This is a guest post, from the lovely Lauren McKnight. She helps stressed-out moms simplify their home and life so that they can finally find the freedom to live a life of intention, through The Clutter-Free Mama. She is also a highly talented freelance writer for hire at Lauren Glen Creative! Do go ahead and check her out. 

If you’ve been watching the news, scrolling through Facebook, or keeping up with politics, then you know that climate change has been a hot topic lately. Climate change is threatening our future, and if we don’t act now, we could reach a point of no return. 

While monumental change may be out of our hands, there are still choices we can make that will reduce our environmental footprint.  

If you don’t know what it means to live a sustainable lifestyle, or you’re just looking to get started and learn more, you are in the right place. In this post, I will explain what sustainable living is, the benefits of sustainable living, and ten simple tips that you can start TODAY to kick-off your ‘sustainable living for beginners’ journey.

Sustainable Living for Beginners

What is Sustainable Living for Beginners?

So what does ‘sustainable living for a beginner’ mean anyway?

sustainable living for beginners

Simply put – it is an individual’s attempt to reduce their consumption of Earth’s natural resources in order to reduce their carbon footprint and save resources for future generations. It could also mean replenishing the resources we have used and producing less waste.

You could extend sustainable living into any area of your life such as: 

  • Transportation/Travel
  • Diet
  • Energy Consumption
  • Personal resources

The concept of sustainable living is easy – use less of Earth’s resources and meet our needs without jeopardising future generation’s ability to meet their needs. But it isn’t enough to know what sustainable living is – everyone needs to know why it is important. 

Why is it Important to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle?

The reason living a sustainable lifestyle is important is pretty straightforward – if we don’t take care of the environment, we reduce our quality of life here on Earth, natural resources will grow scarce, and animal populations will be in danger of becoming extinct. We risk some pretty grave dangers if we don’t make a change, and make it soon. 

The good news is that sustainable living is the root of this change, and there are things you can do at home, in your community, and around the world to do your part to protect the planet. Sustainable living for beginners doesn’t need to be difficult.

It is only a matter of time before becoming sustainable isn’t an option anymore – it is something we must do if we want to protect life on Earth.

sustainable living for beginners

What are the Benefits of Sustainable Living?

There are numerous benefits to living sustainably, including a reduced cost of living and living a healthier lifestyle. Not only does sustainability improve the planet, your quality of life can actually improve!

Here are some of the top benefits of living a sustainable lifestyle – for beginners especially.

Simplify Your Life

Whenever you start living sustainably, you start to question just how much you need and what you feel comfortable living without. Whenever you use, need, and want less, you simplify your life. This allows you to make time for the things that truly matter to you, such as family, friends, and self-care.

Saving Money sustainable living for beginners

Sustainability actually saves you money in the long run and helps you stop mindlessly spending. You become a much more conscious consumer and save money when you rely on yourself for things like food, water, and energy.

Better Planet for Future Generations

Every action you take now helps your children, grandchildren, and all future generations have the resources they need and the quality of life that was afforded to you. Sustainability helps future generations thrive. 

Living a Healthier Lifestyle

When you start living in an eco friendly way, you tend to get rid of the toxins in your home, which helps you live a healthier lifestyle. Taking care of the planet directly impacts and improves your health! You could also lose weight and increase your fitness by forgoing unhealthy foods wrapped in plastic or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Win-win!

Increased Confidence 

Sustainability can help improve your confidence when you rely on yourself instead of others for your wants and needs, and can help your self-esteem when you become part of a global movement.

sustainable living for beginnersLess Waste 

When you live a sustainable lifestyle, you end up creating less waste, which helps reduce your carbon footprint. You may buy less clothes, waste less food, and generally consume less, if approaching sustainable living for beginners. 

If you search through #zerowaste or #ethicalfashion on Instagram, you can find some brilliant companies and methods of reducing waste.

NB: I hope these benefits help motivate you to start your sustainable living journey, and to keep motivated when things get tough!

What are some Examples of Sustainable Living?

There are many ways that people are living sustainably! Some measures are more extreme than others, but they are doing their part to protect the planet and are still thriving. 

Here are a few examples of sustainable living. Check them out to see if these would be viable options for you!

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, & Re-purpose

This method is a great example of sustainable living! When we reduce our use of resources, re-use what we can, recycle what we don’t need, and re-purpose old items into new ones, we help improve the environment. The best part about this example is that it is practical and something everyone can do to live more sustainably. 

