Every day we make choices in our lives that affect the environment, the climate and other species. There’s a lot we can do to “choose wild” and reduce our environmental footprint.
Creating a sustainable lifestyle takes a lifelong commitment to learning, experimenting, exploring, committing to increasingly sustainable practices.
Sustainable lifestyle not only means using less, but also replacing what you use whenever possible. If you also think of sustainability as a way to get back to basics and honor nature, then you may find it extremely gratifying to transition to an eco-friendly lifestyle. Every choice we make impacts others: other people, other animals and other environments. Choose to make the smallest footprint possible, and you're making a choice to live a greener life.
It is such a simple principle and it requires a complete shift in how we live our lives. Every choice we make impacts others, through its creation, its distribution, its use and its disposal.
Although there are various ways to live and practice sustainable living, here are some quick and easy suggestions to live a sustainable life.
1. Practice minimalism: Minimalism doesn’t mean living without anything, it means that you are making sure that everything you own and use is put to its maximum purpose. This means waste materials as well. With a minimalist lifestyle, you will recycle more, and be more mindful of the items you support being produced so that sustainability is emphasized.
2. Be aware of buying new stuffs
The biggest impact we have on the environment is because we are constantly buying new things. You may not immediately see why this is so polluting (except when you consider that it eventually ends up as waste somewhere). But fact is that 92% of the impact of new stuff is "hidden".This hidden impact is mainly a result of the production and transport of those items. Consider the carbon (CO2) emissions of factories in China that produce our staff which require great water and land use, pollution, deforestation and the impact that all of this has on biodiversity. A simple way to reduce our (hidden) impact on the environment is by simply buying less stuff. By consuming less or minimizing, you can make your home life a lot more sustainable.
3. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: Reduce your need to buy new products. If there is less waste, then there is less to recycle or reuse. Learning to reuse items, or repurpose them for different use then what they are intended for is essential in waste hierarchy. Recycle old glass bottles or aluminium cans.
4. Pay attention to the little choices. Change your light bulbs: Switch your lights for LEDs, which are more efficient than regular bulbs (even the eco-friendly ones, notes Fixr). Adjust your thermostat: only using the air conditioning or heat when truly necessary will also help save energy, as will reducing your water consumption.
5. Educate yourself. Learn as much as you can about the obstacles facing our environment today, like pollution, unsustainable fossil fuel usage, habitat destruction... If you want to find a like-minded community, you can join a local wildlife conservation group or attend an environmental activism talk.
6. Use daylight as much as possible: Sunlight is free and doesn’t cost anything. Using sunlight during the day helps to reduce dependence on fossil fuels to produce electricity and your bulbs and tube lights are going to last longer.
7. Buy products with less packaging: Whenever you go out for shopping, always buy products with less packaging. The excess packaging on the stuff goes in your dustbin and from there it goes to landfills in most cases. It not only further contaminate the environment but also pose serious health effects to humans and animals.
8. Reducing Single-Use Plastic. Choose for reusable things or sustainable alternatives. Use cloth or reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags; bring your own coffee mugs, and avoid establishments that don’t offer non-plastic options;
avoid non-recycled plastic bottles and plastic straws;
support efforts to reduce our dependence on single-use plastics;
buy items in bulk to reduce plastic packaging; bring your own take-out containers or support establishments that use recyclable takeout options.
9. Save water. An easy way to live more sustainably is to conserve household water use. Smaller changes, such as switching to water-saving shower heads and adding aerators to your sink faucets, are effective ways to significantly reduce household water use, use your automatic dishwasher for full loads only, if you wash dishes by hand, don't leave the water running for rinsing, water your lawn only when it needs it, turn off the tap when you brush your teeth.
10. Become more environmentally conscious. You do not have to be a hero and to save the world. Being environmentally conscious can mean something different to each person and there are many different ways people can make changes to conserve their environment, and the term environmentally conscious is a fundamental belief system that inspires action.
A better environment starts with yourself! By simplifying, making more conscious choices and making use of all the handy tools that are available today.