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

Five Simple Ways to Help Save the Bees

Bees are at the heart of our food chain, providing us with fruits, vegetables, nuts and even the food that our cattle relies upon to eat, essentially saving us from global hunger. With the global decline in bees, it’s more important than ever that we help keep these magical creatures alive. Through looking at where bees flourish compared to where bees perish, we now know how to keep this sacred species healthy. Any outdoor space is an opportunity to help the bees, so get ready to work on your gardening skills in the backyard, terrace or, for those of you with neither – don’t worry, even window sills can be adapted to most of these solutions.

Firstly, What Kills Bees?

Before working out how to save them, let’s take a look at the reason behind the huge disappearance of bees. The top three killers are: agricultural chemicals, habitat destruction and pests and pathogens. Disease and death in bees, after lengthy research, was discovered to be a direct result of these human actions. Bee keepers and researchers have been working hard against this catastrophe for years. So the real question is, how can we prevent this from happening in our day-to-day lives?

beautiful beauty bee bloom
Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Five Simple Solutions to Save the Bees

  • Build a Bee Bath. It seems common to leave out a birdbath, but what happened to thinking about the bees? By leaving out a shallow container of water and filling it with natural resources like stones, pebbles or sticks the bees won’t drown as they can safely land on these surfaces to stay hydrated. This will not only enable them access to clean, fresh water, it will also encourage their return to the same spot in your outside area.
  • Grow Native Flowers For the Bees. Growing native plants and wildflowers is the best way to attract bees to your outdoor area because these pollinators have evolved with these native plants meaning they are adapted to the climate, local seasons and soils. Do your research or keep your eyes peeled for where the bees tend to congregate in your local area. If in doubt, here are some beautiful well-known flowers that do wonders for the bees: snowdrops, peonies, lavender, marigolds, and pansies.
  • Build a Herb Garden. Not only will the herbs enhance your culinary skills adding some vibrant flavours to your meals, they will also help the local bees thrive. Some common herbs include: chives, mint, rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano. These easy-to-grow herbs help you save money on your shopping bill whilst providing the bees with nutritious nectar and pollen throughout the year.
  • Keep a Wild Flower Meadow in Your Garden. Many bees are attracted to untended, weedy patches with access to water and mud. Did you know that bees can actually live underground? By providing them with this wild space, it enables the native bees to burrow or nest, plus it saves you some time when gardening!
  • Support Bee Businesses or Donate to a Hive. For skincare related products, invest in Burt’s Bees who create natural, sustainable products with profits aimed at expanding bee habitats – unbeelieveable! Got a sweet tooth? Treat yourself to some Haagen Dazs. Not only do they whip up some delicious ice cream, they also donate lots of money to pollinator research and education – bee guilt free when you get your next sweet treat. Bee Raw specialises in honey, tea and, beeautiful beeswax candles alongside aiding organisations like bee conservancies and local work and research as 1% of profits are donated to this cause. Aside from investing in amazing products, you may also choose to adopt a beehive in your local area by doing some online research, perks often include honey gifts as well as helping the bee experts do their best to save these beautiful creatures.

Best of luck on your bee saving journey. Here’s to a brighter future for the bees full of nectar, pollen and safe, pesticide-free habitats.

“If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.” – Albert Einstein.

8 Simple Ways to Help Save the Planet

Sustainability in day-to-day life is a great way to help save the planet and even save some money too. The key is to remember that it’s the little things that make a difference. So, here you are 8 simple ways to look after the planet because, let’s face it, the Earth is our home.

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” – Robert Swann.

Eat Less Meat

By replacing meat with plant-based alternatives, think lentils, beans, and plants, you can help save the planet by helping reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Vegetarian Society, the farming production process actually “totals 30% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.” Fortunately, there are also further benefits to a plant-based diet beyond sustainability purposes.

