When learning how to be sustainable in your daily life, it can sometimes get hard and you may not know where to start. You can follow so many green ideas and tips!
But bear in mind that, when trying to form a new habit, you cannot do everything.
And certainly not everything at the same time!
It takes time to incorporate small daily habits that you will stick to. So be patient with yourself!
Today, I wanted to inspire you with some habits that you can start working on while learning how to be sustainable.
Here are 62 green ideas and tips to help you become more eco-friendly every day!
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How to be sustainable everyday: 62 green ideas and tips
How to be sustainable at home
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room. It’s easy to forget about it, but those minutes you leave unintentionally the lights on add up. Your energy consumption increases as does your electricity bill.
- Unplug unused devices when you stop using them. Lamps, phone chargers, blenders, kettles… Even when you’re not using them, they continue to use energy. This is vampire power.
- Recycle properly. Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to buy things with no packaging at all. Whether you need to get rid of plastic, cardboard, glass, metal, or e-waste, learn to recycle those resources properly. And never put in the recycling bin what needs to be trashed.
- Learn to repair. This is a useful skill to develop! When something breaks or gets worn out, learn to repair or mend it. You’ll save a lot of money and extend the life of your things!
- Start a compost. If you have a garden, get a compost bin and start composting your food scraps! You’ll be giving its resources back to the Earth and it’s a great natural plant fertilizer. If you live in an apartment, find out if your city offers compost pickups.
- Declutter your home. It is one of the most underrated ways to be sustainable! If you do it responsibly, going through your stuff to pass it on to other people gives a new life to unused things. Check out these 70 things you can declutter from your home today!
- Do less laundry. You do not need to wash every clothing item after only one wear (except underwear and socks). If it doesn’t smell or isn’t stained, wear it a few more times. It will save water and extend the life of your clothes. That’s an amazing way to make your wardrobe more sustainable!
- Wash your clothes in cold water. I wash everything in cold water and let me tell you, my laundry always comes out super clean, and it makes my clothes last so much longer! Also, do not forget to check my all-natural laundry detergent recipe.
- Air dry your clothes. Dryers are super convenient but they’re so energy-intensive! Air-drying your clothes on a line or a drying rack, on the other hand, is free and will make your clothes last longer. Not to mention the fresh smell it leaves on your clothes!
- Enjoy natural lighting. Avoid switching the lights on when you can open your curtains or shutters. Take advantage of natural lighting!
- Use what you already have at home instead of buying new things. There are so many things you can reuse: packaging from mailers, plastic Tupperware, glass jars, wrapping paper…
- Repurpose things. Next time you want to throw something away, think twice. Can you turn this item into something else and give it a new life? For instance, you can easily turn a pair of ripped jeans into a nice pair of shorts!
- Find the things you need second-hand. Whatever you need to buy (clothes, furniture, appliances, books), try to look for it second-hand first, for instance at thrift stores. It’ll save tons of resources, and prevent things from going to landfills. Buying things second-hand has countless environmental benefits!
- Reuse scrap paper. Old papers that are printed on one side or used envelopes are amazing for making lists! And you save trees and forests doing so!
- Use eco-friendly cleaning products. I love using white vinegar and baking soda for cleaning everything around the house! It’s super cheap and natural so it doesn’t contribute to water pollution. And you’ll be making your home healthier! Dr. Bronners is another great multipurpose cleaning solution!
- Switch to rechargeable batteries. Disposable batteries are super toxic to the environment when not disposed of properly. And they are very resource-intensive! The best alternative for that is to invest in rechargeable batteries that you’ll be able to reuse time and time again.
- Get a library card. Libraries are great places where you can find most of the books you might want to read. Getting your books from the library will save trees from being cut down and you’ll save so much money!
- Use cleaning rags around the home. You can cut worn-out shirts or sheets into rags to use when cleaning your home. One of the simplest green ideas to avoid disposables!
- Do not overheat your home in the winter. Putting a sweater on and reducing the temperature by a few degrees will be great for your electricity bill. And in the summer, do not overuse the AC. Close your shutters or curtains if possible to keep the heat out.
