How to live more sustainably

Written by

Tim Greenhalgh

Posted on

July 2, 2020

Posted in

How to live more sustainably is a question many more of us are asking as the unfolding of the pandemic reshapes our lives.

We have found ways to think and act differently and we’re more aware of what’s needed to help the planet and our finances. Recent surveys show how COVID-19 has made us more mindful about what we plan to buy.

In one study, more than 75% of people said they had done something to make their lifestyle more sustainable and over 87% think that some of the drastic lifestyle changes should also help prevent climate change.(1)

Another survey shows consumers are more mindful of what they’re buying, shopping more cost consciously and choosing more sustainable options. (2)

If nothing else, the struggles of the past few months have made us aware that with some simple changes, we can transform our lives and make a positive, lasting contribution to the environment.

LED lighting

It’s quite joyful to think that by simply replacing old energy-guzzling bulbs with LED lighting we can reduce our impact on climate change. LED lights reduce electricity consumption by up to 80% and it’s easy to find exactly the type, style and quality of light. Less energy used means reduced carbon emissions, so every time we switch on an energy-saving light, we’re lighting the way to a healthier planet.

We might want a warm light candle bulb or a brighter work light, or a top-quality model that renders colours beautifully.  We might need to replace that old tube light or an outdoor lamp. We can go further along the cost-saving eco lighting road with smart lighting controls and smart LEDS.

Whatever the function and setting, LED technology has the sustainable solution.

Saving water

Our sustainable lifestyle also focuses on saving water, making small changes with big impact on the environment. Less water used means less pressure on cleaning, distributing and managing this precious resource, so choosing eco shower heads, eco taps and tap aerators that reduce consumption by 60% with no loss of quality are a smart move.

Our preference for bottled water has meant more than 15 million single-use plastic bottles per day are used, with a fraction being recycled. If we really want the taste of pure, clear water, then we can fit special kitchen taps – or even go for sparkling versions. That will make a huge difference in the amount of plastic we throw away or recycle every year.

Sustainable living products

We can also make a big dent in our plastic wastefulness by choosing sustainable living products. In no time at all, we can swap out the damaging plastic stuff, and replace it with planet-friendly solutions. There’s beeswax wraps and laundry eggs, bamboo pet bowls and bamboo kitchen roll, eco waste sacks and clingfilm alternatives, not forgetting eco toothbrushes, cotton buds and dental floss.

And, like the many other eco products on offer, these all help with the household budget, great for our purses and pockets!

Energy conservation

Saving energy, beyond fitting LED lighting is a simple source of sustainable living. We can make sure we turn off lights and appliances when we’re not using them. And along with the energy efficient LED technology, we can choose the best energy-efficient washing machines, tumble dryers and fridge freezers, with ratings of A+ and better.

Smart radiator valves are a good choice to help cut energy waste and we can all use a programmable thermostat that lowers or raises the temperature when we’re not at home, and set our thermostats a degree lower than normal in the winter, keep active and pull on a jumper or favourite cardigan for comfort.

Most of us have thought about, if not yet acted, on insulating our homes – and it’s one of the smartest, most effective ways of being sustainable, with big, ongoing energy savings that cut carbon emissions and reduce our households bills.

Along with that, we can help the planet by switching to 100% renewable energy suppliers so that all the electricity we consume is effectively zero carbon.

Eat local, reduce waste

While we’re not going to end our supermarket shop, we can buy more from local sources, which makes a significant impact on the amount of fossil fuels burned in the distribution networks. And we can focus more on throwing away less food – 7.3 million tonnes of food is chucked out in the UK every year, not only wasting money but also creating more CO2 in landfills.

By putting the old food in the compost bin, there’s a good supply of organic matter for our plants – keeping the garden or pots green, and the food should break down naturally, slowly with no build-up of methane gas, as can happen in landfill.

Recycle, resell, donate

There are some indications that our recycling efforts were tailing off before the virus hit, but it’s really important that we get that habit back and use the recycling bins to the max as well as finding ways to recycle batteries, mobile phones, and other electronics, as well as old CFL bulbs that

We can also make sure that the stuff we no longer want or need has an extended life by reselling and donating, so less ends up in landfill.

Using our cars less

The lockdown has helped us be more aware of how we don’t need to use the car so much and many of us have rediscovered the joys of riding a bike and walking. From electric cars and vans, to e-scooters and e-bikes, there are also ways to take the strain and we’ll be thinking more about using public transport as we develop the rich new ways of living.

Sources:

(1) https://www.wearefuterra.com/2020/05/the-imagine-better-series-sustainable-living-in-a-pandemic-world/

(2) https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/consumer-goods-services/coronavirus-consumer-behavior-research

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