50 tips to help you live a more sustainable life
From little things, big things grow.
World-changing actions for a sustainable future don’t need to be huge, in fact: small actions each day will lead to greater outcomes universally and push our governments, world leaders and organisations to follow suit.
No one person is too small to affect our planet. It’s true; From little things, big things grow.
We all want to do better by our planet and our people, but sometimes we lack inspiration, time or we simply forget. As a handy guide, we’ve created 50 ways you can work towards a sustainable future and be the change you wish to see in the world.
1. Mentor young people. It’s a thoughtful, inspiring and a powerful way to guide someone towards a better future.
2. Don’t accept disposable cutleries such as forks, sporks and even chopsticks. Try to eat in where possible so that you are using ceramic dishes and proper utensils to avoid waste.
3. Another reason to eat in: mindful eating which can help identify unhealthy behaviour patterns around food; for example, overeating, or eating when you’re not actually hungry
4. Use cold water when washing dishes and clothes (this will also help the longevity of your clothes)
5. Use washable cloths instead of paper serviettes/napkins.
6. Install a water-saving shower head.
7. By putting a sticker on your mailbox that states ‘No Junk Mail’ to avoid paper waste.
8. Collect rainwater for your garden and reuse for watering the garden or washing your car/ bicycle.
9. Embrace diversity. Challenge yourself to appreciate the differences of others and see them as potential drivers of change.
10. Use LED lighting instead of incandescent lighting as it is proven to last longer, which reduces the need to keep purchasing bulbs. The light from these bulbs will give off light as bright as your old bulbs while saving you money.
11. Save on heating bills by keeping the heating temp at home between 18 and 20 degrees in the colder months. Every degree you pump up the heater means more of the pollution causing climate change, and an increase in your heating bill.
12. Avoid purchasing single-use disposable items such as plastic-wrapped vegetables and if unavoidable - buy minimally packaged goods.
13. Raise your voice against any discrimination in your office. Everyone is equal regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation, social background and physical abilities.
14. Say no to plastic straws, if you’re not quite ready to give them up, use a washable metal or bamboo one instead.
15. Bike, walk or take public transport to work. Save the car trips for when you’ve got a big group.
16. If you know a culture you’re challenged to connect with, try writing a list of values/behaviours you have in common; you’ll be surprised about how many shared values you find.
17. Use Microsoft notes instead of a paper notebook for taking notes or writing to-do lists; this also helps efficiencies in sharing minutes and actions.
18. Stop paper bank statements and pay your bills online or via mobile.
19. Turn off the lights. Your TV or computer screen provides a cosy glow, so turn off other lights if you don’t need them.
20. Report online bullies. If you notice harassment on a message board or in a chat room, flag it with that person.
21. Let your hair and clothes air dry naturally instead of running a machine. If you do wash your clothes, make sure the load is full.
22. Take short showers. Bathtubs require gallons more water than a 5-10-minute shower.
23. Eat less meat, poultry, and fish. More resources are used to provide meat than plants.
24. Freeze fresh produce and leftovers if you don’t have the chance to eat them before they go bad. You will save food and money.
25. Compost your food scraps to reduce the climate impact while also recycling nutrients.
26. Save glass jars and reuse them. They make perfect containers, particularly for homemade jams and fermented foods – Kombucha anyone?
27. Recycling paper, plastic, glass & aluminium keeps landfills from growing. Remember to wash these before loading them up in your recycling.
28. Avoid pre-heating the oven. Unless you need a precise baking temperature, start heating your food right when you turn on the oven.
29. Plug air leaks in windows and doors to increase energy efficiency
30. Replace old appliances with energy efficient models when needing to upgrade.
31. If you have the option, install solar panels in your house. This will also reduce your electricity bill!
32. Get a rug. Carpets and rugs keep your house warm and your thermostat low.
33. Don’t rinse. If you use a dishwasher, stop rinsing your plates before you run the machine.
34. Use cardboard matches. They don’t require any petroleum, unlike plastic gas-filled lighters.
35. Shop local. Supporting neighbourhood businesses keep people employed and helps prevent trucks from driving far distances.
36. Shop Smart—plan meals, use shopping lists and avoid impulse buys.
37. Buy Funny Fruit—many fruits and vegetables are thrown out because their size, shape, or colour are not “right”. Buying this perfectly good odd fruit utilises food that might otherwise go to waste.
38. Use a refillable water bottle and coffee cup. Cut down on waste and maybe even save money at the coffee shop.
39. Say no to plastic bags. Bring your own bag when you shop. Pass on the plastic bag and start carrying your own reusable totes.
40. Shop second hand. Brand-new isn’t necessarily best. See what you can repurpose from second-hand shops or online stores like Facebook marketplace.
41. Find out if you have a local toy library and rent toys for your children instead of purchasing – saving you money and unwanted clutter. Alternatively, visit a library and rent books instead.
42. Maintain your car. A well-tuned car will emit fewer toxic fumes.
43. Avoid facial wipes as it is a single-use disposable product. Instead, wash with a cleanser and wipe with a damp cloth.
44. Network with a diverse range of people online and engage in conversation to promote a healthier and happier world.
45. Maintain a paperless environment where possible. For example, communications to be done via email and encourage people not to print their emails if unnecessary.
46. Organise a No Impact Week at work. Learn to live more sustainably for at least a week: un.org/sustainabledevelopment/be-the-change.
47. Stay informed. Read about workers in other countries, industries and business practices. Talk to your colleagues about these issues.
48. Know your workplace rights to ensure your access to justice.
49. Cooking for more than yourself is a good way to cook more efficiently and save on food waste — it’s a great excuse to have people over and share.
50. Donate unwanted food such as canned or dry goods to your local charities.
At the H&H Group, we’re working towards a healthier and happier future and wish for you all to feel empowered and be inspired because together we can change the world. #CLED