10 ways you can easily switch to a more sustainable lifestyle

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • With these simple step-by-step changes, you’ll be living an eco-friendlier existence before you know it

    Words by Chantel Pereira

    For those just setting off on the path to a more sustainable lifestyle, making changes can seem daunting at first. But initiating an eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t necessarily have to mean going plastic-free cold turkey, or ditching the meat overnight – it can be a simple matter of taking things one step at a time.

    And you know what the best part is? It can all start from home. With household consumption attributing to up to 60% of all greenhouse gases, it’s vital for us to understand the small changes we can make within our humble little abodes to make the world a better place.

    If you’re not quite sure where to begin, then check out OLIO. Dedicated to ending food waste, the groundbreaking app encourages neighbours across the UK to share their leftover with one another to tackle wasteful attitudes and activities.

    Now in action with a new ‘GOALS’ feature, app users can receive practical prompts on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle from home. From switching to bamboo toothbrushes to simply mowing the lawn less regularly, these changes couldn’t be any easier. No excuses now…

    sustainable lifestyle

    Getty Images

    Easy ways to switch to a more sustainable lifestyle:

    1. Replace your plastic toothbrush with a bamboo one

    Did you know that every plastic toothbrush ever created still exists in the world? That’s right, plastic toothbrushes take around 400 years to decompose which causes much strain to the environment. Instead, opt for a greener, bamboo alternative.

    2. Educate yourself on sustainable living

    Watch classics such as “Before the Flood”, “Down to Earth with Zac Efron” or read Naomi Klein’s “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate”. It’s always good to do research on your own and understand the importance of sustainable living for your  own benefit before you make the change.

    3. Switch to an eco-friendly savings account

    Sadly, some banks aren’t too bothered by environmental destruction and invest in environmentally damaging industries for the benefit of their profits. To avoid supporting environmental neglect, you could opt for banks that are more ethical and socially responsible. For example, Co-operative Bank, Triodos Bank and Charity Bank are some of the most eco-friendly banks in the UK.

    4. Order a food waste caddy

    This is used to dispose of your raw and cooked food in order to prevent food from ending up in landfills. When food waste rots in landfills it decomposes without oxygen and emits a lot of methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. So, you know, best to avoid if possible…

    5. Subscribe to an eco-friendly food delivery service

    Also ensure you’re buying food that’s local and in-season. Not only will this option benefit you health-wise, it will also help to cut down on waste. You could try Ambican, Eco To Go or Enviropack amongst several other sustainable food packaging options in the UK.

    6. Let the garden grow

    One of the easiest changes you can implement would to try mowing the lawn less regularly. By letting it grow for up to four weeks at a time, more wildlife can enjoy it and it’s also likely to become more flood resistant.

    7. Air dry and spot-clean your clothes

    Washing and drying your clothes does more damage to the environment than you realise. A lot of energy is used to heat the water in the wash and to run the dry cycle, so why not make the best use of the heat wave we’re experiencing and air dry your clothes?

    8. Join your local library

    Instead of buying new books, wipe the dust off your own library card and borrow them instead.

    9. Do some gardening

    You could grow your own fruit, veg and herbs in your very own garden. If you live in a flat and have lots of light peeping through, there’s lots you can do to nurture plants, even in a small space.

    10. Air dry your locks

    Ditch the hairdryer to be kind to the planet and your hair by letting your tresses dry naturally. This will allow your hair to retain its natural moisture and also conserve a lot of the energy that hair or blow dryers take up.

    Reading now

    Popular Life stories