It can be tough to create – and maintain – a sustainable lifestyle. Even if you make big changes at the beginning, you can easily end up being overwhelmed by the amount of effort it seems to take. Combine that with the pressure to buy a lot of expensive sustainable items, and it can be very stressful.
However, you do not need to shell out for expensive coffee makers or new green furniture. If you are already doing little things here and there that make a difference, then maintaining them can be just as useful.
Use Efficient Appliances
Most people assume that ‘sustainable’ actually means ‘use as little energy as possible,’ but it can actually be very helpful for saving water. For example, a dishwasher might only use a few gallons of water per cycle, whereas hand-washing can waste upwards of six gallons in only three minutes.
There are cases where using your appliances can save more water and power than trying to do the same thing by hand, especially if that appliance also allows you to speed up the process. Hand-washing clothes or dishes may feel less wasteful, but a machine can do an entire load all at once.
If you have outdated and inefficient appliances, you might still be tempted to keep them around, thinking that buying a new one is not sustainable. Simply hiring a dumpster rental from companies like EWM Dumpster Rental makes it easy to get rid of old appliances that waste power and money.
This can also be true for any appliances that feel wasteful without actually wasting much at all. Using a small floor fan can be a lot less wasteful than air conditioning, for example, which makes it a much better option for a smaller home or space.
Reduce Disposable Use
Products that you use and throw away are the bane of sustainability. Many of them are very useful, but there are other, more sustainable alternatives that work just as well (or even better) than their disposable counterparts. Obvious examples are things like paper cups and non-reusable bags.
Choosing to use non-disposable items is easy, and even if they cost more, the cost is offset by how you can keep using them. Simple things like refilling water bottles and using rags instead of paper towels can make a massive difference, helping you avoid waste without even trying.
The less you are throwing away, the less you might end up being unable to recycle. Even things that you could recycle, like cardboard packaging, can still become a problem if you are throwing away far too much of it. Try to reduce your disposable use whenever – and however – you can.
The more physical mail you get, the more you will have to throw away. A lot of junk mail letters can have plastic windows or other inclusions that you can’t easily recycle, meaning that there will always be some waste. By canceling this junk mail, you can save quite a lot of materials.
You can often get in contact with local authorities to try and prevent spam mail from coming to your house. This is not always easy, and it depends on your local laws, but getting rid of even one or two letters per week can quickly begin to add up. It also means that you are not being hounded by mailing lists.
This has the added benefit of making sure that you are not being ‘gifted’ things as part of mailing lists that you would have to throw away, like mobile phone SIM cards. These are not easy to recycle or dispose of sustainably, making them a huge waste in your otherwise sustainable lifestyle.
Swap Out Lightbulbs
Using more sustainable and efficient lightbulbs can seem expensive at first, but they save far more money and power than you might think. Even if you have to pay a little more to get them, the energy usage is much lower, cutting down on your power bills and helping you avoid excess energy usage.
On top of this, they are often quite long-lived, meaning that you can keep the bulbs around for years without having to replace them. This can be a very good thing for homes that have quite a few lights, since you will not have to replace them as often, saving you a lot of money in the long term.
Remember that these lightbulbs generally pay for themselves very quickly, saving a massive amount of energy (as well as energy bills) without needing any other input or tweaks. Replacing every light in your home with them is a very viable option, and many people have done it purely for the savings.
Rely on Cold Water
Many people use hot water in situations where it really is not needed, and even something as simple as using cold water could save quite a lot of energy in the long term. A single twist of a knob or adjustment of a heating setting could change almost everything.
For example, you can use cold water while washing clothes. This might not be as comfortable at first, but it actually has numerous benefits in terms of protecting the clothing itself, and a cold shower can actually be a great way to cool off if you are suffering from a long spell of hot weather.
While there will always be situations that call for hot water, cold water is very versatile. Cutting down on your water heating needs can save a lot of money, power, and water all at once, three things that are a core part of being sustainable.