The Basics of Sustainable Living

Sustainable living involves making conscious lifestyle choices that reduce an individual’s impact on Earth’s natural resources. In many ways, it is similar to the zero waste movement. However, where zero waste focuses on eliminating trash entirely, sustainable living advocates aim to minimize their environmental footprint in a variety of ways. These changes can include biking or taking public transportation to work instead of driving, using reusable grocery bags instead of plastic ones and cooking meals at home rather than eating out in restaurants.

The ultimate goal of sustainable living is to leave behind a planet that can support human life into the future. Fortunately, this doesn’t require major sacrifices and can be done in small steps. Individuals looking to live more sustainably can start by avoiding products made with unsustainable practices, buying local foods and choosing green electricity plans.

Water conservation is also a key element of sustainable living. The human population has a limited supply of fresh water and wasting it is bad for the environment. Those who wish to live sustainably can conserve water by reducing indoor water use, purchasing a rainwater tank and refusing to buy water in plastic bottles. They can also purchase a set of reusable face wipes to replace disposable cotton ones and consider adopting a pet from a shelter instead of buying one from a breeder.

When it comes to energy, individuals can reduce their impact by switching to renewable sources of power, lowering their household’s carbon emissions and encouraging family members to do the same. They can also switch to energy-efficient appliances, take shorter showers and choose to turn off lights when not in a room.

Those who wish to pursue sustainable living further can become off-grid, a term that refers to living without mainstream energy and instead relying on renewable and locally sourced sources of power such as solar panels, biomass or wind turbines. These people can also grow their own food, harvest rainwater and even use composting toilets.

Sustainable living is a way of thinking and behaving that promotes a healthy and environmentally friendly world for all. While some may think this way of life is impossible or costly, the truth is that a few simple daily changes can have an immense positive impact on our planet. By following these tips, you can make the transition to a more sustainable lifestyle easy and affordable for your family. LB Gabriel is a freelance writer who lives with her husband, daughter and Golden Retriever in Memphis. A frequent PODS blog contributor, she is always looking for ways to downsize and cut clutter. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening and playing tennis. She has a Bachelor of Science in Sustainability and aspires to use her career as a platform to encourage more people to embrace eco-friendly lifestyles. For more information about how you can live sustainably, contact her at [email protected].