Avoid Palm Oil

In terms of sustainability, palm oil is a huge no-no. This is a result of the large-scale devastation of forests that the process of palm oil extraction entails. It’s the cause of widespread habitat loss for endangered species including rhinos, elephants, and orangutans.

Cycling

For short journeys, having a bike is a great way to travel sustainably. Having a bike is so much cheaper than going by car, it has zero emissions, and you will even burn some calories on the way.

Photo of cafe with bike
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Cook with the Lid on

Cooking with the lid on your pots and pans or even using a steam cooker is a great way to conserve energy. Covering your pots requires less cooking time which means you get your food quicker and help save energy, it’s a win-win situation!

Recycle oil

Just 1 litre of water poured down the kitchen sink can lead to up to 1000 litres of polluted water. By recycling cooking oil, we can help prevent severe environmental damage as well as that dreaded drain blockage. Recycled oil can actually be used to produce fuel or even fertilizer, so making that trip to the oil recycling point is definitely worthwhile.

Reusable Bottles

Did you know that a plastic bottle takes around 450 years to decompose? For this reason, it’s worth investing in a reusable drinking bottle. Not only does it save you money on buying bottled water, but it also prevents one-use-only plastic purchases.

Reusable glass bottles on a table
Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

Unplug Everything

Although turned off at the switch, all plugged-in devices actually consume some energy known as “standby” energy loss. So, do not be deceived by the fact that your device is turned off, it can still sneakily keep drawing power.

Support Green Businesses

Whether it be beauty brands, food-related, or even a local business, what better way to invest your money than knowing that you are helping save the planet through their sustainability? Look for eco-friendly brands and google the most sustainable businesses in your local area to get collaborating right away. Plus, this way you might avoid spending spree guilt!

I hope these simple ways to lead a more sustainable life have been of use to you. Comment below and let me know the most effective ways to be more environmentally friendly on a day-to-day basis!

Scenic view of agricultural field with wind power farm against sky during sunset
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Monday Motivation: Mountain-Inspired Quotes

The Mountains are one of nature’s finest gifts. They provide us with freshwater, enable us to hike, to absorb breath-taking views. But above all, they remind us of how beautiful our planet truly is. So, on this Monday morning, let’s start the day right with some mountain-inspired quotes.

trees near body of water
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Visualise your Goals

“When everything feels like an uphill struggle, just think of the view from the top.” –  W. Michael Scott

Everyone struggles with a case of the Monday Blues every once in a while, right? We’re in need of some Monday motivation. Luckily, looking at the mountains helps put things into perspective. Today is Monday, we’re at the bottom ready for the week ahead. Find motivation by visualising the moment in which you reach your goals. Whether that be your dream career or a fitness challenge, each goal counts. In fact, scientific studies have shown that visualization has a positive impact on goal achievement. There are no views without the climb much like there is no Friday without Monday. Everything worthwhile presents challenges and that’s part of the fun. We have to put the work in to reap the rewards. So grab that cup of coffee and give it your all.

It’s OK to Have a Bad Day…

“What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved, like a road through mountains.” – Tennesse Williams

OK, so for anyone struggling with Monday motivation, this quote is for you. It brings complete peace of mind knowing that life is not all sunshine and rainbows. As Tennesse famously said, life is as tumultuous as the mountains that give depth to the Earth. It’s reassuring to know that we also form part of that tortuousness. So, if you are having a bad day or something didn’t go as planned, remember it’s completely normal and only temporary, of course.

grey road near mountain near body of water photo
Photo by Ketan Kumawat on Pexels.com

Your Only Competition is Yourself

“Climb the mountain so that you can see the world… not so that the world can see you.” – David McCullough Jr.

In a world which revolves around social media, sometimes we post things or even do things based on what we think others will think of us. It has become second nature to post the best of ourselves, only showing our best life. But you can only compare yourself to who you were yesterday. You are your only competition. Work hard and persevere for what you want.

What are your favourite mountain quotes? Let me know in the comments below!