76 ways to live more sustainably & intentionally in your everyday life.
Sometimes the most difficult part of learning to become more sustainable is not knowing where to start. So, we have summarized our favourite sustainable tips that have helped us along our own journey and will hopefully help you to figure out what your next steps will be! That doesn't mean you have to start doing all of these things right away (that would be crazy!). But maybe you pick one or two to start off with and gradually make your way through the list. You might even find your own ways of adapting more sustainable habits along the way! There are countless things we can do to help reduce our environmental footprint but it's up to us to make them happen!
So, if you're ready to live more sustainably here are some ways you can start:
Avoid "phantom energy" by unplugging all adapters, chargers, and appliances when you leave the house in the morning.
Reuse oven heat! After you turn off your oven, leave the oven door open and allow the heat to escape and warm your home. This is especially useful in the winter!
Cook with residual heat. Turn your oven off 5 minutes before the timers up, your oven will remain hot and your food will continue to cook...saving money and energy!
Switch to LED lighting.
Wash your clothes in cold water. You'll save on money and energy, and I promise cold water is just as effective at cleaning your clothes!
Switch your lights off every time you leave a room.
Hang dry your clothes.
REDUCE YOUR TRASH
Kick your disposable coffee cups and water bottles to the curb (not literally) and start using a reusable cup instead.
Buy in BULK! Hit up your local bulk foods store and fill up your own jars with whatever your heart desires!
Buy naked potatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, etc. and skip the unnecessary packaging.
Craving something salty or sweet? Go for the unwrapped baked goodie instead of the bag of chips or wrapped chocolate bar.
Avoid having to get to-go containers for your leftovers when you go out to eat. Bring along your own containers and stuff them to the brim with any leftovers you may have!
When you forgot your reusable bottle and are in dire need of a drink...choose the aluminum can over the plastic bottle. Aluminum is the material we recycle most!
Ditch the Keurig pods. Consider investing in a French press or coffee machine!
Buy fresh instead of frozen! Most frozen fruits and veggies come in plastic packaging. Buy fresh, cut them up your-self, and freeze them in your own reusable containers!
Use bars of soap over plastic liquid dispensers or refill the dispensers you already have.
Buy BIG shampoo & conditioner, cosmetics, dishwasher soap etc. Buying bigger plastic bottles will in turn create less plastic waste compared to buying multiple smaller plastic bottles!
Say no to that napkin you probably won't use! A lot of resources and energy go into making napkins, so politely decline if you know you won't need it.
Ditch the coffee stir stick. Trick: If you add your cream and sugar first, everything will mix together when you pour in your fresh brew...no effort needed!
Sub out paper towel in your kitchen for reusable clothes or rags.
Do not be a "wishful recycler". This can lead to contamination of recycling streams which can cause recyclable items to be sent to the landfill. Know what items are accepted in your region!
Save all your plastic grocery bags and Ziploc bags for a rainy day. Use them again & again to store dirty shoes for travel or wet bathing suits, use as freezer bags or bulk food storage, even bring them to the grocery store with you.
Ration toilet paper, tissue, and paper towels! Paper waste contributes a lot to our overall household waste, so try cutting your usage in half and save millions of tons of paper from going un-recycled!
Add a makeshift bin, box, or bag for recycling in other rooms you generate waste! This could include your bathroom and office space.
Bring your own containers to the deli counter!
REFUSE SINGLE-USE PLASTICS
BYOB - Bring Your Own Bag! Avoid plastic grocery and produce bags by bringing your own reusable bags.
Ask for NO straw when ordering a drink. Invest in a reusable stainless steel straw instead that you can carry with you in your bag.
Pass up gum and opt for mints instead. Yes, gum is primarily made from plastic and can take hundreds of years to decompose!
Avoid endless plastic that comes with take-out (containers, plastic utensils, plastic straws, packages of sauce) and dine-in at your favourite restaurant instead!
Switch to loose leaf tea. Tea bags are sealed together with polypropylene, a form of plastic. When steeped, tiny micro plastics are released into your warm cuppa (ew!). As a result, most tea bags cannot be composted.
Carry reusable cutlery! We carry reusable bamboo cutlery in our bags for whenever we may need it to avoid having to use plastic utensils when going out to eat.
Ditch the plastic cling wrap. Buy or make your own beeswax wraps! Check out how we made homemade Beeswax wraps under our DIY blog page.
Avoid products containing micro-beads! Face scrubs, body wash, toothpaste etc. Micro beads are tiny plastics that wash away into our oceans and get ingested by marine life.
Ditch the plastic disposable razors and invest in a reusable safety razor.
BYOC - Bring Your Own Cup! Make red solo cups a relic of the past by bringing your own cup to get togethers or asking your guests to bring their own cup when you're hosting.
