How to Practice Sustainable Living

Sustainable living involves consciously taking steps to minimize one’s ecological footprint and conserve Earth’s resources. This lifestyle can include everything from reducing one’s use of single-use plastics and driving less to buying local produce and using energy-efficient appliances. It also includes embracing an environmentally conscious diet and limiting consumption of animal products. People who embrace sustainable living are often advocates for their newfound lifestyle, spreading the word to others via social media or at work.

Some ways to practice sustainable living are easier than others, while some require a complete overhaul of one’s lifestyle. The most important factor in sustainable living is educating oneself about what impact the choices that one makes can have on the planet. This can be done by subscribing to environmentalist newsletters, setting search engine alerts for climate news and events, bookmarking climate statistics aggregators or attending conferences, lectures or panels hosted by sustainability experts.

When practicing sustainable living, it is also important to consider the overall impact of a person’s home design and transportation options. For example, choosing a green house or condo with eco-friendly building materials is a good way to reduce carbon emissions and repurpose existing materials. Similarly, opting for public transportation instead of driving a car can significantly lower one’s carbon footprint.

Another important aspect of sustainable living is limiting one’s water usage. Common methods of doing so include installing low-flow toilets and shower heads, turning off running water when brushing teeth or washing dishes and utilizing water-efficient appliances. Those who live in areas that experience drought can also make big impacts by collecting rainwater or using rain barrels to supplement their water supply.

Reusing items such as shopping bags, water bottles and reusable containers is another simple but effective method of supporting sustainability. This not only saves money and prevents waste from ending up in landfills, but it also cuts down on the amount of raw materials that are needed to create new products. It is also possible to recycle paper and metals, which again lessens the strain on the environment by reducing the need for raw materials.

Finally, a key part of sustainable living is supporting local business and farmers. By purchasing locally produced goods, you are reducing the need to transport those items long distances, which in turn reduces pollution caused by fossil fuel consumption and packaging waste. In addition, when you buy locally grown food, it tends to be fresher and tastier than food shipped from across the country or world.

While it may feel that the individual decisions that a person makes can’t possibly make a difference, most organizations that seek to preserve the planet and its resources agree that every effort counts. If even just a fraction of the world’s population could adopt some level of sustainability in their daily lives, it would help slow down the rate at which our natural resources are being depleted.