5 sustainable changes I made in my personal routine

We all know that our planet is facing an environmental crisis, there is so much being said around the media that can be easy to get lost and confused. 

I believe there are many changes that need to happen, both in our personal lives and in the government, regardless of the country we live in. I believe that we need to develop a sense of community (after all we live in the same house, called Planet Earth) and a "learning from each other" attitude. That is why I would like to share the changes that I did in order to achieve a more sustainable life:  

1. Use a charcoal water filter

When I moved to the UK I used to buy bottles of water every 2 days, it always annoyed me because is not only a huge waste of plastic, but it is time-consuming, a waste of money and means I had to carry heavy packages all the time. Bottled water also contains chemicals, heavy metals and microplastic that can affect our health.

The solution? Charcoal water filter. Activate charcoal absorbs impurities and add minerals to our regular tap water. It is considered the most effective technology than any other in removing Chlorine*. A charcoal water filter is super easy to use, you just add it to a jug of water and let it do its job for a minimum of an hour. It is also easy to find and very cheap, I paid 6 pounds on mine and it's going to last 6 months. 

Water is a resource that we consume every single day, imagine the impact you can make just by changing the way you drink water!  

Charcoal water filter

Charcoal water filter

2. Buy non-perishable items in large scale

Instead of buying a package of 4 toilet papers, why not buy the biggest one available? You know that you are going to use it all! This may sound too simple, but YEY it is a good thing to incorporate an easy habit into our everyday lives, right? You can do that with everything that is non-perishable, like dishwasher, toilet paper, vinegar, etc... You are going to avoid a lot of unnecessary plastic and you probably are going to save money, WIN-WIN! 

Bonus fact: most of the time when we buy in large scale, the plastic package is harder, which means it is going to be easy and more attractive to recycling. 

3. Make your own products 

We are so used to going to the supermarket and buy the products we need in our everyday lives, we do not think we can make most of them easily! 

You might be thinking this is easier for me because I have handmade skills, but I guarantee you: it is so fun to experiment and see your final product come into life! Plus working with hands has proven to improve health conditions, benefits include inducing a meditative effect and keeping the mind sharpen.

Now that (I hope) I have convinced you, there is a lot of free tutorials on Youtube and Instagram, it is just a matter of finding the right one for you. Have a look at your routine and see what products do you use the most and start from there. To make things easier, I divided this topic into 3 subcategories:

A. Skincare and personal hygiene

You can make your own deodorant, toothpaste, liquid soap and skincare product (I made them all 😊). In fact, there is a blog post where I am teaching how to do a 100% Vegan & Natural facial oil, click here to see it 

DIY 100% Vegan and Natural Facial Oil

My homemade Vegan and Natural Facial Oil

B. Cleaning products for household

Cleaning products are full of hard chemicals that are not only bad for our health but they also pollute the environment. You can have a clean house making your own products using basic ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen. I love this post of Madeleine Olivia where she teaches 20 DIY natural recipes

Bonus tip: My favourite recipe is the all-purpose cleaner infused with orange skins, it cleans much better than any disinfectant I have tried.

infused vinegar with orange skins

Vinegar infused with orange skins

C. Clothing 

I am not saying to make all your clothes from scratch, however, you can make many different items if you are willing to learn new skills (or remember what you've forgotten). I love knitting! I get really excited to go under a blanket and knit a new item, last year I made a cardigan and my currently making is a hat. I am far away from being a professional, but I am testing out my skills (aka having fun).

Etsy is a great place to buy patterns and there is also an enormous amount of websites that offer them for free (think about places that sell makers supplies). If knitting is not your thing, you can try embroidery, crochet, sewing, natural dyeing, etc... I have a tutorial of the Stem Stitch here, in case you want to personalize a piece of clothing with embroidery.

My handmade cardigan

Cardigan that I knitted last year, a pattern of All About Ami

4. Make a shopping list

This is pretty much obvious but it can be forgotten on a busy day to day routine. Simply making a list of everything that you need, avoids unnecessary and compulsory purchases. Here I am talking not only about a supermarket list, but also a clothing shopping list (I already talked about that, click here to read the sustainable shopping post).

To make a list you have to think before heading to the supermarket, for instance. What I like to do is writing on my board as soon as an item runs out, so I know I will have to buy it next time. I also plan ahead, every weekend my partner and I decide what we want to eat in the following week, think about breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks during the day, so I will only buy the exact amount of food, hence there is no waste of food and neither of money. 

Bonus tip: I also suggest you research the fruit and vegetables that are in season, so you will get fresh ingredients and everything that your body needs to during this specific time. Have you ever thought why pumpkin season is autumn? Well, we are going to need all the vitamin C during winter times. 

5. Analyze your bin

Yes, you read that right. If you want to reduce your waste, first you need to know what you are throwing at the bin. Is there any plastic package? Spoiled vegetables? Plant-based or milk cartons? Disposable cups or cutlery? 

Knowing what is inside your bin will help you reduce your waste. If you said yes for spoiled fruit and vegetables, then you know that you need to shop once a week for instance. Disposable items says you need to start building your Zero Waste Kit, buying a reusable coffee cup or bamboo cutlery, etc...

There you have it, my top 5 changes to a more sustainable routine. I did not mention to swap your normal toothbrush for a bamboo alternative or to bring your own bags to the supermarket, those are simple changes that everybody knows, I have tried to bring different suggestions, but in case you did not make those changes yet, this is my invite to you!

And please do not be overwhelmed about this list, the most important thing is to take action! If you are reading this post, means that you are already one step further, so congratulations 👏! Pick one of the 5 items and try to incorporate in your life, once you mastered that, you can move on to the next and so on, remember, one step at a time. 

PS: if you want any recipe that is not mentioned in this post, please get in touch! Feel free to add any tips or changes that you made in the comments below. Lastly, if you found this post useful, please invite your friends to read it, the more people reading this the better we can do it! We are in this together 💕

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