Green Living: 10 Tips for Simple Sustainability at Home

Sustainable living is governed by a lifestyle that aims to reduce a person’s environmental impact. When broken down into small steps, we have the power to make changes in many aspects of our day-to-day life. Though the journey to consuming mindfully and sustainable living may not happen overnight, by making some of these simple changes you can start reducing your environmental impact today. To make sustainable living more accessible, here are 10 simple tips to help you live greener.

Kettle Care

Any tea or coffee lovers out there? This one’s for you. By simply measuring out the water before boiling, whether that be in the mug itself or with the markings on the kettle, you will save energy. The UK actually uses more electricity on kettles than it does on ovens. Luckily the solution is simple, don’t overfill the kettle and regularly descale it to clean out the limescale. If it’s full of limescale it actually takes more energy to boil the same amount of water.

white ceramic cup on saucer
Photo by Olga Mironova on Pexels.com

Control Food Waste

Take a look at the fresh produce in your kitchen, particularly the fridge. In order to eliminate food waste, plan your meals around what’s available and prioritise food in order of sell-by date. If a perishable product is about to go off, for example bread or bananas, freeze it. Instead of throwing away any food that has already reached its expiry date, remove it from its packaging and place it in the food bin so it can be disposed of in an eco-friendly way.

Less Energy on Laundry

When it comes to washing your clothes, the most efficient way to save energy is by turning down the temperature on the washing machine. In fact, research confirms that washing at 30°C instead of 40°C reduces your energy consumption on average by 57% per cycle. The majority of the cycle’s energy goes on heating up the water, so by reducing the temperature less energy is consumed. Additional energy can also be saved by hanging fresh washing out to dry as opposed to using a machine dryer.

Washable Cloths

The idea of having a disposable tea towel seems absurd, yet that’s not quite the case with our cleaning cloths. By investing in washable cleaning cloths for cleaning and dusting your home, you are able to reduce household waste by washing rather than throwing away dirty cloths.

wooden hanger with towels and basket with bathroom products
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

The next time you’re in need of a new cleaning product, opt for the eco-friendly options. Make a concerted effort to find local stores that stock these eco-friendly products as not all supermarkets will sell them. These products reap benefits as they don’t harm the environment. Additionally, by going green there will no longer be harmful chemicals absorbed into the skin or breathed in when cleaning. It’s a win-win purchase.

Ditch the Plastic

Fortunately, many governments have enforced laws to limit the use and sales of plastic. As of October 2020, regulations banned the sales of plastic straws, cotton buds and stirrers in England. We, as individuals, can also promote conscious living by ditching plastic. Replace the one-use plastic bags at the store with reusable shopping bags like tote bags or the lifelong bags available at the check-out. Also, when looking for new beauty, hygiene or cleaning products, opt for the solid options like bar soaps and shampoos. Instead of investing in products that come in plastic packaging, look for ones with glass containers for sustainability purposes.

LED Lightbulbs

The next time you go shopping for a new lightbulb, get an LED bulb as opposed to the conventional fluorescent bulb. Though LED bulbs tend to be more expensive, they actually save money in the long run as they are more energy efficient. LED bulbs produce less waste than their fluorescent counterparts when producing light. One reason is because more energy is spent on producing light rather than heat.

black kettle beside condiment shakers and green fruits and plants on tray on brown wooden table
Photo by Mark McCammon on Pexels.com

Go Paperless

Paperless billing is particularly common nowadays. From household bills to banking, the majority of companies offer email billing rather than post paper billing to save on paper. It’s also a great way to make bills more accessible too. Many tasks like assignments and journaling can also be done virtually too. Also, a kindle is a great option for any book lovers.

Avoid Trends

When shopping, ask yourself will I use this a year from now or is it just a fad? Think about your potential purchases with the future in mind, especially fashion. Shop for timeless products and items of clothing that you fall in love with, disregarding the influence of current trends. Shop smart on your journey towards sustainability.

Recycle, Resell, Reuse

For all things paper, plastic and glass related, recycling is a sustainable option. In terms of clothing, objects, games, toys etc., these products can be resold on sites like Ebay, Facebook, or even donated to local charities and, in turn, given to a new home. For items that have had their fair share of wear and tear, get creative and see if they can be turned into something new. A good place to start could be turning an old t-shirt into a cleaning cloth, though YouTube is an amazing source of DIY inspiration.

“Cherish the natural world because you’re a part of it and you depend on it.” – Sir David Attenborough

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

Conscious Living: Eco-Friendly UK Brands

Conscious living is definitely trending in 2020 and with Black Friday promotions, why not treat yourself to some sustainable purchases? Sustainable brands aim to ensure that products are manufactured in a way that has minimal undesirable environmental effects. So many incredible businesses are acknowledging the issue of climate change and adapting to support sustainability.  Here are some UK brands and businesses with long-term sustainability goals that are worth celebrating just in time for some Christmas shopping.

two pink and white gift boxes with ribbon
Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Fashion

The fashion industry is reportedly the second most polluting after oil due to its rapid turnover in trends conceptualising disposable clothing. The greenhouse gas emissions the industry produces has a lot to do with the globalisation of the industry, with items designed, manufactured, and sold on a global scale. So it’s more important than ever to shop as sustainably and locally as possible with slow fashion in mind.

TALA, a UK brand specialising in active wear, has a sustainable and slow fashion focus. Its core values are sustainable styles with ethical manufacturing that don’t break the bank. For other eco-friendly ethical clothing brands, shop Wearth London. The platform features British manufacturers that use the best eco-friendly and cruelty-free materials with carbon neutral deliveries. In fact, they go further than fashion with the most beautiful gifts, jewellery, homeware and more. Be sure to check it out!

fashionable woman with huge chain on neck
Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava on Pexels.com

Make-up, Beauty and Skincare

Recent years have seen a growing trend in beauty brands opting for zero waste, plastic-free beauty routines. The beauty industry is renowned for its surplus in packaging, producing 120 billion units per year. Consequently, these products pollute our planet’s waters, endangers species and have a detrimental impact on our planet. This is why natural, environmentally-friendly products made by UK brands are the way forward.

All Earth Mineral Cosmetics is an incredible UK mineral makeup brand. The natural products are all vegan, cruelty-free and eco-friendly. In addition, they offer completely plastic-free refill options. For beautiful sustainably-sourced skincare and beauty ranges, shop The Body Shop. The Body Shop strives to be as eco-friendly as possible working towards long-term sustainability goals. To name a few: zero waste packaging, fewer plastic, recycling schemes, refill stations and much more. Plus, their products have an array of enticing aromas that make your skin super soft.

jade roller
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Gifts

Buying gifts is a part of the Christmas magic. What makes it even more magical is knowing that your purchases contribute to conscious living without exploiting animals or the environment. Let’s make this Christmas as green as possible by shopping UK brands and businesses.

Green Tulip is a UK business that specialises in ethical, eco-friendly gifts. Perfect for men, women and children, Green Tulip really has something for everyone with anything from kitchen gifts to ready-made gift sets. Protect The Planet is another inspiring UK retailer which specialises in environmentally-friendly gifts. Be sure to click on the made in the UK or recycled category for the most conscious choices. From eco office to green garden, it caters for all tastes.

crop woman with various flowers in shop
Photo by Amina Filkins on Pexels.com

By shopping sustainably and looking a little further into the brands and businesses we invest in, we are one step closer to conscious living. Shop closer to home this Christmas and opt for brands that don’t cost the earth. What are your top UK eco-friendly brands?