Every day, we make decisions about how we live– what we eat, what we do, how we do it – and these decisions have an impact on the planet.
But what kind of impact? And how often do you stop to think about it?
If the answer to that last question is never or not often, then you may not be living as sustainably as you’d like to think you are.
Here at Cleanery we passionately believe that small changes add up to big change, and we want to make it super easy to make those small changes. Now you've got the home cleaning side sorted, here are some more tips on home to live even more sustainably:
1) Save energy.
Walk around your home and switch off any appliances on standby. Then turn your central heating or heaters down (or off if the weather is warm enough) and hang your washing outside (if the weather is clear) instead of using the tumble drier.
2) Grow your own.
Whether you have a large garden, a balcony, or a sunny window – you have the opportunity to grow your own. Plant a veggie garden or get your hands on a window box and get started on growing yourself some deliciously nutritious produce. No pesticides – tick. No transport pollution – tick. Saving money – tick. It’s a triple win. And then some. If you don't have the time and space for growing prodcue, why not check out our friends at Perfectly Imperfect who help to rescue tonnes of food waste in New Zealand every year.
3) Eat less meat.
We’re not saying go vegan (unless you want to, of course). Meat production contributes massively to climate change, as well as the pollution of landscapes and waterways, so eating less meat a few times a week will absolutely help the planet. Try going meat-free one day a week, for a month or two, increasing to two or three days thereafter. Need recipe ideas? Check out The Vegan Society’s recipes right here.
4) Cut unnecessary food waste.
Prepare a weekly menu, and shop online, so that you only buy food that you need for that week. Impulse purchases often happen when you arrive at the shops, hungry, without a plan in mind. And, inevitably, much of these purchases end up in the food waste bin when not consumed. Buying what you need helps to reduce this waste.
5) Get composting.
If you do have food waste, don’t throw that food waste away – compost it in a home composting system. Not sure what that looks like? Have a read about the best bins in New Zealand right here. And, if you can’t do it at home, check out Share Waste for your nearest drop off point.
6) Go paperless.
Get yourself a sticker that states No Junk Mail and start saying no to unnecessary paper mail, flyers and advertisement handouts. If mail arrives that really could be emailed to you,sign up for that service. Don’t allow unnecessary paper mail to fill your postbox or your recycling bin! Even better, while you're at it have a cull of unwanted emails as even these have a carbon footprint.
7) Buy in bulk to reduce packaging.
Or, better yet, visit your local refill store to cut out that packaging altogether. You’re somewhat spoilt for choice these days, when it comes to refill stores. But check out these almost plastic-free stores for some ideas.
8) Use reusable bottles.
Switch single-use bottles for reusable ones - or use a bar of soap instead. This goes for skincare products, as well as home cleaning products. Shower gels, shampoos, face washes – anything in a single-use bottles – are out. Replaced by low waste ‘just add water’ products... of course, when it comes to the home, Cleanery offers affordable ultra-effective home cleaning sprays that perform better than the market leaders. No need to compromise between gren and clean.
9) Buy second hand.
Need new threads for winter or a new cosy sofa for the lounge? Don’t dash to the shops – instead, buy secondhand goods! Fast Fashion – one of the main pollutants in the world – is doing an irreparable amount of damage to the planet. If you must buy new, make sure you’re buying well where you can, and consider whether the item will be getting enough use to justify its purchase. If you can, buy gently used clothing and household items from the many second hand stores or community groups online.
As Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.”
We now know better when it comes to sustainable living. So, let’s start doing better.
Remember – it’s about progress, not perfection. So, every day, make small steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle.