I may earn income from affiliate links or partnerships in this post. I spend time to curate tours or products that align with my values. Thanks for supporting my work, at no additional cost to you.

Last updated on September 10th, 2022 at 01:17 am

Are you curious how you can live more sustainably while living abroad from your home country? Learning to live more sustainably as an ex-pat can have many positive impacts. Stretching your comfort zone, as an example, improves your mental health and strengthens your inner resolve. Further, when you live more sustainably, you expand your awareness because you’re forced to pay attention. Which also forces you to be mindful and make smart choices. Most importantly, it calls you in to take part in the sustainable living/travel movement. 

Truthfully, sustainable living tips for ex-pats are everywhere. You only need to know where and how to look for them. This article will cover seven thrifty ways to live more sustainably as an ex-pat to get you started. Read further for the specifics on how best to adjust to a sustainable ex-pat lifestyle. And why doing so enhances the experience of what it is to live abroad.

7 Sustainable Tips for Life Abroad

Looking for more awesome sustainable travel tips from Bag Lady, Meredith San Diego? She has been living abroad for years and has lots of great tips on living and traveling more sustainably. So, head over and check out her author profile for more great posts like:

Adjusting to ex-pat life sustainably

The easier said than done method of sustainably adjusting to ex-pat life is to embrace change, because it will be the most prominent feature of your journey. In fact, I recommend making good friends with change as soon as possible. That way you fear it less and can mentally welcome it over for a wine-down every other Friday.

Jokes aside, change is the only constant in life. When moving abroad, it’s the entire point in most cases. The adaptations necessary to live more sustainably as an ex-pat are many, it’s true. But the empowerment waiting on the other side of the seemingly crocodile-infested waters is more than worth it.

7 ways to live more sustainably as an ex-pat

Let’s begin simply with these seven suggestions to live more sustainably in a new town/country. Then we can discuss a few specific sustainable living tips for ex-pats. Grab a pen and open your mind because here we go.

  1. Shop local and save trips to big chains for items that aren’t found in the local shop.
  2. Eat seasonal produce and get creative in the kitchen with less. 
  3. Slow travel using overland methods like the bus or train. 
  4. Get to know the existing laws around recycling. 
  5. Learn phrases of the primary language in the local dialect.
  6. Embrace the idea of minimalism.
  7. Build a relationship with nature.

These tips are simple to implement but make a stark difference in your day-to-day; in a good way.

How to live more sustainably 

When we break these tips down a bit further, we uncover how to live more sustainably as an ex-pat. Buying local means getting to know your local neighborhood, which gives way to building relationships and self-confidence. 

Too many of us are accustomed to getting organic produce regardless of the season. Doing so, perhaps unknowingly, increases our carbon footprint. By eating seasonally, we inadvertently support locally, too. 

Get into Slow travel and discover the country/continent using overland travel methods vs. flying. This gets currency into the hands of small businesses that may rarely enjoy the presence of tourism.

Do some due diligence on how best to recycle. You would be shocked to know how many countries don’t actively participate in such things. So be prepared and consider your choice wisely for ex-pat living should a country fail to meet your expectations in that regard. 

Learning the language elevates the opportunity to build rapport with your neighbors, which as a solo female, can serve as an added safety element to living abroad as can embracing a more minimalistic approach to life. The fewer items of worth you keep around, the less enticing to opportunists. 

As a foreigner in a new place, isolation is normal, as are feelings of depression. Building a relationship with nature can serve as a healthy outlet for these clouded emotions—a stunning reminder of how connected we all are to Mother Earth.

Keen on a few more sustainable living tips for ex-pats?

Sustainable living tips for ex-pats

Glad you made it to the end of the article, and we hope you learned much up to this point. But because we care, additional tips for ex-pats living abroad with a desire to live more sustainably include:

  • Repurposing: Don’t waste money on saver containers when those finished plastic containers and glass jars would suffice. Buy the large sizes of your frequently used products like yogurt and/or pasta sauces, etc. Wash them thoroughly after the product is gone, and use them for your leftovers.

  • Reduce waste: Limit the number of times you do the laundry by re-wearing clothing more often. Investigate whether or not there are refill stations for items like dish and laundry soaps (popular in Europe). Or switch from liquid to bar soaps for things like dishes, hair, and body. This reduces plastic waste while saving you money.
  • Recycle: Literally the easiest thing to do and, by default, the easiest thing not to do. Separating glass from plastic from compost is tedious. Sure, but it is also necessary. This small inconvenience does wonders for our planet. And as steady consumers, it’s the least we can do.

Are you living abroad? Share your sustainable tips and experience in the comments!

How did you embrace sustainable lifestyle habits if you moved away from your home country? Did you struggle to recycle? Or did you find your new home leaps and bounds ahead? Share your sustainable experiences as an ex-pat in the comments!

Sustainable Tips for Ex-Expats Abroad
7 Sustainable Tips for Life Abroad