Choosing to live more sustainably is a key step to tackling climate change.
Our earth has been taken for granted for too many years. We must respect nature, learn to appreciate the strengths of nature and learn to live in harmony with nature.
What is sustainable living though? And how can we make simple and easy changes in our everyday life?
Sustainable living is simply living a more considered and balanced life where you, others and nature live in harmony and in balance. Resources are replenished and not destroyed. You and nature both thrive. You embrace a slower and more conscious way of living so you can be the best you can be and make the best decisions for you and your family and our world.
How can we do this?
The first step involves being kind to yourself and reconnecting with your inner wisdom and your innate pull to nature. Make a decision for yourself to step outside every day and absorb the feel good feelings of nature around you. This is one of the easiest and worthwhile steps you can make for your own wellbeing and for the wellbeing of the planet. Open the window, look outside and open your senses and heart to the natural beauty around you. It is there, regardless of where you live. It is there. Form a new habit and gift yourself a moment each day to connect with nature and your self.
From here, you have the control and power to make more informed and conscious decisions about your way of living.
We are breaking old habits and forming new ones. We are considering nature and the impact our decisions have on our planet. We are choosing to live sustainably and in balance with nature.
You can make a difference. It is all about making small changes to your everyday living.
Here I share some easy easy sustainable swaps to embrace in your home and lifestyle.
Sustainable choices in the home.
1 – Switch to Smol – the eco friendly laundry and dishwasher tablets that are posted straight through your door. Smol offers a free trial to anyone who wants to give their products a go. It’s a simple and easy process to sign up and order your trial product and then you have the opportunity to sign up to a subscription service where Smol sends you your products straight to your door. They also offer fabric conditioner and home cleaners and all products are plastic free. They are changing the home cleaning industry and definitely worth giving a go.
2 – Use natural products – switch to cleaning your home with white wine vinegar, lemon juice and bicarbonate soda. This takes a little bit of getting use to but the cleaning process is extremely rewarding and the kids will love to watch as the bicarbonate of soda fizzes away with the white wine vinegar and lemon juice. It’s like a mini science experience in the toilet. It’s great for keeping toilets free of limescale and for getting your oven sparkling clean with no damaging chemicals. The inspiration for this originally came from this article.
3 – Toilet roll. We’ve made the switch to “Who gives a crap”. A B certified company and a business making a positive change for people and the planet. You have the choice of opting for bamboo toilet paper or recycled paper. You are also able to sign up to a subscription and receive the toilet rolls straight to the door. Each roll has a comical or interesting fact too which is always a highlight in the toilet. My children have been fascinated with the brand name and always leave the toilet with a new insight to share.
Let’s think about sustainable food choices
One of the biggest barriers for people is time. People believe they don’t have time to think about the food they bring into their home and they don’t have the time to research the products that they are buying. It has become too easy to repeat order food online from well known supermarkets and too convenient to nip into a shop to stock up on things we run out of . However it isn’t that hard to switch and make a more considered choice for you, your families health and for the health of our planet. It takes a little bit of meal planning and you can make small switches to reduce the plastic packaging coming into your home and consuming products that contain unsustainable palm oil or other unethical / unsustainable ingredients.
This is our experience. This is an area I am still learning about but here are some easy steps I’ve made for our family to ensure we are making the best decisions we can for our planet.
If you have any other tips, apps or resources please share, I would love to hear them.
1. Source ethical, organic and local produce. This includes shopping with your local butcher, green grocer, fishmonger or local zero waste business. By shopping local and choosing seasonal produce you are not only helping support a local business but you are also helping to cut carbon emissions from shipping products from overseas for your consumption. Your local green grocer can help you to choose seasonal produce too.
If you are local to Bristol, give The Severn Weigh a go. The Severn weigh is our local zero waste store and here I am able to source organic produce such as tea, coffee, pulses, pasta, chocolate, cereals and baking essentials. This is a brilliant way to reduce your plastic consumption too.
