Hello everyone, this is my 100th post! 🙂
I started this blog on 5th February 2012, over 2 years ago, and have finally got to the 100 mark.
As I started off with the idea of writing a blog that would show that acting more sustainably can be easy and have benefits such as saving energy, money and pollute less, I thought it would be a good idea to write about 100 ways to be more sustainable for the 100th post 🙂
First, though, I would like to thank you.
Thank you if you are reading this, thank you if you have been following me since the start, since last year or if you are a new follower.
Thank you for every “like”, comment and share. Thank you for supporting me in my little mission.
Now, to the more practical side of things.
Everything we do has an impact on the environment, this impact can be more or less sustainable, if we think of it as “capable of being maintained as a steady level without exhausting natural resources or causing severe ecological damage”.
So, here we go, just over 100 tips on how to be more sustainable! Click on the links to discover more about these eco-tactics 🙂
Less energy-hungry food (16)
- Eat less energy-demanding meat. It only takes a few seconds to look at this World Food Clock and realise how we produce, consume and waste every single second. (Thank you for sharing, Janina). Here are some ideas to get your newly recommended 7 (or even more) a day! 10 Ways to 10 a Day from KHGS.
- Eat more lentils! They are an excellent sustainable source of protein and easy to grow too.
- Buy sustainable fish – fish which isn’t in dangerously low numbers and not caught in a way that damages the ocean environment. Here is the Greenpeace Sustainable seafood page and the Marine Conservation Society guide to sustainable seafood to find out what the most sustainable options are.
- Eat organic food which has been produced without harsh pesticides. What is organic food? – Soil Association.
- Eat out – sustainably! The Sustainable Restaurant Association.
- Store food properly. By doing so, it will last longer and you will waste less. Did you know spring onions last longer in a glass of water in the fridge? 🙂
- Plan meals ahead and let frozen meals thaw in the fridge. This will save you energy because the fridge will need less electricity to keep the temperature low, plus you won’t need to defrost the meal in the microwave either. Guide: How to defrost safely.
- Eat food that is in season and enjoy the benefits for your health and the environment.
- Buy locally, go to farmers’ markets or local farms – you will be supporting smaller producers and you can save money too.
- Have a look at supermarkets’ reduced to clear sections.
You can find amazing bargains, especially towards the end of the day (loaves of bread for 20p), and purchase food that would otherwise go to waste. You can then consume it as soon as possible or freeze it for future use and save a lot of money.
- Invest in a slow cooker to save time and energy.
- Create your own green space and grow your own herbs and food, no matter how limited your space may be. Permaculture for Urban Homes and Small Spaces.
- Grow food from food scraps. I encouraged my Nan to compost her vegetable and fruit peels and since then she’s been growing potatoes! 16 foods that grow from food scraps.
- Use vegetable scraps to make your own 0 waste vegetable stock.
- Understand the difference between “best before” dates and “use by” dates. Look at the Ultimate Shelf Life Guide to avoid wasting food unnecessarily.
- When you go out, try local produce and products. From craft beers to wine, from pies to vegetables and fruit: give your local producers a try!
Less Pollution (22)
- Try to fly less. 30 no-fly holiday ideas.
- Ditch harsh chemicals: how to get really white clothes without using bleach.
- Try natural alternative to laundry detergents, such as affordable soap nuts.
- Opt for natural beauty products with less chemicals, which is directly better for you too, not only the environment. Try brands such as Green People, Lush, Dr Organic, Heavenly Organics, Bare Naturals, there are so many to try. Have a look at Laura’s article on natural and organic beauty products.
- Purchase eco-friendly sun cream. Guide to eco sun creams.
- Give car sharing a try. Try sharing rides with colleagues, share a taxi or simply use public transport or start cycling.
- Learn to drive consuming less fuel: Cut your speed and petrol bill.
As a pedestrian, if you see a single car coming along, and you’re not in too much of a rush of course, let it drive past so they don’t need to break and re-depart after, which would use more fuel.
