Recently, you may have been hearing a lot of buzzwords such as “green” or “sustainable” living. The truth is, however, that these are more than just buzzwords.
Sustainable living and green living are interchangeable concepts, which both mean living a lifestyle that does not harm the environment, but encourages its health and stability.
For the last few hundred years, mankind has been living unsustainably, simply meaning that we are using the earth’s resources faster than the earth can produce them, and many of these resources can’t come back once they’ve been used.
Due to this, we’re creating a world where nature is being thrown sharply out of balance, which can spell disaster for the entire planet. This is more evident now due to climate change.
Fortunately, we can turn things around by changing our habits—one of which would be changing our lifestyles from those of constant consumption to those that are more conscientious about the safety and health of the environment.
Sustainable Living: A Definition
Sustainable living refers to a lifestyle that strives to reduce one’s carbon footprint.
This simply means living in such a way that preserves instead of consumes the earth’s natural resources, as well as preserves their own personal resources.
The point of sustainable living is break the cycle of overconsumption seen throughout the world. So many people commonly consume and consume until nothing is left when they should be learning to conserve their resources in order to make them last longer as well as share them.
There Are Some Extremes
When some think of sustainable living, they may envision individuals who take things a little far. Some examples may include urinating in a jar to preserve water in the toilet, reducing showers to once or twice a month, or shutting off power despite the needs of the house or family.
While this may work for some individuals, for most, it can make life unnecessarily difficult. Plus it can be extremely unhealthy. With this in mind, it is important to remember that moderation and balance is a good rule of thumb.
Living sustainably can be done by making small changes to your everyday life that will not only benefit the environment, but also perhaps change your lifestyle for the better.
Great Ways To Live Sustainably
Try these simple lifestyle changes to integrate “green” habits into your everyday routine.
One of the easiest changes you can make is to switch to organic foods. By helping sustain organic markets and farms, you’re helping reduce the use of chemicals in our food and soil. Some say that organic eating can be expensive, and while this can be true, it doesn’t have to be. You can shop at local farmers markets as well as do your own farming.
Many people have taken to creating their own fruit and vegetable gardens as well as housing chickens for fresh eggs. This option may take some money to get started, but once you’ve got a garden going, it’s easy and inexpensive to keep it running.
Be Mindful of Your Water Usage:
Water is more precious than gold while living sustainably. Instead of reducing showers or abstaining from flushing the toilet, there are other ways to preserve water. Set a timeframe for your shower, shut off the water while brushing your teeth and washing your face, and water your lawn in the evening when it’s cooler and there’s a higher chance of all the water absorbing into the soil. In the Rainforest, watering the lawn is rarely necessary, so we save that water for important use.
Turn Off Lights When You Leave the Room:
The best way to conserve energy is to turn of lights and some appliances when you leave the room. If you’re typically leave lamps or the television on when you’re not in a room, train yourself to always turn these things off when you plan to vacate a room for an extended amount of time. A quick run to the bathroom doesn’t require shutting off all lights and power, but if you’re in your bedroom and decide to go spend some time in the backyard, don’t leave things up and running.
If you typically drive a lot and would like to reduce your carbon footprint, cut down the use of your car (if able). Instead, take walks or ride a bike, skateboard, scooter, or even rollerblade to your destination. If you’re unable to give up driving, maybe invest in a “green” vehicle that uses less gas and doesn’t give off toxic emissions.
Save Your Own Resources:
Another great way to live sustainably is to preserve your own personal resources. This means being smart about how much you use and how much you save. For example, when it comes to food, eat smaller portions and wrap up leftovers. Eating your food quickly can only mean you’re spending more on groceries which, let’s face it, can be pretty expensive.
Similarly, things like toothpaste, paper plates, paper towels, body wash, lotions, and so much more can be used up quickly. It all circles back to the consumer-thought process of using more than there is and not thinking ahead.
Instead, look at these things practically and do what you can to make them last. Use the smallest necessary amount of toothpaste to get your teeth clean, stick to a dime sized amount of body wash or shampoo in the shower, don’t overuse paper plates and paper towels just because they’re there. Consider using more economical options than paper or styrofoam products.
One of the best ways to get into a mindset of living sustainably is to remember that nothing is set in stone. We often use things quickly without regard to preservation because we know we can always get more. If we run out of crackers, we can run to the store and get more, well not here, it’s miles away. That makes you conservative quick!
If we’re running low on lotion, there’s a market just down the street. Need food? There are plenty of restaurants all over. While this is technically true, it does not mean that these things will always be there.
Things can change, and problems can arise, making it important to prepare for the unforeseen by living smart. Preserve food, don’t overuse water and power, and consume in moderation. It’s the best way to live for both you and the environment.
What are some ways that you lower your carbon footprint towards a more sustainable lifestyle?