30 Easy Ways to Kickoff a Sustainable Lifestyle
When you launch the free Earth Hero app (and we certainly hope that you do this regularly, or will very soon), you’ll be greeted by a rotating selection of salient and thought-provoking quotes from some of the world’s great thinkers. One of these quotes is from global climate leader Greta Thunberg, who said, “You're never too small to make a difference”.
Indeed, small is a very big deal.
That concept is one of Earth Hero’s guiding principles, namely that, “We support quick, simple, ‘easy’ personal actions, as they may help shift the culture within a household or change a local community, but they also count in motivating people towards further action.”
It’s also a main reason why many people choose to use the Earth Hero app. Alex Young of Nashville, USA, said he regularly launches the app to identify and implement “quick fixes" that help him decrease his carbon footprint. “I can, on a daily basis, while sitting on that couch over there, reduce the number of emails that I'm going to get, or reduce the number of promotional product mailers I get, or just understand what is my time-to-value with each of these things, which has been very good,” he told Earth Hero team member Sabrina Morellato during a recent app-user interview.
And success in implementing smaller solutions can lead to gratifying, ongoing success, he noted. “Actions become easier as you do them several times. Like talking about climate. Hard at first, but it becomes easier as I learn how to implement and maintain an action.”
Mohamed Assem, of Canada, added that the app’s large selection of small, achievable actions allows users to participate in the effort to combat climate change, without feeling overwhelmed. “The point of being an environmentalist is not to put too much pressure, but to use it in a positive way, not guilting myself,” he said.
And as a recent reviewer said on the Apple App Store: “[The Earth Hero app] teaches you that one person really can make a massive difference and not even with too much effort!”
When Mohammed and Alex and others all accomplish “quick fixes”, without feeling overwhelmed, it certainly adds up, and helps move the needle. As Vincent Van Gogh said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”
To help you get started with thinking small, we have compiled the following selection of “quick, simple, ‘easy’ personal actions.” You can use these to begin your journey, or to enhance the efforts that you are already making to decrease your carbon pollution. All of these actions, and more, are available on the Earth Hero app, where you can see how each small action you take contributes to the greater objective of addressing the climate emergency.
ADVOCACY & CHOICE
1. Research Investing Jargon Prioritize understanding investment jargon, whether you're an experienced investor or new to the field. Gain financial wisdom to support suitable companies and enhance your investments. Mastery of sustainable investment language empowers better financial decisions, aligning your investments with environmental values.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/280-research-investing-jargon
2. Drawdown Climate Solutions 101 Dive into a free, enlightening video course on tackling the climate crisis! Hear from global leaders and expand your toolkit for positive change. Whether you're new or seasoned, explore solutions (and check out the trailer) at the Drawdown Climate Solutions 101 site.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/453-drawdown-climate-solutions-101
3. Write YOUR Representatives Our actions matter, but the battle for our future needs everyone! If leaders stay stuck in pollution, we're stuck too. Let's rally! Elected folks shape the rules. Join Earth Heroes, join forces, and ping your reps about our needs.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/180-write-your-representatives
4. Watch Top Climate Documentaries Boost decision smarts with fun science docs! Get clued in on climate, talk the talk, and be a change champ. Dive into cool films for a hotter planet.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/308-watch-top-climate-documentaries
5. Research and Vote Accordingly Familiarize yourself with representatives from local to national levels. Look beyond media portrayals, researching their environmental stance, affiliations, and solutions support. This brief effort enlightens you, aids informed voting, and facilitates discussions with peers. Identifying shared interests forges collaborative change.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/287-research-and-vote-accordingly
6. Change Search Engine to Ecosia Ecosia's not your typical search engine. They plant trees with every click! Hundreds of million so far, mainly in climate-vulnerable areas. Plus, they rock solar power for eco-friendly browsing. Small step, big win. Join the millions already using it and search with purpose.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/238-change-search-engine-to-ecosia
7. Follow Sustainable Influencers Explore sustainable influencers if you're into social media and visual learning. Sharing their content sparks conversations and introduces sustainability to others. Even subscribing boosts their reach, reaching new audiences unfamiliar with the concept.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/510-follow-sustainable-influencers
FAMILY & COMMUNITY
8. Talk About Climate Speak up! Combat the climate crisis by discussing it openly. Sharing personal emissions and actions highlights the issue's personal relevance, inspiring action. Everyday conversations reach a wider audience, making a bigger impact than formal talks.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/168-talk-about-climate
9. Join a Climate Action Group Join a climate action group to amplify your voice collectively. Together, you'll learn, gain resources, allies, and confidence in your climate activism journey. Forge friendships with fellow passionate climate activists along the way.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/233-join-a-climate-action-group
10. Thank Climate Change Trailblazers Shift social norms by vocally supporting positive actions. Expressing gratitude not only fosters well-being but also impacts givers, receivers, and observers. Thank early green adopters in your community for driving positive change.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/260-thank-climate-change-trailblazers
11. Review Eco-Friendly Businesses Online reviews shape decisions for products, restaurants, and experiences. Review eco-friendly places to aid discovery and promote sustainable businesses. Hold non-sustainable ones accountable. Your voice drives positive change.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/212-review-eco-friendly-businesses
12. Like, Comment, Share Liking, commenting, or sharing a post sends a powerful signal and triggers positive effects. Social media algorithms favor interactive posts, amplifying positive environmental messages. Each interaction promotes a culture of progress in society.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/214-likecomma-commentcomma-share
13. Be a Better Gift Giver + Receiver Balancing climate actions with loved ones' preferences is complex. Harness gifting as a chance to influence positively. Choose eco-friendly gifts that enhance their lives and consider handling unwanted gifts gracefully. Your choices inspire a broader ripple effect, impacting beyond your circle.
