Sustainable living is a way of life that attempts to reduce our use of natural resources and protect our planet for future generations. This can include practices like choosing recycled materials, eating a plant-based diet and avoiding single-use items. According to Dr Rima Trofimovaite, interim head of certification at Planet Mark, “living sustainably is about operating with care and consideration so that we don’t deplete our environment of its natural resources.”
The benefits of sustainable living are both ecological and social. Ecologically, it means reducing our impact on the planet by using less energy and limiting our waste production. Socially, it involves supporting and encouraging environmentally friendly behaviours in others. In addition to preserving our natural resources, sustainable living also offers health and financial benefits.
How can you practice sustainable living? It’s as simple as switching to reusable bags, ditching plastic straws and replacing disposable cutlery. Buying organic groceries, shopping at a food co-op and choosing ethical brands are also great ways to practise sustainable living. And if you have a pet, consider adopting an animal instead of purchasing from a breeder.
Another way to practice sustainable living is by reducing your food waste. You can do this by storing leftovers in a reusable container, or by taking your own lunch to work in an eco-friendly food box. If you must buy new kitchenware, try to find products that are made from recycled materials. When shopping online, choose locally-produced goods to minimise shipping emissions.
You can also practise sustainable living in your home by switching to a low-energy light bulb, insulating your house and switching off appliances at the plug. In the office, try to print as little as possible and turn off computers when you aren’t using them. When it comes to travelling, you can do your part by walking or cycling to work, or even carpooling.
Energy conservation is the most common method of achieving sustainability. It includes turning off lights when not in use, making sure your heating and cooling systems are well maintained and using solar panels for electricity. Energy efficiency is also a key aspect of sustainability, which can be achieved by investing in energy-efficient appliances and switching to LED light bulbs.
Another important aspect of sustainable living is choosing a bank and investment platform that prioritizes environmental and social criteria. You can also do your part by voting for politicians who support sustainable living initiatives, such as offering tax breaks to eco-friendly businesses and introducing laws to ban single-use plastics. You can even support sustainable living by planting your own garden or donating to charity, as this will help to promote eco-friendly values in young people.