So, you wanna live a more sustainable lifestyle? Congratulations! We commend you on your efforts to make our planet a little greener and more habitable for future generations. This blog will explore why sustainable living is so important and 9 tips for how you can get there.
Why is Sustainability So Important?
Why are more people trying to embody sustainable lifestyles?
We cannot maintain our quality of life on this planet if we continue to contribute to its destruction. Without significant action, humans, animals, and ecosystems as a whole will undergo drastic change as human-induced global warming continues to produce extreme weather events and periods of drought and heat.
Even over the next 18 years, climate-induced stressors will significantly impact the economy, human health, and all other aspects of survival and well-being. By 2100, people will suffer from four times as many climate extremes as we do today—and will be 15 times more likely to die from it. Entire areas of Earth will become uninhabitable by 2500.
After making sense of some of this doom and gloom, we should recognize that living more sustainable lifestyles is needed more urgently than ever before.
How to Start a Sustainable Lifestyle
So just how would someone get started with a sustainable lifestyle? First, recognize that there are a lot of sustainable lifestyle examples. Some people may be completely vegan, use a bike instead of a car, and can fit an entire year’s worth of trash in a mason jar.
Other sustainability enthusiasts, however, may be taking steps to cut meat out of their diet. They drive a car, but are remembering more often to turn off the lights and air dry their clothes instead of using the dryer.
Wherever you are on this spectrum, it’s okay. We don’t need everyone in the world to be “perfect” environmentalists. But we do need everyone to try.
So, with this in mind, here are 9 tips for sustainable living:
1. Get to know your impact
If you know you want to become more environmentally friendly but don’t know where to start, one of the best things you can do is start to understand your impact. A Carbon Footprint Calculator will help you to think about all of the areas of your life and their impact.
When you take the time to fill one out, you’ll understand how your house, air travel, car, pharmaceuticals, clothes, food and drink products, furniture, insurance, banking, recreational activities, and other factors impact our planet.
Then, you can determine what areas of your life can be altered to reduce your footprint!
2. Consume less
It’s been estimated that the goods that end up in our homes are responsible for at least 60% of total global emissions and up to 80% of global land, water, and material use. Our consumer culture makes us believe that we need to buy, buy, buy to live happier healthier lives, but the reality is, it’s actually doing the opposite.
So, next time you plan a shopping spree or get the urge to buy the newest phone/beauty product/fashion trend, pause and think about if it’s really necessary or not. Chances are, it’s more of a “want” than a “need.”
If you can live without it, feel good about that being the best thing for our planet. If it's something you really need, look for it secondhand!
3. Go zero waste
One of the most problematic things for our planet is plastic pollution. Plastic has undoubtedly made our lives easier and healthier, but in most cases, it’s totally unnecessary!
The reality is that we actually don’t need plastic in many situations where it’s used. We can turn to shampoo and conditioner bars instead of plastic bottles and use a reusable metal safety razor instead of a disposable version.
Thanks to eco-conscious brands, many of our favorite health and beauty products are now packaged in sustainable materials, like recyclable/compostable cardboard, or reusable, refillable, and recyclable glass and metal.
4. Choose sustainable brands
Speaking of sustainable brands, many of those with a conscience are small, local companies that could use all the support they can get!
When you vote with your dollar for brands that are pioneering more sustainable ingredients, more ethical and eco-friendly supply chain practices, and better packaging, you’re helping to foster change in their entire industry—and we need much more of this!
So, shop with your heart and show sustainable brands and their sustainable products some love.
5. Eat more plants
It’s no secret that a plant-based diet is better for you and our planet. In fact, a 2019 study found that eating a vegan diet is “probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth.”
Even if you don’t go completely veg, more meals without meat are a good way to do your part.
6. Use greener transportation
Ditch the car keys and start walking or riding your bike to get to where you need to go. Most of our trips are short. For those of us who live in major US cities, around 48% of our trips are less than three miles long, with about one-fifth being shorter than a mile!
This makes alternative transportation an extremely feasible option. Not only will you prevent fossil fuels from being burned and pollution from coming out of your tailpipe, but you’ll be supporting your health, too.
7. Have a non-toxic home
Many of the things that are bad for our planet are also pretty lousy for our health. Between toxins in our personal care products, off-gassing in our mass-produced furniture, and plastics that compromise our favorite foods, it would be beneficial for us to make some changes.
So, instead of using harsh chemicals to clean with, consider a natural and non-toxic gentle home cleaning scrub. If you usually wrap your foods in single-use plastic wrap and in ziploc bags, make the switch to beeswax wrap and reusable, silicone sandwich bags. For a beauty bag that’s filled with products with questionable ingredients, make the switch to eco-conscious cosmetics that can help keep our planet beautiful.
8. Use your voice
We need more people to use their voice for good. Between voting, sharing information like this, and having difficult conversations with people who still don’t believe in climate change, you’re important!
Share your sustainable lifestyle journey with friends and family and encourage them to try some of these tips out, too.
9. Love the environment
It’s going to be really hard for you to feel committed to protecting our planet if you don’t spend time getting to know Mother Earth! Spend a weekend camping. Go on a daily walk. Plant a native wildflower garden and see what insects and animals are attracted to it.
Regardless of how you do it, dedicate some time to exploring Earth’s natural wonders. Your love for Earth is one of the best tools we have for saving her.
How to Be More Sustainable in All Aspects of Life
Sustainable living encompasses all aspects of life. Our blog covers sustainable lifestyle tips for all situations and occasions. Here are a few key topics to help you on your journey.
- Sustainable Living: A Beginner’s Guide
- Sustainable Traveling
- Sustainable Living: Summer Guide
- Sustainable Living: College Guide
- Sustainable Living: Back-to-School Edition
- Sustainable Laundry
- Guide to Conscious Consumption
Sustainable shopping is an important part of an eco-friendly lifestyle. As such, Green Eco Dream is here to make all of your purchases a little more planet-friendly.
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