14. Borrow Library Books By borrowing instead of buying books, each copy is read by multiple people - reducing the number of copies that need to be produced. This saves trees, and reduces the associated transportation fuel usage.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/684-borrow-library-books
15. Watch Top Climate Documentaries Boost decision-making with knowledge. Enjoy science documentaries to grasp the climate crisis, enhancing your advocacy for impactful solutions and a brighter future.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/308-watch-top-climate-documentaries
16. Eat More Nuts! Nuts are a top choice in terms of nutrition and environmental impact. Efficient production, low carbon emissions, and carbon storage in nut trees make them planet-friendly. Their natural state provides sustained energy and potential health benefits, promoting weight loss and well-being.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/283-eat-more-nuts!
17. Drink Plant Milk Plant-based milk options, like oat, almond, and coconut milk, gain popularity for various reasons: environmental concern, cow treatment, and taste preference. With over a third of some populations already consuming non-dairy milk weekly, the trend is growing. Cow milk's vast production, methane emissions, and land use contribute to climate issues and deforestation. Explore plant-based alternatives for a more sustainable and possibly tastier choice.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/284-drink-plant-milk
18. Reduce Food Waste Cut food waste to save resources and money. Discarded food wastes water, land, and energy from production and transportation. Global per-person food waste is substantial, equating to significant financial loss. Reducing waste could have a massive positive impact on both the environment and economy. Join the movement!
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/46-reduce-food-waste
19. Save Singles at the Supermarket Opt for single bananas and loose produce to save money, cut food waste, and reduce plastic use. The myth of faster banana ripening in bunches means you can choose exact amounts. Combat household food waste, which drains money and resources, while supporting eco-friendly shopping practices. Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/430-save-singles-at-the-supermarket
HOME & OFFICE
20. Change Light Bulbs to LEDs Boost energy efficiency by switching to LEDs as bulbs burn out. This collective effort slashes energy use and pollution. Longer-lasting LEDs save time, money, and energy costs compared to incandescents, lasting 25,000+ hours versus 1,000.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/80-change-light-bulbs-to-leds
21. Wash Clothes on Cold Cycle Modern detergents with enzymes are more effective in cold water, being gentler on clothes, preventing fading and shrinking. Cold water washing saves money too, as 90% of energy used in laundry is from water heating, while just 10% powers the washer motor.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/92-wash-clothes-on-cold-cycle
22. Turn Down Your Water Heater Lowering your water heater's temperature not only saves money but also prevents scalding accidents. Many heaters are set hotter than needed; adjust the temperature to conserve energy and experience the benefits.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/108-turn-down-your-water-heater
23. Unsubscribe from Email Lists Unwanted spam emails harm the environment by consuming energy, often from non-clean sources. Unsubscribing curbs energy waste from both sender and receiver, saving time and resisting unnecessary purchases. Unsubscribe for a minor personal benefit and a positive environmental impact.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/227-unsubscribe-from-email-lists
24. Use Cloth Napkins and Towels Join the trend: swap paper for cloth napkins and towels, conserving trees and funds. Elevate your home, cut waste, and ditch disposable products for a more convenient, eco-friendly choice.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/135-use-cloth-napkins-and-towels
25. Use Bar Soap, Shampoo, and More Traditional liquid personal care products like hand soap, shampoo, and conditioner come with hidden environmental costs due to plastic packaging and shipping water. Bar options, with lower carbon footprints, offer a greener alternative. Compact, waste-reducing, and efficient, they help cut down on plastic waste and contribute to a more sustainable future.
26. Gift Plants and Cuttings to Others Share plants and cuttings as gifts for a generous act with added benefits. Plants enhance aesthetics, air quality, and mental well-being, fostering care for nature. Gifted plants promote mindfulness and positive mental health, while also potentially aiding biodiversity and community connections.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/341-gift-plants-and-cuttings-to-others
27. Manage Your Fridge and Freezer Refrigerators and freezers are major energy consumers at home, especially if aged. Enhance efficiency by setting optimal temperatures, sealing doors, cleaning coils, and maintaining airflow. Properly filling them to about three-quarters capacity boosts cooling and reduces energy usage.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/215-manage-your-fridge-and-freezer
TRAVEL & TRANSPORT
28. Drive More Efficiently Cars, motorcycles, buses, and taxis contribute significantly to global emissions. Regardless of your vehicle's efficiency, driving smarter saves money and cuts pollution. If you are still driving a vehicle that uses gas/petrol/diesal, each drop of saved fuel lessens climate impact, and improved driving habits could enhance fuel efficiency by nearly 40%.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/20-drive-more-efficiently
29. Stop Vehicle Idling Switch off your gas vehicle when idle, even at lights or stops if you are still driving a vehicle that uses gas/petrol/diesal. Improve local air quality, protect health, and combat pollution. Engine idling links to asthma, heart disease, and lung cancer due to emissions. Implementing this easy habit makes a difference.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/28-stop-vehicle-idling
30. Avoid Hotel Toiletries Carry your own toiletries for convenience and reduced plastic consumption. Admire but avoid single-use mini products. Opt for bar soaps and mention bulk dispensers to hotel staff. This small change lessens plastic demand and contributes to fighting climate change.
Learn more here: https://www.earthhero.org/act/515-avoid-hotel-toiletries
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! Didn’t find an action that fits your lifestyle? There are plenty more ideas for easy yet impactful actions on the Earth Hero website, and in our amazing free app. Please visit, download, and start doing anything you can to help save the planet.