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Hey hey, Happy leap year!!! Wow, we are already at the end of the second month of this year, this brand new decade, how has it been for you so far? For this months blog post, and in honour of this very special leap year, I thought I’d share with you some easy ideas, 29 ways for 29 days to be precise, that you can incorporate in your life to start making your every day lifestyle a bit more sustainable & more beneficial for our planet. Some you may do already, some you might think you’d never even consider, but that’s ok, none of us are perfect, and let’s be honest, nowadays theres so many things for us to consider that we should and shouldn’t be doing, let alone just living life with all its ups and downs anyway. Some of you might have thought, ‘oh Jesus, she’s harping on about this climate change malark again!’ and have started to tune out by now, but pretty please, with a cherry on top, please just read on, and humour me, because even the most cynical of you could make a difference whether you believe it or not. In this current day, we as an entire human race are facing, what is being called a climate emergency. You can’t escape it, and it is something very real that we must all pay attention to. Now you may be thinking that it’s just the big businesses & the fat cats in power who can make any changes, but that is where I believe you’re wrong. You might think that just using that one plastic straw in your drink and throwing it straight out won’t make a difference, but if we all thought like that then, quite frankly, we’d all be f*%ked (excuse my French). What i would love is that if everyone even started doing just one thing from this list below, we’d all see a cumulative change. It’s about a lot of people doing a little bit, we can see huge changes. So read on, see what you think, see what you could incorporate into your daily life, and please let me know which ones you like the sound of and what you’re going to begin. So here you go, 29 ways to be more sustainable for 29 days of this leap year month…. 1. Carry a Reusable Water Bottle Use & carry with you a reusable water bottle, always. If you do get caught out then try and buy water from companies such as ‘Just Water’ that only uses eco friendly packaging, made from mostly plants. 2. Carry a Reusable Coffee Cup Just like your water bottle, consider carrying a reusable coffee cup with you, in your car, or keep one in your desk at work, and use that when you go and get your regular coffee. Companies such as Starbucks will give you money off the cost of your drink if you do this. Win win hey? 3. Get Yourself A Metal Straw Buy yourself a metal straw and keep that in your bag. No need for plastic straws, no need even for paper ones. 4. Carry Reusable Shopping Bags Keep shopping bags in your car and a few fold up ones in your bag to avoid having to buy plastic 5p ones. Saves your pennies, saves on plastic! 5. Reduce Your Meat Consumption This is one that I’m super passionate about, mostly because I’m vegan for ethical reasons, but it is now scientifically proven that meat consumption is one of the factors that has the biggest impact on climate change! So if you are a meat eater, then could you consider having 1 or 2 meat free days a week? With the rise of the trend ‘Meat Free Mondays’ why not jump on board? There are so many other reasons why you should consider cutting down on your meat consumption, but I vowed to never be a ‘preachy vegan’ so we’ll save that for another time! Don’t get me started! 6. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle Need i say more? If you live in a house in the UK then as far as I’m aware, every house has specific recycling bins provided by the council. I know those in flats aren’t required to recycle, but that to me is just lazy. There are plenty of public recycling centres that you can visit and reduce the amount of rubbish that just gets slung into black bags with no thought, and subsequently dumped straight on to the top of an ever growing landfill! 7. Take Less Car Journeys Think about, do you really need to jump in the car to do that 3minute journey to the local shop? Could you walk instead? More steps, improves your health and fitness, uses less petrol and benefits our environment. Another win win!!! 8. Get On Your Bike If you have a bike, get on it. I use my bike for journeys that would be a little too far to walk when trying to fit in a normal day of running around, working etc, but aren’t too far that to jump on my bike is really easy. Again, more exercise for you, less emissions released into the atmosphere. 9. Switch To Paperless Bills Realistically they just build up and take up space within your home anyway and they can easily be accessed online at any time if needed. Reducing the amount of paper being used & the carbon footprint of actually having to post the paper bills too. 10. Refrain From Fast Fashion Now, I’m as guilty as the rest here when it comes to being a sucker for a bargain and buying another item of clothing that you already have numerous versions of the same in your wardrobe, but this piece is, just some how, totally different in its own right! It is only recently that I’ve been made aware of how much of an effect fast, inexpensive fashion has on our climate. Think smart. Could you wear an item with a multitude of different outfits and in different ways? Is it going to fall apart after 3 uses? 11. Refrain From Fast Home Fashion Just like fast fashion, try and avoid fast, easily disposable pieces around your home. 12. Fabric Napkins Instead of using disposable things such as paper napkins around your home, could you switch to fabric ones instead? 13. Grow Your Own Produce Do you have a garden, or even a balcony? How about growing some of your own produce? I always have herbs growing in my garden, so I don’t have to buy them, usually wrapped in plastic from the supermarket, and there’s something so ‘romantic’ about being able to pick my own for cooking. This year I think I’m going to experiment and grow some fruits and vegetables. How satisfying to be able to pick them yourself, and again saving you money. 