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7 sustainable life hacks

Posted on 5 July 2016

Not sure how to start living a more sustainable lifestyle? Although many believe it takes a lot of time and effort, doing your bit for the environment can actually be really easy, and, you could even save some money in the process. 

With this in mind, here are 7 simple ways to kick start a greener lifestyle!

1. Cancel all junk mail

cancel all junk mail

Do you regularly find yourself inundated with takeaway menus you already have or unaddressed correspondence? More than 100 million trees are destroyed each year to produce junk mail, which produces more greenhouse gas than 9 million vehicles. The first step to green living is putting a stop to this delivered paper waste. Did you know you can opt-out of unsolicited mail? The Mailing Preference Service is a free sign-up scheme that removes names and addresses from lists used by direct marketing companies. You can also reduce waste from communications you do want by choosing online options for bank statements, newsletters and insurance documents.

2. Use your own water bottle

use your own water bottle

Purchasing water already bottled isn't good for the environment or for your bank balance. Plastic bottles can reportedly take up to 1,000 years to bio-degrade while costing up to 500 times more than tap water. Carrying your own water in a re-usable glass bottle isn't just cost-effective but it can save the environment by reducing waste - of which only a small percentage is recycled.

3. Make home-made products

;make home-made products

Making your own eco-friendly cleaning products is really easy and reduces the chemicals in your home. Use lemon juice, baking soda or white vinegar to create your own multi-purpose cleaner. These are cheap to buy and will remove stains successfully.

Top Tip: Add lavender or other essential oils for a fresh scent! Why stop there? Mix baking powder with water for a chemical-free shampoo!

4. Take a packed lunch

take a packed lunch

How often do you take a packed lunch to work? Research from Vouchercloud found that 62% of employed Britons are spending an average of £1,840 on their lunches each year, in comparison to £552 for those who make it at home. Treat yourself to a home-made lunch and watch the savings mount up!

5. Wear more layers

wear more layers

How often do you turn the heating on whilst having jumpers and quilts at your disposal? According to the Energy Saving Trust, turning your thermostat down by 1C could save you between £85-£90 each year, so start adding those all-important layers.

6. Swap the iron

swap the iron

Tired of ironing? Well, there is an alternative - hang your clothes up in the bathroom whilst you have a shower. The steam and moisture cause the creases to drop, saving you money on electricity. Want another ironing hack? You can lightly spray your clothes with water before hanging them up and placing in another room. Both of these methods could see your garments crease-free in as little as 15 minutes.

7. Say no to plastic bags

say no to plastic bags

Invest in bags for life, instead of purchasing plastic bags each time you go shopping. At 5p per bag, you could save yourself a small fortune while helping the environment. Plastic bags aren’t biodegradable, they’re photodegradable, which means they eventually break down through sunlight, but this gives off harmful toxins.

Got a favourite sustainable life hack? Tell us via Facebook or Twitter!

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