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19 Ways to be More Sustainable in 2019

With the Amazon rainforest resembling an apocalyptic state, climate protests flooding the street and tons of waste being dumped into landfill surely the universe is giving us a warning sign? How much longer can human beings continue abusing earth’s resources before enough is enough: the point of no return. As dramatic as this sounds, the issue is too critical to ignore.

The situation is: if we do not do something NOW there will not be a later. However, part of the problem is that not everyone knows what to do in order to help prevent damaging the earth any further. Defined by the oxford dictionary as “conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources”, sustainability is perhaps one of the most talked-about concepts of 2019. So here I bring you a post on how to be more sustainable; 19 tips in fact. Perhaps most of what I am going to say is familiar to you, but I do not think there is any harm in reinforcing the message. If not, I hope I can bring you some future tips to implement in your daily routine in order to make your lifestyle more sustainable!


1. Reuse, Recycle, Reduce
You know that scrap of tinfoil you pet your veg on last night to avoid washing the baking tray (uni students will relate), why don’t you save it and use it for today’s meal? The premise is simple if it can be reused: do it! If it can be recycled (check the packaging first): do it! The outcome of this = reduce in waste.

2. Invest in a Bamboo toothbrush
You no longer need to rely on a plastic toothbrush to keep your dental hygiene up. Investing in a Bamboo toothbrush means that even your toothbrush can be recycled.

The one I use:
Zero Waste Club Bamboo Toothbrush

Other suggestions:
Bam and Boo

Pearly White Club

Brushbox

Also, if you pair it with a cruelty-free toothpaste, you are helping save the animals! For a heads up, Superdrug, Sainsburys and Holland and Barrett do a great cruelty-free toothpaste which is super affordable. I use the Superdrug toothpaste for reference.

(If you would like me to do a future post on the best cruelty-free brands I would be more than happy!)

3. Throw away the plastic straws/bottles!
You do not need to constantly buy plastic bottles of water and plastic straws when there many sustainable alternatives out there. Invest in a reusable bottle and carry around your own set of metal cutlery and/or a straw if necessary. Amazon and Steph Ellswood's brand Sasstainable does a great range of eco cutlery sets if you are interested.

The bottle I use is Chillys for reference.

Hey, you can even justify getting a personalised Love Island bottle as long as you are not buying plastic ones each day!

4. Take your own bags and containers
Not only are you saving yourself 5p, but you are also reducing the demand for plastic bags. Another great way of reducing your plastic consumption is by taking your own containers to supermarkets instead of relying on plastic bags to wrap your loose fruit and veg.

5. Consume less fast fashion
Unsubscribe, ignore and turn away from buying from cheap online stores (Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing, Misguided, Shein) and physical stores (Primark, H&M, Victoria’s Secret, Forever 21). I am not saying that you need to buy all your clothes from sustainable stores, however, try and stay away from relying on fast fashion stores to fill your wardrobe. I do understand the struggle that a lot of slow fashion brands are more expensive since the materials take longer to produce. Be patient. Within time (hopefully) sustainable fashion will be taking over fast fashion stores and so the price tags will drop.

Alternatively, a great way to buy new clothes is through buying second-hand (Depop, eBay etc.) this way, not only are you taking unwanted clothing from someone else, but you are also reducing the demand to produce more items of clothing.

Some great sustainable brands are:

General:
Monki
(affordable)

Weekday



ASOS organic
 (if you type ‘organic’ into ASOS you can get pieces which are sustainable  )

Reformation
(slightly pricier)

Activewear:
Tala

Girlfriend

Adidas

Swimwear:
staywildswim

For more information on good sustainable fashion brands, this page offers more advice.

6. Turn off all plugs when you leave a room
Simple as, if you are not in the room using any of the devices the plug does not need to be on! It may be more inconvenient, but over time it could make a huge impact on your energy consumption!