- Walk more. Ramblers is a website that shows many walking routes, or you could simply walk more and use your car less.
- If you need to pack a parcel, reuse bubble wrap or – even better – use strips of waste paper and ask the receiver to reuse or recycle them after.
- Use plants to filter air naturally. Here is a list of the best air-filtering plants.
- Try purchasing less plastic and buying reusable items made of less toxic materials. You can start by taking a reusable bag when you go shopping. Life Without Plastic.
- When you are eating out, ask for tap water rather than bottled water (in areas where it is safe, of course). Why Tap Water is Better.
- To freshen your home, use essential oils rather than chemical-filled air fresheners. You only need a few drops in a burner or in a spray bottle.
- Instead of sponges which are not recyclable and harbour bacteria, use cloths which can be washed and reused.
- If you are organising a wedding, have a look at 10 tips to have a green wedding.
- Switch to online billing rather than paper billing, some companies offer discounts for the switch too.
- To get rid of oil stains, rub chalk on the affected area before washing rather than using harsh chemicals.
- Take your own lunch to work, you will cut down on a lot of packaging and also save around £1,000 per year!
- When changing the oil for your car, make sure you dispose of it properly as it can pollute waterways and kill wildlife. Find your nearest UK oil bank.
- Try to purchase products that don’t rely on batteries, and if they must, use rechargeable ones. Look for solar power chargers for an extra sustainable option.
Make, repair&fix (12)
- Not many of us try to fix things anymore, but discover how easy it can be to make things last longer, for example by using products such as Sugru. Here’s how it works: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fOSo_EN-y4
- Turn used trousers into shorts or skirts.
- Get to know your neighbours, they may need something you can offer and they may be able to offer something you need.
My flatmate designed the website for the restaurant next door to us.
- Try some easy DIY – 31 DIY Projects.
- Make your own cleansers and home remedies using sustainably sourced honey, 40 handy honey tips.
- Make your own body scrub, for example by mixing olive oil with a bit of ground salt and sugar. Simple!
- Make your mirrors, windows and glass objects sparkle by using white vinegar. Add some in a spray bottle (you can dilute it with 1:10 vinegar to water up to 50/50) and apply with scrunched newspaper to leave no traces or marks.
- Make your own natural oven, drain cleaners and more using few natural ingredients. DIY household cleaners.
- Make a wood cleaner by mixing two parts of vegetable oil with one part lemon juice, use with a cloth.
- If you prefer purchasing cleaning products, choose eco-friendly ones such as Ecover.
- To freshen up smelly shoes, try filling them up with scrunched newspaper overnight or sprinkle the insides with bicarbonate of soda or talcum powder and shake them out the day after.
Buy less, use less and buy better quality (9)
- Dress consciously: buy less and better quality, read about 6 Things You Need To Know About Clothes.
- Do a little research about brands you may want to purchase: do they pay sustainable wages to their workers? Labour Behind the Label.
- Use less plastic and more natural or oil-free materials, have a look at alternatives from Life Without Plastic.
- Grow your own herbs: 5 easy Summer herbs.
- Reuse things: for example, jars can be used as containers for more food or other objects.
Here are 40 ways to reuse newspaper. Take a reusable coffee cup, like a Keep Cup, to the coffee shop instead of using disposable ones. Some places give you a discount if you bring your own cup too!
- Buy second-hand books, they can be so much cheaper! Or borrow reading material from your local library.
- Have your shoes resoled once they need to and keep on using them. I have had my boots for 7 years and they’re great!
- Dye clothes that have faded and give them a new life.
- Buy ethical jewellery such as second-hand accessories, jewellery made from recycled material or produced by companies with fair working conditions. Guide to buy ethical jewellery and accessories.
- Triodos Bank is “a global pioneer of sustainable banking.” Their mission is “to make money work for positive social, environmental and cultural change.”
- Give someone the opportunity to create a sustainable business and alleviate poverty with the Kiva project, you can lend as little as $25 to someone who needs it and who will give it back to you when possible.
