21 Sustainable Actions you can do right now easily and cheaply
What are some sustainable actions you can start taking, to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle? And what are the easiest and cheapest things you can do to be more sustainable?
What does it mean to live a more sustainable lifestyle?
As described by Wikipedia, sustainable living describes a lifestyle that attempts to reduce the use of the Earth’s natural resources by an individual or society. It is also called ‘Zero Waste’ living.
People aiming to live more sustainably try to reduce their environmental footprint, by making changes to what they buy and consume, how they travel, and the energy they use for things such as home heating.
Related article: What is a Zero Waste Lifestyle, and why is it important?
Is it hard to make more sustainable actions?
It can feel pretty daunting when you try to reduce your environmental impact. But like so many new things, such as starting an exercise program, or learning a new skill – the key is to break it down into smaller tasks. It’s easy to become overwhelmed if you try to change too many big habits at once. So tackling small changes can lead up to bigger results in the long run.
Related article: How to make progress to Zero Waste, not perfection
Why should we live more sustainably? What are the benefits?
Living more Eco-friendly, not only has environmental benefits but money saving and health benefits too.
- Reducing your energy consumption reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and also saves you money on your power bills
- Buying second hand items is usually cheaper than new, and gives things a new life instead of them ending up in landfill
- Driving less, and cycling and walking more saves money on petrol, reduces emissions, and gives you some useful exercise
- Growing some fruit and vegetables can save you money, and reduces packaging waste and transportation emissions.
These are just a few of the benefits, there are so many more.
Is it time consuming to make more environmentally friendly choices?
I know people have very busy lives, and that there are always so many demands on your time and resources. But these ideas only take a few minutes, and once they become habits, you will probably be able to do them on auto-pilot!
Here are some ideas for sustainable actions that you can do quickly, easily and cheaply. You may already do some or most of these – if so, that’s awesome! I hope there are some new ideas here for you too.
21 sustainable actions you can do quickly and with low cost
5 minute sustainable actions
Find a spare few minutes to try out these eco-friendly actions:
- Turn off any lights in rooms you are not using
- Turn off your computer and TV if you are not using them, rather than leaving them on standby
- Delete unused apps from your phone (they use up energy and data)
- Pick up litter when you see it on the streets or in nature
- Put reusable shopping bags in your car after you have unpacked groceries
- Similarly, keep a small reusable bag in your handbag or backpack
- Freeze food that is almost at it’s use by date – see this article for more ways to reduce food waste
- Share eco-friendly ideas on social media – you never know who you might inspire or encourage
- Calculate your carbon footprint, so you can see what areas you could reduce your environmental impact
- Run your washing machine and dishwasher when they are full – to save on water and energy use
- Put a ‘No Junk Mail’ sticker on your mailbox – this reduces paper waste, and stops you seeing so much advertising for things you might not really need!
10 minute sustainable actions
Try one of these actions that take around 10 minutes:
- Put your washing outside to dry, rather than using the clothes dryer
- Mend or upcycle your clothes
- Wash out empty jars, bottles or cans before putting them in the recycling – use the old washing up water for this.
- Make a meal plan for the week or month, to reduce food waste, and
- Write a shopping list based on your meal plan
- Replace your light bulbs with LED lights – you can save a lot of money and energy with this small swap
15 minute sustainable actions
- Plant some vegetable or herb seeds in a pot or your garden
- Make your own household cleaning products – there are many products you can make from basic ingredients like Bicarbonate of Soda, vinegar or lemon juice
- Cook a plant based meal, instead of a meat based meal – lots of great cuisines like Mexican, Indian and Chinese have delicious vegetarian recipes.
- Insulate your hot water water cylinder – buy and fit a water heater blanket, which helps your water heater to use less electricity (saving you money on energy bills too)
Which actions are you going to add to your life?
Which of these sustainable actions are you doing already, and which can you add to your daily life?
Do you have some you can add to the list, that are easy and cheap? Please share in the comments section.