When you live sustainably, you are actively reducing your demand on natural resources. You recycle, repurpose and reuse to avoid creating waste that can pollute the environment. You eat locally sourced foods and use renewable energy for your home. Practicing sustainable living can even be as simple as not accepting disposable cutlery or napkins when dining out.
Choosing organic and natural products over those that contain chemical ingredients is one of the most important ways to practice sustainability. Not only are they healthier for your body, but they also do not pollute the environment and are a more ethical choice.
If you can, choose to purchase your food from local farmers instead of supermarkets. This can greatly reduce the number of “food miles” that are used to deliver your groceries, thereby minimizing your environmental impact. Additionally, buying your produce from organic farms can help to ensure that your food is free of pesticides and treated humanely. Using your garden to grow your own fruits and vegetables is another way of eating sustainably.
In the home, you can practice sustainability by choosing energy efficient appliances and fixtures, such as solar-powered hot water heaters and light bulbs. You can also reduce your energy consumption by making sure that all of your electronic devices are turned off when not in use and using natural lighting in the house whenever possible. Lastly, consider opting out of junk mail and other unwanted mailings, as this can reduce the amount of paper that ends up in landfills and consumes energy to dispose of.
One of the most important aspects of sustainability is ensuring that you conserve water in your home and landscape. This can be done by using low-flow faucets and showerheads, installing rainwater catchment systems, and choosing drought tolerant plants. You can also recycle all of your paper, glass, aluminum cans and plastics to limit the amount of waste that is sent to landfills.
Carpooling is a great way to minimize the impact of your transportation on the environment. By reducing the amount of cars on the road at any given time, you can greatly reduce the carbon dioxide emissions that are produced. Similarly, you can reduce your demand for natural resources by walking or biking to work and choosing public transportation over driving alone.
You can further promote sustainability by avoiding the use of plastic bags at grocery stores, using cloth shopping bags and by purchasing recycled items. You can also donate or sell items that you no longer need, and consider switching to a search engine such as Ecosia, which uses 100% renewable energy and gives some of its profits to plant trees.
When it comes to sustainability, the options are endless. You can start by committing to just one or two of these suggestions, and then expand your reach as you become more and more committed. Eventually, you will see that it is easier than ever to live sustainably and make this planet a cleaner, safer and more beautiful place for everyone on it.