- Install LED lights. Even though these are often more expensive compared to normal light bulbs, LED lights use 3 times less energy. Not to mention that they last so much longer!
- Have sustainable appliances. When you need to replace an appliance or an electronic device, choose one that is more energy-efficient (look for the Energy Star label). And remember to use their eco mode when possible.
- Use Ecosia. It’s an eco-friendly search engine that plants trees with the ad revenue they generate thanks to its users. Make the switch from Google today!
- Applying digital minimalism by decluttering your emails and your data stored in the cloud. These are kept on servers in huge data centers. Those centers are very energy-consuming! A more eco-friendly option is to use an external hard drive to store your files.
- Stream less. For the same reasons as above, streaming movies and videos online comes with a huge environmental impact. So do it intentionally and not mindlessly!
- Switch to a green electricity provider. One of the most impactful green ideas for a more eco-friendly home is to switch to a green energy provider. You’ll be able to get your electricity from renewable energies and that will help the environment so much!
- Reuse rainwater. If you are able to collect rainwater in your garden or balcony, take advantage of it. Use this free water to water your plants at home!
- Carbon offset. If you have the financial means to, this would have a huge impact! You will be putting a small amount of money each month to fund sustainable projects that will offset your carbon footprint!
- Contact companies to tell them what they should improve in terms of sustainability. This will show them that customers want change and will encourage them to do more.
Green ideas for the kitchen
- Make your own food. Tea, coffee, bread, cupcakes, smoothies, pizza… Making most of your food yourself will often be healthier, cheaper, and a lot less wasteful!
- Grow your own food. If you have a garden or a balcony, try to grow some vegetables or herbs. It is so satisfying to watch seeds grow, and again, it’ll save you a lot of money!
- Choose organic, seasonal, and local food when you can. Eating organic food is way better for your health and the environment! Also, reduce your footprint by choosing local food that is in season.
- Buy food in bulk. This is the best way to shop for food! Do not forget to bring your own reusable bags and containers to store your loose food. If buying in bulk isn’t available to you, try to buy larger bags of food as it’ll save packaging for a given quantity.
- Avoid plastic packaging when possible. Instead, choose more sustainable options such as aluminum, glass, cardboard, or paper. These are often more commonly recycled in most areas compared to plastic.
- Choose imperfect fruits and veggies, or single bananas. These are regularly thrown away by stores at the end of the day as nobody buys them.
- Eat less meat. Meat production comes with a huge environmental footprint. If you do not want to go vegan or vegetarian, try to reduce your meat consumption. Consider choosing one day a week when you won’t be eating any.
- Use reusable napkins. Stop using disposable paper towels as they create so much unnecessary trash. This one is one of the easiest zero waste swaps to make!
- Plan your meals with what you have on hand in your fridge and pantry. Cooking with what you already have will help you reduce a lot of waste in the kitchen!
- Prevent food from going bad. Try to remember the expiration dates of the food in your fridge and pantry. When you see that something is about to go bad, either eat it or freeze it for later.
- Use glass containers or jars to store leftovers. That way, you’ll be able to eat them later without them going bad and you’ll spend less time cooking.
- Use residual heat. When using the stove or oven, stop it a few minutes before the meal is ready. The residual heat is often more than enough to finish cooking and you’ll save a lot of energy in the long run.
- Reuse food scraps. For instance, you can make broth with vegetable scraps or breadcrumbs out of stale bread. Also, coffee grounds are a great exfoliator for you or fertilizer for your plants!
- Stop using disposable sponges and get a bamboo dish brush instead. It is compostable while disposable sponges aren’t biodegradable as they are made of petroleum. And they shed microplastic in the water streams as they wear out.
Green ideas for the bathroom
- Prefer showers over baths if you can. Even though taking a bath is a great way to practice self-care, baths require you to use so much more water! So try to take showers instead.
- Take shorter showers. If you already take showers, consider shortening them, even by only one minute. The gallons will add up over time and you will save tons of water!
- Use a bar of soap instead of shower gel. Bars of soap will save a lot of plastic packaging from being produced and thrown away. You can also find shampoo bars as well as conditioner ones. And it’s super practical while traveling!
