sustainable living

3 Simple but Effective Sustainable Living Hacks

Many of us who convert to the tiny house life do so in part because we love the idea of sustainable living. But it’s easy to get intimidated by watching the masters of sustainable living on YouTube–they enjoy thinking about it; maybe we just want to have a more positive effect on the planet while we continue thinking about our own, other favorite things.

Below are three simple but incredibly effective sustainable living hacks. We call them hacks because they’re so easy and so effective that it’s really like you’re “hacking the system” when you use them. Enjoy!


Homemade Cleaners

Unless you have something really special going on in your kitchen or bathroom, vinegar packs all the antibacterial power you need. Simply mix water and vinegar in any spray bottle for a gentle, environmentally friendly, and effective cleaner. How much you dilute the vinegar will depend on how serious your grime is.

If you’re like many of us and not exactly into the smell of vinegar, simply add 15 drops (or however many smells best to you) of lavender or tea tree oil to the solution. Many essential oils are also antibacterial and may actually improve the effectiveness of your homemade solution.


Grow Some Food

One of the most basic tasks of sustainable living is growing your own food. If you’re a gardener, you can skip this section and move to the next one. But if you’re not, you probably don’t realize how easy it can be to get into this dimension of sustainable living.

Pick your favorite berry or vegetable and focus on one pot that just grows that berry or vegetable. After you feel comfortable enough, you can move on to a second. The strawberry is one of the very best and easiest crops to grow indoors. These pots can also double as decoration on your patio or windowsill!


Pack Your Lunch

Our third sustainable living hack is one that you’ve always known you “should” be doing. If you’ve never started doing it, it’s probably because you don’t have time in the morning. But packing your own lunch for work can be much faster and easier than many of us make it if you put in just a little time on one weekend day.

In fact, you don’t even have to pack a lunch every day of the week. Just put together three dry sandwiches on Sunday and either add your spread(s) in the morning before work or pack them to add during lunch.

Sides are even easier–many side-dish-appropriate foods already travel well like bananas, kiwi, string cheese, and bags of carrots. The trick here is to make it easy on yourself to add these things to your insulated lunch bag in the morning. This preparation makes your daily life more environmentally sustainable because you’re not relying on to-go containers or traveling extra distance to source your lunch.


Sustainable Living is Sustainable

What good would sustainable living be if it was too hard for a normal person to participate in? We want to be able to sustain this lifestyle and not just do it once in a while when we find ourselves with an extra burst of time or energy.

Making your own household cleaners with predominantly water and vinegar is a quick and easy way to help the environment and save some serious cash. Growing one or two or, over time, three fruits or vegetables is a fun and satisfying way to take control of your diet and reduce the need for Big Agriculture. And finally, once your surfaces are clean and your food is grown, it’s perfectly reasonable to spend a little time over the weekend preparing at least a day or two of lunches so that when those mornings come around, it’s a snap to grab them and go.