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51 Sustainable Changes You Can Make This Year

Every day we have the opportunity to make our lives a little less wasteful and a little more sustainable. You can bring a reusable mug to the coffee shop with you in the morning, or you can commit to reducing your consumption, in your closet or in your pantry. Little changes add up!

Pick a change or two (or twelve!) off this list and start making more “eco-wise choices” in this new year. Nine times out of ten, they will also be the most frugal option! I for one will be picking up lonely bananas whenever I see them, cutting down on spontaneous shopping, and air drying all our laundry at home.

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51 Sustainable Changes to Implement

  1. Make your morning coffee with a French press or reusable filter (read how to have a zero waste coffee routine here)
  2. Swap your lightbulbs to LEDs or CFLs
  3. Wash your laundry with cold water and don’t overfill
  4. Use a reusable water bottle at the gym and swear off plastic water bottles for good
  5. Purchase a few air-purifying houseplants for your common area
  6. Eat less meat (or none at all)
  7. Buy secondhand clothing instead of new and have a tailor perfect what you find
  8. Commute by bike if you’re able
  9. Learn to compost
  10. Switch to rechargeable batteries and dispose of old batteries properly
  11. Pick up funny-looking produce at the grocery store
  12. Only run a full dishwasher or load of laundry
  13. Take a walk every day
  14. Switch from disposable razors to a chic, reusable safety razor
  15. Cut junk mail out of your life
  16. Use a wash bin to rinse clean dishes and reduce water waste
  17. Eat more local fruits and vegetables
  18. Shop in town
  19. Ask for a mug when staying in at a coffee shop
  20. Learn how to regrow your kitchen scraps
  21. Pack a lunch box
  22. Bring your own container for leftovers when eating out
  23. Ditch disposable sponges in favor of a compostable scrub brush
  24. Don’t turn on the lights for as long as possible
  25. Make your own laundry detergent
  26. Ditch environmentally damaging q-tips and buy reusable q-tips instead
  27. Turn outdated printed materials into scrap paper
  28. Install a bidet (or use eco-friendly toilet paper)
  29. Pick up a lonely banana in the produce aisle
  30. Turn off your computer at night
  31. Start using cloth towels in the kitchen 
  32. Air dry your laundry using a portable drying rack and an open window
  33. Ask for no straw when you order out
  34. Gift experiences more often than you gift things
  35. Donate or sell unused items in good condition
  36. Make friends with your cobbler
  37. Conduct a quick energy audit of your home
  38. Ditch your plastic toothbrush and go bamboo instead
  39. Try to avoid palm oil whenever possible (here’s why)
  40. Vote
  41. Borrow for short-term needs
  42. Keep a pantry stocked with staples
  43. Collect rainwater to water your garden and houseplants
  44. Learn how to preserve foods by canning
  45. Buy a pair of slippers and keep the heat no higher than 68 during the day
  46. Use zero waste makeup
  47. Make your own all-purpose cleaning spray
  48. Store your food properly so it’ll last longer and cook more at home
  49. Carpool or take public transit whenever possible
  50. Buy your spices and teas in bulk
  51. Host a clothes swap with friends

Did you pick a few? What changes will you be making?

Mary "Rose" Hampton

Monday 17th of February 2020

Am so gratful to have found you here. Tying both zero waste and sustainable living together here is just pure genius at work. Will be referring to you often and staying in touch. The Pinterest site i am working on is an attempt to create a vision board for a documentary film i want to make. And i certainly want you people to play a role in doing this. My company name will be FUTURE DAWNING enterprises and the project will be peace is the path and love is the way. many blessings to you for all that you do.

Teresa Rowl

Saturday 4th of May 2019

Wow, 51 steps and most of them are rather easy to follow! I guess I'll try at least 5 or 6 of them. And I'd also add a tip concerning furniture reuse. Furniture is so large and it's always such a pity to see it standing near garbage bins waiting for some homeless people to pick it up. But actually there is a way to reuse old furniture instead of discarding it. You can put a beautiful cover on your sofa, chair, table or whatsoever and continue using it. It's much cheaper than buying new furniture.


Tuesday 7th of May 2019

This is so true! Upcycling is a wonderful way to keep your carbon footprint and waste footprint in check. Thanks for the tip!