If you're like me, you care a lot about sustainability, but don’t have the financial resources to buy things that allow you to be zero waste, or you don’t have zero waste stores near you. Regardless, I’m going to teach you some easy ways to start living more sustainably that will cost you very little. The great thing about trying to be more sustainable and creating less waste, is that it will save you a lot of money in the long run. Some of these tips are going to help bring down your electricity bill and your food bill. You’ll also spend less on your hygiene routine. Remember that while you may not be doing much as you would like, it’s better than doing nothing. Don’t beat yourself up for not being able to do as much as you want to. You're starting to make changes that will make a difference. Something I’m trying to promote here on my blog, is being gentle with yourself. Remember that you are only human and are doing the best you can with the resources you have. We all want to do more, we have been taught that we can always do more and that doing just a little isn’t enough, but I want you to know that doing what you can is enough. We are all doing the best we can to juggle everything in our fast paced lives, and what you do makes a difference.
Buy a water filter and reusable water bottles. This is probably one of the easiest changes you can make, you probably already have a water bottle, and you can buy a filter just about anywhere. Just make sure that you buy a filter that will filter the toxins out of your specific water, depending on where you live, you could have more contaminants in your water.
Buy a sodastream to make soda or sparkling water. Sodastreams are great because all you have to do is replace the co2 cartridge, and add a flavored syrup to the sparkling water to create soda. You’ll still be able to drink your favorite drinks, without wasting all the cans or plastic bottles.
Unplug your electronics when you’re not using them, and turn off lights when you leave a room. This will also help cut down on your electricity bill.
Buy glass jars and containers. These are a great replacement for plastic containers, because you will get a lot more use out of them and you can recycle them when they get old.
Make meals at home. Eating out is a huge waste of money, and you usually end up throwing away utensils and containers. Remember balance is key, don’t feel guilty for eating out occasionally, just be mindful of how much you do it.
Eat more plant based. You don’t need to eat animal products everyday, try to mix up your proteins and eat meat once a day or dedicate one day a week to be a vegan day.
Bring reusable bags for grocery shopping. These really cut down on plastic consumption, especially if you have a large family. Even if you don’t buy reusable produce bags, just buying the tote grocery bags makes a huge difference. You can find these in your grocery store or online.
Buy reusable baking tools. If you love to bake and are always making things like cakes, cupcakes, and muffins, buy reusable cupcake liners, and reusable frosting bags. These work just as well, and they will save you a lot of money long term.
Buy reusable cotton rounds. These have made such a difference in my routine. I put a little bit of micellar water on a cotton round at night to take off my makeup. They are very soft and gentle, and last a long time. I’ve had mine for about 8 months and other than some mascara stains, they are as good as new. Mine came in a little bag that I put them in, and when I need to wash them I throw them in the washer with my clothes.
Use a bamboo toothbrush. A bamboo toothbrushes work just as well as a plastic one, make sure you get one that’s soft, some of them can be too harsh on your teeth.
Use natural cleaning solutions. Unless you have mold growing everywhere, you should be using natural cleaning solutions. They are better for the environment and your health, and they work just as well as any other cleaning solution.
Ditch the paper towels and napkins. Instead buy reusable cloth napkins, and switch out the paper towels for reusable paper towels or cloth towels.
Buy used books. If you or someone in your family loves books, go check out a site like Thriftbooks.com, or go to a used bookstore. These places are always a lot of fun, and deeply discounted. Most of the used books I’ve bought are almost as good as new.
Buy reusable straws. Reusable straws are great because they will last you forever, and aren’t very expensive.
Carry reusable utensils. Throw some reusable utensils in your purse or car, so that when you eat out you’re not throwing away plastic utensils.
Air dry laundry. Instead of putting your laundry into the dryer, try air drying it. Even if you just air dry your clothes, you're making a big difference, and you're cutting down on your electricity bill.
Try to buy glass products, if you’re out and about and want to buy a drink, try to find something in a glass bottle. Try buying your skincare and hygiene products in glass bottles. While glass products are still not completely sustainable, they're still better than plastic. You can read more about glass versus plastic here.
Buy loose leaf tea. If you love tea, try buying loose leaves instead of tea bags. Tea bags are usually made out of food-grade plastic. Besides, loose leaf tea tastes much better and has more good benefits than tea from a tea bag.
Buy beeswax wrap for your food. Instead of using tin foil or saran wrap to wrap your leftovers, try using beeswax wraps. You can wash these, and use them over and over again.
Hand wash and air dry dishes. Try buying a dish rack and hand washing your dishes. This really isn’t anymore time consuming than loading a dishwasher, and it will cut down on water and electricity.
Buy long lasting pots and pans. Cast iron and stainless steel pots and pans are going to last you so much longer than non-stick pans, and they don’t have a toxic coating like non-stick pans do. If you get cast iron make sure you look up how to take care of it properly.
Use shampoo and conditioner bars. These work just as well as normal shampoo and conditioner, but you don’t throw away a bottle when you’re done with it. They’re also usually better for your hair, because they don’t contain things such as silicones, parabens, and sulfates.
Buy a safety razor. This is super easy change to make, safety razors will give you a much better shave than a normal razor. If you take care of them, you could have them for many years, and only need to change the blade, which costs cents to do.
Buy reusable period products. I personally haven’t tried reusable period products because I live in a household where cleaning these items would be hard to do, but many women absolutely love period underwear, and menstrual cups. Even if you don’t think that those products are for you, please try using organic cotton products, these are much better for your health. I personally use Seventh Generation pads and tampons, and I absolutely love them, the pads are much more comfortable than pads I used to use.
Wear less makeup. Wearing less makeup equals less products that you use which equals less waste. It’s also good to give your skin a break sometimes.
Try to do all of your errands in one trip. Cars are one of the biggest greenhouse gas producers, so instead of doing a few trips to the store every week, try going just once a week to cut down on how much you’re driving