Sustainable Living – Eco-Friendly Ways to Reduce Your Eco-Footprint

Sustainable living is a way of life that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources. This is done by altering home designs, methods of transportation, energy consumption and diet.

While the idea of living sustainably sounds like a grandiose undertaking, it’s actually quite easy to make small changes in your day-to-day life that will significantly impact the environment for the better. From swapping out plastic straws for reusable ones to eating plant-based foods, the following eco-friendly ideas are sure to leave a positive impact on our planet and your health.

According to Clare McDermott, business development director at the Soil Association, living sustainably is about “operating with care and consideration so that we don’t deplete natural resources”. It’s important to note here that this doesn’t mean going without anything or being a complete minimalist – you can still buy clothes, eat food and use cleaning products that aren’t bad for the environment as long as you’re careful about what you do and where you get your supplies from.

For example, standard toilet paper and sanitary items are often un-recyclable, so switching to eco-friendly alternatives isn’t difficult (you can even find these things in bulk). Similarly, purchasing your water in glass bottles rather than plastic will not only cut down on waste, but it will also save you money and reduce plastic pollution. And as for electricity, instead of blasting the heating in winter or using the AC all day in summer, it’s best to monitor your usage and stick to a budget.

In addition to the above, another way of reducing your ecological footprint is by adopting a “need over want” mentality and buying less stuff. Not only does this reduce waste on your end, but it cuts down on industry emissions and energy used in production. When you do purchase something, try to get it second hand, whether that’s through a thrift shop, garage sale or Facebook marketplace.

Finally, instead of throwing away vegetable peels, avocado pits and spoiled leftovers, start composting them. This returns nutrients to the soil and helps it break down anaerobically, thereby reducing methane emissions – one of the strongest greenhouse gasses. It’s a win-win situation for the planet and your garden!

Ultimately, the goal of sustainability is to return whatever we take from nature back into it in order to achieve an environmental equilibrium. This is called net zero living, but achieving this ideal in reality is near impossible for anyone. However, many people are beginning to adopt sustainable practices as part of their everyday lives in the hopes that they can help make our world a cleaner and greener place.

So, in the new year and beyond, commit to making some of these small changes to your everyday routine, and you can be sure that not only will the environment benefit, but you’ll reap the rewards too! Those that are already well on their way to sustainable living have reported feeling happier, healthier and more relaxed as a result.