How to live a more sustainable life in 2021

How to live a more sustainable life in 2021

I was gifted a set of Bamigo socks for the purposes of this post. All views are my own.

From the outset, let me say that this is by no means an exhaustive list, and I’m not setting myself up as a paragon of virtue here. Like many of us, there are a few things I do to try and live a more sustainable life, like recycling our packaging and carrying a reusable water bottle around with me, but I know I can do so much more.

Hydro Flask make a great range of adventure proof bottles

The main thing stopping me is that it often seems like a lot of effort, and quite frankly after balancing work, kids, blogging, life and everything else in between, I have very little energy to contemplate major life changes.

But what if I could live a more sustainable life by making tiny changes that don’t involve lots of upheaval or disruption to our daily life?

Here are a few ideas that anyone can do to make some positive changes and do a bit of good for the environment.

Clothing

It is well documented that the fashion industry has an enormously negative impact on the environment. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has calculated the fashion industry produces 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions every year, while it is estimated to use around 1.5 trillion litres of water annually. It also contributes to pollution, through its use of chemicals and microplastics.

We all need clothes, so what options are there for choosing more sustainable options?

Firstly, pay attention to what your clothes are made from. I have previously written about clothes made from coffee, and recently we have been wearing some lovely socks made from bamboo. Bamigo produce a range of sustainable clothing made from bamboo and organic cotton.

To make one kilo of cotton, 8,000 litres of water is needed. With that one kilo of cotton, only a single pair of jeans can be made. In contrast, bamboo grows naturally and needs no artificial watering. Bamboo shoots can grow a metre each day.

https://bamigo.com/gb/about-us

The socks are beautifully soft and comfortable, which is great if you’re like us and always on your feet. They also wash really well, I’ve washed them several times and they are still as soft as ever. It has definitely made me more aware of what our clothes are made from, and more interested in searching for more sustainable options.

Loving my snuggly Bamigo socks

Secondly, limit how many new clothes you buy. This isn’t a worry for me, as I rarely buy new clothes, but going forward I definitely want to buy fewer but better quality basic items that will last, instead of lots of cheap clothing that falls apart after a few wears.

I am also keen for charity shops to reopen, so I can start shopping for second hand stuff. I’m good at using hand me downs for the kids, but there’s no reason I can’t do it more for me. I have also invested in a sewing machine (I know, a bit of a lockdown cliche), so want to start making a few items, or at least upcycling some old bits and bobs to make some new items. (I need to stop watching The Sewing Bee until my skills match my ambitions!)

Health and Beauty

There are some easy wins around the home that anyone can do to live more sustainably. For example, I am a big fan of flannels, and always have a stack ready to clean up grubby kids (and adults!). Then I can chuck them in the washing machine and use them again and again. SO much better than using copious amounts of wet wipes. Likewise, I also use old fashioned dish cloths again and again, rather than throwing away and buying new every week.

I have also started using reusable wipes to take my make up off. I’m planning to make a load for myself once I’ve got time to whip some up on my sewing machine.

Reusable pads like this are a great alternative to cotton wool

In the health category, I’m also going to add in the idea of going meat free one day a week in order to help limit climate change and protect the world’s resources. We are a meat eating household, but we easily manage a vegetarian meal at least once a week. The Meat Free Monday Cookbook is one of my favourite recipe books and has so many ideas for cutting down.

Walk More

Lockdown has been a hard, hard time, but it has had one or two advantages, one being that we have reassessed what is important to us and what sort of lifestyle we want to live. We feel that we are very lucky in that the vast majority of our life is within walking distance. We walk to school, I can walk to work, our hairdressers, dentist, mechanic and doctors are all a few minutes walk away. Luke has always worked from home and so we have got rid of our second vehicle and, once Ollie starts school in September 2022 and we stop having to drive to nursery, we’ll hardly use our one car very much.

There are lots of more sustainable transport methods available now

Both me and Luke have also been making use of our local e-scooter hire scheme. I need to update my post about this, as the scheme has undergone a few changes and improvements and I have a better view now I’ve been using it for longer, but needless to say, more eco friendly transport methods are a great way to live a more sustainable life.

Avoid Landfill

I have been trying to avoid sending stuff to landfill as much as possible, not just to avoid the enormous queues to get in to our local tip, but to live more sustainably.

So many things can be sold on Facebook or local Neighbourhood apps like NextDoor or selling apps like Vinted, if I have something that isn’t worth much I give it away for free. It saves so many things going to landfill. For example, I sold a couple of cheap cat litter trays recently that were worth next to nothing and I would have probably thrown away in the past, but it did someone a good turn and helped me to declutter.

As I said at the beginning, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but hopefully gives a few easy ideas. If we all just do a couple of extra things, it can make a huge difference.

What is your best tip for living a more sustainable life?

The following are affiliate links to things that I personally own and use in my quest to live more sustainably.

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Comments

  • Kaz - The3amDiary.com Kaz - The3amDiary.com April 08, at 12:00

    Some really helpful ideas and tips here. I wish we had a local escooter scheme! I’m trying to get Lily to talk about ways to live more sustainably so she grows up with them being normal choices for her rather than just an alternative option. There is so much more we can do and especially when I’m camping I’m guilty of choosing pre-packaged food etc for simplicity and need to think of alternatives. We already have reusable wipes, straws, our own bowls etc rather than single-use, just food-wise I hope to plan more now we have a better cooler box 🙂 #AdventureCalling

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  • Sarah @AdventureAcces Sarah @AdventureAcces April 23, at 15:24

    Such a great post. One of my favourite sayings is “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something”. With regard to my clothes, I only buy second hand now except for underwear. I love looking through charity shops and on ebay for some great bargains. These are all great tips you have too.

    Reply
  • Lauren Lauren April 29, at 17:00

    I love the idea of an eScooter scheme, and also the Sewing Bee 🙂

    I’ve been vegan for about 6 years now, and in that time, some of the meat alternatives have improved so much, which can make reducing meat consumption a bit easier. (though the caveat is, I may have forgotten what some stuff tastes like 😀 )

    We’ve also switched to natural soap, shampoo and conditioner bars that come in little cardboard boxes rather than the bottles. I have to say, for me, the transition from regular shampoo to natural shampoo was hard work. Ponytails were my friend, as my hair was pretty manky looking for a while. But stubbornness prevailed, and I have a bar that suits me now, hair is shiny again and there are a lot less plastic bottles used in our house now.

    #AdventureCalling

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