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10 easy ways to live more sustainably in France

Updated: Sep 10, 2022


With this list of the top 10 ways to live more sustainably in France, you can do your part to protect the environment and make your life in France more eco-friendly.

As an expat currently residing in France, there are a few things that you will need to take care of to ensure a smooth transition into your new way of life. On the other hand, the concept of green living isn't very high on the priority list for many people. Thankfully, it is not difficult to live sustainably in France, and doing so does not need you to make significant changes to your normal routine. Here are ten easy methods to live a more sustainable lifestyle in France, to help you better grasp the green solutions that are available to you.

1. Get on your bike

The French are a country that is very passionate about riding. Every summer, l'Hexagone is overcome with velo-fever as the intrepid riders of Le Tour de France take to the roads and byways; crisscrossing the country's breathtaking countryside before culminating on the Champs Elysee in Paris. However, the amusement does not end there. Over the last several years, several French towns, including the capital, have made significant investments in the infrastructure for cyclists. Therefore, there is no valid excuse for you not to ride a bicycle, regardless of whether you are competing for the yellow jersey or merely commuting to work.

There are several opportunities available to you if you are considering going for a ride on your bicycle. Buying your own can seem like the simplest and most apparent option. If you live in the country and are looking for an entertaining method to visit your neighborhood boulangerie, this is the solution that will work best for you. On the other hand, many of the larger cities have bike-share programs, which enable you to travel about the major portions of the city at your leisure, picking up and dropping off bikes as you go. What better approach is there to get acquainted with your new home?

2. Download some eco-friendly applications.

You may spend a significant portion of your day on your smartphone, interacting with the people you care about and scrolling through the applications that you have downloaded. If you have a little addiction to your phone, why not let it assist you in leading a more environmentally conscious life in France? The first simple step in living more sustainably in France is to download the appropriate applications, and fortunately, there is a wide variety of options available to select from. It is up to you to decide whether you want to download the app for your community's bike-share program or one that assists you in locating vegan restaurants in the area. Keep in mind, however, that for these applications to make a difference, you must download anything that you will use.

The following is a list of some of our favorite French applications for sustainable living, which you may use to get an idea of what you should look for:

Tookki can help you locate local companies that are environmentally conscious in your neighborhood. There is something available to fulfill everyone's preferences, from vegan bakeries to ethical fashion businesses, for example.

Too Good To Go is a service that helps you save excellent food from going to waste. By using the app, you may get goodies at discounted pricing from your favorite local restaurants, while assisting those establishments in reducing the amount of food that they throw away.

Spend your whole life looking for things online? Then why not consider planting a tree with each search that you conduct? After downloading Ecosia, you will have access to your very own personal tree counter, which will let you know how many trees you have helped plant.

Read our rundown of the top 10 essential French applications to get more information on the many available apps, as well as recommendations for which ones you should download.

3. Go paperless with your banking

When you are beginning a new life in France, opening a bank account is one of the first things you will need to do to be settled in. If you have a local account, not only will it be easier for you to set up any payments, such as your home internet connection or your mobile phone bill in France, but it will also make it simpler for you to shop for all of those needs for your home in France. On the other hand, as most of us are aware, banking often involves a significant amount of paperwork. It could feel as if a whole forest is being delivered through your mailbox every month, what with bank statements and credit card bills.

Why not join up for a mobile bank instead, which will keep your house free of all the unwanted banking material, and keep you in control of your finances? The process of establishing mobile banking in France is uncomplicated and quick, and an increasing number of financial institutions are joining the sector. These include conventional French retail banks as well as a large number of banks that are exclusively accessible by mobile devices, such as N26 and bunq. By installing their applications, you will not only be able to register for an account in a matter of minutes, but you will also be able to get all of your invoices, statements, and other documents directly to your phone.

4. Sign up for renewable energy

Imagine for a moment that you could make your house in France more environmentally friendly simply by turning a switch. Even if that's a stretch for you, one of the most helpful things you can do to help the environment is to switch to a green energy provider. It may also convey to energy providers that renewable energy is popular, which may encourage these suppliers to invest more in cleaner forms of energy. Although a significant portion of France's energy comes from its extensive network of nuclear power plants, there is a rising movement toward more environmentally friendly techniques, such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric power.

Setting up your home's utilities is probably one of the first things on your to-do list if you've just moved to France and started a new life there. If you are looking to purchase environmentally friendly energy in France, you are in luck since there are several options available to you. There is an ever-increasing number of energy firms in France providing green power bundles as a component of their product selection, and this trend is expected to continue. These are the following:

● EDF

● Engie

● EDF

5. Buy local

Discovering new places in your new home is one of the most enjoyable aspects of living in France, whether it's the grocery shop in your neighborhood or the Sunday morning flea market in the closest hamlet. And although all of this could be a part of the classic French lifestyle that you've been fantasizing about, you'll be doing your bit to protect the environment at the same time. You heard that right: if you keep things local, you may be able to do your part for the future of the world by reducing the emissions that are produced throughout the manufacturing, agricultural, and transportation processes.

