wind turbines in the countryside representing sustainability

Easy ways to live more sustainably in 2020

It’s that time of year when most of us contemplate the year that has just passed and consider the positive changes we can make in our lives during the year ahead.

If one of your new year’s resolutions is to establish a more sustainable lifestyle, then we have gathered together some great tips to get you started on your sustainability journey.

Reduce your household energy use

Reducing energy use is simply about changing habits and will become second nature to you after a few weeks.

Here are just a few ways you can reduce your energy use (and spend) at home:

  • Open your windows in summer instead of using fans and air-con
  • Switch lights off when you don’t need them
  • Turn off appliances when you’re not using them (rather than leaving them on standby)
  • When lightbulbs blow, replace them with energy-saving lightbulbs
  • Dry your clothes outside or indoors on a rack instead of using the tumble dryer
  • Use less heating in winter and wrap up in jumpers and blankets instead
  • Install energy-efficient appliances as and when they need replacing

When the time comes to switch your energy suppliers, make sure to look into renewable options.

clothes hanging on a washing line outside a house

Switch your transport up

If you currently travel everywhere by car, this is a good opportunity to make some changes. Could you cycle or walk to work?

If that’s not an option for you, try to make more journeys by train and bus — public transport creates far fewer emissions per person.

If this isn’t an option either, consider car-sharing so it’s never just you using the car. Try a service such as Liftshare.

You could also look into upgrading to an electric vehicle to lower your emissions or consider moving house to be nearer to a convenient train station or bus stop.

Use less water

There are so many ways to reduce your water use at home — you can make a real difference with just a handful of changes.

In the bathroom, the obvious change is to take showers instead of baths.

If you already prefer showers, commit to taking quicker ones. Also, don’t wash as often — we all wash way more than needed!

When you need a new showerhead, switch it out for a water-saving version. You can also add aerators to taps to reduce water use there.

Turn the tap off when you’re brushing your teeth, too.

If you’re in the market for a new toilet, replace it with a dual flush loo or even a compost version if you’d like to make a bigger change.

bathroom with sink and taps

Use refillable bottles

Bottled water is an environmental nightmare because of all the single-use plastic it produces so, if you haven’t already, it’s time to switch to tap water.

Arm yourself with a few reusable bottles so you always have one with you and never have to rely on bottled water again.

If you can’t stand the taste of your tap water, you will probably get used to it over time.

If you’re not getting used to it, you could invest in a filtration system for a lifetime’s supply of plastic-free filtered water.

Back in 2018, we wrote a blog post on where to refill your water bottle for free in Leeds. Check out the Refill app for up-to-date details on this and other areas of the UK.

Never be embarrassed to ask for tap water — you’re helping the planet!

If you’ve got some leftover plastic water bottles, we wrote a blog post on reuse ideas for them.

Published by

Lucy Ravenhall

Lucy is a long-standing editor of the Forge Recycling blog and loves writing about her environmental passions.