Figuring out how to have a more sustainable lifestyle can be an overwhelming task, but we can all make smaller changes in our own homes that are effective. To help you on the right track to sustainable living we’ve created some top tips on how to live environmentally sustainable, without having to overhaul your entire lifestyle to achieve it!
1) Go green with your decor
If redecorating your home is on your agenda, why not give a nod to the latest green home décor products? From toxic-free paint to furniture made from recycled materials, it’s never been easier to live environmentally sustainably while sprucing up your living space!
2) Stock up your cupboards with eco-friendly essentials
Using toilet paper and kitchen roll that has been Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified isn’t just kind to your skin; it’s kind to our forests too. The FSC promotes responsible management of the world’s forests and provides consumers with the confidence that their products aren’t contributing to the destruction of the world’s forests.
3) Environmentally friendly appliances
Environmentally friendly appliances are a great example of how we can live more sustainably, as well as reducing our heating bills. For heating oil users, oil-fired boilers are extremely energy efficient because they only heat water on demand, which reduces energy output and the amount of fuel required.
Other key appliances you could consider replacing are your dishwasher, washing machine, fridge and kettle.
You may not even need to purchase an environmentally friendly appliance. If you go and check your current appliances, you may realise that they already have an eco-friendly mode that you forgot about! Although eco-friendly modes tend to take slightly longer, they save energy by not heating up as quickly compared to shorter programmes.
We realise that purchasing new appliances are a huge expense, but if you’re in the market for something new, environmentally friendly appliances could be the perfect option for you.
4) Efficient central heating
For those who use domestic heating oil to heat your home, switching to premium kerosene may be an excellent alternative option to have a more sustainable lifestyle. Premium kerosene burns more cleanly and efficiently, as it doesn’t burn impurities. This means that you’ll be reducing your environmental impact as your home will be producing less CO2. See our previous blog post for more tips on how to reduce your carbon emissions.
5) Plant herbs in your garden
Instead of buying your fresh basil or parsley from the supermarket, why not grow some on your kitchen counter or in your garden? This means that you can reduce your food miles and save yourself a trip to the shops for your favourite herbs. Also, growing your own herbs means that you can have fresh herbs at your fingertips 24/7 and save money on your petrol at the same time! It’s a win-win.
Here are some examples of the best herbs that you can grow in your garden in the UK to live environmentally sustainable:
6) Make a few small adjustments
Having an environmentally friendly home can even mean simple changes like turning off your light switches when you’re not in the room. Not only can turning off the lights when you leave the room save you money, but it can help protect our environment and save the planet! This is because it reduces carbon emissions and other harmful greenhouse gases being released into our atmosphere.
Even filling up your kettle with just the right amount of water required to make a cuppa can make a world of difference. We Brits love our tea, and it’s still the UK’s favourite drink, with 100,000,000 cups drunk in the UK every single day. You can imagine the environmental impact we’re currently having as a nation from making tea alone!
7) Avoid single-use plastic
Single-use plastic is an issue that’s gotten a lot of traction in the last few years, and with good reason. Plastic was originally lauded for its strength and resilience, but this also makes it non-biodegradable. As a result, each plastic item we use won’t decompose for up to 500 years.
Many plastic products can be replaced by investing in higher-quality products that will do the same job for much longer and will biodegrade or be recycled, and are a great example of how we can live more sustainably.
For example, Tupperware containers – we all have a stash of them in that one cupboard that you don’t dare open for fear of them all falling out. Why not replace those containers with tempered glass food containers? The non-porous surface absorbs fewer bacteria than plastic, and tempered glass can be used in the fridge and oven.
8) Shop locally and use independent shops
When it comes to how to have a more sustainable lifestyle, shopping locally is a great option. It can drastically reduce your food miles, offer you typically much fresher produce and help to support your local community. If you don’t have a local grocer, butcher or baker, look online – there might be one nearby that will deliver to your area.
