100 Easy Sustainable Living Ideas

Updated: Sep 2, 2019


{Make Simple & Easy Eco-Friendly Changes One at a Time}

Our everyday choices affect the environment, our communities, and the overall quality of life we have. In an ideal world, we would all have unlimited resources and time to accomplish a complete lifestyle overhaul. However, change that lasts is often a journey and not an afternoon project! Taking the necessary steps to start living in an environment friendly way is a process. It starts with small, do-able tasks that can have a big impact on our world. Here's a list of 100 simple sustainable living ideas to try out - just start with one.


1. Learn How to Fold Hospital Corners

the fitted sheets commonly used today contain elastic polymers, so next time you are due for a new bottom sheet, save money and the planet by purchasing a single top sheet


2. Switch to Soap Bars

reduce the amount of plastic packaging you purchase by switching to old fashioned bars of soap. Now you can buy shampoo, conditioner, moisturizers, exfoliants, and face wash in bar form


3. Use Paper Bags for Dry Goods

ditch the plastic ziplock bags for dry good items like granola, almonds, and banana chips


4. Switch to Waxed Paper Bags for Wet Food Storage 

waxed paper baggies are great for items have that have the potential for going stale, leakage, or browning 


5. Use Glass Mason Jars Instead of Plastic Containers 

just go ahead and buy a crap ton of mason jars for everything because they're just so darned useful!


6. Get a Marble or Bamboo Soap Dish 

avoid plastic in your bathroom by switching to materials that are naturally sturdy. 


7. Bamboo is Your Kitchens Best Friend

bamboo is an affordable, renewable resource that can replace trivets, cutting boards, storage containers, utensils, and more in your kitchen 


8.Use a Glass Tea Kettle or Coffee Press

avoid steeping your coffee or tea in plastic by replacing your electric kettle and coffee makers with glass stovetop versions


9. Get a Stainless Steel Percolator 

another great alternative to a plastic coffee maker is a stovetop percolator


10. Try Wooden Clothes Pins Instead of Plastic Chip Clips

wooden clothes pins are an affordable replacement for plastic and metal clips you use in the kitchen, office, and laundry room


11. Use Natural Cooking Twine 

replace twist-ties and rubber bands with this affordable alternative


12. Buy From Bulk Bins

boycott excess packaging by taking your own reusable containers to the bulk bin aisle at your grocery store


13. Buy Liquids Stored in Cardboard, Glass, or Metal 


14. Use 100% Cotton Dish Rags

instead of paper towels

 

15. Buy Vinegar

Store vinegar in a glass container to use as a multi-purpose cleaner 


16. Use 100% Cotton Washcloths

replace your plastic loofahs with this eco-friendly alternative


17. Use Steel Wool instead of Plastic Sponges 


18. Get Rid of Your Electric Coffee Grinder 

save energy and reduce the amount of plastic in your home by switching to an all wood or metal hand-crank coffee grinder (better yet, go to Kroger and use the coffee grinder there!)


19. Replace Your Electric Food Processor 

switch to a mortar and pestle to save energy


20. Buy Clothes Made from 100% Natural Materials

most man-made fabrics are plastic derivatives, so try natural alternatives including hemp, bamboo, cotton, linen, and leather

 

21. Use Cloth Napkins Made from Natural Materials 


22. Switch to Aluminum Foil or Wax Paper

quit buying plastic wrap for the kitchen and opt for these more environmentally friendly solutions


23. Replace Your Gift Wrap with Butcher Paper or Recycled Newspapers

most wrapping paper is non-recyclable due to the shiny, BPA coating it has 


24. Start Buying E-Books or Audio Books 

for books that you know are going to be a  one-time read, opt for the digital version

 

25. Replace Grit Removing Cleaning Products with Baking Soda


26. Stop Buying Bottled Water 

reduce your plastic consumption by purchasing a sturdy stainless steel water bottle and never look back


27. Buy a Spray Bottle

and mix your own natural cleaning solutions

28. Say No to Plastic Clothes Hangers 

when you’re clothes shopping, ask the store to keep the hangers


29. Line Dry Your Clothes 

save energy and lengthen the lifespan of your clothes by hanging them up to dry


30. Run the Tap on Cold 

use cold water whenever possible to reduce your energy bill and shorten the length of your water usage

 

31. Set a Timer for Your Showers 

use your phone or an egg timer as a friendly reminder to save water


32. Say No to Plastic Shopping Bags

bring your own reusable tote or ask for paper when you’re out shopping


33. Stop Using the Plastic Food Bags in the Veggie Aisle 


34. Repair Before You Replace 

whether it’s sewing on a button, tightening a table leg, or adding a fresh coat of paint always look for a way to repair your belongings before you replace


35. Re-Sole and Repair Your Shoes 

this isn’t possible for all types of shoes (i.e. flip-flops), but if you have invested in a quality pair of shoes, it’s worth looking into finding a local shoe repair shop

 

36. Re-Purpose Before Shopping 

take a whirl through your home and look for creative solutions before you go out to buy a situation-specific item


37. Hit the Charity & Thrift Shops 

buy used items whenever possible to save money and reduce the footprint of your belongings


