I have been trying to live more sustainably for several years and while I haven’t quite figured out everything, I have managed to identify some things that have helped me a lot on my sustainability journey.
Today, I want to share those tips with you in the hopes that you’ll benefit from them too!
Invest in things that will last for a long time
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Instead of buying the cheapest thing you can find, buy something with the same function that will last you longer, even though it is more expensive.
A couple of examples of things you’ll benefit from paying a bit more for at first but will pay off in the end:
- Reusable coffee filter instead of regular paper filters. You can even make your own!
- Cloth pads or menstrual cup instead of disposable pads and tampons (I have a whole post about them here).
- Wooden dish brushes with exchangeable brush heads
- Bed sheets (buy some in linen instead of cotton. These feel so nice to sleep in and will last you longer. Besides, they still look good crinkled which means you don’t need to iron anything).
Ask yourself the hard question and answer sincerely
Do I really need this?
I always ask myself this question before buying anything, whether it is second hand or new. Most of the time, the honest answer is no.
Try it for yourself. You’ll end up saving a lot of money.
Swap some items to non-packaged or plastic-free
Here, I’m mostly thinking about soaps, shampoos etc. These are things you use up fairly quick and need to keep buying over and over again. But they are so easy to swap out for other, non-packaged items.
There are bar soaps, bar shampoos, soap nuts (for washing clothes) and many other things. You may just need to know where to look, so do some googling and I’m sure you’ll feel inspired.
And even if you want to use something in plastic, like hand soap for example, opt for refill and get yourself a nice-looking soap dispenser.
Using the most magical (yes, magical) of all cleaning products for your home
I’m honestly not even kidding when I say baking soda is magical.
It cleans really well and is extremely versatile.
Now, I have some other natural, organic cleaning products at home because sometimes they’re just easier to use, but I couldn’t do without baking soda. It is so cheap and functional!
I use it for cleaning, washing my hair and when I wash my clothes, I simply substitute regular laundry detergent for baking soda with 10-20 drops of essential oils and it makes everything super clean.
Buy second hand and refurbish
I’m honestly not the most talented when it comes to refurbishing old things but maybe you are.
If you (like me) completely lack skills and ideas for these types of things, just remember that a lick of paint will go a long way.
The shoe rack pictured below, I bought second hand (and drove home on my bike which… was a crazy thing to do to be honest) and painted white and the paint gave it an instant, more modern look!
The same goes for clothes – if you’re somewhat good at sewing. But it never hurts to practice and you can find cheap materials second hand that you can use for this purpose. Those who don’t try won’t fail but they’ll also never know the satisfaction of creating something yourself.
If you don’t have a second hand shop nearby but still want to upgrade your wardrobe, you can try “clothes-swapping days”.
Just clear out your closet of things you don’t want to keep and have some friends do the same. Then, you decide a date where you’ll meet over coffee or drinks with something to eat (though nothing greasy though as you don’t want to leave fatty fingerprints all over the clothes) and swap your old garments with each other!
Reduce meat consumption
You might roll your eyes at this one because it’s surely not the first nor the last time you’ll hear this. But it is honestly so important for several reasons.
But you might already know this so I’ll present to you another side of the story.
Meat is expensive.
And if it isn’t – something has gone terribly wrong.
Aim for swapping out a couple of meals a week and replace the meat with a plant-based alternative. Beans are great and a wonderful staple to have at home and they are super cheap.
Try DIY – it might be more fun than you think!
I’m not a DIY:er but I have had some fun in the past making my own candle holders etc.
If you’re just starting off and are curious about DIY, have a look at Pinterest or Etsy and see if you can get some ideas. It can be difficult to come up with something completely by yourself unless you have a knack for these kinds of things.
One thing I really enjoy making myself is deodorant. I make this one from Treehugger and it is hands down the best deodorant I have ever tried (and I’ve tried many a deodorant in my day).
I save so much money compared to buying deodorants and it’s super easy to make. Also, it vastly reduces the amount of waste I create, which is an additional perk.
I usually make double the amount that says in the recipe and it lasts me and my boyfriend at least a couple of months.
Those were my tips to make it cheaper and easier to live a more sustainable life. Do you have your own ideas? Please, leave a comment below, I’d love to hear what you think!