Most of us, especially city-dwellers, are living communally with friends, family or housemates, and it can be tricky to feel like you’re living your best (and most environmentally-friendly) life when sharing a space with others. Not everyone is proactive about incorporating sustainability into their lives, but there are a few easy ways to promote eco-conscious habits in an informative and non-judgmental manner that won’t compromise your relationship with those you live with! Read on for five of our top tips to encourage sustainable living with your roommates.
Presents aren’t everything, but birthdays or Christmas can be the perfect occasions to express your affection through gifting. Our gorgeous cutlery sets are perfect for friends who are always on the go, and what better feeling than for your mates to be reminded of you when they dine out more sustainably! Also, don’t be afraid to suggest small tweaks to make fun traditions a little kinder to the environment: if your birthday is up next, perhaps ask for gifts to be plastic-free, and if you’ve got an annual Secret Santa gift exchange with your housemates, skip the faff of buying gift bags and suggest everyone reuse old newspapers for wrapping.
Share your experience
Education is empowerment, and this holds true for adopting sustainable habits too. Without talking down to anyone or being patronising, be confident enough to share your own journey of learning how to incorporate environmentally-friendly habits into your daily routine with your housemates. You might have a funny story to tell about times you may have gotten it wrong in the past, or how you came to learn about a specific issue close to your heart. Not many people know about the dangers of micro-plastics in ocean waste or the chemicals in household cleaning products, so don’t be afraid to start a conversation. Keep it light-hearted, and remember that good friends will listen and appreciate your openness.
Turn it into a bonding experience
Whether you spend Sunday meal-prepping delicious vegan lunches together or pick a new plant-based recipe to try for a midweek flat dinner, incorporating a sense of community and fun into is an effortless way to get your housemates on board. The next time you decide to cook a meal together, take the lead and stock your fridge with some plant-based essentials. You could even turn it into a weekly ritual and take turns choosing what to make! Plus, communal cooking reduces the chance of food going to waste: you can all take leftovers into work for lunch the next day!
Show them how they benefit
Making small lifestyle changes goes a long way for the planet, but also for our wallets. If your roommates are wondering what’s in it for them, show them exactly what they stand to gain from being more mindful of their carbon footprint. The next time you stroll out for a weekend cuppa together, bring along some extra keep cups and score money off your lattes. Also, why not try designing cute handwritten reminders to turn off light switches in shared spaces next month to see if you can bring down your monthly electricity bill? They’ll see how easy it is to incorporate sustainable swaps (that also financially benefit them!) in no time.
Lead by example
Lastly, actions speak louder than words. No one likes being preached to, and if your housemates aren’t initially receptive to your suggestions, don’t hassle them further. By simply continuing to make mindful decisions in your life, you’re already leading by example. Your housemates will notice your efforts to be kinder to the earth, whether it’s your Sasstainable toothbrush in the shared bathroom or the vegan pantry staples that fuel your busy lifestyle. See this as an opportunity to be a positive ambassador for sustainability and know that you’re doing your part – even if it takes others a little longer to get onboard.