Save Energy (15)
- Turn off your PC every day. Look at this quick and effective video.
- Invest in an energy-saving product such as Energenie in order to save energy and money.
- Clean your fridge coils once a year to ensure it can work effectively.
- When charging devices, unplug them once they are fully charged, avoid leaving them plugged in unnecessarily or overnight.
- Reduce draughts in your home and save energy and money.
- Look for energy-efficient domestic appliances.
- Buy rechargeable batteries and replace your batteries rather than replacing your whole phone.
- Turn off the oven a few minutes before the time is up, the heat remains in the oven for a long time after you switch it off.
- Try to use the oven as its full capacity when you use it, you can add meals to eat later in the week or use it to make croutons out of stale bread, for example.
- Switch to a green energy supplier.
- Wear warmer clothing and adjust your central heating to avoid wasting energy and money.
- When you dry your clothes indoors, avoid putting them on radiators as this will stop the heat from reaching the room, create damp and good conditions for mold to grow.
- Cook in bulk and therefore save energy. You can freeze additional portions.
- Cook food in a steamer, you can cook different things on each level at the same time.
Recycle and Reuse (11)
- What you think is rubbish can be someone’s treasure. Give away your unwanted tools to Tools with a Mission or Tools for Self Reliance.
- Save paint from going to waste, Community Repaint collect reusable paint and distribute it to those who need it, helping them and avoiding waste.
- Recycle your shoes at a collection bank.
- Clear your cupboards of old electronic equipment, sell it or recycle in appropriate centres.
- Consider going to charity shops first to find what you need. It could be a frame, and even if you don’t like a picture you may love the frame. Give things a new life.
- You can recycle all sorts of things, even ink cartridges. Check before you throw.
- Donate, don’t throw. If you have unwanted furniture, give it to a friend or donate it to a charity.
- Borrow instead of buying, Freecycle.org can help you find what you need with no need to buy it.
- Share more. You will save money, use fewer resources, meet new people… 10 reasons to share.
- Use recycled paint. I discovered Newlife Paints on Miss Thrifty’s article, this not only is better for the environment, it will save you money too.
- Use carpets in many ways to avoid them ending up in landfill. Use them to line cupboards, cars as mats, pet beds, as doormats and even under plant pots.
Waste Less (9)
- Compost food and tea bags to fertilise the soil which you will be able to use to grow your own herbs, vegetables, food or plants.
- Reuse timber material from skips.
- Control portion sizes so you avoid cooking too much and being tempted to waste it: Food Portions for Love Food Hate Waste.
- Learn how to use up leftover food or food that’s gone past its best but it still ok fine to be consumed. Have a look at How to upcycle old salad, Love Food Hate Waste, BBC Good Food Leftovers, 40 ways to use lemons.
- Take your own suit bags to the dry cleaner’s rather than having them give you flimsy plastic ones and take back the hangers for them to reuse.
- Reuse tea bags – when you make tea in a cup, you can often reuse it for another cup as their strength is usually enough for a few cups. Or use loose tea leaves and then compost them if possible.
- Buy in bulk or buy refills.
- When you go to a restaurant, if you cannot finish your meal, ask to take it away in a doggy box. It’s a compliment to those who took care to source and prepare the food, and you have paid for the whole portion, don’t be shy! Too Good To Waste Campaign.
Save Water (5)
- Here are 10 ways to save water, did you know eating less meat is one of them?
- Choose a dual flush system or put a water-saving device in your loo tank to use less water with every flush.
- When you are waiting for cold water to turn hot, collect it rather than letting it go down the drain and use it to water flower and plants, wash fruit and vegetables, fill the kettle…don’t waste it!
- Use a tank to collect rain water. It’s ideal to water plants or wash the car.
- Wash your vegetables in a bowl rather than under running water and use that water for plants and flowers.
What do you like to do to be more sustainable?
Do you have any additional tips?
*Special thanks to my amazing flatmate G for continuously contributing to ideas for this post*