Author: Elisa Condez

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Sometimes, the desire to change is big. But having a sustainable, eco-friendly life might seem extremely complicated and we often don’t know exactly where to start.

It can be very simple though if we always bear in mind the 5 R’s rules:

Refuse (what we don’t need)

Reduce (what we need)

Reuse (what has already been used)

Recycle (what can’t be reused)

Rot (whatever is possible to)

Based on this rule and in order to make your life a bit easier, I have decided to make a list of “small” (always big) changes that all of us can implement in our daily lives.

This article’s purpose is not to impose strict rules or say “whether you do this or you’re not a sustainable person”. No, not at all. In this sustainable journey of ours, each one of us should find his own rhythm and adapt the new habits to his individual life and reality.

For some people, for instance, reducing car use might be an easy task because either they live close to work or they have a good public transport service or even because they spend a lot of time in traffic and ridding a bicycle to work is actually faster. Nevertheless, not all of us share the same reality and for many of us stop using a car might not be realistic due to long commutes or insufficient public transports… well, there are lots of variables in the equation.

Regarding my personal experience, my advice always is: take it easy, implement one change at a time and be patient with yourselves.

From among the many suggestions that I can give you, evaluate what can be practicable in your life and start there. Setting goals can be an easier and funnier way to start the process. For example, you can try the “one change per month” challenge, choosing 12 changes to implement over the course of one year – this could have been an excellent motto for your New Year’s Resolutions, but we’re still on time.

Some of these tips might imply buying some kind of reusable product and this can be a limiting factor for many of us. However, there are lots of simple things that we can do that cost nothing – pick those first. Trust me, you will end up saving a lot of money.

Tips of things to change at home:

  1. Make a shopping list so that we only buy what we need.
  2. If we are going to build or renovate a house, we should invest in a good thermal insulation and energy efficient certificate. This will have an enormous impact in our savings and quality of life in the future.
  3. Consider implementing renewable energy sources in your house, such as solar panels. Long term we will save money and the planet.
  4. Do not throw out things that we already have just because they aren’t “ecological” – we should use and reuse them as many times as possible, thus optimizing the amount of energy used to make those products.
  5. Collect the water of the bath while it is warming and use it to flush the toilet, to water your plants, to cook, etc.
  6. Close the tap when you’re not using the water (while bathing, brushing teeth, washing hands or dishes) and take quick baths (the length of a song for example).
  7. Turn off light switches and unplug electronic devices when they’re not being used.
  8. Replace old conventional lamps with LEDs.
  9. Choose solar lamps for your outdoors (you’re never going to change a lamp again).
  10. Avoid wasting food: do we really need so many cookie packs open at the same time? And we can make a meal of leftovers once a week.
  11. Reduce meat consumption: we can start by cooking one vegetarian meal per week (it can’t be that hard, can it?).
  12. Do not pour used cooking oil down the drain – instead, collect it and deliver it in a recycling center.
  13. Use biodegradable and ecological cleaning products (we have EcoX detergents in our store). EcoX).
  14. Declutter your wardrobe and donate or sell the clothes you’re not using anymore; you can also cut your old t-shirts to make rags.
  15. Separate your waste for recycling.
  16. Compost and use it to fertilize soils (of your vegetable garden, for example).

That’s a lot of information, right? Take it easy. Remember, one change at a time.

One thing though is certain: you are going to find everything strange at first. There is no way to escape that, we are creatures of habit. If we’re used to a product for many years, change it by some other product will naturally seem bewildering. What really matters is that we keep trying, keep experimenting new things and understand what does work for us. When it comes to ecological products, I always say: at first we find them weird, then we get used to them.

You may not be able to adapt to every change and that’s alright!

I want to warn you though that feeling excited about any small change is perfectly natural. It means the environmentalist in you is awake and you will probably want more and more in this transitioning process of yours into a more sustainable life.


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