How can you live a more sustainable life? Start in the bathroom of course...
“How to live a sustainable lifestyle.” A question many of us ask ourselves continually. And it would appear that even more people are asking this question now too. According to Google Trends, people have taken to the tinterweb to ask this very question – with this search term increasing by 4550%!
We discovered this during last week’s Futerra Imagine Better webinar which was hosted by Futerra Co-Founder, Solitaire Townsend Co with guest speakers Kate Brandt CSO at Google and Lena Pripp-Kovac, CSO at IKEA Group. What a fantastic first step to either starting to think about sustainable lifestyles, or living an even more sustainable life.
Out of curiosity, I Googled, the term (using Ecosia, duh), “How to live a sustainable lifestyle” and the first result reference 100+ simple tips. Wow! How overwhelming! I mean, great to have so many to choose from, but what a head f@ck if you’re new to it all. Ever heard of the ‘paradox of choice’? If you want to know more you can view the Ted Talk by Barry Schwartz, American Psychologist and author of the book, “The Paradox of Choice”
So it was nice to see that the second organic search result is for 10 ways to live sustainably – but again which do you choose? Where do you start? How do you start?
I’m also fairly new to living a more sustainable lifestyle. Perhaps longer than I think, but I can certainly pinpoint my consciousness to sustainability. Which was when I realised I had to stop making and selling the first version of one of the products we’re now developing. That was 2016. And I’ve been through the wave of feeling overwhelmed with all sorts of questions about my personal impact. Including a spell of trying to be 'zero waste'. Enter shame, despair, frustration and countless more negative emotions. Not exactly helpful for anyone.
I found that for me, starting small and choosing one thing, and one room in the house was the best way to begin. The first sustainable swap was an easy one for me. I used to buy 2 litres of bottled water every few months and would fill that same water bottle from the office fountain every morning. As a leaving gift a colleague bought me a Camelbak. As my move was back to Scotland (from South of England) it was better tap water and marked the end of ever buying or drinking bottled water ever again. It’s one of my ‘rules’. I’d rather buy a can of something that buy bottled water. At least there is a higher chance of a can actually being recycled.
Next stop was to start living more sustainably in the bathroom. It was where my focus was for the startup so it was the natural choice for me. And it was also a room in the house that I could easily make switches. This escalated to the kitchen with switches (eventually) like using soap nuts instead of washing powder, to cutting down drastically on meat eating and cutting down on plastic packaged goods.
In the bathroom, I started to switch out old for new – the new being the more sustainable option. The obvious things like toothbrush, toothpaste and toilet paper – the Three T’s! There’s an easy way to switch already…which brings me into our super simple, less choice, more action, Tip Top 5 Tip Top ways to live a little bit more sustainably in the bathroom.
Here goes, in no particular order – you choose which one you want to do first, or add to your existing choices…
1. Get naked in the shower. Of course you are already naked. But what about those trapped liquids, squeezed unceremoniously into a plastic bottle. Set those liquids free! Or never to exist at all. Plump for package free (or sustainably packaged) shampoo and conditioner bars and soap instead of bottled shower gel.
2. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth! Do you keep the tap running away whilst you stand there for the prescribed two minutes? Turn it off! Stop wasting water. Water only needs to be turned on to clean up after we’ve spat out toothpaste or to quickly refresh the brush head. Please be mindful of wasting water – it’s an ethical thing as well as a sustainable thing.
3. Ditch the disposable razors and opt for a steel safety razor. Something that’s still on my to do list! These razors can be quite expensive but once bought will save you money in the long run.
4. Opt for a natural sponge instead of the nylon ‘puff’. Another one I have to admit to not doing yet as I seem to have ended up with ‘puffs’ in gift sets given to me at Christmas! But I would not buy one now and when the time does come to get rid of the puff, I’ll be toddling along to my local conscious choices shop (aka ‘zero waste’ but we don’t much like that term here at Undisturbed – some reasons already given and a longer explanation here and on my other website here) to invest in a sustainable sponge. Which I’m certain will be much kinder to my skin too.
5. Of course the final one is to keep an eye on those shower curtain purchases. Opt for natural fabrics if you can afford it as we know hemp, organic cotton or linen can be on the expensive side. But it’s worth it. And keep an eye on our development of course as we will be introducing the world’s most sustainable shower curtain to your bathroom. And we’re be making it affordable too.
So there you have it. The Undisturbed Five simple ways to live a more sustainable life that takes away lots of choice and helps you get started. Or you can add to your existing smorgasbord of sustainable ways...!
Stay conscious, Jaxx
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