Tag Archives: green eco tips

How to Overcome Barriers to Sustainable Living

As we are learning more and more about the effects humans are having on climate change, the number of individuals opting to live sustainably is steadily growing. Making conscious changes to your lifestyle is key. However, in a world where we are reliant on the things that are bad for the environment and sustainable alternatives aren’t always readily available, it’s not as easy as it should be. These barriers can be difficult to overcome.

I think back about when I started sustainable living and tried making so many changes in one go. I ended up becoming overwhelmed and I did everything badly – it starts with changing habits. After failing miserably, I starting again but this time I tackled one habit at a time.

Old Habits

This was the biggest barrier for me to overcome. It starts with habits. Have you ever tried to give up something you’ve been doing for a long time? Smoking? Drinking? It’s like that. You will do things automatically because that’s how you’ve done it and that’s how your brain and learnt that habit. The great thing is habits can be broken and new ones learnt.

Apparently, it takes between 20 – 30 days to break a habit and starting with one thing is key (don’t make my mistake!). Start with something small like switching your plastic razor to a safety razor. I’ve written blogs about using safety razors and they’re my favourite place to start. Once you get used to the safety razor, make another change.

Once you decide to want to start doing something different and you worry that you may forget. A handy tip is to write it down somewhere just to remind yourself, before you know it, you won’t need the reminder.


I’m not going to pretend this isn’t an issue for many people – it’s a genuine barrier. This is one of the biggest challenges I found to sustainable living and can really take a chunk out of your budget.

My advice is to speak to friends and family and see what they do. Have a look at social media for sustainable living ideas. There are little brands as well as the big brands who can offer great products. Second-hand shops are a great habit to create as these clothing items have already been made and you can find some real gems.

A few more examples are swapping from menstrual pads and tampons to menstrual cup/period pants or swapping to a safety razor. Just these eco swaps can help you save money in the long run.


This is another barrier that really gets to me and it’s hard to overcome. Not all shops offer a decent range of sustainable products. Some don’t offer any at all, so it’s understandable that people will buy from the options available to them. This is where shops need to do better.

Plastic is low cost and therefore, cheaper and they’re convenient but single-use plastic is the problem. Once you’re done with your roll-on deodorant, you’ll throw the who thing away (or recycle it, if you can) and get another one.

Do what you can – if you regularly get a takeaway coffee, use a reusable cup. keep a plastic bag folded in your bag so you don’t need to buy another one, walk (if you can) rather than taking your car.

It’s OK to be different

If anything, I embrace being different but I appreciate that isn’t the case for everyone else. When you’re with a group of friends, it’s OK to refuse a straw, if you’re at someone’s house and you need to throw something away, it’s OK to ask where the recycling bin is. It takes time to overcome this barrier.

I posted this on my Instagram page a while back and it made me chuckle

I wear odd socks because when there’s a hole in one sock, sadly, both pairs tend to be thrown away and I feel that’s a real waste, It’s a great conversation starter too!

Where to start

This was where I fell down at the start. I would highly suggest trying to make one change at a time and start with something small.

What got me started was lemons! I wanted to buy a single lemon but the only option available to me to me was a plastic net bag of about 4/5 lemons, which was way more than I needed. So I starting looking at what fruit and veg I could buy loose.

People are starting to think about sustainable living so some of your friends may have already started – swap ideas!

Something I created so people don’t make the same mistake I did was the 30-Day Eco Swap Challenge – I created this challenge for anyone who wants to adopt sustainable living practices for their home and families without stress, overwhelm or judgement.

Over 30 days, there are 30 different ways to become eco-friendly and live more sustainably. There will be some things you may not have even thought about and one that is a bit of a wildcard!

The path to sustainable living isn’t smooth but it is rewarding and there’s no such thing is a ‘perfect environmentalist’. It’s a myth. Sustainable living looks different for everyone.

Something I always say in my social media is – Start small, Do what you can, build from there!

These are some ideas that work for me but may not work for everyone. Here are my terms & conditions for further reading

Ways to be eco-friendly if you’re short on cash

One of the reasons I keep coming across that prevents people from living greener is the myth that it’s expensive to do. As the cost of living is really biting some of us, being green (and staying green) can be challenging.

When you make price comparisons with your usual purchase vs ethical purchase, usually, the ethical one has a higher price tag. The main reason for the cheaper price tag is probably because corners have been cut during the manufacturing process. There are some unscrupulous companies who put a higher price tag on eco-friendly products just because they can – but that’s a whole different post.

There are still some ways to go green if you’re short on cash.

Unplug, unplug, unplug – The amount of electronics we have to charge is incredible; mobile phones, ear buds, tablets, laptops. All of which, I’m guessing, we still leave plugged even when the device is no longer attached (I’ve been guilty of this in the past too). Switching these plugs off at the wall may not make a massive difference but something is always better than nothing.

Use EcosiaEcosia is a search engine similar to Google. Ecosia will plant trees based on the number of searches you have made. At the time of writing this blog, I am up to 1,263 trees. Not too shabby when all I’ve done is swap my search engine from Google to Ecosia. Give it a whirl.

Unsubscribe to unwanted newsletters – emails carry a digital carbon footprint. By unsubscribing to unwanted newsletters, you will be reducing your digital carbon footprint.

Refill your drinks for free – Water UK launched a campaign called Refill. All you have to do is download the app and it shows you where you can refill you water bottle when you’re out and about. Don’t forget to take your water bottle with you!

Join a library – authors still get royalty when you borrow their books from the library and as someone who used to work in publishing, I’m all for supporting authors. I appreciate recently quite a few libraries have shut so if you have one in your area, grab yourself a library card. This is a great tip if you have little ones who are starting to read.

Charge your device on the train – this is a really cheeky one. If you are travelling on the train and you’re allowed to charge your device during your journey, go for it. I used to be a commuter on HS1 and I saw regular commuters to this all the time.

Charge on airplane mode – when charging your phone, put it on airplane mode. It will charge faster because your phone won’t be using any battery power updating any background apps like Facebook or emails. Plus, the faster it charges, the less electricity you will need to use. Make sure you turn your Wifi/Bluetooth off too, I’ve noticed I can still use the wifi/bluetooth when it’s still in airplane mode so I actively turn these off too.

I created a Household Waste Analysis to help identify what we throw away and what we could change. Feel free to check it out – it’s FREE!

These are some ideas that work for me but may not work for everyone. Here are my terms & conditions for further reading