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45 Ways to Consume Less without feeling deprived
Do you want to live a more sustainable lifestyle? To you it may sound like an impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be. Living sustainably and consuming less is actually quite easy and there are so many ways you can do it! Today, I am going to share with you 45 simple ideas on how to produce more and consume less. These ideas will help you reduce your carbon footprint, save money and learn new skills in the process. It’s time for us all to take action together!
What does living sustainably mean?
When we talk about sustainability, we are talking about taking care of our planet by reducing pollution and waste while also supporting local communities through fair trade practices. This includes using renewable energy sources such as solar power or wind turbines instead of fossil fuels like coal or oil which contribute significantly towards climate change. It also means buying locally grown food from farmers markets whenever possible rather than importing products from other countries where they may not be produced ethically or sustainably. As well as being better for the environment, this has economic benefits too because it supports local businesses which helps create jobs in your community! Living sustainably means recycling everything that can be recycled including paper goods (like cardboard), plastic bottles and aluminum cans among others things too! Doing these small things every day makes a big difference over time and can get started right away.
Why consume less?
We live in a society that encourages us to buy more and more stuff. We are constantly bombarded with advertisements on the television, the radio and even on billboards by large corporations who want us to think we can never have enough! But if we continue to consume at this rate, our planet is going run out of resources for future generations. That’s why it is so important for us to start consuming less and living a more sustainable lifestyle. It’s not about being perfect overnight because nobody is, but over time you will see your efforts paying off in the form of a cleaner environment, healthier communities and more money in your pocket from savings from buying less!
What are the benefits of living sustainably?
As mentioned earlier, one way to live more sustainably is by reducing your carbon footprint. Carbon footprints are measured in terms of bad (or tons) and good (or trees). One way to reduce your carbon footprint can be achieved through green power which allows you to offset your electricity usage at home with renewable energy sources such as wind farms. For example, if you live in the US and your home is powered by coal, offsetting this could mean adding to built a built 150-acre solar park that would produce as much electricity as your household uses each year. That’s one small way to reduce it!
The other benefit of living more sustainably is that you will see a significant reduction in your monthly utilities bills. This is because of the lower energy consumption from using green power and being more conscious about how much water you use at home by turning off the tap when you brush your teeth or taking shorter showers! You’ll also be saving money on things like gas for your car if you cycle or walk a few times a day.
Living sustainably has many other benefits too. It helps give you a break from the stress of modern life by encouraging you to spend more time outside in the sun and fresh air, which is good for your health and makes you feel happier! You can also learn new things when living sustainably such as plant-based recipes, how to cycle and even how to build a tree house or grow your own vegetables!
How can I start living more sustainably?
It’s easy to get started! Here are 45 great ways you can begin making positive changes today:
#1 Reduce the waste you produce.
This is one of the easiest things to do. For example, instead of using plastic bags at the grocery store, bring your own reusable bag with you. You can also reuse items which would otherwise be thrown out like old t-shirts as cleaning rags or investing in eco-friendly household products made from recycled materials.
#2 Replace regular light bulbs with LEDs.
LED light bulbs use 80% less energy than regular ones and last up to 5 times longer too!
#3 Replace a showerhead with a low flow one if yours is old.
This will reduce the amount of water you use by half which means savings on your utility bills each month! You could also invest in a grey water system that reuses water from both shower and sink drains which prevents it from entering storm drains.
#4 Install solar panels on your roof.
This is probably one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint and lower energy costs at home! You can also add geothermal heating or cooling systems in homes in cooler climates such as the UK or Canada. If you live in a warm climate such as Australia, then you could invest in solar heating which is used to heat water and even your swimming pool!
#5 Use wooden furniture instead of plastic.
When buying new furniture for your home, choose wood over plastic and metal. Wood has natural insulating properties and doesn’t add to the global greenhouse effect like plastic and metal do when it is manufactured and disposed of. Also, look for furniture made from reclaimed wood which means they are not cutting down trees but simply using waste that would otherwise be thrown out!
Bamboo is actually one of the fastest growing plants on the planet which means it requires very little water to cultivate. Bamboo tooth brushes are biodegradable, eco-friendly and 100% plant based. It also has anti-bacterial properties and will last up to two years! You can find bamboo toothbrushes here.
#7 Turn down your water heater.
This is another way you can reduce your energy bills while still having hot showers everyday. To do this, simply wait for water that isn’t steaming hot and is comfortable to wash with.
#8 Wear clothes made from organic cotton.
Wearing clothes made from organic cotton instead of synthetic materials such as polyester which take a lot of energy and petroleum to produce! Organic cotton also absorbs carbon dioxide while it’s growing and may even leave the soil in a better condition for future plant life.
#9 Replace your fridge with an Energy Star rated one.