Tiny Home Living

There are many people around the world that have seen the benefits of living in a smaller home. These people are enjoying a reduced cost of living, are using less resources, and are more energy efficient than those in larger homes. Not only that, but they are living simple, happy lifestyles that focus more on community, family, and experiences rather than material things.

sustainable living for beginners - tiny home

Gardening 

Starting a gardening is another example of sustainable living. The benefits of starting your own garden are enormous, such as knowing exactly where your food is coming from, saving money by cutting out the middleman, and increased confidence in acquiring a new skill. This example is also practical since you don’t need a lot of resources or space to get started growing your own food. 

Ditching the Plastic

Limiting or completely stopping the use of plastic has become more and more popular and for good reason. Plastic can take thousands of years to decompose, and often contains harmful chemicals that are not good for the environment or animal life. Many people have traded in plastic shopping bags for cloth bags, plastic straws for metal straws, and bring their own reusable containers to the store to buy products in bulk. 

Driving Green 

Another example of sustainable living would be trading your car in for something that is green and eco-friendly. Some people also bike or walk to their destination if the commute is close by. Whenever you can, try to use these options, or carpool if possible. 

Practical Sustainable Living Tips

How can I be more Sustainable?

If you are ready to live a sustainable lifestyle but not quite ready to sell your house or trade in your car, there are many practical, simple steps you could take today that would greatly benefit the planet and your lifestyle. Kick off your sustainable living journey with easy ways to live more sustainably. 

Go Vegansustainable living for beginners - go vegan

One of the best things you can do for the environment is to go vegan. If you aren’t quite there yet, then consider going meatless for a couple of nights during the week. Learner Vegan has some great advice on how to start!

Going vegan has many benefits such as using less water, cost savings, and saving the lives of precious animals.  

Change Out the Light Bulbs

Consider switching to LED light bulbs. These bulbs are energy efficient, meaning you don’t have to swap them out as often as conventional lighting. There are so many different kinds of LED lighting options that you are sure to find something that fits your needs and the style of your home. 

Don’t Use Plastic Bags at the Grocery Store

Plastic is extremely harmful for the environment, so it should be our top priority to use it less and less, or go completely plastic-free. Plastic bags at the grocery store are clogging up our landfills and endangering animals on land and sea. 

Whenever you go to the grocery store, bring cloth bags with you to hold groceries instead. Keep them in your car with you at all times so you never forget them!

Hang Dry Clothes

Save money and promote energy conservation by line-drying your clothes instead of throwing them in the dryer. You will greatly reduce your carbon footprint and protect your clothes from harsh heat, which helps them last longer as well. 

Turn Off All Devices at Night

Turn off all devices at night, including computers and wifi as well, in order to save energy! Don’t forget to also turn off all the lights whenever you leave a room. 

sustainable living for beginners

Avoid Buying Plastic Wrapped Products

It seems like plastic is a daily facet in our lives and impossible to escape. However, limiting your use of plastic isn’t as hard as you think. You could switch from unhealthy plastic wrapped foods to whole foods, swap out plastic straws for metal, or stop buying water bottles and use a stainless steel bottle instead. This helps protect the environment and your wallet!

Shop Second-Hand for Clothes (Or Shop Ethically)

sustainable living for beginners

Shop at local thrift stores when you need new clothes. Most thrift stores have name-brand clothes in like-new condition. This will help you save money, fossil fuels and water resources that come from shopping at the clothing store.

If you want brand new items, then please shop ethical, sustainable clothing brands. These brands make sure that not only conscious of the amount of resources used, but that their workers are receiving fair pay and the companies are enforcing ethical labour practices.  

Opt to Receive Digital Files and Mail

Go paperless! Whenever you are able to, opt to receive digital mail and notices. Most banks and other companies have a green initiative and offer to send you important emails instead of paper notices. Sustainable living for beginners can be as easy as this!

Make Your Own Homemade Cleaning Products

Most conventional, store-bought cleaners contain harmful chemicals that are not only bad for the environment, but bad for your health as well. Consider making your own green, homemade cleaning products using natural ingredients such as lemons, lavender, vinegar, and baking soda. This will help you save so much money, since store bought cleaners can get very expensive. 

Final Thoughts on: Living a Sustainable Lifestyle for Beginners

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sustainable living. 

Not only is it important for the future of our planet to live sustainably, there are practical ways to get started and so many benefits for ourselves and future generations as well. So get going using this guide to sustainable living for beginners!

Tell me, are you already doing any of these things in order to live a sustainable lifestyle. If not, is there anything you are willing to try? Let me know in the comments what you are doing to help!

