One small change can alter many things in life. Sustainability isn’t just about buying solar panels or going off-grid. It’s also the small and simple choices we make every day that are going to help us become more sustainable.
Here’s a quick list of 25 Sustainable habits that are easy to follow and have many benefits. Choose one, or a few, to try out each week and see which you like.
List of 25 Sustainable Habits
Don’t let your car idle unnecessarily
If you’re going to be sitting idle for more than 30 seconds or a minute, shut off the engine – it’s wasting your money and emitting CO2 for no reason. This simple change in behavior can play a part in creating a more sustainable environment for future generations.
Shut off electronics completely when not in use
Shutting off electronics completely when not in use is a smart move for both your wallet and the environment. It’s a small yet impactful habit that aligns with sustainable practices.
Take reusable bags to stores
Taking reusable bags to stores is good for sustainability because it helps reduce the amount of single-use plastic bags that end up in landfills. Reusable bags are more durable and can be used multiple times. Making the switch to reusable bags is a simple and effective way to contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle.
Reuse, Recycle everything you can
The zero waste hierarchy is a framework that prioritizes waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting in that order. This proactive approach can have a significant impact on reducing overall waste generation. This is one of the important sustainable habits. You can try to reuse anything as much as it is possible and then recycle when necessary. You can opt for reusable items instead of single-use products.
Fly less often
Flying less often is beneficial for sustainability as it helps reduce carbon emissions and the overall environmental impact of air travel. According to this website, a 1000-mile flight on an A320 NEO aircraft emits approximately 89.9 kilograms of CO2 per passenger. It is much higher than how much a person produces per day.
Compost kitchen scrap
Another one of the sustainable habits is composting food scrap. Composting kitchen scraps is an excellent way to promote sustainability because it reduces waste and helps to create nutrient-rich soil for gardening. You can easily produce organic vegetables in your garden without any chemical fertilizers. It is really a great feeling to produce your food organically and consume it. If you haven’t experienced it, this small habit is going to amaze you.
Take shorter showers
Taking shorter showers is relaxing especially with hot water. Hot water usage accounts for a significant portion of a household’s energy consumption. It’s important to be mindful of water usage. Short showers help to conserve water and reduce energy usage.;
Walk or bike when possible
The most simplest exercise one can do is walking. Cycling is also fun and helps us stay fit. You can improve your fitness while reducing carbon footprint and decreasing air pollution just by making this change. You can start doing this twice a week initially and then slowly make it a habit.
Plan ahead to reduce trips in the car
When you go on a family trip next time, make sure you plan the route perfectly. It helps avoid unnecessary confusions and also reduce your co2 footprint. You also save on gas which is again a sustainable practice.
Take public transit when possible
Public transportation is one of the prioritized sustainable habits. It helps reduce the number of cars on the road. Those who commute in traffic dense areas will definitely understand the pain of staying in the traffic for long. Just imagine yourself returning from work in a bus and you can’t wait to spend time with family but the bus is also stuck in traffic. You would understand the necessity to reduce the private vehicles for both environment and our productive time.
Use rechargeable batteries
Disposable batteries contribute significantly to environmental issues due to the toxic materials they contain and they end up in landfills. A single rechargeable battery can replace hundreds of disposable batteries over its lifespan. Remember the zero waste hierarchy discussed above?
Carpool with friends when going out
Carpooling with friends when going out is an excellent way to promote sustainability while spending quality time. Often times it is possible that the fuel cost will also be shared so it is going to be beneficial in multiple ways. Choose this cost-effective way to reduce environmental concerns.
Don’t throw out as much food by planning ahead
It is always a good thing to measure the consumption requirement ahead. You can store some leftovers if the quantity is less but sometimes mistakes can happen when calculating. Keep an eye on measuring the ingredients.
Set your programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, adjusting your thermostat by just one degree can result in energy savings up to 5-10%. It is especially great for buildings in extreme weather conditions.
Keep your cars tires properly inflated
Properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage by up to 3%, saving about 12 cents per gallon depending on the car types and other factors. It is safer to drive and also extends tire’s lifespan along with saving on fuel money.
Watch your electricity bill to understand usage
Keep an eye on the power bills you pay. This applies to finances as well but there might be some leakage current that could cause usage spikes. It’s good to catch a problem earlier to avoid further damage. You can make informed decisions about where to cut back when you monitor any unusual charges in the bill.
Buy local when possible
When you buy produce from local farmers markets, you are supporting small-scale agriculture and reducing the environmental impact of large-scale industrial farming. It is easier to feel that one person cannot change but everything starts with one step only. Instead of getting processed foods from companies, it is better to get locally from those who practices sustainable farming.
Use rain barrels or water collection system
Rainwater harvesting can be used for watering plants, washing cars, and even for household use with proper filtration. You can even create fun DIY project to redirect some of the water into the storage tanks. You can use this water for many things but drinking it might not a good idea. Read this post if you’re wondering whether rainwater is safe to drink.
Support ethical and sustainable brands
Supporting ethical and sustainable brands encourages responsible production and consumption practices. There are many organic clothing brands that promote sustainable fashion with right practices and materials that have lesser carbon footprint. There is bamboo viscose which is environmentally friendly and there is cupro fabric too. Brands are promoting sustainability these days and it is good to switch your wardrobe with materials that are good for your body and also the environment.
Close curtains to help keep your home cool
Closing curtains to help keep your home cool is a simple and effective way to reduce the need for air conditioning. Reducing the need for artificial air conditioning leads to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Saving on power bills is one thing but improving indoor air quality is also necessary. Indoor air can also get polluted just as much as outdoors.
Use natural cleaning products
Making natural cleaning products at home is also relatively easy and cost-effective. You can use vinegar and lemon juice mixture as an organic multipurpose cleaning solution. It is simple and do not contain harmful chemicals.
Buy used products
Buying second-hand products promote a circular economy. Explore thrift stores and second-hand markets for unique furniture pieces that elevate your home or buy electronics which controls the need to electronic waste recycling.
Run appliances during off-peak hours
Most dishwashers or washing machines can be set to run at a specified time. Why do we need to do that? Multiple devices running at the same time can spike the electricity bills. Plan ahead and run the devices in the afternoons or when you go out. With smart applications, it is possible to operate the machines easily.
Teach kids about sustainability
Teaching kids about sustainability can be an exciting and engaging experience. It doesn’t need to be in serious tone. Learning about sustainable habits can be a playful adventure. Encourage kids to create art using recycled materials. Passing on the right knowledge makes them adapt sustainable habits naturally. Introduce the concept of composting in a fun way to teach the “circle of life”.
Some of them might seem small changes but once you adapt to such sustainable habits, you’ll start to enjoy the process.