A guide to sustainable living
The choices we make every day, little or small, can have huge repercussions on the environment, climate and our local species. From the food we eat, to the organisations or activities we choose to support. There’s a lot we can consider when choosing to reduce our environmental footprint. Choosing to live sustainability doesn’t mean you’ll have to give up everything you care for. Small tweaks to the lifestyle you live can translate to your footprint being far lighter on the environment. In this guide we’ll show you some of the subtle changes you can make in your lifestyle to live more sustainably.
Eat only what you need, reduce your food waste
1.3 Billion tons of food is wasted each year. That means one third of all food we produce gets wasted. The effect on the environment that one third of food has is huge and is completely unnecessary. When you throw away your food, it ends up in landfill where as it breaks down, it will contribute to greenhouse gasses. By getting into the habit of no unnecessary waste, your shopping habits might just change and you’ll save a ton of money and help the environment.
Say no to plastic
Avoiding plastic entirely can be rather difficult, in the modern world plastic is used in everything. Making an effort to reduce your plastic consumption is the first step. Plastic straws and bags are a good way to reduce your plastic use, they’re unnecessary and easily replaceable. The effect plastic has on our environment is monumental, the problem with plastic is it is so difficult to degrade so it ends up everywhere, it’s common for sea life to swallow, be entangled or drown from the 13 million metric tons of it we dispose of in the ocean every year.
Stop disposals entirely
The bane of the modern world are disposals, there’s disposable everything these days. Single use, forks, bags and cups the list goes on. If we stopped single use plastic entirely it would have a massive effect on the environment . World plastic production would drop, there would be far less green houses going into something entirely unnecessary. When you’re standing in the store considering a purchase, ask yourself. How long will this item last me?
In parts of the world recycling is already huge and what you would call mainstream. Europe has hopped on the recycle train for quite a long time now. Unfortunately other western countries, such as Australia, America, Canada and Britain are far less efficient at recycling than their european counterparts. Instead of our waste going into landfill and adding to the already enormous greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere.
Recycling our waste means it gets broken down and reused. The pollution that would be created by finding all these raw materials is greatly reduced as we already have the materials from the recycling efforts. For example, recycling your phones or computers means that the metal or plastic will be reused in new phones and computers rather than mining or refining them the raw materials again.
Start drinking tap water
A large portion of people hate tap water, it’s known some American cities can have very poor water quality. It’s understandable if the water quality in your city is poor, but for the vast majority of us our city or towns water quality is perfectly fine. There really is no excuse why you shouldn’t be drinking tap water. The amount of plastic that you produce every year by only drinking bottled water is huge. Making the change is minimal because at the end of the day you’re just drinking water. If you really can’t bear the flavour of tap water, consider a filtration for your kitchen. It will improve the taste and supposedly improve the water quality.
Consider transport alternatives
Walking and Cycling are both good for your health and the environment. It’s always tricky getting in our daily exercise so these alternatives make it that much easier. Your car is a pollution machine, cutting your car’s use will put a cap on your personal emissions. New buses and trains are far more friendly for the environment, they use electricity but also it means 50 people aren’t driving but instead all on the one bus.
Pay attention to labels
The amount of choice and variety we have in the grocery store is huge, it can be difficult choosing the right product. A good way to cut through the masses is to start looking at the labels. Choose fair trade certified goods, so you support companies that are focused on running their business sustainably and paying workers fair wages. Everyone loves a coffee, but many coffee farms and producers aren’t running their businesses sustainably or ethically. On the labels look for ‘shade grown coffee’. This means the coffee is grown in forest habitats that are kept intact to help migratory birds or local species.
Change how you shower
I think we can all agree our showers can get just a bit too long. Making an effort for shorter showers is a small step to reduce our water usage. Water efficient showerheads are another great way to reduce the amount of water we consume in the shower. These showerheads use 40 percent less water compared to their traditional counterparts. Some states will even replace for showerhead for free if you’re using the water efficient type.
If you’re looking to improve your footprint on the environment and the wider world, small changes to a variety of different parts of your lifestyle is all that’s needed. If everyone could slightly adjust their own living habits. The changes throughout the world would be enormous. Even if a fraction of the population made the effort for living more sustainable lives the changes throughout the world would be fantastic.