Sustainable Living is the practice or lifestyle of attempting to reduce your use of the earth’s natural resources by altering your methods of transportation, energy consumption and diet. Creating a sustainable lifestyle is a lifelong commitment to sustainable practices, being aware of your resource consumption, and reducing unnecessary waste.
10 Simple Ways to Start Living More Sustainably Today
1) Eat organic and local
Maintaining supermarkets requires a huge amount of fossil fuel energy in order to get food from farms around the globe to your corner supermarket. Eating local cuts down energy use and has many positive effects on your overall health and well-being. Consuming organic food promotes safe farming that is free of synthetic chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides. These chemicals contaminate the Earth’s air, water, soil and wildlife creating disease and extinction of species. Organic and local food is also safer and healthier for you!
2) Use reusable products
Before you purchase plastic goods such as; single-use razors, plastic ware, cups, toothbrushes, bags, containers, k-cups, water bottles etc. take a moment to think about a reusable option. The toxins used to create most of these household items are released into the environment when disposed in landfills. Consider a life items expectancy before purchasing a good and try reusable products such as; glass containers, canteen water bottles, reusable personal hygiene products, grocery bags, etc.
3) Start a garden
Try growing your own food in your backyard or in containers on your windowsills. If you live in an urban city than try helping out at a local community garden. Often times you can even bring home fresh organic produce in exchange for your time.
4) Resell and donate unwanted items
Extend the life of clothing, furniture and other home goods that are no longer wanted by reselling them at consignment shops or donating them. Many of these items end up in landfills when those in need of them can reuse them.
5) Practice minimalism
A minimalism lifestyle allows a person to slow down by encompassing a belief about consumerism and the values of having less “stuff.” This lifestyle ultimately leaves a positive impact on the environment. A minimalist’s home may be much smaller by square ft., they may or may not have a vehicle, their clothing is often times secondhand, and their diet consists of seasonal local produce that comes with little or no packaging which lessens ones carbon footprint.
6) Purchase fair-trade products
Fair Trade Certified products are made with standards that respect people and the planet. These social, environmental and economic standards are in place to promote healthy working conditions, protection of the environment and fair prices for local businesses for the goods they produce. Look for the Fair Trade label when purchasing your day-to-day goods.
7) Green your transportation
Before you turn the ignition switch on in your vehicle, take a moment to consider whether or not you could walk, bike or use public transportation to get to your destination to lessen the use of fossil fuels. If none of these options are viable, try to keep your car maintenance up-to-date and drive a bit slower to save on gas.
8) Go Chemical-Free
Ditch toxic chemicals and choose sustainable options such as making your own household cleaners, purchasing personal care or packaged foods that contain labels with ingredients you recognize, filter your household water over purchasing bottled, avoid “fragrance” products that interfere with your hormones and ecosystems.
9) Green your personal care
Sadly, many personal care products are not regulated and are potentially filled with toxic agents. Choose a certified organic cosmetic and skin care brand with ingredients that you recognize in order to avoid unregulated chemicals. Try using a natural toothpaste without fluoride or make your own with baking soda to avoid the amount of fluoride that ends up in drinking water. Look for petroleum, aluminum and plastic free products!
10) Eat lower on the food chain
Cutting back on the amount of the meat and dairy that the average American diet consumes is one of the best ways to lower your carbon footprint. Eating lower on the food chain is better for your individual health and the planet. The meat and dairy industry is one of the largest contributors to our global warming emissions. Cutting back, eating more of a plant-based diet, or purchasing local meat and dairy can vastly lower your personal greenhouse gas emissions.