Look online for a sustainable supplier. I am currently looking for a sustainable fish supplier. I thought I had found one but after investigating further the claims of the business the traceability of the supplier wasn’t as clear / ethical I first believed. Please beware of greenwashing and check the source of your products.
2 – Get baking and make your own home made snacks. This is a great way to guarantee you know exactly what is in the products you and your family are eating. I source organic and natural products from our local zero waste store and then make up flapjacks, banana cake and other sweet treats. This is a wonderful way to share the experience with your children too. Not only do they learn and enjoy the baking process but they also get to learn about the process of sourcing local and sustainable products and it opens up the conversation to discuss how we can help look after our planet. It guarantees no unsustainable products in all those sweet treats we purchase from the supermarket plus reduces unnecessary packaging.
Let’s talk about palm oil.
Unsustainable palm oil is a big problem for our planet and it is important that we all learn and choose to avoid brands that are not farming and producing products ethically. Only by avoiding these brands and making a stand together we can collectively demand that brands behave more ethically supporting the people and planet in the communities where they are sourcing palm oil. You can find out more information about sustainable palm oil via the Ethical Consumer.
This is where my personal journey began with sourcing ethical products. Soap was one of the first swaps I made for our family.
1 – An easy swap – choose a natural, organic or vegan bar of soap. Free from any nasty chemicals and unsustainable palm oil, good for nature and it feels good to support a local business too. Our favourites are from Olive and Rosie (another local business to Bristol who ship throughout the UK). Shampoo and conditioner bars are also available.
2 – Make up. Make a swap and support a business that is good for the environment with no animal testing and inspired by nature. I now use products from Zao whose ethos is all around producing organic natural products aligned with nature.
Sustainable lifestyle changes – clothing and gifts.
1 – Choose ethical, organic and circular fashion / products. Make a conscious decision to buy from brands sharing your values and making a positive impact for people and the planet. Here’s a few of my favourites. Although initially you may consider the brands more expensive, really consider why that may be the case…. These products last, give back to our world and are produced sustainably with no harm to our planet. Vivobarefoot have a great story and are now working to make their shoes circular. Atlantic Blankets offer a recycled blanket made from the offcuts of their waste. St Eval support a variety of local charities and the local economy. These are brands that put people and planet at the heart of their business.
2 – Choose to reuse, repurpose and recycle clothes. Donate your clothes to charity or someone else who may be able to use them. Share items that you no longer need instead of throwing away.
3. Purchase clothing and other goods second hand. Support the local charity shops or search for items via a local online marketplace.
4. Look for the “B certified corporation” logo. B Corps are businesses that have to follow a stringent ongoing evaluation to ensure that their products and services are ethical and working towards making a positive change for people and planet. You can find out about B corps here.
The information above is from my own personal journey to live a more sustainable and balanced life with nature.
I have chosen to approach each decision and lifestyle switch consciously and slowly. This has been a journey of 18 months and each decision I have made feels really good. I know there is so much more to learn and I am open to discover more.
Key questions to consider everytime you make a purchase – How is this product made? What impact does this have on the environment? Do I really need this item? Is there a more sustainable option? What is the life cycle of this product? Is there product or service making a positive change for our planet?
This is a journey we are all on. If you make just one switch today you are making a difference. Every single person counts. Every little decision counts.
If you choose to embrace one or two of these sustainable switches, I would love to hear from you. I would love to hear your thoughts, your story and your journey to live a more considered life with our planet.
For me, the journey began with an innate pull and a love for nature. A love of watching the birds feeding each day, taking pleasure in replenishing the bird feeder and becoming consciously aware of nature all around me. Each day I walk and look for the bees, the new shoots, the ever changing landscape and the seasonal changes.
The next step was to embrace this love of nature in the home and our lifestyle and always consider the impact of my own decisions.
What i have discovered is that nature not only boosts my mood and wellbeing when I embrace the great outdoors but by embracing nature in the home, I feel uplifted and hopeful that we are contributing to a better and healthier world for our children and grandchildren for generations to come.
Please feel free to share your tips and favourite brands that you have discovered on your own journey and that you love to support. I look forward to sharing in your journey.