Lauren – creator of The Clutter-Free Mama and Lauren Glen Creative

 

Note from Katy – 

Interested in incorporating veganism into your sustainable living plan? My FREE ‘Easy Being Vegan’ pack includes a shopping list and an easy meal plan, giving you even more fantastic meal ideas. There’s also a personal action points for staying vegan, and my BONUS favourite egg and dairy substitutes. Grab it now!

And if you need a little extra ongoing support, join our free community! We have a private Facebook group designed to help the vegan-curious, transitioning and new vegan on their journey. It’s a positive, non-judgmental safe space where all questions are welcome. We have plenty of meal ideas and brainstorming, too!

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Join my private Facebook group for those hoping to go vegan. Designed to help the vegan-curious, transitioning and new vegan on their journey!

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  • Be Inspired To Create A Cruelty-Free Lifestyle.
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I’ve met wonderfully supportive people along my vegan journey, but also a few judgemental folks that criticise in a non-constructive way. There’s been masses of complex info to understand along the way, on a huge variety of vegan-related topics. Some of it can be a struggle to understand.
Veganism doesn’t have to be as hard as I made it for myself! And that’s why I wanted to create Learner Vegan.
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Firstly, to create a safe space. Somewhere you can come if you fall off the wagon. No judgement, no criticism. Just a friendly face and support to reach that vegan goal, whatever it may be or however slowly you are working towards it. Our private Facebook group is perfect for this - let me know if you need an invite!
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Secondly, to help people who were like me 6 years ago. People with no clue about veganism, perhaps even with pre-conceptions and doubts about the whole lifestyle. But with a thirst to find out more, to make some kind of change, because supporting these violent industries doesn’t sit right with them anymore. 💚💚
Does any of this sound like you?
You may not know where to start. You’re probably overwhelmed by the masses of conflicting info out there. I was too!
🧐🧐
Learner Vegan makes everything simple and easy to understand. I’ll talk you through ethics, shopping and cooking… plus everything else! I answer tricky questions, motivate you, and help you back on the wagon if you slip up. And if you need tailored support, I can coach you through it (currently taking on clients, so let me know if you need this!).
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Remember: reading this is your first step toward a compassionate life. I’m all for celebrating these small changes, because every change is an animal saved.
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So… let’s get you started!
What do you need?
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#newvegan #learnervegan #veganbeginner #vegancommunity #vegetarians #veggielife #veggielove #veganhelp #vegansupport #dairyfree #plantbased #plantbaseddiet #meatfree #meatless #veganbuys #veganmealplan #veganshopping #vegansupermarket #animallover #friendsnotfood #veganwannabe #vegannewbie #goingvegan #beingvegan #almostvegan #veganuk #ukvegans #ukvegan #vegansofig #veganshare
  • Check out the 4-minute video for some quick tips on making it work for you!
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What questions do you have around eating out as a vegan?
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  • I love connecting with people and getting results for them. It's such a good feeling to watch new vegans hit their goals!⁠
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I'm a huge advocate for coaching. When I decided to eat more healthily, I hired a plant-based coach and embarked on a group program. It changed my mindset, habits, and explained everything in such a simple way. I fully committed to it and HIT my own goals - 28lb weight loss, improved mental health, less tiredness... the list goes on!⁠
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That's why now I offer my own form of coaching, for those new to veganism. Together, we figure out solutions and transformation just for YOU. It's all about getting you on the road to veganism!⁠
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Is 121 coaching right for you?⁠
YES, if:⁠
⭐️You want to save time wading through the internet.⁠
⭐️You want to talk to a real person confidentially.⁠
⭐️You have issues specific to your life regarding going vegan .ie. pregnancy, children, cravings.⁠
⭐️You'd love to save on stress by problem-solving any struggles you're facing quickly.⁠
⭐️You need regular motivation to keep you on track to hit your goals.⁠
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Is this you?⁠
If you want this, let me know! Drop me a DM or find out how it works over in my BIO.⁠
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#vegan #vegans #vegetarian #vegetarians #ukvegetarian #ukveggie #veggieuk #vegetarianuk #healthyeating #coaching #vegancoaching #helpgoingvegan #newvegan #veganhelp #vegansupport #parttimevegan #vegancurious #almostvegan #goingvegan #veggie #animallover #veganpregnancy #pregnantvegan #pregnancy #veganshare #vegetarianlife #vegetarianlifestyle #flexitarian #petlover #animallover