- Switch to a bamboo toothbrush. One of the easiest green ideas for you to try is to stop purchasing plastic toothbrushes. Make the switch to wooden or bamboo ones!
- Invest in reusable menstrual products. There’s a wide variety of reusable period products you can get! From menstrual cups, reusable pads, to period underwear, these alternatives last a very long time! And think about the amount of money and waste that you will save over time!
- Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. Stop letting the water pour down the drain unnecessarily. This also applies when you are shaving or applying soap.
- Buy eco-friendly skincare and makeup products. This means products with the least packaging possible as well as with as few chemical ingredients as possible. Better for you, better for the planet. Or if you can, consider making some of them yourself!
- Use reusable makeup remover pads. There’s no point in having more sustainable makeup if you still use disposable makeup wipes. These are things I never buy as an environmentalist! Instead, get a few reusable makeup remover pads and you’re good to go!
- Fix leaks. Whether that is in your bathroom or anywhere else in your home, leaks are making you waste a lot of water. Save this precious resource by fixing them as soon as possible!
- Use a reusable razor. Whether you’re a woman or a man, get a safety razor, it will last you forever! You’ll only have to replace the blade every so often. An electric razor is another kind of reusable razor you might consider getting.
- Quit using Q-tips and get a reusable ear swab instead. Q-Tips are very often found on beaches around the world which is so sad! A reusable swab is an essential product to have and a great solution to this problem!
How to be sustainable on-the-go
- Bring your reusable water bottle everywhere you go. While on the go, chances are you’ll get thirsty if you’re out for a few hours. That’s why having your bottle with you is a necessity. And do not forget your reusable coffee cup if you like ordering coffee at a café.
- Bring your reusable bag (whether that is a tote bag or a backpack). This is another must-have if you want to drastically reduce your waste. It will come in handy if you intend to go grocery shopping or if you need to carry your books to the library.
- Stop impulse buying. This one is one of the most important green ideas on this list! Consuming mindlessly contributes to the rising demand to create more stuff as well as to our global waste problem. Remember that we need to “reduce “ before anything else. So think through your purchases and ask yourself questions before buying something.
- Walk, bike, or take public transit. If this is possible for you, leave your car at home and walk (or bike) everywhere. It will do wonders for your health as well as the planet! If you’re going somewhere further and if that’s an option for you, consider taking public transportation.
- Avoid flying. I know that sometimes it is hard to avoid. But if you are traveling to a place you can get to by train, or even by car, those will be better options. They will help to reduce your carbon footprint and to travel more sustainably.
- Use reusable utensils. These come in handy if you intend to buy food as you will be able to refuse those wasteful disposable utensils! And do not forget your reusable straw if you plan on ordering drinks too!
- Avoid ordering takeouts. Takeouts almost always come in plastic packaging, in a disposable bag. Not to mention the plastic cutlery, straws, and napkins. Eating inside the restaurant will save a lot of waste compared to ordering takeouts!
- Bring your containers with you for leftovers. When eating out, try to think about bringing your reusable food containers with you. That way, you’ll be able to store any uneaten food from the restaurant and you’ll get an extra meal for later. It’s also practical to store any loose food you might buy at a store.
- Do not litter. Unfortunately, so many people still leave their trash in nature when traveling. This is making me so angry! Take your trash with you and dispose of it responsibly. And if you can, consider picking up any trash you may see along the way. That would make such a positive impact on wildlife and the planet!
There you go! I hope you found value in this list of 62 green ideas and tips and that you could learn how to be sustainable on a daily basis!
I voluntarily created a long list so that you have a large spectrum of choices.
It should now be easier for you to find inspiration about what habit you want to implement in your life!
And to get even more inspired to live a greener life, check these 43 sustainable quotes that will make you want to save the planet!
Remember, you do not have to do everything on this list of green ideas to be sustainable.
Even if you choose to do one thing, that is still improvement towards a healthier planet!
What are your favorite green ideas and habits that you implement every day?
Let’s share it with us!