Although giant companies can be convenient, that doesn’t cancel out their environmental impact. For example, did you know that in 2018, Amazon emitted roughly the same amount of CO2 into the air as the entire country of Norway?
9) Look for zero-waste shops
These have become increasingly popular over the last couple of years and have started popping up all over the place. Zero-waste shops minimise packaging by encouraging you to bring your own or by selling reusable packaging, making them a great example of how to live environmentally sustainable. You can then fill your bottles, jars, boxes and tubs with whatever you like and only pay for what you need.
Many of these shops also sell cosmetics, pet products and green household cleaning products. Environmentally friendly cleaning products have the added benefit of providing you with a healthier and safer home. If you go green, you will no longer be breathing in harmful chemicals or absorbing them into your skin as eco-friendly products typically contain mostly natural ingredients (e.g. citric acid).
10) Repair, don’t replace
This can apply broadly as a principle across many different sectors. Many products have been designed to make it much cheaper to replace them when they break, and this creates mountains of landfill annually.
When looking at how we can live more sustainably, where possible, try to invest in quality items – whether that’s clothes and shoes, furniture or appliances and more – and if they break or start to wear out, have them mended instead of throwing them away. Things like clothes you can look to repair yourself, but if you’re not a fan of being crafty, you can always look for a local repair service.
11) Keep your car running efficiently
This is something people don’t always think about when it comes to how to live environmentally sustainable. Public transport is great in theory, but it isn’t always the best option, particularly for those who don’t live in urban or densely-populated areas. Likewise, while electric cars are growing in popularity, for many, they are still unaffordable or incompatible with their lifestyles.
Keeping on top of car maintenance and upkeep allows your car to run more efficiently, thereby reducing the number of pollutants (including CO2) it releases into the atmosphere.
12) Do clothes shopping in person and avoid fast fashion
Fast fashion brands can be difficult to avoid completely, but with apparel waste climbing higher, it’s important to minimise the amount of clothes you’re buying. Some tips include unsubscribing from fast fashion email campaigns so that sales and deals don’t tempt you, and doing as much of your clothes shopping in person as possible.
Shopping in person not only reduces the amount of travel your clothes have to do to get to you, but you’re much more likely to keep and wear clothes that you’ve tried on before you buy!
13) Ditch the disposables (unless they’re biodegradable)
Similarly to plastic, at the inception of disposable products, they seem like the perfect idea – use them once and then simply throw them out, never to be seen again. Unfortunately, the truth is a little further off, and disposable products are actually more likely to stick around – who could forget the 40-tonne fatberg found in London’s sewers?
When it comes to learning how to have a more sustainable lifestyle, look for biodegradable products instead of disposable. This means that they’ll break down much more easily and won’t have a lasting effect on the planet.
14) Unplug instead of turning off
It’s so easy when you’re done watching TV, playing on a games console or using your laptop to shut the system down and walk away. That way, when you go to turn them back on later, you don’t have to mess around with the plug.
However, leaving appliances plugged in means that they never quite turn off fully and quietly consume energy in the background. Wherever possible, especially if you’re going away on holiday for a while, unplug appliances and let them turn off completely.
15) Hang out your clothes instead of tumble drying them
Tumble dryers use a lot of energy and, while in winter they can be helpful, in warmer months, it’s much better to hang your clothes out to dry if you can. If you don’t have a garden or a space to hang your clothes up, try an air-drying rack or install an extendable drying line in your bathroom; if you can hang your clothes near an open window or extractor, you won’t have to worry about condensation gathering.
Thankfully, thinking about how we can live more sustainably is increasingly becoming second nature to many Brits. Efforts to save the planet have now been incorporated into our everyday decision-making, from the household goods we purchase to the type of car we drive. Of course, not everyone can do everything, but everyone can do something.
To find out how to have a more sustainable lifestyle with premium kerosene or HVO fuel or heating oil, contact your local Rix depot today. Our friendly team will be happy to provide you with any further information and a quote!