Newer fridges use up to 75% less energy than older ones! This can add up to big savings if you’re replacing an old fridge. This means that certain energy efficiency guidelines which will help you save money on your monthly bills.
#10 Use wood pellets made from recycled products for heating your home in colder climates such as the UK and Canada.
This is an excellent alternative to either using electricity or gas and it will help reduce your carbon footprint by trapping carbon dioxide inside the chimney during combustion. Wood pellets burn at high temperatures so they generate more heat than other types of biomass and release very little smoke into the air.
#11 Go paperless.
Nowadays, a lot of companies are going “paperless” and using electronic billing to send you your bills through email which saves on paper waste! You can also go paperless with bank statements and other documents by signing up for online banking.
Make it a habit to recycle whatever you can instead of throwing away things like old plastic bottles, paper or cans. You can also plant trees to prevent carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere which traps heat and causes global warming.
Animal agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions because cows produce methane when they digest their food, especially grass-fed cattle! If you do eat meat, then at least opt for organic, free range and local products which produce less greenhouse gas emissions during the farming process.
#14 Save Water.
You can save water by installing a low-flow toilet which uses up to 50% less water than standard toilets. You can also set your dishwasher to economy mode. If you’re washing the dishes by hand, then don’t leave the water running while you scrub or scrape them clean! This is not only wasting precious water but also increasing your energy bill.
#15 Reduce waste by composting food scraps.
This is great for your garden or if you have a herb garden inside. You can also save scraps in containers until the day of pickup at the local recycling facility, provided it’s allowed where you live! If you don’t have enough time to do this, then just throw all your food waste into one bag and put it in the trash.
#16 Consuming less energy by Driving Less.
This may be difficult if you have to commute to work, especially if your job is far away. However, this doesn’t mean that you should drive everywhere! If possible, walk or ride a bike instead. This will help reduce the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by vehicles and it can also improve your health which will result in a reduction in medical bills and insurance premiums.
#17 Buy local foods to reduce transportation-related emissions.
Food that’s flown in from other countries may have traveled thousands of miles before it reaches your plate which not only damages the environment but also increases the price you pay for food.
#18 Meal prep for the week and use glass containers.
This can help save energy and reduce your carbon footprint because you’ll be recycling glass bottles instead of throwing them away. This will also stop toxins from leaching into your food which is a potential danger to your health! If you don’t have any glass containers, then consider using paper wraps or silicone baggies for storing food in the fridge.
#19 Use activated charcoal to filter water at home rather than buying bottled water.
A lot of bottled water comes from far away places, so it’s putting a heavy load on the environment.
#20 Save and use leftovers.
When you cook at home, always cook more than you need so you have leftovers for lunch or dinner the following day. This will help reduce the amount of food that’s wasted and it will also save you money! You can use a variety of methods to store your leftovers, such as glass containers, paper wraps or silicone baggies.
#21 Grow Herbs at Home.
This can be very useful because if you buy herbs, then the packaging will have to travel a long way before it reaches your kitchen. Growing your own herbs means you’ll be consuming less energy by only having to drive to the shops when necessary or order online.
#22 Repair items where necessary.
If you’re buying new clothes or shoes but the old ones are still in good condition, then repair them instead of throwing them away. This will save on energy and water because of reducing the need for production.
#23 Start Using Natural Cleaners.
Manufacturing cleaning products uses a lot of energy so using natural cleaners is better for the environment. Check online for recipes to make your own, or buy eco-friendly products which are not tested on animals.
#24 Repurpose old clothes.
If you’re planning to get rid of old clothes which are still in good condition, then see if someone else can use them instead first. If not then you try to repurpose it. For instance if you want to throw an old T-shirt away try using it as a rag before you throw it in the land fill.
#25 Buy Products with Less Packaging.
This may seem obvious but you’d be surprised at how much unnecessary packaging a lot of products come with. You can ask the store to pack your items in less packaging or you can buy things that don’t even come with any!
#26 Unplug devices when not in use.
Computer chargers, toasters and lamps consume energy while you’re not using them. Unplugging devices when they aren’t needed will save a little bit of energy every day which adds up over time.
#27 Use food waste to your advantage.
Instead of throwing away your food scraps, consider using them to make a delicious meal. For instance, you can use broccoli stalks in a stir fry or save the rinds from citrus fruits to make a refreshing drink. There are plenty of recipes online which will show you how to use up all of your food scraps!
#28 Buy rechargeable batteries to reduce battery waste.
Batteries are made from heavy metals such as mercury, lead and cadmium. While rechargeable batteries are more expensive than disposable ones, you’ll save money in the long run plus reduce your environmental impact by only having to dispose of batteries every few months.
#29 Don’t treat your shoes with chemicals such as mothballs.
These contain harmful carcinogens that circulate through your body organs when you breathe them in or touch them! Instead of putting these potentially dangerous products into contact with your skin or clothes, opt for more natural shoe storage solutions like cedar chips.