38. Donate or Re-gift Unwanted Items 

it’s so easy to chuck things out until you actually imagine - or see - your belongings sitting on top of a landfill so if you can’t recycle or upcycle, pass it on to another person


39. Opt for a Re-Fillable Milk Jug Service 


40. Buy Eggs that Come in Cardboard Instead of Styrofoam


41. Use a Light Timer

if you are like me and terrible about remembering to shut off lights, swing by a hardware or garden store to purchase an outdoor timer


42. Choose EnergyStar Rated Appliances 


43. Purchase a Remote Controlled Power Strip 

stop your TV and electronics from being energy vampires by purchasing a power strip that has an on/off remote control


44. Switch to CFL or LED Lightbulbs 


45. Use Energy Efficient Cookware

glass, ceramic, and metal cookware are the most energy efficient items to cook with


46. Adjust Your Thermostat

even if it’s just a few degrees higher or lower than you would prefer, adjusting the temperature a little can make a large impact on your energy usage

 

47. Make Your Next Mattress Purchase Non-Toxic 

when it’s time to replace your mattress, opt for a chemical free mattress made from natural materials


48. Ditch Disposable Razors 

buy a metal or wood razor that uses disposable metal blades to reduce plastic waste


49. Launder Your Clothes with Soap Nuts 

not joking! this is a natural, sustainable, and low packaging alternative to the standard liquid laundry detergent that we commonly use


50. Compost Your Scraps 

find out if there is an affordable compost pickup service near you or a compost pile you can deliver your items to each week


51. Switch to Home Made Pesticides 

the internet is chock full of homemade alternatives that save money and keep the chemicals at bay


52. Switch to Recycled Toilet Paper 


53. Turn Off the Lights 


54. Opt Out of Paper Billing and Notices 


55. Unplug Your TV 


56. Unplug Your Computer 


57. Buy Re-Usable Straws Instead of Disposables 

or at least buy paper straws, not plastic


58. Use Re-Chargeable Batteries 


59. Donate or Recycle Old Devices 


60. Get a Library Card 


61. Take a Reusable Travel Mug to the Coffee Shop


62. Stop Buying Laundry Detergent in Plastic Containers


63. Line Small Trash Cans with Paper Bags 


64. Use Wood, Glass, or Stone Cutting Boards

ditch your plastic cutting boards and opt for natural materials


65.Stop Buying CDs, DVDs, and CDRs

these items often come with a lot of packaging and are very difficult to recycle, so use a usb drive or electronic files whenever possible


66. Stop Buying Q-Tips


67. Say No to Receipts 


68. Paint Your Home with Natural Paints 


69. Sign Up for Green Power 

find out if your local power station offers renewable energy plans - for example, I pay $4 a month for 2% of my power to be sourced from wind power

 

70. Determine Your Carbon Foot Print

visit carbonfootprint.com to evaluate the size of your carbon footprint

 

71. Switch From Liquid Dish Detergent to Powder


72. Quit Dying Your Hair 

going natural will save you time and money, make your hair look healthier, and literally stop chemicals from being dumped down the drain


73. Stop Buying Aerosol Spray Products


74. Re-Think Your Christmas Tree 

look for alternatives to live or plastic trees such as wood cut-outs or potted plants


75. Say No to Styrofoam Packaging 


76. Stop Using Single-Use Coffee Pods

 

77. Stop Buying Coffee in Plastic Bags

take your own container to the bulk bins or look for coffee that comes in tins or paper bags


78. Invest in a Tea Sphere

reduce your waste by using a tea sphere and buying tea leaves in bulk

 

79. Switch to Paper Tape 


80. Switch from Disposable Lighters to Matches 


81. Try a No'Poo Hair Care Routine


82. Use A Cotton Laundry Bag Instead of a Synthetic One


83. Replace Your Plastic Laundry Basket with a Bamboo Bin

 

84. Try the 333 Capsule Wardrobe Challenge

 

85. Keep Potted Plants 

counter your carbon emissions and get fresh air by maintaining high oxygen producing plants in your home

 

86. Opt for Organic Soil and Natural Fertilizers


87. Replace Plastic Laundry Hampers with a Natural Material Hamper  


88. Avoid the Landfill 

always think twice about buying a product that can’t be recycled or donated once used an ask yourself if it’s necessary to buy something that will end up in a landfill 


89. Avoid Buying Items with Excess Packaging  


90. Make Your Own Juice 


91. Bake Your Own Bread 


92. Recycle Your Junk Mail 


93. Stop Buying Synthetic Textiles 


94. Avoid Buying Disposable Products

 

95. Give Up Gum 

gum is actually made from plastic - just ask Google


96. Opt for a Plastic Free Toothbrush

 

97. Switch to a Plastic-Free Hairbrush


98. Buy or Make Plastic-Free Hair Ties


99. Replace Your Plastic Shower Liner with a 100% Cotton Shower Curtain


100. Buy Cotton Rugs and Floor Matts

having a rug on top of hardwood and concrete floors is proven to lower heating bills


Made it this far? Great! I’ve made this list available as a free, downloadable document. Visit the Freebies page to download this list as a PDF for personal reference. 


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