A lot of talks and ideas about sustainable living are floating around on the internet. We all know that all our day to day activities including the type of food we eat, places we go, everything affects the environment in some or the other way. So does that mean that we just at home and eat only plant based food and do not use much of electricity or air conditioning. No, this is not what sustainable living means. Sustainable living does not tells you to give up every thing that impacts the environment, but it encourages to make small changes in the lifestyle and reduce the frequency of things like eating meat, transportation etc.
What is sustainable living?
Sustainable living is reducing the use of resources that impact the Earth. It describes a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earths natural resources, and one’s personal resources (Wikipedia).
How to lead a sustainable lifestyle?
Here are some suggestions to simple changes in lifestyle that will help you lead a sustainable lifestyle.
1. Switch to Renewable energy sources:
One of the most effective ways to reduce the usage of fossil fuels is to switch to renewable energy sources like wind, solar, tidal, etc. Look at the green energy source wherever possible. Power up your homes with renewable energy sources.
2. Drive less:
Try to minimize the usage of cars and prefer using public transport. The pollution caused due to the vehicles on road is one of the major reasons for carbon emissions. Our aim should be to reduce the number of vehicles on road and use bicycles or prefer to walk and carpool wherever possible.
3. Adopt a zero waste lifestyle:
If every individual takes some initiative and brings a change into the lifestyle by adopting the zero waste approach, this waste can be reduced drastically. See: 10 ways to Adopt a Zero-waste Lifestyle
4. Switch to Sustainable diet:
A sustainable diet is usually associated with a diet that is low in carbon. It is primarily plant-based, relying heavily on whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. See: What is a Sustainable Diet and how we can Adopt it?
5. Use energy efficient devices:
Replacing the regular bulbs and lights with LED and energy-efficient devices will not only help in reducing energy consumption and will also help in saving money. It is the cheapest way and the easiest way to reduce carbon emissions.
6. Turn off electronic devices:
Turn off electronic devices like televisions, music players, computers, etc. when not in use. This will not only help to reduce energy consumption but can reduce thousands of tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
Always prefer buying eco-friendly or recyclable products. Recycle the products with materials like paper, bottles, aluminum foils, newspapers, etc. Recycling will help in reducing the landfills and also the CO2 released into the atmosphere.
8. Reduce waste:
Landfills are the major source of methane and greenhouse gases. Also, the open burning of waste releases toxic gases into the atmosphere resulting in global warming.
9. Plant trees:
The best method to reduce global warming is the plant more and more trees. Trees not only give oxygen but also absorb the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. A single tree can absorb up to 1 ton of CO2 in its life ton, hence we should aim to plant more and more trees and prevent the cutting down of existing ones.
10. Become a member of a community garden:
Community gardens are places where you can grow food for the community and promote sustainable living in you area. The garden waste can be turned into organic fertilizer and turn the soil healthy. Community gardens help creating green spaces and keep the air clean by using the carbon dioxide and giving out oxygen.
11. Use Natural Cleaners:
Use natural or homemade cleaners such as vinegar, baking soda, and citrus fruits. This will reduce the amount of packaging materials as well as the amount of chemicals thrown into the water system.
12. Use day light as much as possible:
During the day, use the day light as much as possible by opening the curtains and windows for natural fresh air. This will reduce the usage of light at least during the day time.
13. Use less hot water:
Limit the usage of hot water in your daily chores like washing clothes, dishes, etc. Also, avoid taking frequent hot water showers or use less hot water. Such simple steps will drastically reduce energy consumption.
14. Save water:
This is the most basic and important step that we all should be following and teaching our younger ones. Remember to close the taps while brushing your teeth and avoid going for long showers. Also, reduce the number of car and bike washes with water, instead prefer the dry wash.
15. Go Paperless
Wherever there is an option to opt for a digital receipt or mailers, please make this choice, and reduce the use of papers. Stop printing unnecessary things which can be easily stored or read digitally. Less usage of paper will not only save trees but also minimize the fossil fuels that is used in making of the paper.
16. Spread Awareness:
It is very important to educate everyone about the consequence of global warming and how our simple steps can make a huge difference in saving our earth for our future generations to come.
Sustainable living is a practice and it will take time totally adopt in your lifestyle. But at least we as individuals need to start it somewhere. So, just try to follow some of the above tips and see the difference in your approach towards the environment.
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