Only buy new things when you need to.
Buy experiences instead of things. Movie tickets, sports tickets, plane tickets, cooking class, skydiving excursion, parks Canada pass....the possibilities are endless! Avoid those mindless, last minute gifts (especially around the holidays)!
Be an outfit repeater. Wear your clothes over and over again until it is worn out!
Give your clothes a second life by donating them, re-vamping them, or cutting them up and using them as rags.
"Having fun isn't hard when you have a library card!". Yes, I just quoted Arthur. Revert back to the days of hitting up the library for a new book. Or buy pre-loved books!
Borrow from your friends. Clothes, books, movies, camping gear, sports gear, etc.
Repair and care for what you already own (clothes, appliances, and so on) before buying something new.
WORK TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE WARDROBE
Old is the new new! Hit up your local thrift store and see what treasures you can find.
Avoid sale racks and "fast-fashion" brands (Zara, H&M, Gap, Walmart, Target, Forever 21, etc.).
When you do decide to buy new, buy clothes from local, sustainable, and ethical stores. It's okay to spend a little extra money on an article of clothing that is good quality and you know will last you a long time!!!
Be mindful of the materials you buy. Polyester, nylon, and acrylic fibres release tiny micro plastics when washed. These plastics end up in oceans and are ingested my marine life. Opt for natural materials like hemp, soy, linen, and organic cotton.
REDUCE YOUR FOOTPRINT
Buy local! Not only are you helping support local farmers in your community but you are helping reduce your food miles! Local food does not require overseas travel or truck transport and therefore has a smaller carbon footprint.
Opt for public transport. The less vehicles on the road the better!
Follow the 30-minute rule! If it's under 30 minutes, walk or ride your bike.
Skip the drive-thru and prevent unnecessary idling.
In the winter months, try to cut down your idling time when warming your car.
Combine your errands into one trip to eliminate the need for multiple trips.
Offset your carbon emissions! We recommend using Carbon Footprint.
Meatless Mondays? Try going meatless 2 or 3 times a week!
REDUCE YOUR FOOD WASTE
Meal Prep! Plan meals for the week ahead to avoid last-minute ordering in. This will help reduce your overall food waste by making sure you use up everything in your fridge!
Save the peels of your veggies (carrots, onions, celery, garlic) and make homemade veggie broth.
Compost! If your municipality doesn't compost try making your own in your backyard.
Plan your meals around what needs to be eaten first! This goes for food that is going expired, bruised fruits and veggies, and leftovers.
HAVE AN ECO-HOLIDAY
Save boxes, bags, and tissue paper from your purchases or gifts you've been given to reuse for birthdays, Christmas, etc.
Opt for reusable plates, cutlery, glasses, and cloth napkins when hosting gatherings.
Avoid wrapping paper and see what is around the house that you can use to wrap gifts! Pillow cases, t-shirts, cloths, brown paper, newspaper, etc.
Opt for no glitter! Glitter is tiny bits of plastic, that are hard to clean up and
Use compostable tape to wrap your gifts.
Buy a real Christmas tree instead of a fake, plastic tree. If you already own a plastic tree, continue to use it for as long as possible to avoid throwing it out or consider donating it!
Greeting cards that contain glitter, metal charms, ribbon, or felt cut-out cannot be recycled. Make sure to remove these before throwing your card in the recycling bin or opt for homemade greeting cards. Be creative with stuff you find around the house!
Avoid plastic eggs at easter. Paint and decorate real ones instead!
Don't leave the tap running while you shave, brush your teeth, wash your face or do the dishes. Reduce your shower time!
Reuse your water. Catch your shower water while its heating up or reuse your pasta water to water your plants!
Never run half a load! This goes for your dishwasher and washing machine.
AVOID UNNECESSARY CHEMICALS
Ditch the chemical-packed cleaners and disinfecting wipes for natural cleaning products.
Try making your own products next time you run out of your laundry detergent, all-purpose cleaner, or skin care products! This way you can skip the toxic chemicals and plastic packaging associated with some store-bought brands.
Avoid the store bought air fresheners and opt for natural air fresheners instead. Safe and natural candles, essential oil diffuser, or simmer pots with your favourite fruits, spices, and herbs!
SUPPORT LOCAL AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
Buy locally made honey and beeswax products to support local beekeepers in your area. Bees are vital to the environment!
Buy fair-trade and organic food (nuts, coffee, chocolate, fruits, veggies, etc.). This ensures ethical and sustainable production without the use of pesticides!
Plant a garden and grow your own fruits and vegetables.
Avoid products that contain crude palm oil. Support brands that are RSPO certified!
There you have it! 76 ways you can help make our hive a little greener. We would love to hear other ways you have started living more sustainably. Let us know in the comments below!
Much Love, TGH xx.