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Before I start this post, I want to address that making any change is good! This post isn’t me saying that smaller actions aren’t worthwhile because they absolutely are. The ones I’m going to list are bigger ones, ones where you might have to pick the environment over money. Where you are embracing the sustainable lifestyle a little bit more. I am fortunate enough that I don’t always have to pick the cheapest always. That being said, I try to save my money as much as I can to ensure I have enough for the future/unexpected payments.
What is a sustainable lifestyle?
A sustainable lifestyle is by no means perfect, but one where you make eco-friendly changes. I consider myself to have quite a sustainable lifestyle even though I’m not vegan (in terms of food). There aren’t set guidelines to being eco-friendly, just you trying your best and being as eco-friendly as you can. Not everyone will be doing the same things.
5 significant sustainable lifestyle changes to make
Reduce/eliminate your fish consumption
While eating meat is worse, eating fish is also bad for the environment. There are quite a few issues with eating fish, and they aren’t talked about enough.
- Overfishing – Our oceans are being astonishingly overfished, to the point where species are getting wiped out.
- Fishing equipment – Fishing equipment is what makes up most of the plastic pollution issue. Every single time I go to the beach, I always find some form of fishing rope or net. Discarded fishing equipment still harms sealife after the fishermen have finished using it. This is also known as ghost fishing.
- Fishing methods – Not only does fishing equipment harm the environment, but so do the fishing methods! Dredging and trawling damage the seabed and all the organisms living there. They have a long term impact on coral reefs which are extremely sensitive, just touching them can kill them.
- Killing non-target fish species (bycatch) – It’s all very well saying you are only going to fish cod. But that doesn’t mean that you will catch only cod in the net. It just means that they will only bring cod back onto land with them.
- Dolphin safe labels – There is no way that fishermen can guarentee that a dolphin has not been harmed. Therefore, the label on your tuna means absolutely nothing!
- Fish farms – Fish farms have such horrible conditions. Due to the amount of fish in small spaces, if one fish catches a disease they all have it. This can result in overusing antibiotics, and of course all of the dead fish lingering. Wild fish is caught to feed to farmed fish which makes zero sense and is truly disgusting. Imagine eating your own species?
I strongly recommend watching Seaspiracy if you want to learn more about the fishing industry! It is a heartbreaking watch, but something we all need to be aware of.
Related post: Reasons why you shouldn’t visit a zoo
I’m sure you are thinking “here she goes again”, but it is the most simple thing to do and has millions of benefits. I recently bought a winter coat from Vinted for £10, I will say I had to have it dry cleaned, but it was still much cheaper than what it was originally. My best bargain was a jumpsuit for £4, which was still in the shops at £25.99! Books are also ridiculously cheap, often ranging between 50p – £3.
- Books – World Of Books, independant shops, charity shops
- Clothes & shoes – Vinted, Depop, Thrift+, charity shops
- Crockery – charity shops
- Games – eBay, charity shops
All of the categories above have charity shops in common! You can find such gems there, and it is so enjoyable. Read more about the benefits here.
Choose a sustainable energy company
My housemates and I are currently with Octopus Energy which I’m so happy about. I did a lot of research and they seemed like the best. With Octopus Energy, you can get £50 off with my referral link*. That was over 1/3 of our monthly energy bill so it was definitely worth choosing them.
Why you should choose Octopus Energy:
- All tariffs are 100% renewable energy
- They buy their green energy from community-led cooperatives which benefits local charities and environmental innitiatives
- Their prices are fair. During the energy crisis, they have/are spending their own money to keep our prices lower.
- They invest in wind turbines and solar panels
- Trialed The Big Dirty Turn Down – you opt in to reduce your energy by 40%, if you reach it you get the energy you used for free. I took part in a few of these and managed to save some money!
- One spin on the wheel of fortune (two if you are with them for gas & electricity) + when you submit a meter reading
Grow your own food
Growing your own food has a significant impact on your carbon footprint, even if you are just growing one or two things. I don’t grow that much apart from herbs and pea shoots, though I’m about to plant lettuce and bean sproutlings which I’m excited about! I wish I could grow more, but I don’t have a back door and it isn’t my garden so I can’t plant directly into the ground. I’m hoping that with better access to a garden next year, I will plant a few more things in grow bags or pots.
My parents have an allotment and I really appreciate having fresh fruit & veg right on our doorstep. They grow so much food and we are always eating something homegrown throughout the year! If you have room to grow your own food, I’d definitely recommend it. It saves so much money and is much better for the environment. I find weeding so therapeutic, and being out in nature is so beneficial for your mental health.
Upcycling can take a lot of time, and if you aren’t into DIY or crafts you might not enjoy it as much. It doesn’t have to be your own idea, that’s what Pinterest is for! I have began to hoard a lot of broken stuff to upcycle and give it another life. My dad had some socks with holes in, so instead of throwing them out I’m going to make sock gnomes with them! I was going through my clothes and found lots of socks with holes that I can’t fix. As much as I like sock gnomes, I don’t want lots. Instead, I’m going to make cup warmers and cloths (it might even be better because they can go over your hand!). I’m really looking forward to upcycling my socks, but I know it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Do you do any of these significant sustainable lifestyle actions already?
Best wishes, Cx