We only need to take a few simple steps every day to make our way of life more sustainable. Here are 10 small steps you can take to become a conscious consumer.
1 – Don’t play with water.
Water is a precious natural resource and… it is not endless. Don’t leave the tap on when it is unnecessary, for example, when brushing your teeth. Use cold water whenever you can, and take a shower instead of a bath: you will use 4 times less water and energy. Flow reducers are available for taps and showerheads that help you to better adjust the flow of water.
2 – Use your head to get about.
To get around the city, go to work or go shopping, don’t go by car. There are many alternatives: public transport, bikes and, when distances allow it, also our feet (not to mention that it is also good for our health). If you really need to go by car, share it with other people by car-sharing or car-pooling.
Fewer cars but also fewer airplanes.
Plan your trips well, you don’t always need to go far to find exotic destinations, there are beautiful places even closer to you: and when possible, go by train.
3 – Buy less, buy better.
More sustainable living depends on our shopping trolley. Look for products with as little packaging as possible. If shops allow you to choose bulk and draught products (take your containers with you to fill up and avoid packaging).
Do you really need all those pairs of shoes? And all those bags? And what about your child’s toys? Consuming less means producing less pollution and less waste. Buy from companies that declare their commitment to sustainability, from supermarkets that sell discounted products about to expire. You can download one of those apps that tell you about unsold products at shops and about traders who join this initiative. At the end of the day, they offer a surprise basket, at a very low cost, made of fresh products that they cannot sell the next day: bread, pastries, dishes of the day, and fruit and vegetables.
4 – Disconnect standbys.
Appliances left on standby mode use electricity. Disconnect battery chargers (mobile phones, computers and batteries), as they also consume energy when they are not required, for example at night. When you have disconnected everything, you can happily sing 🙂
5 – Learn to eat again: check your diet
Eat more fruit and vegetables, less meat and fish. Meat production and intensive animal farming are not good for the environment: almost 110 cubic meters of water and energy equivalent to a 100-watt light bulb lit for 20 days are required to produce 1 kg of meat.
Eat only seasonal and local products: and eat pineapple from Costa Rica, mango from Thailand and strawberries from Spain as an extra treat in December. They are not as tasty as seasonal ones, they are much more expensive and travel many kilometres to get to our markets, wasting fuel and energy and increasing the greenhouse effect.
6 – Immense illumination with energy-saving lamps.
Replacing old incandescent lightbulbs with LED bulbs will save up to 75% energy, thus significantly reducing emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere. Use natural light when you can and don’t leave lightbulbs on in rooms when no one is present.
7 – They were born different: sort your waste!
The best way to become a conscious consumer is to recycle and it is essential to recognize what we throw away, put all waste in the right container and make conscious purchases. By now we all have to deal with containers, all types of plastic or paper bags, bottles and cans/jars to rinse, packaging to separate and plastic objects to flatten. Have you ever been to the waste collection center? You can take large objects, electric appliances and oils you have used for frying (instead of flushing them down drains). Although recyclable waste collection can seem tiring at first, it is essential for saving raw materials, energy, C02, and money. Waste sorting allows us to recover and recycle 80% of what we throw away.
8 – High or low? Medium is better.
What are the best temperatures to keep in the home? Heating and air conditioning should be used wisely. In winter the ideal temperature in the home is 19°C – 22°C, whereas in summer it is 23°C – 26°C.
9 – Plants clean the air.
Plants add a touch of nature to our home and also help us to purify the air. They not only produce oxygen but also neutralize toxins, dust, and chemical substances. Sansevieria, aloe, spathiphyllum, ficus, dracaena, gerbera and chlorophytum are plants that absorb the most.
10 – Eliminate throw-away items.
You can replace kitchen paper with traditional tea towels and napkins, paper tissues with cotton handkerchiefs, normal batteries with rechargeable batteries, plastic shopping bags with cotton bags, and plastic water bottles with a good water bottle.
Become a conscious consumer: our hashtag is #choosethechange
“#choosethechange” is our hashtag, offering itself as a collector of virtuous initiatives in which everyone plays an active part. With this hashtag, both within and beyond the social network, we want to embrace a motto to become a community and support each other in this huge change. But you know that changes are made in small steps, gradually altering habits, and even better if together. Everyone has to play their part: as businesses, we should produce in a more sustainable way and become respectable and credible brands. You can begin with 10 small steps by choosing products from companies that have the least possible impact, declare their sources and are honest with their customers.