7 Simple Ways To Be More Sustainable In Every Day Life

A lot of times we grow up in a certain way, and never stop to think. Talking from my own experience and reflecting upon it, it is very easy to just follow the known path, to do what your parents and those you have regularly contact with do.

7 Simple Ways to become more sustainable in everyday life. Small steps that are often easy to take in order to be reduce your eco footprint and be more "green" | Funky Jungle - Mindful fashion, quirky personal style & life blog

I remember that woman from my town, who was what we called "├ľko Tante". Eco Aunt. No not very flattering back then, believe me. Noaways yes, it would be more of a compliment, but not back then. About 20 years ago she already did those "sustainable" & "eco conscious" things like not drinking sodas or not using fabric softener, which at that time for me was like a totally outlandish and backwards and unconceivable thing to do. Fast forward to today, I find myself doing those very same things she did back then. Well not every single one, I don't have chickens, but conceptually. Not sure if that is because I've about reached the same age she was back then, or because I left my native area. Eco consciousness in general has grown I believe. Something I am very happy about.

Here are seven small and simple things one can do to contribute a little towards more sustainability. Because if everyone does a little, it becomes a lot.

1. Walk, bike, take the bus or car pool

Whenever you can, walk instead of taking your car. Take the bike. Take public transportation. The added bonus of walking and biking instead of taking the car will be a higher level of fitness. Trust me, I noticed those 3.2km each day I added by walking my son to school.

Car pool with people you know if you are going into the same direction. I do this once or twice a week for going to Karate practice.

I know in some rural areas (like the one I grew up in) public transportation can be less than stellar,  or outright underwhelming, but just implement whatever you can. An added bonus here is that my son absolutely loves taking train, bus or boat.

2. Buy Seasonal & Local

Buy your vegetables and fruits when they are in season. Not only is it more likely that they have been produced locally (or at least in your country) they are also usually cheaper during their native season. For one, because they don't have to be carried around half the world to arrive at your local shop of choice. For another because they don't need any planting houses or other specials to be ripe in that period. And not only are they cheaper, they also often taste better when they grew in natural conditions instead of a green house. If you have a fruit & veggies vendor in town or a farmer's market consider buying there. I can walk to my fruit vendor, so that's twice the brownie points.

3. Turn it off

Be it the light when you leave the room or the tap running whilst you brush your teeth or the car when you have to wait for the train to pass. All these small things add up and they do not only help the environment, they also help your budget over the long run.

In the same vein, take shorter showers in general and cut down on the full baths.

4. Avoid superflous packaging

Carry your own basket, canvas shopper, foldable shopper, whatever with you when you go shopping. I have both canvas totes and foldable bags, the latter ones are small enough to fit in most any sized purse I own. That way I didn't have to take plastic shoppers (or even paper ones) in ages. As an aside, apparently in Germany they have all but abolished giving out free plastic bags, you now have to pay for them pretty much everywhere, including apparel stores.

But that's just one part. Another could be to avoid products that are being portion packed.

5. Buy biologically produced goods

I know from my own experience, and talking with friends & family, that it is not possible for some people to buy 100% bio. A lot of these products, be it food, clothing or others, are more expensive, there's no two ways about it. In Germany there are low cost options for groceries, but even those are still slightly more expensive than discounter standard fare. Here in Italy, they big supermarket chains started to introduce their own ranges of biologically produced goods.

But anything helps. Anytime someone buys a "bio" or "ethical" product over a standard one, a signal is sent. And remember, as a single person or family unit we might only be able to move a couple cents or euros/dollars/etc, but if a lot of people do it, that's one hell of a sum.

6. Use reusable items as much as possible

By that I mean use things that you can clean and reuse a second or third or infinite time. Today more and more products that I once considered as "disposable only" are being introduced to the market. Or should I say reintroduced, because there was a time before the 20th Century when stuff like that wasn't made to be disposable and the "to be cleaned" version was the only one known. That is another one of these things that fall under the "inconceivable thanks to your social environment". One example would be female hygiene products or cloth diapers (these aren't technically new, but they've become way more mainstream in the last years)

7. Change your cleaners/detergents/soaps/etc

Consider using natural cleaners like baking soda, vinegar, lemon etc (there are many tutorials & how to's on the Internet) or exchange your old ones for storebought cleaners with all natural ingredients if you prefer.

Same goes for soap or other personal hygiene products. There are many recipes to be found on how to make your own cosmetics, from soap over tooth paste to shampoo and deodorant. Go ask your friendly neighbourhood search engine. Or again, if you prefer consider switching towards Eco & Bio cosmetics.

You can find a link for toothpase recipes here.

Bonus Tip: I have a balcony garden & every time I need to let the tap run to get hot water, I put empty 2 liter bottles beneath it to catch the cold water which I then use for watering my plants.

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