  • ⭐️ Keeping Organised as a New Vegan ⭐️⁠
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As a meat-eater, it was probably easy to get by without thinking about meals in advance. You could grab a snack from wherever, or grab takeout on the way home. But thinking in advance helps us all out. It means we eat more healthy, save money on random snacks and meals, and can do some time-saving meal prep in advance!⁠
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⭐️ Consider where you will be for the next few days at mealtimes, and plan accordingly. Factor drinks and snacks in too – I always have an extra something stashed in my bag, just in case I’m out later than usual! ⁠
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⭐️ If you’re somewhere new, looking up restaurants online beforehand can help. Check out Tripadvisor – just enter ‘vegan-friendly (TOWN)’ in their search bar, and you should easily find where the plant-based people are going. Then you can narrow the options right down to your path of driving or walking. HappyCow Vegan Guide is also a great website that pinpoints vegan options near to you. It’s available as an app and will show you vegan stores and cafes too.⁠
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⭐️ If you’re just looking to grab and go, see where popular chains are such as Pret A Manger and M&S Food. Most towns, airports and service stations have at least one vegan-friendly chain. In fact, in 2018, the UK launched more vegan products than any other nation. So you can get familiar favourites wherever you are! ⁠
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⭐️ You can also personally ask for recommendations on Facebook groups. Local vegans are always happy to point you in the right direction, so that you don’t go hungry. If you’re too impatient to wait for responses, try the search function to see if anybody has asked a similar question in the group recently.⁠
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What do you do to stay organised when you're out and about?⁠
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#vegan #vegans #vegetarian #vegetarians #ukvegetarian #ukveggie #veggieuk #vegetarianuk #healthyeating #vegancoach #vegancoaching #helpgoingvegan #newvegan #veganhelp #vegansupport #parttimevegan #vegancurious #almostvegan #goingvegan #veggie #animallover #veganpregnancy #pregnantvegan #pregnancy #veganshare #vegetarianlife #vegetarianlifestyle #flexitarian #petlover #animallover
  • Want to show people how delicious vegan food is?⁠
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I remember going vegan and thinking I'd never be able to have cake or baked goods, because they had to have eggs in.⁠
Wrong again! Since then, I've discovered vegan meringues, brownies and all kinds of other goodies.⁠
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I like to make these cookies! They're actually one of the first vegan desserts I made, which of course means they're very easy to do.⁠
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They are perfect for school bakes, having guests over, or special occasions. ⁠
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TOP TIP: Leave them in for a few extra minutes if you prefer them crunchy on the outside.⁠
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Ingredients:⁠
120 g vegan butter⁠
100 g white sugar⁠
100 g brown sugar⁠
120 g plain flour⁠
1 tsp vanilla extract⁠
50 g cocoa powder⁠
1 tsp baking soda⁠
1 tbsp non-dairy milk⁠
1 Pinch salt⁠
100 g vegan chocolate chunks or chips⁠
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Instructions:⁠
1. Preheat oven to 180C.⁠
2. Add the butter, both sugars and vanilla to a bowl and mix thoroughly.⁠
3. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl, then add baking soda and salt. Mix together.⁠
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix thoroughly.⁠
5. Add the chocolate and milk. Mix the dough – it should be sticky and thick.⁠
6. Roll the dough into small individual balls and put on a greased baking tray.⁠
7. Bake for 10 minutes until still soft in the middle. Take out of the oven and leave to firm up for 10 minutes.⁠
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⁣#whatvegansbake #vegansuk #veganbowl #veganhomemade #VeganInstagram #easytobevegan #eatingforhealth #veganuk #veganfooddiary #dairyfreerecipes #colorfulfoods #veganstudent #nourishbowl #veganeating #buddhabowl #nomeatnoproblem #veganideas #goingvegan #vegansoulfood #londonvegan #veganofinstagram #veganinspo #plantprotein #letscookvegan #veganism #nourishtoflourish #parttimevegan #vegancookies #veganbakes #vegancommunity
  • Funday Sunday!⁠
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Tell me...⁠
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Which do you usually prefer?⁠
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1. Starters⁠
OR⁠
2. Desserts⁠
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And let me know why! Leave a comment with your choice.⁠
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⁣#whatvegansbake #vegansuk #veganbowl #veganhomemade #VeganInstagram #easytobevegan #eatingforhealth #veganuk #veganfooddiary #dairyfreerecipes #colorfulfoods #veganstudent #nourishbowl #veganeating #buddhabowl #nomeatnoproblem #veganideas #goingvegan #vegansoulfood #londonvegan #vegansofinstagram #veganinspo #plantprotein #letscookvegan #veganism #nourishtoflourish #vegetarianuk #goingvegan #newvegan #vegans
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