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How to Make Sustainable Changes to Your Lifestyle That Will Stick

How to Make Sustainable Changes to Your Lifestyle That Will Stick

Thinking about making some changes to your lifestyle that are more eco-friendly and sustainable? Perhaps reducing your carbon footprint, using less water, or eating less meat. Maybe you want to drive less, reuse more, or catch public transport more often. While 96% of Australians are aware of the issue of sustainability, only one in three are making an effort to make sustainable changes.

Making sustainable changes to your lifestyle takes time and patience, but it can be done. These minor tweaks might not seem like much now, but they will make a significant difference over time.

Identify where you can make sustainable changes.

The first step to making changes to your lifestyle is to figure out where you can start. Take a look at your current habits and decide where you can make small adjustments to reduce your impact on the environment. The changes you make don't have to be drastic, and in fact, drastic changes are less likely to last. Start with something small and build from there. Make changes that are realistic for your lifestyle. If you're unsure where to start, here are a few suggestions:

  • Reduce food waste. Plan your meals for the week and use leftovers whenever possible to reduce the amount of food you throw out.

  • Shop less frequently and buy only what you need. Take a reusable bag with you when shopping, and avoid impulse buys.

  • Drive less. Take public transport more often, walk or bike when you can, or work remotely when possible.

  • Switch to energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs.

  • Conserve water. Fix leaky faucets, take shorter showers, only do full loads of laundry, and don't use a hose to water your garden.

sustainable shopping

Research your options before making any changes

Before making changes to your lifestyle, take the time to research the available options. Check out sustainable brands and make sure they are sustainable and not paying lip service to the cause, such as Ethique. Use companies local to you to further reduce environmental impact for greater benefits. This way, you can make informed decisions about the best ways to reduce your impact.

  • Find out how much specific changes will cost. If you'd like to buy reusable produce bags, see how much they cost and where you can buy them.

  • Find out how much time they might save you. Do you need to drive to the grocery store every day? Can you save time by ordering groceries online?

  • Find out how much they reduce your environmental impact. Are there more environmentally-friendly light bulbs available? Will they save you money on your electricity bill

  • Find out how much they might reduce your health. Are there reusable produce bags that don't contain BPA? Are there ways to reduce your water usage?

Commit to one small change for 30 days.

Once you've decided on a sustainable change to make, give yourself 30 days to see if it's working for you. Start with a tiny change and make it a habit. If you want to reduce your meat consumption, try having a vegetarian meal weekly. If you've found it beneficial at the end of 30 days, think about ways to make it a permanent part of your life. If you don't like it, or it's just not working, try something else. By committing to one small change for 30 days, you'll avoid feeling overwhelmed by making too many changes at once.

Stick within your budget

Making changes to your lifestyle that are sustainable in the long term shouldn't put you under financial strain. The last thing you need is to start making changes and then feel forced to quit because you can't afford to keep them up. Make changes that fit within your budget. Avoid the temptation to spend lots of money on fancy eco-friendly gadgets and products. You can find plenty of free and cheap ways to reduce your environmental impact.

sustainable lifestyle choices

Remind yourself of the positives of making sustainable

You're bound to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of changes you could make to become more sustainable. That's normal, and it's a very common reason why people don't make changes to their lifestyle. To stay motivated and make sustainable changes to your lifestyle, it's important to remind yourself of the positives of making these changes. Start a blog, a journal, or a notebook where you can write down your reasons for making changes. Keep it with you and read it whenever you feel overwhelmed by the number of changes you could make.

Slowly increase the number of changes you make gradually to avoid being overwhelmed.

Making changes to your lifestyle is a process. It will take time to adjust to your new habits and find ways to make them sustainable. One way to make sustainable changes is to focus on one area of your life at a time. This allows the new habits to take hold easier and become second nature. This will enable you to make sustainable changes to your lifestyle without being overwhelmed by the sheer number of things you could change.


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