You throw your bottles in the glass recycling bin, you walk or bike whenever you can: sure, you’re quite green. But you can make your life even more sustainable. It’s easy with these tricks.
Trick 1: Through the roof
The time of tiles seems to be in the past: in the city, we see more and more little gardens. It looks a lot nicer, it’s better for insects and birds – who find more food there than between the tiles – and the plants soak up CO2. If you don’t have a garden, think about a ‘green’ roof. It’s very profitable for biodiversity, it keeps your house nice and cool in the summer and during the winter, it brings isolation. It absorbs rain and, thus, helps to prevent flooding. Last but not least: it looks wonderful.
Trick 2: Keep it simple
It’s quite embarrassing how much food we throw away. Maybe it’s time for us to take a closer look at our cooking, eating and buying. It helps to be aware of all the seductions of the supermarket, where attractive deals –two for one – tempt you into buying things you didn’t plan to. What are you going to do with two colliflowers, four cucumbers or five pounds of apples? If you’re not planning to use them, you’re only doing the supermarket manager and your garbage bin a favor.
Trick 3: Forget about trends
The side table fell apart after half a year, but oh well, it hardly cost a thing. Or did it? Somewhere in a far-away country (where CO2 emissions aren’t the biggest priority) a chimney spit out lots of smoke for the production of this table. Then a big ship sailed over the oceans and after that, a roaring truck transported it to the store. Green trick: just shrug at trends. When you buy something, ask yourself whether you want to live happily ever after with it.
Trick 4: An eye for packaging
To inventorize how much plastic you ‘eat’, you can save all of it in a bag. A week’s harvest might surprise you. It’s a fun challenge to buy products with a minimal packaging.
Trick 5: All your wishes fulfilled
A week before your birthday, people start inquiring: any birthday wishes? It’s a tough question, because it often makes us realize we don’t know – most of us already have lots of stuff. Family and friends try their best to find a suitable gift for you. But why not make life easier for them? Ask a friend to go for a walk together, go biking or spend a day at the beach. Just have fun together. A trip like that brings more happiness than a kitchen gadget or a cute little vase.
Trick 6: Focus on what you're thankful of
People who are content don’t really feel the need for new stuff. Think of all the things you have and the things you are able to do, and don’t focus on all the other things you would want to have or be able to do. Write down what you’re thankful of and put the memo on the fridge. Do something that makes you happy every day and enjoy it. Skip the news for a day, and look around you to see what’s going well. Think of things you might contribute to make the world a better place. Starting with living more sustainably is a wonderful first step.
Things you can start doing immediately
-Collect your waste in one place. This makes it easier to separate it.
-Collect rainwater to water your plants.
-A desktop computer uses four times the energy of a laptop.
-Challenge yourself to reduce your time in the shower
-Use your bike for every ride under 5 km
-Replace your lamps for sustainable LED ones
-Only wore your clothes for a couple of hours? Air them out instead of washing them
Text: Annet Niterink - Photo: Jean Lakosnyk