I like to think that inherently we all want to be better people, but that doesn’t mean we always know the right way to go about it. If you’re keen to score some cosmic karma points, here are a few easy hacks to make your existence a little more sustainable – one room at a time.
The kitchen is one of the easiest rooms to start investing in waste-free options that are also usually better looking than their disposable counterparts. Think reusable straws (in bamboo, steel or glass), reusable cups, non plastic bags and bowl covers. They can cost a bit more, but many of these are a once-off purchases that end up saving you in the long run. No more plastic dish brushes in the sink (and more importantly in the landfills). There are some great wooden scrubbing brushes on the market. (Side note: If you describe a scrubbing brush as beautiful, does it mean you’re now full-adult?)
- Go for reusable coffee filters or pods and opt for tea from tea leaves and an infuser instead of tea bags.
- Non-toxic cleaning products can still be effective against germs and viruses. Natural detergent options mean fewer chemicals washing out to sea (and sitting against your skin all day).
- Start a Bokashi bin to compost your food waste. It’s easy, doesn’t smell, and your plants will thank you.
- Never let a glass jar go to waste. Recycle or clean them and use them to propagate some of your houseplants.
- You don’t necessarily need to be a plumber to change your taps and showerhead – simply unscrew the old fitting and screw on a flow-rate reducing showerhead.
- I’ll just say it – recycled toilet paper (it’s not as gross as it sounds).
- Choose natural grooming and skincare products – preferably in glass packaging. They’re biodegradable and not as harsh on your skin.
- Choose bar soap, shampoo and conditioner instead of ones packaged in plastic bottles.
- Switch to bamboo and/or cotton eco earbuds, face wipes and cotton pads.
- Switch to a menstrual cup or other eco alternatives to tampons and pads. Don’t be scared, you can read more about this here.
- Change your lightbulbs to low-energy LEDs. You should ideally do this around the whole house, but can start by prioritising the rooms you spend time in during the evenings.
- If you use batteries frequently, like for that PlayStation remote, it’s worth investing in rechargeable batteries and a charger. It’s more sustainable for the world and your wallet.
- Ditch fast fashion for conscious consuming and eco-friendly fabrics in your clothing and bedding. In addition to sustainable fabric choices like organic linen (fully biodegradable, minimal water requirements, and naturally moth-resistant) there are even a number of brands making clothes from recycled plastic waste.
- Don’t be too quick to turn on the heater or electric blanket – sometimes an extra blanket or wearing another layer of clothing to bed will do the trick.
- Go paperless whenever you can.
- Whether you’re going into an office or working from home, fill up that reusable water bottle, keep it with you, and DRINK IT.
- Take the time to opt-out of junk mail – less waste in your inbox and your life.
The entry hall
- Hang your reusable grocery bags in the entrance hall when you’re done with them so you remember to take them on your next trip.
- Don’t forget your clean, reusable cup if you’re planning on grabbing a coffee (or bring your own coffee and save quite a bit of money).
Remember, when it comes to going green, it’s not about being perfect. It’s about taking the small steps that you can, as often as you can. Reduce your consumption by buying products that last, reuse or repurpose what you can, and when you can’t do that, recycle.