Sustainable living is an eco-friendly lifestyle that reduces the use of the earth’s natural resources. It focuses on protecting ecosystems and supporting human well-being through environmentally responsible practices, such as choosing recycled materials, reducing waste, eating less meat (or going vegan), minimizing the use of fossil fuels and adopting renewable energy.
It is a long-term goal that requires significant changes in human lifestyles, habits and culture to protect our environment and natural resources. Luckily, there are many ways you can start living sustainably, from refusing plastic straws to using reusable ones instead, and from buying locally produced food to swapping your disposable tissues for a handkerchief.
Among the most important aspects of sustainable living is being waste conscious, which means avoiding the production of unneeded products. This includes reducing paper and plastic consumption, choosing energy-efficient appliances and switching to solar-energy chargers. You can also donate or sell unwanted items instead of throwing them away, and buy second-hand items first when you need new ones.
When it comes to consuming food, sustainable living means choosing organic and local foods to limit the use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers that harm plants and animals. It also means building your meals around plant-based proteins, and avoiding meat from industrial sources that contribute to pollution, deforestation and greenhouse gas production.
Water conservation is another critical aspect of sustainable living, as it is one of our most limited and valuable natural resources. This can be achieved by ensuring that your indoor home appliances are energy efficient, lowering outdoor water usage and checking your daily water use awareness.
Another big way to live sustainably is limiting your car use, especially when possible. Not only will this reduce your carbon footprint, but it can also improve your health and reduce the strain on public health resources. If you do need to drive, consider alternatives like bike commuting or carpooling.
It’s easy to make sustainable choices when it comes to gifts, too. You can give experiences like concerts, sporting events and days out as gifts, or opt for homemade or secondhand items. You could even try making your own jewellery or a personalised t-shirt with recycled fabric. If you do need to buy something, choose a fair-trade brand or switch to a green search engine like Ecosia.
Finally, you can also help the planet by reusing your clothes and getting them repaired or tailored when necessary. This reduces waste, stops clothes from ending up in landfill and allows them to get a new lease of life. Plus, it is a great option for those who want to avoid fast fashion brands, says Prew.