The Power of Incremental Change
There is a lot of talk these days about the need for “big change” in order to solve the world’s problems. But what about the power of incremental change? Incremental change, sometimes called “small change, big impact,” is often the most effective way to achieve lasting change. It’s the kind of change that leads to gradual improvements, rather than sudden leaps. If we were to take one small step, incremental change could have a big impact on our lives and the world around us.
Making Sustainable Changes at Home
In order to make sustainable changes at home, it is important to understand the power of incremental change. By choosing small changes in your everyday life, you can have a big impact on your life, your family and the planet. For example, by using less energy, conserving water, and reducing waste, you can make a significant impact on the environment. By making these small changes, you can create a more sustainable home for yourself and your family.
Buy less and recycle more
Incremental change can have a big impact when it comes to reducing waste. “More than 41% of our households’ general waste is food and kitchen scraps, which currently goes to landfill where it produces gases that are harmful to the environment,” said Cr Cooper, Knox City Council Mayor (August 2021). By buying less and recycling more, we can help reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
Knox Waste Management Plan
Use LED light bulbs around your home
There are a lot of programs currently running that exchange your old light bulbs for LED light bulbs. Just ensure you are using a reputable company as these people are coming into your home. Check with your local energy provider if they have a recommended company.
Increase your home insulation
Poor insulation can have a big impact on your energy bill. By improving your home insulation, you can reduce your energy consumption by up to 30%. Checking window and door seals and adding or increasing ceiling insulation can be a great start. You can look further into double or triple glazed window and wall and floor insulation further down the track.
Use energy-efficient appliances
There are many benefits to using energy-efficient appliances, such as reducing your energy bill and helping the environment. You can also change the way you use your appliances – utilise off peak power times to save money. I use a travel mug at home to keep my cuppa hot longer as I would regularly microwave it if I had gotten busy. Note: my record was 4 times.
Install solar panels
This may be considered by some to be big change rather than an incremental impact due to the initial outlay costs for solar panels. There are government initiatives available to offset the cost and you can choose payment plans if needed. Our solar panels have reduced our energy bills by more than half so it was definitely worth it for us. We only needed to change our habits a bit and make the most use of appliances during peak sunlight hours.
The Benefits of Sustainable Living
Sustainable living is a way of living that protects the environment and ensures the long-term health and wellbeing of people and ecosystems. It encompasses a variety of practices, from reducing your waste to choosing environmentally friendly products, that can make a big impact.
There are many benefits to sustainable living, including:
- Reducing your carbon footprint, which helps to combat climate change
- Protecting wildlife and natural habitats
- Preventing pollution and hazardous materials from entering the environment
- Enhancing your community spirit
- Helping to create a more sustainable future for generations to come.
Some ideas to get you thinking:
Use public transportation instead of driving, turn off lights when not in use, and recycle to have a big impact on the environment. Less use/waste = less negative impact.
Turning off the lights when you leave a room or turning off the computer when you’re not using it can save a lot of energy. There are government funded smart meters that allow you to monitor your energy usage throughout the day. You can also purchase an energy meter that you plug your appliance into before plugging it in.
Cutting down the amount of sugar used in your recipes reduces the amount you buy and is better for you. Some recipes, especially those in my Mom’s American cookbooks, have a large amount of sugar in them. I have learned that I can cut these amounts down by as much as half and the recipe is still sweet enough for me. This is the recipe I use for Apple & Plum Jam and I halve the amount of sugar. I make my own yogurt to control what goes into it and save money. This also reduces plastic because I store it in my own jars. See the recipe I use.
How to Get Started on Your Sustainable Journey
My journey started with annoyance and dislike.
I was tired of paying so much for eggs and I didn’t like seeing how chickens were treated in some farms so I decided to get my own. The added benefits of having chickens were a place other than rubbish to put food scraps, fertiliser for the garden and a neat and trimmed lawn. Having reduced spider numbers helped too.
When it comes to making a change in your life, it can be tough to know where to start. But with the right approach, you can make small changes that have a big impact. Here are four tips for getting started on your sustainable journey:
- Define what you want: before you can make any changes, you first need to know what you want. Do you want to be healthier, more financially sustainable, less reliant on conventional energy suppliers, or even go off grid completely.
- What are your goals? You need to be specific and have a timeframe. “I want to eat healthier and choose organic foods as often as possible and I want to be doing this 80% of the time by Easter.” This is just an example to show you what I mean.
- What does success look like to you? “My fridge will be filled with healthy food I have bought from my local Farmer’s Market; I will have my lunch packed each day for work and I will have a menu planner on the front of the fridge to remind me what I’m cooking and to help me reduce my food waste.”
- Celebrate your successes and don’t give up. Your celebration might be to book in for a massage or get that nice dinner set you can now afford with the money saved by taking your lunch to work. If something happens and you don’t make a particular goal in your timeframe, don’t give up. Just keep working through or maybe have a look at your goal to make sure it was achievable for you.
There are many ways to make a change. You can start by making small changes that are consistent with your values. Over time, these changes will add up and have a big impact. You can also make a change that goes against
Conclusion: Making small changes in our lives can have a big impact on the sustainability of our planet. It is up to each of us to take the necessary steps to create a sustainable future for ourselves and for generations to come.
Sustainability doesn’t have to be hard and it can be as cheap or as expensive as you like and your budget allows. I started with getting chickens and now I’m up to wicking beds and solar panels. It has been a journey of over 20 years and I’m not finished yet. Don’t ever think it’s too hard or you would never be able to learn xyz. Start simple, with something that is doable for you and your lifestyle and go from there.
I’d love to hear about your One Small Change. Please comment below to share your wins, tips or questions.