Sustainable living is a way of life that takes the Earth’s environmental balance into account. A sustainable life style includes reducing your carbon foot print, using energy-efficient devices, and committing yourself to a vegan diet.
Other sustainable practices are buying local foods, choosing recycled products and avoiding food wastage. You can also opt to drive less or use public transportation.
Reduce your carbon footprint
Carbon footprint is the total amount that a person generates in greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, methane nitrous, and fluorinated gasses, through their everyday activities. These emissions contribute to global climate change, a major challenge. There are many ways that an individual can reduce their carbon footprint. Some of these methods are easy to do.
Avoiding air travel is one obvious way to help the environment. Another is to regularly cook at home and to avoid takeaway food. You should also stop using disposable plastics such as cutlery or napkins. Instead, invest in reusable utensils and napkins, which can be washed and reused. Bring a handkerchief with you when you have a cold, or a runny nasal.
You can save energy by properly insulating your home and using more efficient heating system. You can also reduce the amount of electricity you use by turning off appliances and computers when not in use, and by switching to LED bulbs. It’s a great idea to use renewable sources of energy, such as solar panels and wind turbines.
Businesses can reduce their carbon footprint by reusing supplies, reducing paper and e-waste, and using less bottled water. The use of eco friendly IT equipment can help a business reduce its carbon footprint. Companies can also lower their risk by making a commitment to reduce their environmental impact and becoming a leader in sustainability. This will give them an edge in the market as customers and suppliers will demand that they take responsibility on the environment.
Make smart food choices
When shopping for your groceries, look for produce that is local and in season. This reduces transportation emissions and helps local farmers. It’s also a good idea to buy organic and fair trade products whenever possible. This will ensure that more money goes to the producers, and harmful pesticides are kept out of the water and wildlife.
Eating less meat is another way to improve your lifestyle. The meat industry produces large amounts of waste and pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. By consuming fewer meat-based meals, you can reduce the environmental impact and improve your overall health.
If you love tea, consider switching to loose-leaf tea and reusable teabags. This will help you avoid buying single-use bags of plastic, which can take as long as 20 years to breakdown. When potting plants in your garden or balcony, choose flowers that are bee-friendly. This will increase the number of local bees, and other pollinators.
To be more sustainable in your daily life, use power-saving modes on computers and electronic devices. When you print, choose recycled paper. Make sure to recycle your plastic and metal waste. When looking for a new home, make sure to select a green building or renovate your current one using environmentally friendly materials.
Reuse and recycle
Using reusable mugs and water bottles instead of single-use plastic ones, giving experiences as gifts rather than stuff, sewing hats or scarves from old materials and using solar energy to charge electronic devices are just some ways people embrace sustainable living. These practices save both money and resources. Recycling reduces solid waste and conserves natural resources. It also prevents pollution, and provides valuable raw material to industry.
The third “R,” Recycling, involves collecting discarded material and processing it mechanically or chemically to produce new products. This process produces pollutants and uses energy, but is less harmful than manufacturing and extracting materials from virgin sources. The best way for you to reduce the amount of recycling is by avoiding it in first place.
Reuse can happen at home or at work. For example, use paper towels or rags to clean up spills instead of disposable cloths. Repurpose plastic microwave dinner trays as picnic dishes, take reusable grocery bags on shopping trips and use reusable tin cans to pack lunch. Use recycled printer paper as letterhead and copier paper, and look for products with a high post-consumer content.
The other “R,” which is recycling, takes place in facilities equipped with special equipment that separates and processes recyclable materials. For example, newspaper is reprocessed into egg cartons, building insulation, paper plates, kitty litter and more. In the process, it helps reduce waste and provides a source of income for communities. It can also stop hazardous waste from polluting our environment. In fact, according to the EPA, recycling saves energy and produces fewer greenhouse gases and water pollutants than landfilling or incinerating. Recycling also protects worker and community health and safety, as it reduces the need for landfills that can pose fire risks.
Spend more time in nature
With the skills and tools you already possess, you can live sustainably. You can do this by buying locally-sourced food, using recycled materials, switching over to renewable energy, and avoiding single-use products.
One of the best things that you can do to improve your well-being is to better understand nature. Both correlational and experiment research suggest that nature can have a positive influence on well-being. For example, those living near natural parks report higher levels of mental well-being than those who do not. In addition, a study of youth showed that those who spent more time outdoors reported greater life satisfaction.
Many people want to spend more quality time in nature but struggle to find the time to do so. This means that many people will have to give up watching TV or find other forms of entertainment which don’t require them to turn on a device. Instead, they will go outside. But the benefits of nature can be found in all manner of settings, even urban green spaces.
If you want to make an impact, investing in a bag to last a life time or reusable shopping bags can be a simple solution. You can also eat sustainably by choosing organic or local meats and produce. These foods are not only healthier, but also better for the planet, as they do not rely on synthetic chemicals such as pesticides to grow, and they travel fewer miles, reducing their impact on climate changes.
Choose eco-friendly products for your household
Choosing eco-friendly household products is not a passing fad, nor has the economic downturn dampened interest in the green sector. In fact, many major retail chains now carry environmentally friendly products in addition to their regular lines. Look for items with the Vegan Society’s logo and animal welfare stamps like Viva! If you are concerned with animal cruelty, Animal Aid and Vegan Society may be of interest.
Other important considerations include buying locally produced goods, supporting fair trade and avoiding products with chemical additives. Consider how much energy is used to make a new refrigerator. Is it better to replace an old refrigerator that is still working perfectly or to purchase a newer model with less electricity?
It is also wise to be water conscious. We waste a lot of water. Humans use a quarter of the freshwater on Earth in natural circulation, and more than half of it is accessible runoff. Make a concerted attempt to reduce indoor water consumption. Use rainwater for outdoor irrigation and make sure that your home appliances are efficient.
You can also do other things. Use energy-efficient appliances, eat a plant-based food, recycle your clothes and donate them to a secondhand shop rather than throwing away. Buy organic produce, choose fair trade goods, and shop for products that are British made, which cuts down on transportation costs.
It may seem difficult to adopt a sustainable lifestyle, but it is not as difficult as it seems. Make small changes and you will soon be reducing your impact on the environment without sacrificing comfort or spending habits. What’s more, you’ll save money on utility bills!