Often the biggest challenge to living a more eco friendly lifestyle is inaction, usually caused by overwhelm. So I’ve put together 5 easy eco tips to do now. If you’ve ever looked at your pile of recycling or watched the news and felt a little helpless, then I can reassure you that you’re not alone. So many of us feel like this, we want to do more but just feel that our little bit isn’t going to be good enough.
I truly believe that no action, no matter how small, is inconsequential though, and I actually think the small things we can do, can make us feel less overwhelmed.
I’ve highlighted 5 no spend actions that you can do right now and to make it less overwhelming, I’ve kept them super simple. I find this helps when I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by trying to live more sustainably.
Top 5 tips
- First up it’s the good old, switching off the sockets and lights, now if you have teenagers, you may well know how difficult this is as they seem to switch on everything they walk past! Electrical items which are plugged in and switched on, even if they’re not in use can still draw on electricity, so this will also save you money in the long term. It’s a great habit to get into, as it can also help to prevent fires caused by old/unsafe appliances. We all have them in our homes, the items we were given by a family member and may be years and years old! Switching off lights seems really obvious, but how many of us leave a few lights on here and there?? I’ve just got into the habit of checking all the lights when I leave a room and when I leave the house. Getting the teenagers to do the same is a different challenge!
- Organise your food supplies – I know so many people who do this brilliantly and if you follow Stacey Solomon or watch her TV show, you’ll know that she has some great ideas about how to organise food to keep a track of those annoying expiry dates. Storing foods according to their expiry dates is a great way to make sure we’re eating those foods first and wasting less. Food waste has always been a huge challenge for me and I’m determined to crack it this year! Anything that you know you won’t eat, such as things you don’t like or that the kids have decided they will no longer eat, you can pop to your local food bank, so that nothing goes to waste. For everything else, organising where it goes and what needs eating up first will really help reduce waste. Stacey recommends a great system where you have a basket labelled ‘eat first’, so that the whole family knows! This can also be a huge way to save money, I dread to think of how much money we’ve wasted on food we’ve not used over the years.
- Plan your weekly meals – again this is one of those things that I know many of you are really on top of, I have a bit of a hit and miss relationship with this! So get everyone in the family on board, maybe have a weekly planning chat, get everyone to choose their favourite meals and then you can plan from there. That way no one can complain they never get what they like! Also in planning, you can allocate leftovers, I try and plan the days when I’m working in the shop to have leftovers for lunch, it saves me so much money on having to buy things to make lunch. I also add extra vegetables to the evening meals so that they will stretch to leftovers. This really helps to reduce the vegetable waste too, as there always seems to be more veg each week than we can eat quickly enough. You can always just cook up a load of veg and freeze it in containers or reusable bags to add to meals if you find that it is likely to go off before you can use it.
- Switch to showers instead of baths – oh this one is a hard one, I love a bath, not so keen on showers, but I have started to alternate them. That way I still get to have a relaxing bath but save water and money the rest of the time by having a quick shower.
- Organise your waste and recycling – if you have a kitchen full of boxes and bottles then you’ll know what I mean when I say this is my least favourite job to do. So the best way to make this less difficult is to organise your waste and recycling. Make it into a little station for each thing, use tubs or boxes to sort, label them so the whole family knows what to put in each one. You can add clear instructions for each station on the wall above or if you’re short on space, reuse old carrier bags and stick labels on them. Having allocated places for each type of item will make it so much easier to stick to and also to then put out or take to the right places. If you’ve got kids then you can get them involved in making the labels and instructions. Getting the whole family on board with it really helps in sticking to it!
Make a list of actions
Many of you I know, will smashing these already but I know how busy life can be! And how easy it is for things to slip, so it helps to occasionally go back to basics and get some plans in place to make life just that little bit easier. You may well have different pain points, so spend some time making a short list of 5 simple actions that you can make now. Saving money and taking care of the planet at the same time.