Ethically Kate's beginner's guide to sustainable living

The world is waking up. We’re finally realising that to preserve our glorious planet, we need our everyday actions to match. That’s why you’re here! To begin living more sustainably and caring for the planet in your daily choices.

Great news: You don’t have to drop your life and escape to the country to live a sustainable lifestyle! Reducing your impact on the planet should start with simple steps and habit changes that allow you to live your life to the fullest, while being kind to this beautiful earth.

It has been four years since I began adopting sustainable lifestyle habits, and I know just how hard it is to begin. If you’re just starting out, use these four steps that I wish I knew from the very beginning.

Complete a waste audit

Before you make any changes, it’s important you know what you’re dealing with. Each person’s rubbish bin will look totally different to the next. Sorting through your trash and documenting what you throw out within the space of a month, will show you where you’re at and what personal changes you need to make.

Once you’ve completed the audit, assess what single use packaged products can be swapped for products in recyclable or compostable packaging (or no packaging at all!). Recyclable and compostable packaging ensures the packaging is reused, instead of sitting in a landfill for the rest of its life, polluting the planet. Far too often we throw things in the rubbish bin without thinking; but that needs to change now.

Invest in reusables

Waste is hard to escape when you are not prepared. Prepping yourself with a waste free kit will help you fight nasty single-use items wherever you are in the world. I first purchased a metal straw because I love smoothies, and then moved on to items like a reusable bag, a coffee mug, cutlery, and takeaway containers.

Keep it simple

Choose one habit or product in your life to begin changing to a sustainable alternative. Just one. It is so easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to living a sustainable lifestyle, and you’re far more likely to give up altogether if you are overwhelmed. We don’t want that! Switch your plastic toothbrush to a bamboo one, find a natural and recyclable deodorant you love, or commit to taking public transport one day a week. Only once you’ve mastered one change, move on to another.

Learn your why

Discovering your ‘why’ and understanding the importance of living sustainably, will ensure you keep on track. Choose a form of learning that suits you best. Try listening to podcasts, reading books, watching documentaries, following inspirational accounts on social media, or talking to your friends. This is your excuse to binge watch Netflix, guilt free!

I’d recommend watching:

  • The True Cost
  • More than honey
  • Plastic ocean
  • Before the flood
  • Minimalism

Author: Kate Hall
Kate Hall, our eco-living contributor, is an expert on sustainability. Through her own daily actions, she demonstrates how to easily live more lightly on our beautiful planet. 

Photography by Nectar Photography.