Whether you’re new to living a sustainable lifestyle or looking for ways to expand your commitment, we’ve put together a list of steps you can take this year to be more sustainable at home and at work. Here are some simple things you can do:
Start composting in your kitchen.
Composting is a great way to reduce food waste and help the environment. When you throw your compostable materials in the trash, they’re going to be thrown into a landfill and sit there forever. But when you create compost out of them, it can be used again as fertilizer or soil conditioner!
You can start by setting up a simple kitchen bin with some holes poked in its bottom so that water drains out easily (no standing water). You can also use this bin for any other type of compostable materials like coffee grinds, tea bags and egg shells. Just make sure to keep the lid closed because flies will come along if they notice anything ripe!
Support sustainable brands when you shop.
When you’re shopping for new clothes and household goods, look for brands that are committed to sustainable practices.
If you’re buying a pair of jeans, find out what kind of cotton the company uses and how it’s grown. If you’re buying a kitchen appliance, check to see whether it’s energy efficient. There are many ways for companies to go about this—some make their sustainability efforts clear on their website or social media accounts; others have dedicated “About Us” pages on their websites where they list their environmental mission statement and goals.
You can also look up your favorite brands’ Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) online. These documents help consumers understand an individual product’s environmental impact during its lifecycle such as water usage during production or greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation costs from factory to store shelf.
Embrace the “shared economy.”
You can reduce your environmental footprint by sharing. Embrace the “shared economy” and take advantage of services like Airbnb, Uber, Lyft and eBay. These apps and online marketplaces help you share your car with others (eBay), find a place to stay (Airbnb), grab a ride from another person (Uber) or sell your stuff through an online marketplace (eBay).
Get an energy audit.
If you’re looking to improve your home’s energy efficiency, get an energy audit. Energy audits are a good way to understand where you can make improvements and how big of a return on investment (ROI) your energy upgrades will have. It’s also important that any money invested in improving the efficiency of your home is put toward the right measures—for example, it’s better for a homeowner to invest in roof replacement than insulation upgrades if their roof is leaking or needs repair.
Here are some tips for getting an effective audit:
- Look for certifications like “Energy Star” when choosing an auditor—they mean that companies have been vetted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as being qualified and reliable businesses offering services such as home audits.
- Make sure that whoever does your audit has enough experience doing them; many companies offer services ranging from routine maintenance checks up through full-scale remodels and renovations so ask about what kind of work they’ve done before deciding who should do yours!
- Get references from previous clients before hiring someone new; this can help ensure quality workmanship at reasonable prices with minimal headaches later down the road when something goes wrong unexpectedly while working inside our homes during construction projects such as these projects below:
Install solar panels at your home or work.
Installing solar panels is a great way to save money on your electricity bill. Solar panels are a good investment because they will pay for themselves over time and provide clean energy to your home or business. They’re also an excellent option for businesses that have large roof spaces, as it can be difficult for them to find space for other types of renewable energy sources like wind turbines or hydroelectric dams.
If you want to install solar panels at your home, note that the size of your home will determine how much money you can save by installing them—so the bigger, the better! Depending on where you live in Canada (and what type of climate), it may make sense to invest in both standard and heat-pump models so that their combined efficiency can reduce both heating costs and cooling expenses year round (especially important if you live somewhere cold).
Drive less by using public transportation and carpooling, or by working from home a couple days a week.
- Drive less by using public transportation and carpooling, or by working from home a couple days a week.
- Ride your bike or scooter instead of driving. It’s good exercise, and you’ll be cutting back on emissions too!
Don’t waste food (and takeout food is especially wasteful).
Food waste is a problem. It’s a global problem. In the UK, it’s estimated that one in five meals end up in the trash—the equivalent of three meals thrown away by every person in the country every week. In Australia, 25% of food produced for human consumption gets wasted; that’s about $8 billion worth of food per year! And in the US? Well, we produce more than enough to feed everyone on Earth several times over (and we’re not even factoring in pets or farm animals).
