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Updated by Nathalie Martin on Dec 30, 2017
Headline for Five Essential Steps for Sustainable Living
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Five Essential Steps for Sustainable Living

When I was younger, I believed that a genius scientist was going to come along with a miracle cure for climate change and that everything would work out with little help from me. As I've matured, I have come to realise that it in fact is our collective responsibility to heal the damage we have caused, and do our best to leave as small a footprint as possible for future generations. Since then, I have really tried to move towards more sustainable living, and here are my five essential steps!

Grow Your Own Fruit & Vegetables

I discovered my green fingers last year, and since then have been having a fab time growing my own herbs and vegetables. You don’t even need to have a super-big garden, just a few square-feet in your yard or on your patio is plenty of space! Even if you don’t have an outside area, you can always grow some herbs on a sunny, south-facing windowsill.

You should look to make sure that your foliage doesn’t touch cold windows as it can cause damage to its leaves. Also, make sure that you water them enough so that they are moist but not too soggy and drowning in too much water, if that happens then you can just drain the saucers after watering.

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Treat Yourself to Some Sustainable Clothing

Treat Yourself to Some Sustainable Clothing

Shopping is one of my favourite things, especially shopping for shoes! However, after having gone through way too many pairs over the last year, I have started to look at cutting down on the number of new shoes I buy, and am looking at purchasing a few sustainable pairs that should last longer. A good friend of mine became a vegan last year, and she has already introduced me to some fab vegan shoes, and explained how they have much less of an impact upon the environment.

Walk or Bike Whenever Possible

If you make the effort to walk or cycle as much as possible, not only are you going to make yourself super-healthy, but you are also doing your bit to reduce the amount of pollution in your local area. Just like in my hometown of Brighton, more and more cities are starting to invest in bicycle-sharing schemes where you can ‘pay as you ride’ and drop the bike off near or at your final destination. I absolutely love cycling, so it has made me fall in love with my city just that little bit more!

If you are not lucky enough to have a scheme in your town or city, then having a look on local advert websites, such as Gumtree, can be a fab idea, as you will often find someone selling a basic bicycle for around £25.

Reduce Household Energy Usage

This is one that I am guilty of way too often, and the hubby and I often end up arguing after I have gone out left the lights on…again! I am taking steps to make sure that I am more energy-conscious though, and have been looking at ways that we can keep our household energy usage to a minimum. Here are my top five tips for conserving energy usage:

  1. I know that it can be a real pain, but make sure that you turn-off appliances at the wall socket when you are not using them.
  2. If you haven’t done so already, replacing just one inefficient light bulb with an energy saving one could save you over £75 for the lifetime of the bulb. They also last up to 12 times longer compared to ordinary lightbulbs.
  3. Draught-proof stubborn sources of external air; windows, doors, and loft-hatches can be the main ways in which your household heat escapes, so make sure that you get them draught-proofed and keeping you warm!
  4. Radiator reflector panels can be fitted behind your radiators and can reflect 95% of your heat back into the room.
  5. Going double-glazed is a fab way of reducing your energy bills in the long-term and will also help to increase the resell value of your home in the future.
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Say No to Spam

Say No to Spam

If you are anything like me, the sight of walking through your front door and being greeted by marketing and local delivery leaflets makes me cry a little inside. Not only do I not need several identical leaflets reminding me of the offers my local pizza place has at the moment, but the thought that hundreds of trees having been destroyed for something so trivial genuinely makes me feel more than a little angry!

Instead of sorting your daily junk mail into your recycling every day, get in touch with your local distributing company to have your name scrubbed from their mailing list. My hubby also went out and bought us a “no junk mail” sign to put above our letterbox, which has worked wonders!