#30 Stop unwanted junk mail.
This will reduce the amount of paper waste you generate at home. It’s easy to sign up for a service that lets you choose which catalogues you want to receive and which ones you don’t. The company will then stop mailing you catalogues from the ones you have selected.
#31 Use cloths instead of paper towels.
Clothes can be used to clean up spills and clean surfaces because they’re reusable unlike paper towels which cannot be recycled.
#32 Buy glass or stainless steel storage containers instead of plastics or microwavable aluminum foils.
Plastics and microwavable aluminum foils can leach chemicals into your food when they come in contact with it! Also, glass holds years of use while plastic gets brittle and can split after a few months of use.
#33 Be mindful over your consumption. Try consuming less red meat and be more plant based.
Meat production uses lots of energy because it usually involves transporting the livestock to another location where they will be fed so that they can produce meat for you! This process wastes a lot of water and generates greenhouse gases. Being plant based can be beneficial because of the lower impact, and consuming less meat reduces your environmental footprint even further!
#34 Insulate your windows during the winter to save on heat.
Insulating your windows is a quick and simple way to save on heat because it will keep the heat inside your house in during winter. And, saving energy helps in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
#35 Choose eco-friendly packaging.
Recyclable packaging uses less energy because it requires the use of recycled materials to manufacture. In addition, using less packaging reduces how much you need to recycle too!
Carry a reusable shopping bag with you when you go grocery shopping and remember to bring your own mug if the cafe where you’re going offers take-away drinks. Not only will this help reduce landfill waste but it will also cut on the amount of single-use plastic bags and paper cups that you use on a daily basis.
#37 When you can, avoid using plastic cutlery.
Plastic cutlery can contain the same harmful chemicals as most other types of plastic! Opt for reusable utensils instead so you don’t have to worry about where your waste is going when you throw them out. Just make sure that if you opt for wooden or bamboo products, that they’re made from 100% natural material rather than varnished items which contain toxic substances.
#38 Consuming less plastic straws and use more reusable straws.
Use reusable straws or an eco-friendly stainless steel straw because it’s better for the environment and your health than using disposable plastic ones!
#39 Switch to reusable cotton pads or reusable makeup remover towels.
Cotton pads are often sold wrapped in plastic which makes them non-recyclable. This means that you’ll have to throw them away when they get dirty, which will be regularly due to the fact that they break down easily! Reusable cotton pads and makeup remover towels are usually made from recycled materials meaning that they can be recycled or composted.
#40 Rather than being online, connect more with nature.
Being plugged in all the time can cause stress and anxiety because of the disconnect it creates. Instead, go outside! Even 15 minutes spent amongst nature is enough to recharge your batteries and feel refreshed. You also will consume less energy if you spend more time outside in nature. Go for a walk or read under a tree. You might be surprised by how much better you’ll feel as well!
#41 Choose non-toxic and fragrance free spray cleaners.
Choosing non-toxic and fragrance free sprays help you to not worry about unnecessary exposure to chemicals which can lead to skin irritation . For a natural alternative, mix some lemon juice with vinegar and baking soda!
#42 Choose natural, biodegradable dishwashing soap which won’t pollute the environment.
Natural dishwashing soap does not contain chemicals that can be harmful to fish and other aquatic life which live in the water. Natural products are as effective as their synthetic counterparts but they break down more easily which is better for the environment.
#43 Use cloth nappies for your baby.
These don’t release harmful chemicals into their delicate skin when they wear them and aren’t bad for the environment either! If you want to go further, try using reusable menstrual pads instead or opt for bleach-free diapers . You could also choose chlorine free diapers if you want something biodegradable but keep in mind that most brands of fabric softener are made with toxic ingredients too so avoid buying these if you can.
#44 Donate unwanted clothes to charity instead of throwing them away.
Decluttering your wardrobe by donating clothes to charity means that you’ll have more space for the things you love…but it also reduces demand for new materials which in turn lowers the rate of deforestation too!
#45 Use reusable water bottles and coffee mugs.
Using reusable water bottles and coffee mugs help you to not have to worry about buying single-use ones over and over again. In fact, why not buy a reusable bottle with filters inside so you can purify your own tap water when you’re on the go?
Our Final Thoughts on Consuming Less
We live in a world where it seems like everything is disposable. We have no qualms about throwing something away when we’re done with it because we know that there will always be more available for us to purchase. The problem, though, is that the environmental and health consequences of this expense-driven mindset can’t be ignored. If you want to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals and help protect the planet from unnecessary waste then follow these tips above.
The take-away message from this list is that there are many small things each of us can do in our everyday lives to reduce the amount of waste we produce and help make a difference for the planet. It’s not always easy, but every little bit helps!
What are some other ways to reduce your plastic footprint? Share your thoughts below.