Ways to make your morning routine eco-friendly

When the alarm sounds in the morning, you may want to just roll out of bed and go about a morning routine that focuses on convenience. However, even the small steps you take before work each morning can add up and harm the planet. If you’re hoping to live a greener lifestyle, a great place to start is with your routine before you leave your home in the morning. In our guide, we reveal some eco-friendly tips for each step of the way.

6:30 AM: Shower

Woman washing her hair

Unlike when you can enjoy organic products on eco spa days in Yorkshire, the shelves in your bathroom are likely to be filled with products made with harsh chemicals, most of which are contained in single-use plastic bottles.

If you want to make a difference in your routine, try switching to plastic-free shampoo and conditioner. These often come in glass jars or can be purchased in a soap-like bar. Alternatively, you can start to re-use your plastic containers by visiting your local zero-waste shop to refill on your hair and body products.

Teresa from Outlandish, a mindful lifestyle and fashion blog, shares her top tip: “Turn off the water in the shower while you’re applying shampoo or shower gel. Don’t worry, the warmth of the shower doesn’t disappear while you do that!”

We also spoke to Stephanie from Let’s Talk Slow, a sustainable fashion and conscious travel blog, who says: “Making use of natural products, preferably not packaged in plastic, is the best way to go. You do not need to stop using the products you already own. Instead, think about how you can replace these items once you almost run out or if you need to replace them at all.

“Make small changes and start with the values and topics that are important to you. This might be that no animals are being harmed for the product and is completely cruelty-free or that the product does not contain any plastic packaging. You can make an impact with more than just the formula. Once you make a small step, you can change and improve your routine along the way. It doesn't have to be perfect all at once!”

7:00 AM: Skincare routine

Skincare drops

Even the small things in the morning can be swapped with eco-friendly alternatives, including switching from plastic to bamboo toothbrushes and using vegan products in your skincare routine.

Stephanie from Let’s Talk Slow continues: “If you have certain skin issues, it might be worth looking at your diet instead of using products for this as your gut could be projecting issues and inflammation on your skin. For instance, cutting dairy out of your food instead of using creams or serums can be better for your skin.”

Plastic Freedom is an online shop that sells everything from vegan make-up to biodegradable plasters. We asked the founder, Beth, for her advice: “I start my day by using a charcoal toothpaste in a glass jar, a bamboo toothbrush and a face scrub with upcycled coffee grinds from cafes in London.

“Switch out products that contain harmful chemicals that aren’t good for your body or the environment; I always think about everything I use, the ingredients and where they are sourced. Everything we use gets washed down the sink or shower into the environment, so the least amount of impact we can have whilst having glowing skin is the goal.”

7:20 AM: Choosing your outfit

Inside a clothing shop

As fast fashion has plenty of negative environmental and social impacts, opting for more sustainable and ethically-made clothing is often the first place people begin their conscious journey, including Stephanie from Let’s Talk Slow: “I’ve learnt about the fashion industry and buying more sustainably, in addition to reading about environmental issues in general. As a result, I have made changes to improve the way I lived to make less impact.”

There are plenty of sustainably made clothing brands available online, including the pioneering brand People Tree or Thought. So, prepare yourself for your eco-friendly morning routine by building yourself a new wardrobe filled with sustainable, second-hand or recycled clothing.

7:30 am: Breakfast

Woman cooking a healthy breakfast

Give yourself a bit more time in the morning to cook a healthy and nutritious breakfast. This can not only keep your body fuelled for the morning ahead but, by choosing plant-based ingredients, you’re helping the planet.

Teresa from Outlandish recommends: “Since the food industry is one of the biggest and most problematic polluters on this planet, I would encourage everyone to take a quick look at their eating habits. Even if going full vegetarian or vegan seems a bit exaggerated, what you could do is switch your breakfast into an eco-friendlier alternative. Switching black puddings and breakfast sausages for a vegetarian option or even an omelette makes your carbon footprint a lot smaller in a surprisingly short amount of time.”

8:00 AM: Coffee on the go

Coffee machine

It’s still early in the morning so it’s no surprise you may be looking for that extra boost to keep you going! However, the UK alone uses 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every day, less than 1% of which are recycled. So, invest in your own flask or reusable coffee cup, and you can enjoy your morning coffee guilt-free.

Jill from Sutton + Grove, a conscious lifestyle, travel and fashion blog, comments: “I drink sustainably sourced coffee and make only what I drink. Plus, I use a travel mug if I’m going out which saves on buying coffee and using disposable cups at coffee shops.”

As well as switching your coffee cups, you can go a step further and start to use milk alternatives. Teresa from Outlandish says: “When I decided to make little changes in my life to live more sustainably, the first things I changed were the milk I use in my morning coffee (from skimmed to oat milk).”

8:10 am: Unplug your home

Before you embark on your journey to work, get into the habit of switching your appliances off at the plug before you leave, which will lower the amount of energy your home wastes.

This is another tip recommended by Teresa from Outlandish who explains: “Probably the easiest thing you can do to make your morning routine a tad eco-friendlier is to unplug all your chargers when you’re not charging anything. Did you know that a plugged-in charger uses electricity even if there’s nothing attached to the other end? And after a while, it does accumulate quite an amount of electricity used for nothing.”

8:15 am: Commute

Man walking to work

Save money on fuel and contribute less to pollution by walking or cycling to work. This is a great way to clear your head ready for a productive day. Plus, it means you can easily achieve your daily exercise.

Teresa tells us about her commute: “I hate public transport, and since walking a kilometre actually doesn’t take longer than 10-15 minutes, I started walking everywhere! To work, to the supermarket, to my friends’ places. It didn’t take long to get used to walking everywhere, and these days I would always rather walk than take any transport. What makes walking particularly enjoyable is having a killer playlist to accompany you!”

9:00 AM: ARRIVE AT WORK

By the time you arrive at work, you can already feel like you’ve achieved something with your day, as you’ve made positive eco-friendly choices. As a reward for your efforts, you can treat yourself to a relaxing break at an Eco Spa in Yorkshire. We’ve listed some of the top tips mentioned in this guide below for your convenience.

How to be eco-friendly in the morning

  • Buy zero-waste shampoo, conditioner and body products
  • Turn off the shower when you're applying products
  • Use a bamboo toothbrush
  • Use vegan make-up and skincare
  • Wear sustainably made or second-hand clothing
  • Cook a plant-based, healthy breakfast
  • Invest in a reusable coffee cup
  • Consider switching from skimmed to oat milk
  • Walk or cycle to work