Sustainable living has become a popular topic lately. It’s a way of life that focuses on minimizing negative environmental impacts while maximizing positive ones.
There are many ways to live sustainably. Some people opt to live off the grid; others opt for a more urban lifestyle. Whatever your preference, there are many ways to incorporate sustainability into your daily routine.
Here are eight simple tips to get started.
#1- Buy local
Buying locally grown food is one of the easiest and most effective things you can do to reduce waste in our landfills. Buying from farmers’ markets or grocery stores close to home also supports small businesses and keeps money circulating within your community.
You don’t have to splurge an entire paycheck at once either. Start with buying organic fruits and vegetables when possible. You’ll be amazed by how much better they taste than their conventional counterparts.
#2- Install solar panels
Solar panel installation is another option for those looking to live more sustainably. Solar panels generate electricity from sunlight which then powers appliances inside homes. While solar power isn’t always practical, many people choose to install rooftop solar panels anyway. These homeowners get paid back every month when utility bills arrive in the mail.
#3- Eat less meat
With regards to sustainable lifestyle living, let’s consider meat for a moment. Meat production requires large amounts of water, energy, and other resources. According to the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization, livestock produces about 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. That number increases if we include methane produced through manure management.
Eating less meat not only helps save these natural resources but also reduces your carbon footprint. The FAO estimates that reducing the consumption of animal products could help to reduce health and climate change costs.
#4- Avoid plastic bottles
Plastic bottle recycling programs exist all across North America. However, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, only 10% of Americans recycle plastics. This stat means that 90% of plastic bottles end up as litter.
The EPA recommends avoiding bottled water altogether because it takes several steps to manufacture and transport. Instead, fill your glass container with tap water and bring it along wherever you go. Or try bringing refillable stainless steel containers with you.
#5- Use reusable bags
Reusable shopping bags make it easy to avoid plastic bag pollution. They’re convenient, eco-friendly, and cost less over time compared to single-use paper bags. If you need help finding them, search online for a list of retailers who sell reusable bags.
If you want to go even further, consider switching to cloth napkins instead of using disposable tablecloths. Cloth napkin companies like Seventh Generation offer options for both men and women and come in different sizes so everyone can find something comfortable.
#6- Grow some of your food
Gardening is one of the easiest ways to get involved in sustainability efforts. You don’t have to grow anything fancy; just growing herbs and vegetables will do. Even small gardens can yield enough fresh fruits and veggies to feed yourself and your family throughout the week.
You can start simply by planting seeds indoors during the winter months. Then when spring arrives, transplant those seedlings into larger pots outdoors where they can continue to thrive until harvest season comes around again.
#7- Support small businesses
Small business owners often make their living from selling locally made goods. They’re usually more aware of environmental issues and how they affect them directly. Supporting local businesses allows them to keep prices low and pass down savings onto customers.
If you want to support smaller companies, look for “green” labels like Fair Trade Certified™ and Organic®. These certifications ensure workers receive fair wages and working conditions.
#8- Learn how to sew
Sewing has been around for thousands of years. Today, sewing machines allow people to create clothing at home instead of buying pre-made items. Sewing also helps save money because you won’t need to purchase fabric anymore.
If you’d instead learn how to knit, there are many online tutorials available. Knitting requires less material than other types of crafting, so it’s better for the environment. Also, knitting provides a sense of accomplishment once completed.
The future looks bright for our planet Earth. We’ve come a long way over the past few decades, but we still have much work ahead of us if we hope to preserve this beautiful blue orb that supports life as we know it today.
We must all play our part in ensuring that our actions leave behind a healthy planet for generations to come. So what are you waiting for?
Thanks to all the companies linked above.