Within the last year, I’ve been on a mission to decrease my carbon footprint and live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It was a big goal I had for 2019 especially. Most of these changes are just small habits I needed to change or break. Living a more sustainable lifestyle is another big goal for 2020 too!
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Taking steps towards living a more eco-friendly life doesn’t have to mean huge changes overnight or even within a month or year. Each small step that every person can make, means a more positive future for our planet. Some of these changes are easy, some I still struggle with.
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What does Living a Sustainable Lifestyle Mean?
Living a sustainable lifestyle is living in a way that leaves as little negative impact on the earth as possible. It’s making sure that the lifestyle you live uses as little of the Earth’s natural resources as possible, as well as your own personal resources.
A person trying to live a sustainable lifestyle often means shifting the way they eat, switching products they use for more eco-friendly versions, being more conscious of energy usage, and changing the way they travel. This is just to name a few changes, there are lots of things a person or family can change about their lives to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
For example, one of the first things I did when I wanted to live a more sustainable life was to research products I used on a day to day basis and switch them out for eco-friendly and cruelty free alternatives.
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Shifting to a More Sustainable Lifestyle
- Say ‘no thank you’ to straws. When we go through the drive through to grab an iced cappuccino from Tim Hortons, (a guilty pleasure, I must admit) we say we don’t need straws. Instead I have started to carry reusable straws in my purse. I bought a metal set of straws from Amazon and they came with a carrying case. I also have some glass straws and silicon straws.
- Turn down the napkins. Over the years, we have collected a good stack of napkins in the glove compartment of our car. This has lead to us also saying ‘no thank you’ to napkins in the drive thru. For the home, you could also invest in some cloth napkins, instead of disposable ones. They are better for the environment and they make your dinner table look a little classier!
- Hang up your towels. I bought an indoor clothes drying rack on Amazon so that after we shower, we can hang our towels and use them again. This is a really easy way to cut down on washing your towels, and really one of the simplest steps to make towards living a more sustainable lifestyle. And of course, during the warmer months, hanging your clothes outside on the clothesline will help a bunch!
- Eat less meat. This doesn’t mean cutting it out completely! Just cutting out meat from one or two meals a week can help your carbon footprint a ton. Skip the steak once in a while and the planet will thank you!
- Use reusable grocery bags. You can buy reusable grocery bags at pretty much every store now-a-days, and they are very inexpensive too. It’s a great way to help cut down on all the plastic bags that end up in our oceans. Just keep some in your car… And don’t forget them when you go in the store!
- Bring your own water bottle on trips. This is something that is so easy to do. If I’m going to be out of the house for awhile, I bring my own water bottle. I’m a little crazy when it comes to water bottles, I am in LOVE with the Contigo Autoseal bottles, it’s the only reusable bottle I use. With plastic bottles filling our landfills and oceans, I refuse to buy bottled water!
- Start a Compost Bin. You can easily find a compost bin that can sit on your kitchen counter or under you sink. Not only can a compost bin help you reduce that amount of waste that goes into the trash, but you can also use the compost in your garden to help your garden really thrive.
- No cutlery for take out. Gosh, this list is making it sound like I eat out all the time, but I really don’t! It’s just such an easy choice to make – if you are getting takeout to bring home, ask for no cutlery, napkins, or straws in your bag.
- Recycle. Guys… It is SO easy to recycle these days! You can find recycling bins specifically for your in-home recyclables that make it easy to recycle. In some areas they have separate pickup for recyclables, or you can make a few extra bucks and take your bottles and cans in for a refund!
- Shop in the bulk bins. I love that Bulk Barn now let’s you bring your own containers. As long as they are clean, clear, and can close properly, you are good to go! You can buy jars directly from Bulk Barn, or just bring some Mason Jars. This saves on a bunch of packaging that you would normally get buying items from a grocery store.
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Do What You Can, Where You Can
Like I said, a lot of these are very simple changes to make but you can end up making a huge impact, and imagine if we all could make a couple of these changes in our day to day lives! We could change the world!
There are tons and tons of things we can do to lessen our impact on the environment. Some things are harder than others, and honestly some things are more expensive than others making them a little harder to implement for the average person. It’s really important to remember we don’t have to change everything to live a more sustainable lifestyle. We just have to do what we can and make small changes as we go.
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