7 Ways to Work Toward Lifestyle Sustainability This Winter
February 13, 2018, Emma Sullivan
During the winter, it’s very easy to turn the heat up, stoke the fire, and forget all about being sustainable. Here are some small lifestyle changes that will help you start living a more conscious lifestyle.
Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez
- Bring a water bottle. Yes, this might be a no-brainer. But having a reusable water bottle can really save a lot of plastic and might even encourage you to drink more water daily, which is great for your body! We love insulated bottles that keep your drinks hot and cold, like Hydro Flask or Klean Kanteen. Don’t want to commit to that much of an investment? Nalgene is also very durable and inexpensive. Tip: purchase several reusable bottles and stash them everywhere – your car, the office, your purse, etc. You’ll never have an excuse to buy a plastic bottle again!
- Unplug your electronics. Leaving cords plugged in when you’re not using them wastes more energy than you think. It’s as simple as pulling the plug. Still sound like too much work? Plug everything into a power strip that you can just toggle on or off with a switch.
- Wear a sweater. This is more of a blessing than a sacrifice. Honestly, nothing sounds better than warm sweaters, fuzzy socks, wool blankets and cozy hats. Do your heating bill a favor and pile on the layers. Office feeling a little chilly? Keep a blanket and some fuzzy socks under the desk!
- Shop smart. It’s so easy to get caught up in the thrill of sales, day-to-day trends and splurges. However, the environmental and social impact of fast fashion is monstrous. Save your pennies and buy fewer but higher quality items that will last longer. Don’t know where to start? Stick to the basics – neutral colors and key layers. Build up from that foundation. If you’re interested in learning more, The True Cost is an eye-opening documentary detailing the fast fashion industry and is available on Netflix.
- Use alternative transit. Caught in traffic? You are the traffic! Using a car can sometimes be unavoidable but oftentimes transit, carpool, biking, or something else can be the better option. Not only are you reducing your overall fuel usage, but you may also save money on gas, reduce time (and chemicals) spent defrosting your car, and don’t have to pay for parking or fight the holiday crowds. Try it. You’ll like it more than you think you will.
- Donate, donate, donate. Wonder if you should throw away that dress you bought but only wore to that one New Year's Eve party? Donate it instead! There are many incredible thrift stores you can drop items off at – one of our favorites is Thrift Culture which benefits Bellevue LifeSpring.
- Pay attention. Last but not least, pay attention. There are a million other changes you can make to live a more socially and environmentally sustainable life. All you have to do is keep your eyes open. Learn more about what is sustainable and what isn’t, be intentional about which brands you choose to purchase, stay informed about what’s happening in the news, and vote for political candidates and issues that you believe in. The first step is knowing about the problem.
The City of Bellevue is holding several workshops on Green Cleaning and on Recycling & Composting this spring! it's the perfect way to take it to the next level!