As you may know, sustainability is very important to me. I personally believe that it is the only way we get to leave a liveable place for the generations to come and the respectful thing to do for nature, our fellow men and all other living things.
I’ve shared with you my point of view on sustainable tourism, in which I pointed out that sustainability is not only environmental. Today, however, I would like to zoom in on the environmental side of sustainability and share with you everyday things and little changes you can make to live a more environmentally sustainable life.
Before you scroll down to the little tips and tricks I am about to share with you, there are some things you need to know first.
- Change doesn’t happen overnight.
Don’t expect to be saving the world by making these little changes and don’t expect to do it right every time. By making these changes and sharing it with others – people might ask about it or you can share it online – you will inspire others and make them think about their behaviour as well. Step by step it might actually change the world we live in.
- Do what you can and don’t get discouraged.
You might not get it right every time, but the fact that you are trying to live a more sustainable life is great! Give yourself room to grow and adjust to the changes in your behaviour.
- Learn from others and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
I know that I am still a long way away from living a 100% zero-waste life, but I try my best and make sure to learn from others the best way I can. Don’t know what farmers market to go to? Ask your neighbours, your friends or parents who live in the area. And if you have a tiny bit of social anxiety, like me, and have a hard time trying out new shops, like me, ask someone to come with you when checking out a zero-waste store or farmers market. It is not only easier for you to check it out, but also a fun activity to do with friends.
Reduce, Re-use, Recycle
I personally live by these three words, because I think they sum up what you can do in your everyday life to live more sustainable, perfectly. Let me break it down for you:
We live in a society that focusses a lot on buying and selling products, products we might not even need. Reducing the number of products we buy to the necessities will drive down the demand for products and therefore the supply.
- Think twice before you purchase something, do you really need it or is it just something you want?
- Buy food at your local farmers market. It is not only cheaper, but it also supports the local community instead of big conglomerates and you get your products with a lot less, to no, plastic packaging.
- Reduce the amount of meat and dairy products you buy and eat. The livestock industry is responsible for 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions(A.U.M. Films & Media, 2019). Cutting these products out of your diet is not only good for your health, but also for the environment.
Apart from what we buy, we can also reduce by the way we travel and activities around the house. A major one is a way we travel to work/school every day. The best way would be by taking your bike since this has no emission at all, but you might now have the time. Second best would be by using public transportation, mainly the train and underground. Doing this instead of travelling by car will reduce your footprint by 10%!
Around the house, you can reduce by taking shorter showers, turning off the tap when brushing your teeth, putting on a sweater instead of turning on the heat, turning off the lights when not needed, and so on.
Re-using products is also a great way to live a more sustainable life and save money at the same time. Why buy glass mason jars when you can just reuse the sauce jars from last night?
Get creative! If it doesn’t work, don’t worry and try something else next time. There are tons of DIYs on YouTube and if you need a little extra information, make sure to check out the most recent blogpost by OneGreenPlanet on materials to reuse in your own home (Baker, 2019).
Buy products you can use repeatedly. Cleaning cloths instead of paper towels, a menstricup instead of tampons – I have one and never want to go back! It’s easy to use, hygienic and zero waste. – and bamboo cutlery if you often need to have cutlery on the go, for example.
I think recycling is pretty straightforward. If you can’t reuse a product you bought, make sure you recycle it. It depends on where you live and how well the government is working on recycling products of course. Here in the Netherlands, it is organised in a great way. We have containers for compost, glass, paper, plastic and even juice cartons and metal can be recycled easily.
If you do not have easy access to recycling tools, you might need to get a little more creative and inventive. Think about recycling your compost/organic waste using a compost heap placed in your garden or a worm bin on your balcony if you don’t have a garden – like me.
Re-use you paper and carboard for arts and crafts with your children/younger siblings or donate it to a local lower school/nursery so they can use it for arts and crafts with the kids. Not only will you be ‘recycling’ the paper you use, but you also help out teachers in your neighbourhood. Win-win!
That’s it for now.
Hope these tips will help you to move forward in your sustainable way of life. If you have any questions or want to share the way you re-use, reduce and recycle, let me know! I’ll be here in my strange little town.
Lots of love,
</a><p style=” color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/B4iDZWVhL9z/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading” style=” color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none;” target=”_blank”>Een bericht gedeeld door Nienke 🌿 Sustainable Travel (@mystrangetowns)</a> op <time style=” font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;” datetime=”2019-11-06T17:18:10+00:00″>6 Nov 2019 om 9:18 (PST)</time></p></div></blockquote> //www.instagram.com/embed.js