bottles rather than single use plastic, such as those sold by Circla.
37. Only buy make up from ethical and cruelty free companies.
38. Switch some of your products to those which use only natural or repurposed ingredients. I love the face scrub from UpCircle made from repurposed coffee grounds.
39. Buy biodegradable face wipes.
Food and drink
40. Opt for easy vegan switches like Oggs ethical cakes.
41. Try dairy-free milk alternatives. I personally like hazelnut milk.
42. There are lots of sustainable coffee choices such as Black Farmer which is made using zero-waste technology.
43. If you have a coffee pod machine, buy pods that are recyclable or biodegradable such as Lost Sheep’s Compostable Coffee pod range. Simple and easy switches to live more sustainably.
44. Buy food from companies that adopt a zero waste policy, like Nims.
45. Explore eco-friendly and organic food delivery companies. My favourite is Abel and Cole.
46. Buy from companies that have green production facilities, such as Steenbergs.
47. Choose bamboo, stainless steel or biodegradable straws.
48. Look for fair trade food and buy it where possible (some easy examples are bananas, sugar and tea).
49. Choose a teabag that is plastic free.
50. Try loose leaf tea and a tea strainer.
51. Look for sustainable sources when buying seafood and fish such as line and pole caught tuna.
52. Have at least one day a week where you eat vegetarian or vegan meals.
53. If you know somewhere you can buy loose dried goods such as pasta and use your own jar rather than the plastic packaging, give it a try.
54. If you love snacks, think about those with the best packaging. Two Farmers crisps are in compostable bags for example.
55. Chocaholic? Choose an ethical brand such as Seed and Bean.
56. Did you know you can send Walkers crisp packets back to be recycled?
57. Some bread bags are recyclable too. They can be recycled with plastic bags at larger supermarkets.
58. Roberts bread is good example of packaging that can be recycled with your household waste.
59. Choose peanut butter without palm oil (100% peanuts).
60. To avoid palm oil, choose products that contain clearly labeled oils, such as 100 percent sunflower oil, corn oil, olive oil, coconut oil, or canola oil.
61. You can buy biodegradable baby wipes. Aldi sell their own brand at a really good price.
62. Use muslins where possible to clean up spills, sticky hands and more.
63. Choose rewashable bibs rather than disposable ones.
64. Buy the odd second hand toy, particularly plastic toys that will otherwise go to landfill. If you like online shopping, Rumage.com is a great way to shop second-hand while saving time, because it searches many different retailers in one go.
65. Donate your old toys.
66. Ever noticed children leave half finished drinks of water around? Pour these into plants so they don’t go to waste.
67. I repurpose lots of items for my toddler to craft with. Jars are great to use for paint, cardboard is fun to paint on!
68. Challenge little one to put out as many containers as they can find to gather rain water, then get them to use it to water your plants.
69. Always take a reusable coffee cup for takeaways such as the Huski travel cup.
70. Ditch the plastic water bottles. Choose a reusable one from a eco-friendly manufacturer such as Ohelo.
71. Pass on clothes you don’t want or need to charity shops, family, friends, or food banks.
72. If you can, choose clothes made from organic cotton. It is produced using fewer pesticides and less bleaching chemicals.
73. Likewise, organic wool is made using sustainable farming practices such as removing toxic sheep dipping.
74. If you have unwanted books, DVDs, CDs and tech don’t send them to landfill. Sell them! I’ve had good experiences with Music Magpie.
75. Similarly, consider buying refurbished tech. It costs less and saves another phone from ending up in landfill. I would personally recommend giffgaff.
76. You can send old spectacles abroad to those in need. Donate them via a bin in a number of opticians.
77. Use paper tape instead of selotape to wrap presents.
78. Buy recycled wrapping paper.
Hopefully this provide some easy switches. Start with a few and build them up over time. Let me know any tips you have!
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This is a fantastic post. There are so many simple things we can do. If everyone did a few things from this list, it would have a huge impact. Thanks for spreading the word!
Absolutely, you’re so right! Thanks for taking the time to read.
Love this list! Even if everyone on the planet just picked up 5 of these, it would make the biggest difference!
Katie | katieemmabeauty.com
what does a bonsai tree represent
There’s definately a great deal to know about this issue.
I like all the points you’ve made.
This is a great list of sustainable switches to do!
I’ve already done some of the switches in the bathroom and for beauty and lifestyle, but the kitchen section will come in handy! I’ll need to be on the lookout for some reusable food covers and that’s a good idea to use boiled water for something else!