I live in UAE. Here government has started few initiatives recently but I think there is far way to go. I am trying to be more thoughtful for the things I use but It is very difficult as whatever the alternate ways I look for are more time consuming or costly and I end up choosing non environmental friendly ways. What my essential question is that where to start ? Like I have switched from plastic cups to drink water from one portable cup but what are the small suggestions like that which I can embedded in my life swiftly.

3 Answers 3


There are lots of small things you can do. The list is potentially endless and really depends on what you consider to be 'small' effort. But to give a few examples:

  • Always carry a sturdy reusable bag with you and stop using single-use plastic bags
  • Fully switch off electronic devices when not in use (many devices go into stand-by mode and will still consume some electricty)
  • Turn down heating or cooling a bit to reduce energy consumption
  • Replace all light bulbs in your house with low-energy LED bulbs
  • Drive your car more efficiently (shift to high gear quickly, don't speed, use cruise control, check tyre pressure regularly)
  • Use public transport more often
  • Eat less meat
  • Buy less stuff
  • Stop watering plants and switch to permaculture
  • Plant trees or shrubs in your garden (suitable for your climate)

I'm sure, if you browse around on this website, you will find discussions about many more things you can do. Perhaps over time, when you are willing to also take bigger, more effective steps you could consider to:

  • Better insulate your house
  • Install solar panels on your house or join/setup a local energy cooperation
  • Buy an electric car or join/setup a car-sharing scheme
  • Stop travelling by plane
  • Talk to local authorities or politicians, share your concerns with them and ask them to take more action.

Whatever action you choose, do share your concerns and efforts with the people around you. That way you hopefully inspire them to also take action. If your friends and family in turn share their efforts it could end up having a snowball effect.

  • Question is tagged city-living, so Drive your car more efficiently or buy an electric car do not really apply, because city living does not need car ownership. On the other hand, not travelling by plane is difficult when living in the UAE, unless not travelling to most of the world at all. Maybe one could take a ferry to Iran and then travel to Europe or East Asia by train from there, but it's not easy.
    – gerrit
    Jun 21 at 11:50

I found few while surfing internet

  • Switch to portable cup.
  • Carry reusable bags.(clothe tote bag).
  • Carry steel spoon.
  • Use a sustainable razor.
  • Switch to bamboo brush.
  • Use reusable straws.
  • Try switching to menstrual cup.
  • Turn off lights and all electric products.
  • Compost your kitchen waste.
  • Think twice before shopping.
  • Buy long lasting things.
  • Reduce dairy intake.
  • Try using self made cleaners from orange and lemon wastes.
  • I am vegetarian for all the others go meat free (even one day a week!)
  • Replace cheese.
  • Try using public transports.
  • Switch to clothe tissues from paper tissues.(Because you can reuse them after use by washing them.)

I will keep updating list once I found few more things.


There are a lot small changes that can be done and one can be improved over time thinking sustainably. Important thing is to start and know it comes with some discomfort at the beginning. Answers above have good tips. Here are few you can add to them that I personally developed:

  1. Switch off lights in the rooms you are not in/be more dark tolerant overall/use less lights.
  2. Replace balcony and porch lights with solar energy lights.
  3. Don’t run water when not in use even between gaps of brushing teeth/washing hands/washing dishes etc.
  4. Be scarce when using household chemicals/use mindfully/think about fishes in the rivers/seas/oceans.
  5. Don’t overeat/eat just enough.
  6. Plan food preparation ahead/this way it is easier to make environmentally friendly corrections and changes.

7.Enjoy walking/carrying groceries from nearby store.

8.Cook simple food which requires less energy consumption and is quick to be done.

9.Shop sustainably with companies and brands that are eco friendly/joining them you strengthen the message of sustainable living as well.

10.Invest in things/brands that are durable/easily reparable/have a good customer service.

11.Try to repair first till you throw something/always have household glue in supply. 12. Have at hand the list/contact numbers of good/reliable service men for household repair.

Sustainable living habits need to be developed/discovered in the process as there are immense combinations, alterations and choices situationally.

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