There are many reasons why so much perfectly good food ends up being tossed out: some people don’t know how to store produce properly; others might forget what they have at home and buy more than they need; others may think their groceries aren’t fresh enough anymore when they actually are still fine. But if you take advantage of these simple tips—storing your veggies properly, getting into a routine with meal planning and grocery shopping—you can help reduce your household’s impact on landfills and ultimately save money on groceries!
Reduce your paper consumption.
Reduce your paper consumption by recycling, using reusable bags, and reducing the amount of paper towels you use.
Recycle. Recycling is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint as well as save money on trash removal. If your state provides curbside pickup (in some states it may be called alley pickup or community recycling), then recycle all the paper you don’t need! This can include: junk mail; magazines; newspapers; office paper with no personal information on it (such as old report cards or bills); egg cartons (they are made from recycled material); toilet paper tubes (just cut them in half). You might also want to look into other ways that you can reuse or repurpose materials around your house—such as turning cardboard boxes into storage containers for toys or clothes moths, or turning an old sweater into an animal costume for Halloween!
Use reusable bags when shopping instead of buying single-use plastic ones each time you go grocery shopping. When transporting groceries home from the store in reusable bags instead of disposables means fewer trips back and forth through the parking lot which means less gas burned up driving around town all day long just trying find somewhere safe place where park car without getting ticketed every time we come back home from work because someone else parked there first so there wasn’t enough space left over after everyone else parked already at least twice already today before finally finding one spot still available near end last row behind where everybody else’s cars have been parked all day long already anyway so now we’re gonna walk farther distance carrying groceries than usual since won’t use car again until tomorrow morning anyway when going pick up kids before heading straight back office again after dropping off children school their respective classrooms 🙂
Choose a mostly plant-based diet. Or do Meatless Mondays if that’s a lifestyle change too big to commit to all the time.
It’s likely that you have heard the term “plant-based diet” bandied about more frequently in recent years. While this phrase is not a new one (it was coined by Dr. Dean Ornish in 1989), it has become more popular as people are looking for ways to make their diets healthier while also reducing their impact on the environment. A plant-based diet is characterized by eating foods that come directly from plants, such as fruits and vegetables, legumes (beans), grains, nuts and seeds. A meatless meal can be incorporated into your daily routine with one of the following options:
- Eat mostly plant-based recipes for breakfast and lunch instead of relying on eggs or bacon for protein. Try adding tofu or beans to salads or sandwiches instead of meat; add avocado slices onto sandwiches instead of cheese slices; or try some lentil soup with a slice of bread . You can find many tasty recipe ideas online if you search “vegetarian” recipes or visit websites like Pinterest .
- Make Meatless Mondays a part of your lifestyle! This simple practice encourages everyone to incorporate at least one day per week where they do not consume any animal products (meat, eggs, dairy). By doing this once per week, you will still be able to enjoy the occasional burger at lunchtime but not feel guilty about consuming meat every day because there’s always Monday!
Shop secondhand more often. Otherwise, look for clothing made from sustainable fibers like organic cotton, hemp, bamboo and soybean silk blends.
If you’re looking for ways to make your wardrobe more sustainable, shopping secondhand is a great first step. Buying used clothing is an effective way to save money while being kinder to the planet. Aside from the obvious benefit of not wasting materials and energy creating new items, buying preowned clothing means that fewer resources are needed in production—and that can mean big savings!
Secondhand clothes often look brand new because they were only worn once or twice before being donated. Plus, since these clothes have been well-loved by someone else who carefully selected them based on style and fit (not just price), this means you’re getting quality garments at a fraction of their original cost. The added bonus: thrift stores often sell designer brands at low prices!
You can find secondhand clothes at thrift stores or charity shops in person; online sites like ThredUp have made it easy to search for specific items within their vast inventory (including some new options).
Sustainability is good not just for the environment, but also for your health and bottom line.
- Sustainable practices are good for the environment.
- Sustainable practices are good for your health.
- Sustainable practices are good for your bottom line.
In the end, the best way to be sustainable is to think of yourself as part of a larger community. If everyone does their part—and if businesses and governments do theirs too—we can make a better world for future generations. So let’s get started!