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6 rules to help you live a sustainable life in 2021

Are you a master of the "reduce, reuse and recycle" mantra willing to do more? Here are 6 top tips for taking sustainable living to the next level.

6 rules to help you live a sustainable life in 2021

21 September 2021

We all think we know the drill when it comes to going green; reduce, reuse and recycle. But as far as reducing your impact goes around the home, there is so much more that can be done.

Enter, Anita Vandyke, author of the book A Zero Waste Life: In Thirty Days. She shares her top tips for taking sustainable living to the next level.

1.     Repair

Fact: Australians send around 50 million tonnes of waste to landfill each year, which is why it’s super important that we choose to reuse, be it the clothes we wear or the furniture we sit on.

Picture: Pexels

“Make second hand your first choice,” says Anita. “Look at local thrift stores, ask neighbours and friends, try eBay.” If the condition isn’t quite up to scratch, try to find a fix for it or take it to someone who can help, there are repair cafes around that work a treat for this.

2.     Repurpose

A simple lick of paint, and an open mind, is all you need to breathe new life into anything on the out. Think tin can planters, a wooden palette bedframe or shopping bags made from old t-shirts.

“My favourite hack is to upcycle jars to store homemade beauty products,” adds Anita.

3.     Refuse

Anita believes it’s the smallest changes that make the biggest difference – like saying no to single-use plastics.

“Replace your disposables with reusables,” she says. “Items such as paper napkins, plastic grocery bags and coffee cups can all be substituted with cloth napkins, canvas grocery bags and KeepCups.” Why use disposable plastic bags and coffee cups when reusables look and feel so much better?

Picture: Pexels

Buying produce from bulk stores, will also help cut back on unnecessary packaging, and it’s a win for the wallet, too!

4.     Remember

Beyond bad at remembering to BYO? Help is at hand.

“Make yourself a ‘zero-waste kit’ and keep it by your shoes at the front door or in the boot of your car,” she says. Not only is it way more convenient to have all your eco-friendly products pre-packed, it also doubles as a shopping bag when you’re on-the-go. 

“Ideally, you want one made from cloth that includes a reusable drink bottle, coffee cup and stainless-steel straw,” Anita adds.

5.     Restore

Considering how much we take from the earth, it’s good to give back where we can, and this can begin with your own backyard.

Trees renew the air we breathe and provide food and shelter for birds and wildlife. Plus, when strategically placed around the home, they can eliminate the need for interior cooling.

Picture: Pexels

6.     Respect

For Anita, sustainability means leaving a gentler footprint on the planet, whether that be going paper-free, pulling the plug on power usage or reducing how much water we use. 

Put simply, it’s about acknowledging that our resources are finite and doing what we can to protect them.

“One person can definitely make a difference,” she says, “and the easiest place to start is with the home.”

Originally published on as ‘6 rules to help you live a sustainable life in 2019

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