• Megan at ZeroSmart

Top Ten Sustainable Hobbies

We have put together a list of our Top Ten Sustainable Hobbies. Hobbies are a wonderful thing to have - they care for our mental health and connect us with ourselves, family, friends and community. Read on to find out if your sustainable hobby is on the list of the top 10 sustainable hobbies.


1. Knitting


Knitting can be a beautiful sustainable hobby and something which can be enjoyed by the entire family. It is important to pick the correct yarn in order to keep this hobby sustainable.


Yarns that are not sustainable are often filled with chemicals and microplastics.


Sustainable yarns include:

  • Silk

  • Hemp

  • Upcycled yarn

  • Bamboo

  • Organic cotton

  • Tencel


A ball of yarn with a description of five different sustainable yarns: Tencel, Bamboo, Organic Cotton, Silk and Hemp.
Sustainable yarn materials

Yarns that are not sustainable include:

  • Acrylics

  • Nylon

  • Polyester

  • Synthetic dyes

These yarns are likely to be chemically filled and contain microplastics. In turn, this means that they are not biodegradable. There are several really lovely businesses where you can buy sustainable and ethical yarn.

Another way of ensuring that this hobby is kept sustainable is to check if there are any shops locally to you which sell sustainable yarn. This is a great way of keeping the carbon footprint of your makes as low as possible.


2. Grow what you eat


You don’t have to have an entire allotment to take up the hobby of growing your own food. There is a whole array of different foods you can grow in your house, out of a grow bag, or (if you have the space) in the garden! Growing what you eat will save you some grocery money, keep you occupied, and create a healthier environment by encouraging urban biodiversity and enhancing air quality. You might also choose to grow flowers, instead of vegetables in your garden, making your home look a lot more beautiful. Either way, having a garden is great for the environment and is extremely fun both for kids and adults.


Check our Tip Tuesday for some great ideas of what can be grown throughout the house.


3. Yoga


A sustainable hobby that is as great for the body as it is for the mind. Caring about the environment can often feel like a relentless task and one which can be filled with anxiety. Yoga is such a wonderful way to release any negative emotions. Remember, you can’t be your best if you don't look after yourself!


This is an activity which can be done alone, with family or friends - all you need is a floor! There are so many free resources available online, such as Yoga With Olive. Yoga With Adrienne's 30-day yoga journey is a great place to begin if you are new to this hobby.



4. Walking


Being outside and enjoying nature is a wonderful hobby. It allows you to learn about new cultures, especially if you are hiking away from home, and you will learn something new about the environment, including the surrounding flora and fauna. And if it is a family hike, it will give a family more bonding time while leaving fewer carbon footprints.


There are several apps that can help make this hobby more engaging. We recommend:


  1. Audubon Bird Guide App

  2. iNaturalist App (for identifying bird and plant species)

  3. AllTrails (to find routes for the whole family).


To keep this hobby as sustainable as possible, ensure you always stick to the routes, never take anything from the environment and always take your litter with you.


5. Raise monarch butterflies


Like honey bees, bumblebees, and many other important insects, the number of monarch butterflies has been on a downward trend over the last several years. There are many reasons for the monarch's troubles, including loss of habitat, natural predation and disease, and even winter storms in Mexico where they annually congregate. Here is a great website with lots of info on how to raise monarch butterflies.


A Monarch butterfly emerging from a cocoon
Raising monarch butterflies


6. Litter picking


Lots of rubbish (especially plastic) can be found on the ground in the places where we live, be it in the country or the city. This affects wildlife and the overall environment. Grab yourself a litter picker and go around your area picking up garbage. Remember to find the right place to dispose of it – preferably a recycling centre!






7. Meditating


Meditating is a wonderful practice, which focuses on settling our minds and dealing with our climate anxiety. It has a whole array of different benefits: lowering our stress levels, creating better connections, improving focus, and being kinder to ourselves. Starting to meditate can seem very daunting, however, there are so many free and accessible online resources, such as Calm’s Youtube.



8. Make and build with eco-bricks


An eco brick is a building block made entirely from unrecyclable plastic. It’s created by filling a plastic bottle with clean, dry plastic until it’s packed tightly and can be used as a building block. Eco bricks can be used in all sorts of sustainable building projects, which makes them a great way to dispose of plastic waste that would otherwise end up in landfills, and potentially, the ocean. The plastic in an eco brick is very durable and will never break down, making it an ideal building material. They’re used in African Countries to construct furniture and even buildings, and they’re also used in the UK to build children’s playgrounds.


Building with eco-bricks can be a wonderful hobby to do alone or with your family.



9. Upcycle clothing


The fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters out there. Increasing the lifespan of existing garments instead of buying new clothes is a fantastically environmentally friendly hobby. Pick up a few simple sewing skills and you can patch together old bits of garments, or alter clothes you find in the thrift store so that you can rock them in style.



A woman using a sewing machine
Upcycling clothes is a wonderful sustainable hobby


10. Cooking


Not only is cooking enjoyable and incredibly useful, but the sustainability and health benefits are substantial as well. More home-cooked food means less pre-packaged and processed junk and more healthy wholesome meals.

Minimalist Baker and Cookie and Kate are two very popular online food blogs that focus on whole foods and simple recipe ideas. Many of their recipes are also vegetarian- and vegan-friendly.

Conclusion

This is the list of our Top Ten Sustainable Hobbies! Was your hobby on the list? Did we miss it out? Share photos of your sustainable hobby with us by tagging @zerosmartuk.