How to Live Sustainable Every Day
Ice caps and glaciers around the world are melting thick and fast and the consumption of natural resources is growing at an alarming rate.
16:06 04 February 2020
If these warnings of imminent danger weren’t concerning enough, natural disasters such as tsunami, flash-flooding, and manmade disasters are happening quite frequently causing heavy damage to the ecosystem.
Standing by as a mere spectator watching all of this unfold is not going to take us anywhere. We should be concerned; we should feel responsible to take necessary action and get inspired to make a positive impact no matter what it takes, no matter how inconvenient or challenging or costly it is to change for the better.
But it is possible to bring about change. A billion people need to join hands to be able to reverse some of the harmful trends wreaking havoc on the environment and dwindling natural resources. Although it may seem hard to achieve it all begins with you. With you taking that first step towards adopting a sustainable lifestyle.
If you’re not sure how you can start living sustainably every day, here’s a ready reckoner you can follow.
- Avoid Plastic and Disposables
Saying no to plastic is all fine but there’s a little bit more to what you can do. Ideas like leading a minimalist lifestyle, minimizing consumerism are popular and trending among people who’re inspired to live in an eco-friendly way that doesn’t harm the planet.
- Minimize the use of single plastic use and other disposables.
- Bring your own container wherever you go.
- Got plastic bottles at home? Replace them with metal or glass ones.
Have a stash of paper and plastic bags? It’s time to throw them away, just like a real environment-conscious person. Make a habit of carrying a tote with you whenever you go shopping.
Use things that have reuse value. For example, reusable metal straws and recyclable paper straws are better than plastic straws any day. So, when you’re out shopping next time, think about the purchase you’re going to make. Can it be used for long? Does it have multiple uses? How can it be disposed of when you’re done using it?
Recycling is another key aspect of creating a sustainable and waste-free future for our children. With manufacturers and brands jumping on the recycling bandwagon, retailers like Marks and Spencer are also following suit. They have also started encouraging customers to do their bit to the environment with a unique scheme called shwopping, which basically means shopping and swapping.
In an attempt to reduce the number of used clothes ending up in the landfill and encourage customers to adopt recycling better, retailers like M&S have come up with such schemes which allow customers to hand over old pieces of clothing when shopping for new stuff.
There may not be much financial incentive to participating in such eco-friendly schemes for the consumer but the retailer has clearly done its bit to the community by introducing a phenomenon that not just communicates the importance of recycling given the current circumstances but also gently nudges them into changing their perspective about how they can contribute to a better tomorrow.
- Dietary Choices
Sure, we all love our meat- but what if I told you that consuming less livestock meat, fish and dairy actually reduce our carbon footprint drastically. Around one-third of the total land surface of the earth is occupied by either livestock or livestock feed, so shifting away from meat-based diets to plant-based foods could be the first step towards eating in a low-impact way. If you’ve made the switch and are eager to do more, you can as well consider growing your own food to take your penchant for sustainable living further.
- Energy Usage
Dramatically improving how energy is used in homes - particularly for cooling, heating, and appliances - could also pave the way for a new beginning for energy management.
Minimize household energy and save electricity. Get into the habit of switching off your household appliances when you’re not using them. Not just that, if you live in a place that receives a lot of sunlight, you can think about using solar-powered appliances like water heaters instead of electric ones.
Not only will it help you shave off a significant sum of money from your monthly power utility bills it will also reduce your environmental impact.
- Water Usage
Another area where you can make sure you’re making an obvious difference is limiting your water usage.
If the area you live in already has water restrictions in place, make sure you stick to it. There are many simple things that you can do to save water.
You can cut down on water usage and start saving by doing one or more of the following things: cut down on the amount of water you use for daily showering, fit aerated showerheads and taps to minimize splashing and to avoid using excess water, consciously turn off running taps when you brush or take a bath, harvest rainwater and capture it in a pit, fix your leaky toilet, so on and so forth.
Remember, every drop saved is important and when each and every one of us does our bit to save as much water as we possibly can, together we can make an enormous impact.
- Relying Less on Your Car
Sustainable living doesn’t mean much unless all of us put the brakes on using cars. Making good use of the public transport system is the best way to avoid traffic congestion and give ourselves a realistic chance to bring down air pollution levels to where it doesn’t adversely affect human health. So start contributing today to a green and sustainable environment by cutting car ownership and using public transport more frequently. Do whatever it takes to reduce your environmental impact, even if it means using longboards for commuting to work or the nearby supermarket. You can even cut through heavy traffic and easily carry it around if needed.
- Waste Management
Managing household waste before it goes out is super important if you don’t want landfills encroaching upon you in the future. Segregation of waste into compostable and noncompostable waste is very essential to managing waste well but failing to do it properly will pose serious issues in the future.
Find out what you need to do to process waste before it leaves your house and be sure to follow the guidelines provided by your local authorities. One good place to start is to sort through your bin on a regular basis and keep recycled waste and nonrecyclable waste separate. Figure out what works for you and keep applying it. Be consistent.
So, there you have it. Your choices for sustainable living can not only improve your own life but that of the environment and planet as a whole. More importantly, the feeling that comes from understanding your choices is making a positive impact on the planet is quite empowering and satisfactory.