Although we’re already several weeks into 2018, it’s never too late to start a new lifestyle. Living sustainably is a great lifestyle change to pursue, as it encourages you to reduce waste and helps keep our planet beautiful and green.
The thought of shifting into an entirely new lifestyle may be daunting, but with the help of Erika Summers of Eco Summer Life, sustainable living can be quite easy! Your first step into sustainability is simply to green-ify your home.
By: Zeila Edrial
Here are a few ways that you can start your journey:
1. Switch Over To Cloth Napkins.
The amount of waste that we create with paper is a little dismaying. Think about how much paper we normally use at work or school alone! Instead of using paper napkins that you throw away after one use at home, switch over to cloth napkins. If you don’t want to make your own cloth napkins, you can go out and buy cheap ones at Goodwill or other stores.
2. Ditch The Paper Towels – Use Old T-Shirts!
Similar to the paper napkins that you use when you eat, paper towels that you use when you clean the house can build up into a lot of waste. After you throw them into the trash, they’ll end up wasting away in a landfill. Instead of using paper towels that you constantly have to spend money to replenish, grab an old t-shirt that you don’t wear anymore. You can cut it up into several cleaning rags that you can reuse over and over!
3. Stop Buying Packs Of Plastic Water Bottles.
As an alternative, go out and buy a reusable water bottle that you can refill as you go. Some of these reusable water bottles come with a built-in filter so that you can fill it up with tap. Others even have a built-in vacuum insulation system to keep your water cold! At home, use a water pitcher with a filter instead of buying those cartons of disposable plastic water bottles that you have to get rid of once they’re empty. The earth (not to mention your wallet) will thank you for it.
More on KimberlyElise.com: 5 Ways To Ditch The Plastic This Season
4. Visit More Thrift Stores, Swap Markets, Etc.
Sustainable living can also save you money. Instead of heading to Ikea or other furniture stores, stop by swap markets, thrifts stores, or garage and yard sales! With a good eye and a little patience, you can find some rare and gorgeous pieces of furniture and accessories. And the best part is the furniture will often be a lot cheaper than what you would find at regular retail furniture stores.
And while you’re shopping for furniture, use that opportunity to look for vintage clothes!
Do you have so many clothes that you haven’t worn them all? Here’s how to build your own Minimalist Wardrobe.
5. Add More Plants To Your Home.
Keeping plants in your home is a natural way to purify the air around you. It can also save you from spending money on electronic purifiers. If you’re worried about having to water them all the time, there are some types of house plants – like the snake plant – that don’t need to be watered for two weeks at a time!
Certain plants are also multi-functional, in addition to purifying your air. For example, you can use aloe vera as a natural beauty ingredient.
More on KimberlyElise.com: Here are 6 houseplants for a happier, greener home.
6. Try Out Some Essential Oils!
Essential oils have many purposes, including aromatherapy and acne treatment. Using essential oils in a diffuser to spread a pleasant fragrance around your home is better for your health than a plug-in air freshener.
7. Make Your Own Natural All-Purpose Cleaner.
Instead of buying all-purpose cleaners at the grocery store, save the funds and create your own at home. It won’t have the harsh chemicals that the store-bought ones have, so it’ll be safer to use if you have children or pets around.
- 1/2 distilled water,
- 1/2 vinegar
- 10 drops of any essential oil of your choice.
8. Repurpose/Upcycle Things.
Recycling and reusing everything you can is one main focus of sustainable living. Repurpose containers once they’re empty. For example, I make my own skin toner by mixing water with apple cider vinegar. Instead of throwing away a setting spray bottle after it was empty, I repurposed it for my homemade toner so I wouldn’t have to go out and buy an empty spray bottle at the store!
9. Create Your Own Reusable Cotton Pads.
If you wear makeup often, you likely use a lot of cotton pads or wipes to remove your makeup. Instead of buying replacing these one-time use items, try making your own reusable cotton pads. After use, all you need to do is clean and dry them before using them again, which will reduce waste.
Another way to reduce waste, save time, and money? Try a makeup-free Simple Saturday.
10. Ladies: Try Out Some Cloth Pads For Your Period.
Dealing with menstruation is such a hassle, and the use of pads or tampons can create a lot of waste. However, there are other alternatives that women can look into. Reusable cloth pads are an option. As with the reusable cotton pads, all you need to do is thoroughly clean the cloth pads and dry them for repeated use. You can create your own, or buy handmade ones online.
And if you’re not into wearing pads, you can also try using a menstrual cup!
Become A Greener You
Sustainable living doesn’t have to be intimidating if you give yourself time to ease into it and take it a step at a time. Not only will it help you save a lot of money, but it is also beneficial to the planet as it reduces waste.
Do you have any sustainable living tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!