7. Eat less meat
No, I am not suggesting that everyone should go vegan overnight (though that would be fab), but if everyone made a conscious effort to try and make one of their meals vegetarian a few times a week it would make a huge, huge impact. The statistic speaks for itself that 57% of water pollution on the earth comes from the meat industry. Yet, by avoiding meat (and also dairy for that matter) is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on the Earth.

A great suggestion for trying to incorporate more vegetarian or even plant-based meals into your diet is by doing ‘Meat Free Monday’s’. This way, you have a designated day which holds you accountable for reducing your consumption of meat. Or, if you are feeling brave, try Veganuary (the premise is going vegan for a month). Veganuary is a non-profit organisation that was founded in 2014 to encourage more people to try veganism. I honestly think Veganuary is a great idea for those wishing to trial veganism.

Nevertheless, do not feel that you have to dramatically change your diet to fit the status quo. Of course, in an ideal world, everyone would be eating a plant based diet, however, thisis not always possible for individuals due to both physical and mental health complications. As long as awareness is made and people are making a conscious effort to reduce their meat consumption, that is a really positive step.

8. Bulk buy
Though I wish fruit and vegetables in the supermarket in the UK were not covered in plastic, you can reduce the amount of plastic you are buying through stocking up on the essentials. Rather than having to buy 4 packs of raspberries each week, by simply buying it in the biggest sized packaging available reduces the amount of plastic you are consuming.

9. Zero-waste stores
Leading on from my seventh tip, if you are fortunate enough to be able to afford to shop in a Zero Waste store, this is the best possible alternative to reducing the amount of plastic you are purchasing each week. However, I am aware that there are not many local Zero Waste stores currently available in the UK so we can only do our best.

10. Print double-sided
For all my fellow academics, there is no need to print each individual page (unless you are strictly required to). So a tip to save the trees is to print double-sided.

11. Reuse old jars
You know that big jar of peanut butter you just finished? Wash it out and there you have your very own DIY pen pot. There are so many things you can use old jars for as opposed to simply throwing them away.

12. Switch your search engine to Ecosia
Unlike many of its contemporaries, Ecosia uses some of its profits to plant trees. Additionally, Ecosia is fuelled by renewable energy.


13. Invest in rechargeable batteries
Instead of constantly re-buying batteries, you can now purchase rechargeable batteries. Not only does this save you money, but it also reduces the number of batteries to be disposed of.

14. Recycle your old phone
Have an old phone that is left sitting in your cupboard? Want to earn some money? By simply donating your old device to your broadband or websites that take old phones can not only earn you up to 100 pounds but it can also help reduce waste.

15. Read magazines and newspapers online
As opposed to automatically buying a hard copy of your weekly newspaper, switch to downloading an online copy to save paper.

16. Avoid single-use plastic
Instead of reaching for a convenience ready meal, when possible, try and pre-prepare your meals to avoid buying single-use plastic. For example, why not batch cook your favourite meal for the week ahead.

17. Time your showers
As therapeutic as it is to spend ages and ages in the shower, there is no need. Simply put a sand timer in front of your shower and limit the amount of time you are spending in it. This way you are not only reducing  your water wastage, but you are also freeing up time in the day to be more productive (#gets**tdone).

18. Ditch the escalator and take the stairs
Probably one of my favourite tips given my dislike of escalators (if you know you know). Equally, a great way to get those steps in!

19. Spend more time outdoors
Potentially the most important one of them all. The ultimate way you can live a more sustainable lifestyle is by spending more time with nature. It can be for as long or as short as you want it to be, but by simply taking some time out of your day to be with nature has many positive long term health benefits.


Though there are many more tips I could have included I hope these tips helped give you an idea on how to help reduce your environmental impact. Below I will link a great source with 100+ tips on how to be more sustainable if you wish to do further research! Ever since I have embarked on making my life more ‘sustainable’ I have not looked back. If you have any questions, never hesitate to get in touch.

Lots of Love,
Is xxx

More sustainability tips can be found in this article.