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April 22, 2020

Top 50 Ideas for a Sustainable Lifestyle

Illustration of a globe surrounded by a cord that extends into a straight line. Atop the line there are buildings with solar panels and wind turbines

April 22, 2020 – Ryan Raitano

Li-Cycle Team’s Top 50 Ideas for a Sustainable Lifestyle

Today’s 50th Earth Day anniversary inspired the Li-Cycle team to put together a list of the top 50 ideas for a sustainable lifestyle and conserving our planet’s resources. As climate change’s impacts continue to surface, it’s important that we all do our part to contribute to a greener planet. Below are some ideas that the Li-Cycle team members live by and we hope you can adopt some too!

  1. There are local community clean-ups organized every year. Try finding one near you through social media or other community sites.
  1. Use your recycling bin! Separating waste from recycling is key to lowering overall waste.
  1. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, consider a hybrid or electric one to help reduce tailpipe emissions.
  1. Natural, eco-friendly cleaners are a much better alternative to their toxic counterparts. Some natural cleaners include vinegar, baking soda and rubbing alcohol.
  1. You’ve probably seen reusable shopping bags at your local grocery store. These can be more efficient and sustainable compared to disposable bags. However, make sure to clean them every so often!
  1. If your city has a robust public transportation system, you can probably get to wherever you’re going by opting for the bus or train instead of your car. Less cars on the road keep emissions down.
  1. Hopefully, you like your veggies because reducing your meat consumption (even for just one day a week) can help lower your portion of emissions produced by the meat industry.
reusable bottle

Li-Cycle reusable bottle

  1. Disposable water bottles not only cost you lots of money but are also often ending up in the environment. Consider making a one-time purchase of a reusable water bottle for your daily hydration.
  1. Save costs in your home by replacing your lights with LEDs and other energy efficient lighting. This step is great for your wallet and the planet.
  1. Eating and buying only what you need can reduce your food waste. It’ll also clear up space in your fridge, so you don’t lose items to expiry.
  1. Plastic straws have taken a lot of heat lately for their waste and rightly so. Consider replacing a straw with a reusable one or get creative and use things like natural straws!
  1. As the age-old saying goes, one person’s trash is another one’s treasure. Donate your old items for other people to enjoy instead of taking up space in your garage or throwing them out.
  1. Plastic, in general, is emission intensive and is often harder to recycle than you think. When you’re in the store look for items that have the least packaging; you may also find something new that you like!
  1. Finding true freedom may be hard in today’s world with so many distractions constantly surrounding us. One of our team members suggested trying a minimalist lifestyle to remove things we don’t need in our life and finding happiness in what truly matters.
  1. How would you like a farmer’s market in your own backyard? Fresh produce is wonderful and you can grow your own if you have space.
  1. For simple spills and messes try reaching for a washable cloth instead of paper towels.
  1. Reduce your overall energy consumption by turning off the lights and other electronics when not in use. Unless of course, you’re using renewables, then go crazy!
  1. Nowadays most service providers have paperless billing options. You can reduce trucks on the road and de-forestation by opting for paperless when possible.
  1. Using rechargeable batteries will save you time and money. No more running to the store when your controller dies.
  1. You probably have some old phones lying in a drawer somewhere in your home. Make sure to dispose of this e-waste correctly.
  1. Setting up a compost bin for your food waste is a great way to tend to your garden. Give your plants the nutrients they deserve from your leftovers.
  1. When out for a walk, be kind to mother earth and pick up any litter you may stumble across. Remember to be safe and wear gloves if needed (especially given the current pandemic)!
  1. Renewable energy is probably already helping power your city. However, you can directly contribute to a cleaner power supply by installing solar power, energy storage systems, geothermal power or other forms of renewable energy at home.
  1. Have a coworker that lives near you? Suggest carpooling to work in order to reduce emissions and save gas.
  1. We love our coffee here at Li-Cycle, and we recycle all our Nespresso pods when used. Make sure to take advantage of producer recycling programs like the Nespresso program.
  1. Try bringing your own reusable containers to a restaurant when eating out or choose the reusable container at your local café.
  1. Many bulk stores have started allowing customer containers for everything you need from cleaning supplies to peanut butter. Bring your old containers in and buy in bulk!
  1. Use the upcoming summer weather to dry your washed clothes outside instead of using the dryer.
  1. Limiting the time you spend in the shower can have a big impact on your water bill, on top of saving water for the future.
  1. Not only are lukewarm showers better for your skin, they are also good for the environment. Find out about the many benefits of going lukewarm or even cold yourself!
  1. When shopping for products, look for items that are made from recycled materials. This will create incentives for more companies to follow if the demand is there.
  1. If you find that the tap water in your home isn’t at the best quality you’d like, try using a tap water filter instead of purchasing water bottles.
  1. It’s often more beneficial to buy an item second hand than brand new. The price is better, and you don’t contribute to the emissions and waste that goes into a new product.
  1. Fast fashion clothes are often on sale and it can be hard to resist that new shirt. However, fast fashion has negative consequences on the environment. Try to look for clothing that isn’t part of that industry when possible.
  1. Break out that old tin cookie box filled with sewing supplies the next time you rip a hole in your jeans. Fixing clothes yourself is not only good for the environment but allows for more creative freedom.
  1. If you find yourself throwing away loads of scrap paper, consider keeping some around for note-taking and other tasks.
  1. Recycle your batteries! Batteries contain a lot of toxic and dangerous chemicals, not suitable for your local landfill. Look for resources that will properly dispose of batteries for you.
  1. An interesting lifestyle tool that benefits the environment is to opt for experiences as gifts, instead of products as gifts. You may only use an item once but the experience of an adventure could potentially change your life forever.
  1. We all know it’s hard to ignore that massive SALE sign when walking down the aisle. But, just because something is on sale doesn’t mean we need it. Rethink your consumer habits when at the store and you can save money on things you don’t need!
  1. Everyone’s parents told them to turn the tap off when brushing your teeth, but this goes for other tasks too. For example, when doing the dishes, fill the sink up with water and then turn the tap off vs. leaving it running the whole time.
  1. Bath products with “microbeads” may contain micro plastics that are extremely harmful to marine life. Avoid these micro plastics at all costs.
  1. Try finding your inner barista and make your own coffee/tea in the morning. You can get creative while saving the planet.
  1. Speaking of making your own coffee, don’t forget your reusable mug so you can take your home brewed coffee with you and skip the drive thru.
  1. Making sure each load of laundry is completely full that will ensure your laundry gets done faster and it saves energy/water.
  1. Exercising outside or in your home gym can be a great way to mitigate the emissions of driving to a gym. Better yet, if you already have a membership consider biking/running there for your warmup!
  1. Car sharing and carpool apps like Uber are great tools to get around while sharing your pollution burden with others.
  1. Another great transportation method is bike sharing stations found in many cities. These bikes are a unique way to get around and can lead you to some interesting sites when exploring somewhere new.
  1. Throughout the day, try reusing the same plate and utensils. Less dishes for you to do and less water wasted washing them.
  1. If you’re hosting a party, provide markers for people to mark their disposable cups so that one person doesn’t end up using 5 cups by the end of the night.
  1. Think about your planet. This may seem simple, but there are often environmental concerns related to almost any decision you make. Considering the impact on the environment from your personal decisions will almost always lead you to a more sustainable and greener life.

We hope that there is at least one idea in here you can take away and apply to your daily life.