6 Ideas For Sustainable Living
Posted by Roseanne: Sept 16, 2017 • 3 min read
What does sustainable living look like in 2017?
It looks like an ‘Internet of Things’ connected home that optimises your energy consumption. It feels like accelerating to sixty miles an hour almost as fast as gravity in a pure electric Tesla Model S that produces zero exhaust emissions. It takes you on car-shared adventures with people you meet through an app on your smartphone. It feels like embracing a sustainable lifestyle at scale with world changing new technologies, not because of a moral imperative, but because it’s fun.
Given that climate change has already forcibly displaced 21.5 million people since 2008 due to weather hazards which is leading to a major refugee crisis (UNHCR, 2016), taking your role in a more sustainable future is probably the most guilt free fun you can have:
Here are 6 sustainable living hacks you can implement at home:
1. Zero Waste lifestyle - The Zero Waste movement is not a new concept but has kicked off in a big way over the last few years. Don’t believe me? Trash is For Tossers is a Zero Waste lifestyle blog with over 95,000 YouTube subscribers! If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a philosophy that takes recycling to the next level where the goal is to minimise rubbish going into landfills or incinerators. Check out the video here
2. Carpooling - Blablacar is one of the largest online carpool services in Europe with over 4m people using the service every month. However, the CEO Nicolas Brusson decided to “defocus” efforts in the UK, blaming a “puzzling” British reluctance to share a car journey with a stranger, according to the Guardian. Are we really going to let ‘British social-awkwardness’ get in the way of saving money, reducing emissions and having some cool adventures? Start a carpool at work. Go on. We dare you.
3. Get off junk mail lists - You know all those catalogs that you get through the post that you never ordered and never read? Those were trees! Don’t worry though, you can make it stop! Catalog Choice is a way to opt out of receiving mail that you probably end up chucking in the bin. Just to put it into perspective; it takes 10 litres of water to produce 1 sheet of A4 paper and 75,000 trees to print a Sunday edition of The New York Times…
4. Save on energy - Use smart meters like Nest or Hive; they’re intelligent internet-connected thermostats that save you money (and may make you feel like you live in the future) Nest learns your temperature preferences after just one week by using a machine learning algorithm. You can also control and monitor your electricity usage from your smartphone. By doing so, you can cut costs and energy consumption during times when you are unexpectedly out of the house.
5. Go electric - Ok you caught us! Sure, electric cars are a little more expensive up front but think of it as an investment. If you don’t believe us check out David’s story on how he’s saved £2000 in less than a year through petrol savings. Plus, it’s not just the cash saved on petrol (or maintenance and road tax). You can actually make some extra cash through renting your chargepoint to other EV drivers with a new Airbnb-esque type company - Chargie.com.
6. Reduce your food waste - There are lots of innovative apps such as Too Good to Go or Foodcloud that allow you to share your leftover or close-to-expiring food with people nearby. The Waste and Recycling advisory body says 4.4m tonnes of household food waste was thrown away in 2015 that could have been eaten. This is equivalent to £13bn wasted per year.