Sustainable Living: Where To Start & How To Stay Consistent
Read time: 6mins
Every day we make choices that affect not only us, but the environment, the climate, and other forms of wildlife. From what we buy, to where we buy it, the products we use, the lifestyles we lead, the values we have. Everything has an effect and impact.
It can feel a little overwhelming. Sometimes it may feel like a total life overhaul is required to really make a difference. We live in a society where choosing a sustainable life can often go against the grain of society. It can feel like it’s hard work and, for many people, too expensive and too time-consuming.
In fact, the truth is, it’s the small consistent changes that truly help to make the biggest difference.
Whether you’ve been wanting for a while to live a more sustainable life or it’s a new resolution for this year, let’s make sure you can keep your goal and stay consistent with it!
Where do I begin?
When it comes to beginning to make a sustainable change to your way of life, the best thing to do is to take stock of where you are and what your goals are. Is there a particular part of your life you’d like to change? Maybe you’d like to use less plastic, maybe you’d like to look into buying more eco-friendly cleaning products? You can guarantee that there is a sustainable swap for pretty much everything, so start small. Pick just one thing and then gradually incorporate others as time moves on and you adjust. When we change too much in one go, it makes it really hard to stick to it.
Here are some of our top tips for easily making those eco-friendly swaps. Pick one and see how you get on!
1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
This might feel like a phrase you hear a lot but it’s a great reference point to remember.
For your household items where can you look at reducing the amount of waste you produce? Maybe noticing if you often have food waste in your home? Or do you buy things that you don’t really want or need? Every product we purchase has an environmental footprint, from the materials used to create it to the pollution emitted during manufacturing to the packaging that ends up in landfills. So before you buy, ask yourself if you really need it.
Where can you reuse bottles, containers, or plastic items you already have? Check out your local markets or bulk food stores to see if you can refill items instead of buying new containers. But reusing can also be about making leftovers into a new dish for example. This is a great way to avoid wasting.
Lastly, recycle! Check out your local recycling policies, including collection dates, and create a separate waste bag for it. Each county and state will have its own regulations so make sure you know yours. This can be a really simple and easy lifestyle choice for those starting out.
It is important to reduce and reuse first because unfortunately not everything can be recycled and it still consumes energy to do it. Check out the 7 different types of plastic and which one you actually can recycle (you will be shocked!)
Choose plastic-free living
Plastic never goes away. What you throw away will stay on the planet long after your great great great great…(you get the picture) grandkids pass away. Billions of pounds can be found swirling on the oceans, in rivers, and in landfills. Every year hundreds of marine mammals are killed after ingesting plastic or getting tangled in it. And unfortunately, microplastics are even being found in the human body. According to Plastic Oceans, we unknowingly consume a lot of plastic weekly and up to 40 pounds in the average lifetime.
Choosing to go plastic-free is a lot easier than you think, thankfully many plastic-free swaps are available for most of our household goods. Use reusable bags, water bottles, straws, food storage bags, and opt for loose fruit and vegetables instead of those wrapped up in plastic packaging.
At SellSage, we are driven by a passion for creating awareness of eco-friendly goods and making them accessible to the larger part of the world. This is why we are offering products that are useful, needed, easy to use… and most important: PLASTIC-FREE!
Be water smart
Avoid bottled water as much as you can. Bottled water companies often give tap water a bad reputation, but if you live in a town where it’s safe to drink your water from the faucet, then do! Water conservation is crucial, especially with our growing society putting pressure on our water resources. If you are worried about the quality of your tap water, look into purchasing a filter.
For a plastic-free filtering option check out Phox Water.
Other ways to be water smart include taking shorter showers and fixing leaky taps and toilets. This can be a great way to start your sustainable journey as it doesn’t involve too much effort and change. Plus you might just find your bills go down too! It’s a win-win!
Shop local and be mindful of your foodprint
Food importation is a huge industry that is causing a lot of destruction. Consider supporting local businesses and farmers. Not only will you seriously improve the quality of the food you consume but the planet, and your local community will thank you.
According to the FDA, in the US up to 40% of food is wasted, so ensure you’re only buying what you need. Prevent food waste with smart, planned shopping and find creative ways to consume what you purchase.
Now, how to stay consistent?
The important thing to remember is consistency really is key. Sustainability is just as much a mindset as it is about action-taking. The choices you make every day build up into pretty big changes! So it’s important to have a clear reason for choosing sustainable options for those moments when it feels really hard and challenging. It’s not about making perfect choices, but making better ones.
When we have an emotional relationship with something, it makes it easier to stay committed to the cause. Maybe you have a deep love for the ocean? Those days when it feels easier to choose a plastic option, remember why you chose to go plastic-free in the first place. Reconnect to your why.
Watching documentaries and movies is great to keep you inspired and engaged in the cause! Check out some of our favorites here.
Another thing that helps us is having specific dates to work towards, such as World Oceans Day, maybe on this day you go all out and really switch things up! Follow us on social media @sellsage for daily reminders and inspirations.
And remember to be kind to yourself too! The way we tend to ourselves is often a good reflection of how we care for the planet, so on those days where you choose something else – don’t beat yourself up. It’s not about being perfect.
Go slow, choose small changes, and remember that this is a lifestyle change. Not a quick fix.