With the population of the world expected to hit 10 billion by 2050, sustainable living has never been more important. Often, it’s just the simple changes that we make to our everyday lives that have the greatest impact on our planet – from refusing plastic straws to buying locally produced food. But how can you go further to become a more sustainable citizen of the Earth? Here are some great ideas to get you started.
The ethos of sustainability involves trying to achieve an environmental balance, which is also known as net zero living. Essentially, this means returning to the Earth as much as you use of it in terms of energy, resources and pollution. However, this is an impractical goal for most of us because we can’t completely replace everything that we use. Therefore, sustainable living is about being as careful and conscious as possible with the resources that we do use.
Some ways to live more sustainably include reducing your consumption of natural resources, using less energy and becoming more waste conscious. This could be as simple as buying recycled products or avoiding unnecessary electricity usage and making sure that you recycle all of your waste when you can. It may also involve reducing your food miles by choosing organic foods or even growing some of your own produce in the garden.
It’s also a good idea to reduce the amount of water that you use around the home, by turning off the tap when you aren’t using it and by installing low-flow toilets and shower heads. Being mindful of the amount of waste that you create is also a big part of sustainable living, and so is learning to repurpose items rather than just throwing them away. This could be as simple as reusing old jam jars or painting an old vase with a mixture of bicarb soda and dark orange paint to create a terracotta-style look.
Another way to help the environment is by driving less, or even walking or cycling to work. Obviously, this will reduce the amount of car emissions that you produce and it will also be better for your health. If you can’t drive, try car-pooling or even using public transport to cut down on your fuel consumption.
Other things that you can do to live more sustainably are by not purchasing unnecessary products and instead giving gifts of experiences or home-made goods. This could be as simple as creating a video or slideshow of your time with someone to send as a birthday or Christmas gift or it could be more creative, such as knitting a hat or scarf from old wool, donating second-hand clothes to charity or making a hand-written card from recycled paper. In addition to this, you could also donate or sell old electronic devices rather than just disposing of them. By utilizing solar energy chargers and using recycled packaging when shopping, you can be even greener.