While some are obvious, others will surprise you and even make your life easier. Continue reading to learn eco-habits from r/sustainable.
Buy used clothing.
One of the easiest ways to reduce your environmental impact is to buy used clothes. This can be done by visiting thrift stores, asking friends and family for hand-me-downs, online shopping marketplaces such as eBay or Etsy, buying from charity shops, and even garage sales. If you're feeling a bit more ambitious, there are also some great secondhand markets out there (think: Brimfield).
Reduce your food waste.
Take a look around your kitchen. How many leftovers are in the fridge? How many cans of tomato sauce are on the shelf? How many jars of pickles do you have? It's time to start reducing your food waste by following these simple tips:
When cooking, make sure not to overcook anything. When it comes to vegetables and meat, this means using a timer or oven thermometer so that everything comes out at its ideal level of doneness. For example, if you're making spaghetti bolognese for dinner tonight and want your pasta to be al dente, cook it according to whatever recipe specifies—and then stop! A little undercooked pasta will taste better than a lot of overcooked pasta; likewise, with meat: undercooking meat is preferable when trying to achieve tenderness through braising or stewing rather than grilling or frying.
Pay attention when eating out at restaurants! If something looks like it might be too big for one person—like an entire pizza pie—ask for some extra plates so that other people at your party can help themselves without wasting anyYou'll. You'll also want to ask questions about portion sizes before ordering an entthere'sthere's even a chance that one won't provide enough leftovers; ifaren't aren't any options available, consider splitting an entree with someone else or leaving half behind on purpose instead of ordering two full-sized plates full of carbohydrates and saturated fat just so they both get eaten up before they go bad (which happens pretty quickly).
Carry a reusable water bottle with you everywhere.
Carry a reusable water bottle with you everywhere. You'll save money and keep your beverage cooler for longer, plus the bottle itself is easier on the environment than disposable ones.
Simple soap and water will clean your reusable bottle before it goes into storage at night; avoid dishwashers if possible since they may damage the plasyou're you're not careful about how long it spins for or what temperature it runs at.
Don't use paper towels.
Instead, use a reusable cloth. This can be a microfiber cloth, a towel made from bamboo, or sustainable cotton (or recycled materials).
If you must use paper towels: Buy unbleached/recycled ones.
Use reusable shopping bags.
Reusable shopping bags are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. They cost less than plastic bags and can be used for other things like beach bags. You can even make them yourself!
Buying reusable shopping bags is also a great way to save money because it forces you to think about how many items you really need in the first place. If you always want more than what fits into the bag, thenthere'sthere's something wrong with how much stuff you buy in general!
Rethink how you shop for groceries.
Buy in bulk. If you are buying from a grocery store, bringing your own containers and filling them with food from the bulk section is not only more sustainable (and cheaper) but can help prevent impulse purchases.
The same goes for shopping at a farmers market or co-op: avoid packaged foods as much as possible, focus on fresh produce and meat product that aren't pre-packaged and ready to go, and bring along reusable bags when you do buy something in packaging that cannot be recycled or compYou'll You'll also save money by buying less food overall!
Support solar energy and other renewable energy sources.
Solar energy is a clean, renewable power source that can power homes and businesses. It’s also available almost anywhere in the world—even if you live in an area that doesn’t have reliable access to electricity!
If you already have solar panels installed on your house or business, consider upgrading them to increase efficiency and use even less energy.
Sign up for electronic bank statements.
This is a simple way to save paper, ink, and time, and you don't have to keep track of your statement—it arrives electronically in your inbox on the same day every month. Electronic statements also cost banks less than paper mailings, so they pass the savings on to customers through lower fees and interest payments.
Keep a plant or two at home or in the office.
Plants are proven to help reduce stress, and it's been shown that being in nature helps people to relax, and plants provide a source of natural beauty (and sometimes even a little exercise). Plus, they'll make your office feel more like home—or at least somewhere green and alive.
The best part is that there are no rules when it comes to picking out plants for your space; make sure they're not toxic! Find something easy to care for and will be able to survive in less-than-ideal conditions. If you're worried about pets or children destroying them, try hanging them from hooks so that no one gets hurt when they walk by.
Consume less meat and more vegetables!
Another Redditor pointed out that eating more plants is also better for your health: "Vegetables are higher in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber than animal products...[which] will keep you healthier for longer."
It's not just about our bodies; it's about the planet as well. According to The World Health Organization (WHO), greenhouse gas emissions from meat production account for around 18% of global human-induced GHG emissions—more than all transportation combined!
Start using a water filter.
The benefits of using a water filter are numerous: you can save your wallet money buying bottles, you can stop wasting energy by boiling the water for tea and coffee, and the water tastes better.
However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and you must choose which filter best suits your needs based on factors like budget and environmental impact. Three main types of filters are available: gravity-fed, UV light treatment systems (like SteriPEN), or reverse osmosis systems that use electricity to push water through a membrane.
Water filters also come in different shapes and sizes; some attach directly to your faucet while others require installation by a plumber or handyman at home or work depending on how much space there is under the sink or behind appliances where they could be attached externally instead."
There are so many small ways to make a significant impact
These changes can be hard at first because we're all so used to doing things a certain way (like driving everywhere), but once you start thinking about them in new ways and making adjustments for yourself, it gets easier over time. After all: every little bit helps!
What did we miss?
We hope you've found these tips to be helpful! And if you have any more ideas, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.