After a dramatic year and many months of lock down, I started to get time to look at our day-to-day lifestyle at home. I realised there are two options I am facing, either look after mother Earth or pack my bags and line up with Elon Musk’ Mars colony plan. I choose the first option, plus it is not that hard to have a sustainable life. I listed 8 practical tips to share with you to start an easy, simple, sustainable living plan on this one and only planet we have.
1.Save on energy.
My mother-in-law always says “Darl, make sure you turn all the switches off before you leave the house”. Consumer group “Choice” found that if you had a lot of appliances that were inefficient, you could be paying more than $100 per year for unnecessary power.
If you live in Australia, you must have heard of the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme which means to help households and small businesses install a small-scale renewable energy system (solar, wind or hydro). The Australian Government will help with the purchase cost. As a family living in a NSW regional area we did benefit from this scheme and my last electricity was $66! I think it sounds pretty good.
2.Start a compost.
Australians produce around 540kg of household waste per person per year. And up to 40% of the waste is food. Time to start composting your kitchen waste into something you can use in your garden.
Compost has never been so easy as now. You can get a stainless-steel bench top compost bin from Amazon that costs $44.95. If you have a veggie patch, I recommend you check out Subpod. Their product offers compost and worm farm all in one system.
My mom knitted me a scarf from her old jumper that I still use every winter. I turned my old denim skirt into a curtain tie and some cute coasters. Re-use the zip lock bags again and again.
Recycle your kitchen packaging waste into some other use. The spaghetti sauce bottles turn into pickle jars. I know many of us cannot go totally plastic free in one day, but we can reuse the plastic bags for other purposes such as kitty litters or use them again for another shopping trip.
My mom always brings the fabric bag she made herself, it is one of her fashion staples. Today I am glad to see many of our leading supermarkets have stopped using single-use plastic bags. It forces consumers to bring their own bag or buy a reusable bag at the checkout. Why not make yourself a fabric bag that nobody has the same? I put up a YouTube tutorial for you to check out.
5.Cooking from scraps
We have so many food scraps left from cooking. Things like cauliflower leaves and cucumber peels. My favourite vegan chef Max La Manna never wastes any bit of food. All I need to do just get creative with the scrap.
6. Homemade cleaning products
Save some Orange peels for your citrus antibacterial spray. Bicarb soda and white wine vinegar are a household essential. I use bicarb soda and vinegar to clean my toilet bowl for our septic tank. WASTE NOT by Erin Rhoads is a really good book to read.
7. Buy less or buy second hand.
Do we really need that much stuff? Do I really need it? I found it quite helpful to ask myself those questions when I am in that shopping mood. The majority of the time I will walk away. Facebook marketplace became my new shopping paradise during quarantine.
8. Alternative choice.
There are many products out there can offer us alternative choices. Things like change wood pulp toilet paper to bamboo toilet paper, that will help us save millions of trees from being cut down. Single use products change to reusable products, such as cotton buds. Next time you have guest stay over offer them bamboo toothbrush instead of plastic toothbrush.
At the beginning 2021 let us revamp ourselves, be kind to the environment, look after ourselves make better choices for our daily life. “be the change you want to see” by Mahatma Gandhi.