The Lazy Person’s Guide to Sustainability: Low Effort, Big Impact

Giada Nizzoli

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Sustainability: Low Effort, Big Impact

So, you want to start making a difference for the planet but life keeps getting in the way? Worried it’s going to be too tiring and time-consuming?

We get it: joining marches isn’t for everyone. That doesn’t mean it should be all or nothing, though!

In fact, with our lazy person’s guide to sustainability, you can make a positive impact on the planet without getting up from the sofa.

1. Educate yourself on sustainability and why it matters 

Waste caused by unsustainable fashion brands

As cliches as it might sound, change really does start from within. How can you hope to embrace—and maintain—a more eco-friendly lifestyle if you’re not clear on what it’s about? 

Understanding why it’s important will also help you stay motivated.

How you do that really depends on how you prefer to absorb information, but here are some ideas to get you started:

Watch documentaries

Follow blogs 

Listen to podcasts 

Read books

And when you see helpful sustainability content on social media—in a format and style that works well for you—follow those accounts.

2. Make your browsing and internet experience greener

Consumer browsing sustainably

To follow most of the points in our lazy person’s guide to sustainability, you’ll need your phone or laptop. So, it’s only logical to want to make a difference when using them, too.

  • Consider switching to Ecosia, a Google alternative (both as a search engine and phone app) that uses its profits to plant trees
  • Try free tree-planting extensions like refoorest

3. Sign petitions

Woman holding a megaphone during a protest

Some people will try and tell you it doesn’t work, but we beg to differ.

Some petitions genuinely lead to a debate in Parliament and a change in certain laws.

And even those that don’t? They still make a difference: they'll raise awareness, make your stance clear to decision-makers, and often prompt media to cover the story you’re so passionate about.

You can find petitions related to sustainability and ethical issues on:

4. Shop online from sustainable brands—consciously

Consumer following our lazy person's guide to sustainability by shopping online ethically

In most cases, online shopping is more eco-friendly than driving to a physical store (which is great news if you’re following our lazy guide to sustainability from your bed).

However, that doesn’t mean you should buy lots of random stuff!

We recommend following the 6 R’s of sustainability: rethinking, refusing, and reducing your consumption should come first.

So, try and only buy items you actually need and can see yourself using multiple times to justify their environmental footprint (for example, with clothes, that means wearing them at least 30 times).

But when you do buy them, it’s obviously best to support brands that are doing their bit for the planet!

  • Look for online stores with a sustainability page—or an equivalent—and that are transparent about their supply chain. Don’t fall for greenwashing (e.g. a brand using vague terms like “eco-friendly” without showing you how)
  • When it comes to clothes, it’s actually super easy: we’ve brought hundreds of fair trade brands in one place on Project Cece and included filters to narrow down your choices

5. Support ethical brands and organisations

Social media to support ethical brands

And we don’t just mean by buying from them! In fact, this step of our lazy person’s guide to sustainability is entirely free:

  • Follow your favourite sustainable brands on social media
  • Engage with their content (psst: this will help them reach more people through the algorithm)
  • Write them a positive review
  • Recommend them to your friends and family

It won’t cost you a penny but it’ll make a massive difference for them—and by helping them reach more eco-conscious consumers, for the planet, too.

6. Make some small changes to live more sustainably

Eco-friendly lamp to show the importance of small lifestyle changes

Ok, fine: you will need to get up from your sofa to put some of these in practice.

But unlike crossing the country to join a march, you can just incorporate them into your day-to-day life. And after embracing these mindset changes? They’ll become second-nature.

For example:

  • Don’t use more water than you need to, and set yourself a 5-minute timer for showers
  • Switch off your power sockets or unplug appliances you’re not using (yes, they still consume electricity even when they’re off)
  • Turn your lights off when leaving a room, and consider swapping them for LED bulbs
  • Change your subscriptions to opt out of physical mail
  • Wash your clothes less often and at lower temperatures to reduce the environmental impact of your laundry
  • Prioritise items with less packaging
  • Reduce your meat and fish consumption, try more plant-based recipes, and choose seasonal ingredients whenever possible
  • Carry reusable bags, bottles, and coffee cups instead of asking for single-use options every time
  • Walk, cycle, or choose public transport whenever you can

7. Offset your emissions

Hand with green paint and leaves to show the importance of offsetting your carbon emissions to live more sustainably

As we’ve seen before, reducing your consumption and footprint is what makes the biggest difference.

On top of that, though, you can also offset them by supporting projects that remove CO2, like tree-planting initiatives

There are plenty of platforms to do that, like:

8. Share your knowledge 

Friends sharing their knowledge and lazy person's guide to sustainability

And now it all goes back to that first point: change starts from within when we educate ourselves.

But most of your loved ones? They might not be aware of how important it is to look into sustainability! Or they want to do something but feel overwhelmed, just like you did before reading our lazy person’s guide to sustainability. 

So, when you bump into a handy article or social media post, share it (maybe this very blog post too if you have a few “lazy” eco-conscious friends?).

Basically, by getting more people involved, you can make an even bigger impact—still without leaving the sofa.

And if you enjoyed our lazy person’s guide to sustainability, start receiving our tips and inspiration to make more ethical fashion choices.

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