40 Ways to Practice Individual Sustainability in Daily Life

A reusable glass jar filled with grains

The interest in sustainable living has blossomed in recent years—and for good reason. To ensure a habitable planet for future generations, each of us needs to do our part now. To help you out with your individual sustainability, we’ve come up with 40 tips that can be practiced right now in your daily life. 

Personal Sustainability for a Healthy Planet

When we hear news that just 100 companies are responsible for more than 70% of global emissions, it makes personal sustainability efforts seem obsolete. But our actions directly influence those of powerful corporations. P.us, when we take a stand for sustainability, we can create shockwaves felt by governments around the globe. 

Put another way, we can’t hope to solve the climate crisis without taking individual responsibility. 

This doesn’t mean that you using reusable bags is going to bring an end to the ever-more-frequent extreme weather events. Nor does it mean that a friend who sticks to a local, vegan diet is going to single-handedly keep us beneath 2℃ warming. But these individual sustainability actions can help to promote climate justice and encourage corresponding political change. 

Sustainability requires individual efforts, collective action, and significant political and systemic change. Without one piece of the puzzle, the other elements struggle to get traction. 

The UN reflects this idea too, noting in their Campaign for Individual Action that, “To preserve a liveable climate…. Bold, fast, and wide-ranging action needs to be taken by governments and businesses. But the transition to a low-carbon world also requires the participation of citizens — especially in advanced economies.”

Sustainability Goals for Individuals

We know that each of us have a role to play in bringing about a better future. So, exactly how can individuals be more sustainable?

Well, it may start with a goal, or several. Sustainability goals for individuals are for everyone—from the green go-getter to the laziest person on the planet. They essentially require us to look at our personal impact and develop plans to reduce it. 

So, if you want to start making sustainable choices, consider where you are currently. Are you a frequent traveler? Do you eat meat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Are you a frequent 3am online shopper? Do you even own a recycling bin?

When you start a sustainability journey by assessing how your day-to-day activities impact our planet, you’ll have a good foundation from which to start adjusting these activities to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. 

40 Ways to Practice Individual Sustainability in Daily Life

Once you have a better gauge of how you live your life and the way it affects our planet, you can  start to implement some of the following individual sustainability practices and behaviors. Some of these are so easy that they could be done from the comfort of your couch!

  1. Practice minimalism and consume less (clothes, goods, travel, food, electricity, etc.)
  2. Switch to paperless bills
  3. Turn off and unplug appliances when not in use
  4. Re-post environmental news and updates on social media
  5. Turn off lights when not in use and use LED bulbs
  6. Purchase carbon offsets for your daily, weekly, or yearly footprint
  7. Cut down the time you spend in the shower (keep it under 5 minutes, if possible)
  8. Eat more plant-based meals
  9. Have a strategy for food waste (plan meals, freeze leftovers and fresh produce, don’t grocery shop on an empty stomach)
  10. Get a compost bin or worm farm to take care of your fruit and veggie scraps
  11. Avoid preheating the oven
  12. Join a community garden or grow your own food/herbs in your backyard
  13. Shop at a bulk store
  14. Make your own snacks instead of buying packaged ones
  15. Say “no” to plastic bags, straws, cups, etc.
  16. Trade single-use products for reusables (cutlery, coffee cups, bags, razors, etc.)
  17. Make the switch to all-natural cleaners (or make your own with vinegar, lemon, baking soda, etc.)
  18. Trade a clothes line for the dryer (and always wash on cold)
  19. Try shampoo bars and conditioners
  20. Use sustainable products for your oral care routine
  21. Buy products with plastic-free packaging
  22. Use a sustainable search engine (like Ecosia)
  23. Leave the keys at home and walk or bike more
  24. Reuse what you can (glass jars, shipping materials, etc.)
  25. Plug window and door leaks to make your home more energy efficient
  26. Live in a smaller house
  27. Adjust your thermostat so it’s higher in summer and lower in winter (you’ll get used to it!)
  28. Install solar panels
  29. Shop secondhand
  30. Swap lighters for cardboard matches
  31. Get in a routine of sharing and borrowing instead of buying
  32. Up your recycling game (know the items that won’t be accepted through curbside programs, recycle plastic bags at grocery stores, look for local e-waste collections)
  33. Trade the TV for a book or board game
  34. Vote for planet-friendly politicians
  35. Choose to have a smaller family
  36. Be water wise
  37. Spend more time in nature
  38. Plant a pollinator garden
  39. Use recycled toilet paper
  40. Learn basic repair skills to keep your goods in use longer

Sustainability is the New Black Toiletries Bag

These Individual Sustainability Practices are Something to Smile About

It’s easy to get bogged down by the doom and gloom surrounding the climate crisis. But fortunately, learning how to be more sustainable in daily life should bring you some happier feelings. As these 40 tips demonstrate, any- and everyone can make changes that have a positive impact on our environment! If you’re ready to start a sustainable lifestyle with planet-friendly pearly whites, then Terra & Co. is here to help with our range of eco-friendly oral care essentials. 

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