9 sustainable living tips to use at home

Conscious of your carbon footprint? It could be easier than you think to be more energy efficient. Finding sustainable ways of living doesn’t have to be groundbreaking. Lots of small changes can soon add up. Things like using a toaster instead of the grill and letting your hair dry naturally – good for your hair and your electricity bill. 

In fact, making greener choices may even save you money. Try these nine easy ways to save money and be more sustainable.

🕑 8 minute read

Father and son picking vegetables from the ground

What is sustainable living?

Sustainable living means leading a lifestyle that uses less of the earth’s resources so you have less of a harmful impact on the planet. The great thing is that sustainable living can not only save resources, it can save you money too.

We’ve pulled together some top sustainable living tips you can try putting into practice at home to reduce your carbon footprint and save you money.

Source: sustainable-lifestyles

1. Reuse and recycle

Did you know that one person throws away an average of 400kg of waste every year? That’s 7 times the average bodyweight of a human.

A lot of what we don’t want or need can be reused or recycled. It could be as simple as keeping your recycling box in a convenient place, so you don’t forget. Take a reusable bag to the shop and use your own takeaway cup for your morning coffee. Donate your unwanted clothes, books and toys to charity shops and take the more awkward objects, like laptops, batteries and electricals, to a local collection point.

Source: Recycling facts

2. Appreciate your food

You can help cut down on the 9.5 million tonnes of food that is wasted every year in the UK. If you find you’re wasting food because it goes off or doesn’t get used in time, try making a meal plan for the week and buy accordingly. Check out misshapen veg. Often it comes at a cheaper price and with the option to buy individually.  

Read the sell-by dates as you go, so you know you’re buying what you can realistically use. Don’t forget you can still eat food past it’s sell-by-date. The sell-by is when the product is at its best on the shelf. A use-by date is when it will be best eaten by.

Source: Reducing Food Waste

3. Get a green wardrobe

No, we don’t mean only buy green clothes. But by opting for greener, more sustainable fashion, you’ll not only look great, you’ll feel it too. Second-hand, vintage and charity shops are great places to pick up a bargain – and you could find designer treasures in them. If you buy from the high street, be sure to check out their sustainable clothing lines. Some companies use recycled materials. And, when you’ve had enough of your old clothes, pass them on to a friend, charity shop or try and earn some cash, by selling them on second-hand selling sites.

4. Take the bus

Our cars are one of the biggest emitters of Carbon Dioxide. In the UK 580 billion passenger kilometres were travelled in Great Britain in 2020. That’s a lot of energy and greenhouse gases. Perhaps walk or cycle for small trips or use public transport. Lift share to work, if you commute. If you only use your car occasionally, it could be cost-effective to use a car-hire scheme. Or you might even consider an electric vehicle.

Source: Transport-carbon-dioxide-emissions-breakdown

5. Save water

When you reduce the amount of water you use, you save money and help to cut down on the energy processes needed to get it to you. The first and simplest way to reduce water wastage is to never leave a tap running. Just brushing your teeth with the water flowing can waste around 10 litres of water a minute.

You could also try timing your shower to be one minute less. A shower that is one minute shorter every day could save you up to £60 a year.

Source: The Energy Saving Trust

Small savings, big impact

  • The quickest way to start saving is just remembering to turn lights off when you don’t need them.
    Saving: Just switching off the lights as you leave the room could save almost £20 a year.
  • How many cups of tea do you have a day? Only boil what you need in the kettle.
    Savings: If you only boil the kettle twice a day you could save £13 a year.
  • Dry your clothes outside when the weather’s fine and give your tumble dryer a rest.
    Savings: On average a tumble dryer costs £60-£70 a year to run.

Source: quick tips to save energy

6. Switch it off

Did you know that your phone charger is still using energy even if it’s not charging your phone? Lots of electrical equipment still draws energy if it’s plugged in at the socket – even when the equipment has been switched off. So switch it off at the wall, or get yourself some smart plugs. These let you set timers to switch on and off, and track your energy usage.

7. Don’t pre-wash your dishes

If you pre-wash your dishes before they go into the dishwasher, you could be wasting around 3,225 gallons of water every year. To save on water and on your energy bills, wait until the dishwasher is full and then wash everything in one go. If you have an eco-cycle, make use of it. It could save you money.

Source: ‘Don’t pre-rinse before using the dishwasher’

8. Eat local food

Eating produce that’s grown and made close to home supports your community, reduces food mileage and is good for you. Even better, try growing your own food. Tomatoes, potatoes and herbs are also easy to grow – and you can grow them inside if you don’t have a garden.

9. Avoid single-use

Anything that is single-use is unsustainable. It means it’s destined for the bin after one use. About 40% of the plastic we create is single-use plastic. But there is hope. From 2018-2019 2.1 billion single use plastic bags were sold in the UK. From 2020-2021 this was 488 million.

You can avoid single-use products by carrying your own keep cup or water bottle. Try beeswax wraps instead of cling film and buy food that is unwrapped (if possible).

Source: .gov.uk

How Lloyds Bank can help you live more sustainably

We’re working hard to make sure we support our customers in finding new ways of sustainable living. Whether that’s funding eco changes to their homes or offering incentives to make energy efficient changes.

If you’re not sure how to go about living a sustainable life and making your home more eco-friendly, we can help there too. Use our Eco Home Tool to see how green your home is already and how you could improve sustainable living at home. We also have a wealth of information for you to explore on our Eco Home Hub.

Last updated January 2023

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