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Sustainability means meeting your current needs without having a negative impact on the needs of future generations.
Living more sustainably doesn’t have to cost the Earth. Whilst shops and makers selling eco-friendly and sustainable goods often accused of pricing the products too expensive, they really cost more to manufacture and produce them. But also, they last longer, they are better quality and they are designed for multiple uses – not just once. So yes, all these aspects drives the prices up. But you can get some good offers, if you shop around, so sign up offer.
However, there are plenty of ways to living more sustainably, waste less and be more frugal at the same time. How we dispose of goods is ultimately the root cause of our environmental problems. Wasting less is the way forward to sustainability.
Here are my tips for this and I suggest to break things down into small goals. Pick one or two sustainable action steps that you can do each and every week. Once you have that habit built in into your routine and life, pick another sustainable action step.
Cutting down costs often starts with cutting down waste.
Use what you have
This is a core point when it comes to living more sustainably. Essentially, bring everything you use to their maximum lifespan. A good example is not to throw your old Tupperware away to buy shiny new stainless steel containers, because that would just create more plastic waste. Or even, use the same things on a different way. This is especially important when talking about food and it’s costs.
It’s probably the most important area where you can save a lot of money by buying less and really trying not to throw away but use up what you have in the fridge. And at the same time not producing waste. I have a post about this: 25 Smart Tips How To Reduce Food Waste At Home It is estimated that the disposal of food and drink waste from UK households costs £12.5 billion each year. In London alone, we produce 890,000 tonnes of food waste per year and 61% of this is avoidable.
Learn how to fix things
One of the problems with cheap goods with low quality that they don’t last long: they prematurely break down or stop working. And then what do you do with them? Even if you try to recycle as much of it as you can, there undoubtedly will be part going to landfill. But as soon as you are willing to invest into better products and try to maintain them – you’ll also pick up the skills you need.
Roll up your sleeves and take a few minutes to master five home repairs that you can do yourself without dangerous tools or complicated instructions. Like how to darn a sock or fix scratched cabinetry (try the walnut method first! It worked for me on quite a few occasions). Plus, if you want things to last, you have to learn how to take care of them. Keeping more of what we already own is another way to be more sustainable!
Again: you can do a lot with things you already have at home or buying used items and give them a little makeover. Upcycling is a real buzz word these days. You can turn almost any old item into something new, beautiful and useful. From painting old furniture with chalk paint to plant pots made from old baskets or just buying a few new fashionable things like drawer handles to update them. It only depends on your creativity and imagination! There’s lots of simple ways to update old things. Furthermore, if you have a little time on your hands, you can. even sell your creations, making some extra money.
Second hand first
This has been my mantra for the last few years. The most sustainable dress is. already hanging in your wardrobe. I try to buy everything second hand – from clothes to furniture items, whatever I can. This saves lots of money. Circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible.
In this way, the life cycle of products is extended. By keeping the same item in use buy different users reduces the need for using new resources – so it’s the most sustainable way to consume. Similarly, you can also sell things on Ebay or in local selling/buying groups that you don’t need anymore to make some extra money.
By swapping I mean two things: you can join online groups where you can swap things for free or you can actually rotate your own things around if you have the storage place, like seasonal decoration or children’s toys. Again, this is a great way to save money and not to trow things away. Clothes swapping parties are great – it’s fun, it’s social and keeps items in circulation. There’s not only swapping sites that can help you to get things without spending money but there are even sites listings items for free!
Grow your own
If you have a garden, utilise it. Grow herbs and veggies. It saves money and reduces your need to buy them in the supermarket which of course also reduces the plastic being used and the carbon footprint of the produce. Even just a few bits and pieces can help!
You can even regrow them from scarps – no need to buy seeds or young plants – plus this can be an educational projects for the children! Also, eating more vegetables and less meat not only have a positive effect both on the environment and your wallet – but your health will be thankful too!
Make your own
A lot of things, especially reusables for kitchen and bathroom can be easily made at home. There’s lots of tutorials and how to articles are available (Pinterest is your friend) on hot to make your own beeswax wraps, reusable kitchen towels, make-up remover pads, non-toxic cleaning products or other homemade eco-friendly swaps.