How to live a more sustainable lifestyle
Today, when most of the world can't boast clean air and when the planet is suffering grievously, it's more important than ever to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Embarking on the life of sustainability may seem like a challenge at first, but truthfully, it is not that hard. However, it will take some getting used to always thinking about being environmentally conscious and navigating your behavior accordingly. Therefore, we have gathered a few tips on where to begin your journey to a more sustainable way of life.
What does it mean to live sustainably?
Before you begin, it is essential to understand what a more sustainable lifestyle means. Essentially, it implies the way of life that aims to reduce a person's use of Earth's resources. Or to use them so that the supply of resources is maintained for the future. People who practice such a way of life try to reduce their ecological footprint by changing their transport methods, energy consumption, and even diet.
If you live a more sustainable lifestyle, it doesn't have to imply living with no luxuries. It merely means modifying your behavior and being mindful of your resource consumption. Also, it means reducing waste as much as possible.
Typical ways of achieving a more sustainable lifestyle
When we talk about living in a more environmentally conscious way, several things pop into mind first:
- Use your car less. There are alternative ways of traveling everywhere by car. For smaller distances, walk or ride a bike. For longer ones and commuting, explore public transportation options or carpooling.
- Reduce energy consumption. Unplug devices when they are not in use, turn the lights off when you leave the room, set the thermostat one degree lower, and use the one you can program to increase the temperature when you are at home, and lower it when nobody is in. Also, invest in energy-efficient appliances and air-dry your laundry instead of using a dryer. Not only will you help the environment, but your energy bills will surprise you as well.
- Reduce plastic waste. Firstly, drink tap water. In most municipalities in the U.S., tap water is perfectly safe. Moreover, if you have an issue with the taste of the water, consider investing in a filtration system. Since it is a one-time purchase, it will save you money in the long run and reduce plastic waste. Also, get refillable bottles to keep in your fridge if you like the convenience of bottled water. Finally, when you buy milk or juices, steer clear of plastic bottles; opt for cartons or glass.
- Recycle. Some neighborhoods offer recycling pickup. If yours doesn't, you can look for a drop-off location. Also, if you buy products with a post-consumer label, you signal to companies that recycling is your choice. For items such as electronic devices and batteries, you can find a recycler. However, make sure that the company you pick doesn't ship the waste overseas where recycling is unregulated.
- Stop with disposable products. Don’t use paper towels for everything and switch to cloth napkins. Also, there are reusable makeup wipes, shaving products, and many more other products.
More ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle
Although all the options mentioned above are a way to go, there is so much more one can do. For example, if you cook for yourself, you will eat much better and healthier food, but also, there will be no discarded plastic containers. Furthermore, instead of disposing of things you no longer need, donate, or sell them. That way, you will extend the life of a product and reduce the amount of waste.
But this is not all. Let's take a look at more eco-friendly habits.
Reduce your water usage.
Try to conserve your household water use by introducing small changes. For instance, there are water-saving shower-heads and water-efficient toilets. There are also dual-flush toilets with a full flush option for solid waste and a half-flush option for liquid. In addition, modern washing machines can automatically adjust the amount of water necessary for each load. And of course, don't leave the water running while brushing your teeth or soaping your hair. All of these will considerably lower your water consumption.
Invest in more sustainable furniture.
More sustainable furniture means better quality furniture that will last longer. Also, it is the furniture that is not just trendy. As with fashion, buy items that will always be in style. Trends pass, style is forever. So before making any changes, figure out what your style is. Then, find a responsible company for the transfer of your new sustainable pieces to move them into your improved and more environmentally-friendly house.
Moreover, even if you get bored with your furniture, you will be able to gift, donate, or sell good quality pieces. Therefore, they will not suffer an untimely demise and end up in a landfill.
Shop locally and make sure you purchase fair-trade products.
Granted, it's very convenient to go to a supermarket and stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables from all over the world all year round. Nevertheless, transporting those goods to your local supermarket consumes tremendous amounts of fossil fuel energy. Therefore, buying locally grown and seasonal products is an excellent way to live more sustainably.
Besides, by supporting small, locally owned businesses, you will help your local economy. At the same time, you will eat healthy produce that is in season.
Another critical thing to keep in mind when buying imported goods, such as coffee, sugar, tea, or chocolate, ensure that they have the fair-trade certification. It tells you that these products were grown utilizing sustainable methods and that the locals who produced them received fair prices. So, if something you have bought doesn't have this designation, it can mean that the product has been made unsustainably, and it may be the product of exploitative labor practices.
These have been only some of the ways how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. The Internet is full of many more ideas. Many people are turning to reusable baby diapers and lady products, for example. Also, researching how to compost and starting your own garden is worth looking into. The resources are numerous; you just have to explore a bit and adjust your habits. The main thing is to start somewhere, and then you will continue in the right direction more easily.