10 simple things you can do to live a sustainable lifestyle

Friday, April 2, 2021

The words “sustainable living” have always daunted me. I feel like it’s only for Youtubers and people who can afford to buy organic food and sustainable clothing. I guess it really pays to dig deeper into things. Wikipedia defined sustainable living as a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources, and one’s personal resources. Putting it that way, it appears to be much easier and achievable than I imagined. So I sat down, looked around my bedroom and thought—okay, so where do I begin? Below are some of the things I came up with and I guarantee that if I am able to do these, you can do them too.

1. Say goodbye to paper bills. Organizing these envelopes is a job I don’t really want to deal with, plus they take up space albeit a small one in a hanging rack. Going paperless does wonders, as well as saying no to ATM receipts. It can be difficult at first, but thanks to Google spreadsheets I am able to organize everything. 

2. Bring eco-bags all the time. I always go to the department store on whim, just to try out clothes and take selfies in the fitting room while in them. This de-stressing activity (well, for me) sometimes leads me to actually buying the clothes, thus the need of eco-bags. The same thing with grocery. So I’ve been bringing eco-bags with me every time I go out of the house so to avoid acquiring packaging that would probably go to waste. Better yet, it would actually be amazing if I could visit a plastic free shop.

I bought these eco-bags a long time ago on a whim, just because they're cute. Now I bring them with me wherever I go.

3. Open up the room windows and let the air and sunshine in. Sunshine does wonders in my overall mood, that I discovered when I did this. Natural lighting also means there’s no need to turn on lights during video calls. And let’s not forget the proper ventilation for a healthier environment.

4. Reusable water bottles are better than the single-use ones. There’s more than 8 million tons of plastic bottles in the sea each year, and I thought it’s time for me to stop contributing to this. It doesn’t have to be that expensive, as long as it serves its purpose. An insulated steel bottle is great as it keeps your beverage hot or cold, depending on what you put inside. 

My steel bottle is left in the office (heartbreaking, I know) so I'm using this at the moment.

5. Home-cooked meals are healthier. I started bringing home-cooked meals at work a couple of years ago, and it did me a lot of good. It was healthier and I was saving a lot of money as I avoided going down the office building to see other things to buy. It also allowed me to bring my cooking skills to a higher level!

6. Use a reusable coffee cup, or better yet, make coffee at home. I am a coffee addict. Coffee is probably what flows in my veins. Multiple trips to Starbucks in a day meant multiple paper cups, so I decided to buy my own cup. I’d nicely ask the barista to use it instead of their usual disposable cup. But making my own coffee made all the difference. It saved me more money, gave me a slow time in the morning to actually enjoy it, and made home smell heavenly. 

morning coffee by the bed

7. Put old notebooks in to good use. It was last year when I started bullet journaling using the old notebooks I discovered while decluttering. Bullet-journaling was also an overwhelming experience for me, but it kept me from buying yearly planners (which is a must-have for me) for two years now and my notebooks from collecting dust.

8. Start doing sustainable simple swaps at home. It was last year too when I started using wooden toothbrushes, though I bought them at a local pharmacy. Reusable cotton pads are also a god-send, since I just had pay one-time and I just wash and reuse them over and over. Makeup remover means the virgin coconut oil in the kitchen. Eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner can also mean vinegar, lemon, and baking soda. These are all simple things but the impact is quite big. 

9. Buy second-hand items. I love reading books, and they’re all over my blog. And I prefer reading the printed book instead of Kindle. To make peace with myself on this issue, I opted for second-hand or preloved items. Sure, they do not have that addicting new paper and print smell every bookworm loves, but I suppose I can drop by a bookstore and sniff their books if I want to. 

10. Spend a night camping in the backyard from time to time to save on energy. This is something I haven’t done yet (since I do not have a backyard but my rooftop is spacious), but it’s been playing in my head for quite some time now. Look, it’ll allow you to turn off the electric appliances in the entire house, you get to enjoy the time with whoever is with you, and you get to watch the stars at night. Just be sure to have some insect repellent handy and, don’t forget the s’mores if you must eat. 

These are just simple things but they sure do make a big difference. Who knows, you might have been doing some of the items above without even realizing it. Sustainable lifestyle, as I now understood, doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, it’s the kind of lifestyle that would allow us to save more.


Do you have other simple tips to do to start a sustainable life? 


PS. This article is in partnership with Green Pear Eco, a plastic free shop and refill delivery service based in Cambridge, UK. They offer various everyday products and personal essentials that are sustainable and eco-friendly. You can check out their store at www.greenpeareco.com. Spread the looooove!

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