Why don't you skip the idea of filling up on all of that food manufactured overseas at your neighborhood supermarket and instead go to the market that's the closest to you instead? At least one weekly market may be found in the majority of France's cities, towns, and villages. In this location, you will be able to purchase a wide variety of locally produced goods, including meats, dairy products, fruit, and vegetables, as well as other delectable items. The flea market, also known as a brocante, is an excellent location to get all of that genuine French furniture. Imagine for a moment that you could steer clear of the solutions that are mass-produced and flat-packed and instead breathe new life into that traditional dresser by placing it in your French farmhouse.

6. Grow your own

Have you ever entertained the thought of living off the land and its produce? Although supporting your community by purchasing locally grown food is one approach to reducing your environmental impact, there is no substitute for cultivating your garden at home. Imagine being able to make a traditional French dish such as ratatouille or beef bourguignon using veggies that were produced just outside your kitchen door. Or how about creating some authentic cider in the French style using the apples you've harvested from your orchard? Suddenly, becoming green seems like it might be a lot more fun.

You don't own a farmhouse in the Provence region, do you? Do not let it deter you in any way. It is possible to maintain a sustainable lifestyle in France even if you are confined to a studio apartment in the heart of Paris by cultivating your food at home. You may begin with something simple, like growing herbs on a window sill or tomato plants on a balcony. Both of these options are good places to begin. These may be included in any cuisine that you prepare for your loved ones and close friends. They are certain to be taken aback by the delectable dishes that you have prepared using ingredients from your garden.

7. Ditch the plastic in your garden

There are several ways in which you may include your brand-new vegetable patch as well as your farmhouse garden into your new environmentally conscious way of living. Getting rid of all of the plastic in your yard is one of the easiest things you can do. Completely. You may be astonished to learn just how much in contemporary gardens is produced from plastic; thus, why not attempt to reduce the amount of plastic you use and make your garden a little bit more environmentally friendly?

To get started, choose garden and patio furniture manufactured from wood since it is durable and will last a long time. This will not only provide an air of refined sophistication to your outdoor area, but it will also help you avoid having to deal with plastic waste, which is both unpleasant and harmful to the environment. Nevertheless, it does not have to be limited to only furniture. The use of terracotta for planters and pots is another fantastic alternative to plastic. You may also consider constructing some wooden planters if you have the necessary expertise.

8. Leave the car at home

Rethinking how you use your automobile is one of the most effective strategies to live a more sustainable lifestyle in France. One of the most significant sources of carbon emissions throughout all of Europe is the transportation sector. Using private automobiles is a significant contributor to this problem, and a simple approach to living a more environmentally conscious life is to leave your four-wheeled vehicles at home. To improve the environmental credentials of your commute in France, you do not, however, need to shell out money for the most recent model of Tesla.

Even though France is one of the largest nations in Europe, it is still possible to travel about fast and easily because of the extensive network of public transit across the country. Larger cities often feature subways and trams, which are linked to a high-speed rail network as well as local bus services. On the other hand, if you want to make your commute even healthier, you may try riding a bicycle. You will quickly determine which mode of transportation is most suitable for you, whether it be riding a bicycle or making use of the local e-scooter sharing platform near your new place of residence.

9. Compost your food waste

Have you just finished preparing a mouthwatering French feast for your family? Or maybe you have surprised your pals by rustling up some delectable French appetizers. Whatever it is that you've been up to in the kitchen, you may want to give some consideration to all of those scraps of food. Consider putting them in the compost instead of the garbage before you throw them away. Composting bins for food scraps are provided by several French towns as part of their ongoing rubbish and recycling collection services.

On the other hand, if you live in France and are dedicated to leading a green lifestyle, you may want to take your composting to the next level. It is not difficult to get started, regardless of whether you have a quaint balcony amid Montpelier or a verdant garden on the outskirts of Paris. Worm bins and bokashi are the two primary methods that may be used to compost at home. The bokashi method makes use of bacteria, while worm bins are filled with, you guessed it, a lot of worms. Placement options for the compost container include the kitchen countertop, the balcony, or the yard. Before you know it, you'll have fantastic compost that you've prepared at home to encourage the growth of your plants and flowers.

10. Recycle, recycle, recycle

On this page, we have already discussed a broad variety of methods to make your new life in France more environmentally friendly. Recycling, on the other hand, is easily one of the most effective strategies to achieve this goal. You shouldn't allow the fact that the French recycling system could seem to be a bit complex to newcomers to deter you from participating in the program. When you finally get the hang of it, you'll discover that recycling is second nature to you in no time at all. Everything from old newspapers and magazines to the wine bottles at the back of the cupboard may be given a second chance at life thanks to your creativity.


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