14. Install A Water Butt If you own a garden, think about installing a water butt to store rain water. We had one when I lived at home with my parents. The stored rain water was used to water the garden, whilst I’d use it to fill up water pistols and soak my sister, maybe not quite so useful, but clearly more fun! 15. Cut Back On Using Your Tumble Dryer Do you need to use your tumble dryer for every single wash you do? If it’s nice weather outside, can you hang your laundry out to dry? Could you hang your washing on a clothes airer overnight in your home? 16. Get A Library Card Yep, you read that right! I got one last year as it suddenly dawned on me that I have a massive amount of books that I’ve read once and probably never will again so now they’ll just be sitting there redundant. So why not take books out from the library or buy e-books instead? I’m a little old fashioned so I love the feeling of an actual book, but by borrowing from the library, they won’t then take up space in your home, as well as help reduce demand for new books to be made. If you read a book and really love it, then buy it. I also keep seeing book exchanges around every where I go which I love, so make use of those too. 17. Shop Local I know it’s easy to head to your local supermarket and do your entire grocery shop under one roof, but if possible, then take advantage of locally sourced or produced produce and local farm shops. 18. Turn Off Electrical Items When Not In Use Reduces energy consumption, reduces your energy bill. Not much more to say about that! 19. Re-think Your Beauty Products There are loads of bits within your beauty regime that could be changed up to up your sustainability levels. A gorgeous friend of mine recently bought me some fabric cotton pads that I have now replaced my normal cotton wool pads with. I just pop them in my washing machine when they’re dirty and re-use! No waste. Instead of buying normal plastic cotton buds, swap them for bamboo ones. Bamboo toothbrushes are also a thing now, change it up! 20. Change Your Sanitary Products One for the ladies, and one that I’m yet to try, but it’s on my list to do so, but have you considered changing your sanitary products from conventional tampons and pads to ones that are organic and made from cotton? Or even something like a moon cup isn’t disposable and you just wash and reuse. Sounds a bit out there, but I’ve heard many good things! 21. Cleaning Product Overhaul Like your beauty products, there are so many changes you could make with your cleaning products. Use microfiber clothes instead of disposable wipes, I use old tea towels to wipe down surfaces instead of disposable towels. I have also recently started using eco friendly, recycled, sustainable laundry tabs. A company called Smol who deliver my laundry tabs to my door, when I need them, and best of all, they’re cruelty free. Make use of those old plastic toothbrushes when cleaning too. 22. Turn Down Your Central Heating Just turning it down by only a few degrees can reduce your energy consumption, and again, your energy bill. 23. Light Bulb Changes Consider changing your light bulbs to more energy efficient ones, such as LED that last for ages and use less energy. 24. Get Crafty One thing I love to do is keep greetings cards that I can use to make gift tags for gifts. I often do this at Christmas, saving money and waste. Make use of candle jars once the candle has finished burning. I have a blog post all about different ways you can use them, and check out my Sustainable Hacks story highlight on my instagram page that shows you how to get the wax out and clean them. My point being to think outside the box with anything crafty or creative. 25. Could You Car Pool? I know a lot of people who do this on the school run. How about sharing your car journey to work with work colleagues? 26. Use Leftover Food Did you know that it’s thought we waste over 40% of our food?! That statistic is shocking to me. Making use of leftovers will not only save you money, but it’s far less wasteful with our resources, and hey, why not get creative in the kitchen with them? 27. Reusable Food Wraps If you do find yourself with leftovers, instead of using cling film to wrap them up, hunt out some reusable food wraps. Many of the ones on the market now are made using beeswax and can just be washed after each use. 28. Fruit & Veg I don’t know about you, but if I do have any leftovers or wasted food, its usually in the shape of fruit and veg. So for my penultimate tip, opt for fruit and veg minus the packaging so you can decide how much you want. Take cotton bags with your shopping bags to put them in, many shops supply paper bags, or don’t use any bags at all and pop them in your shopping as they are. 29. Eat Seasonally Often easier said than done but could you think about eating what’s in season? There are so many reasons why I think this is a great idea. For one, it helps our bodies sync up with the natural rhythm of nature and its seasonal needs. Secondly, seasonal foods often cost less as they are more readily available, meaning thirdly, we reduce the carbon footprint of our food, reducing the amount of food that we consume that has been shipped from all over the world. So there you have it. Lots of tips to digest and hopefully a lot of food for thought for you take away and hopefully incorporate into your life. As I said, if lots of us can do a little then we can really see great changes. Please get in touch to share any tips that you have and if you’ve read any tips that you think you’re going to start doing. Until next time, I wish you all a fabulous March. You can keep up to date with all my new projects over on my Instagram page, @mysanctuaryno8. Lots of love Zara xxx

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