What is sustainable living? Sustainable living means reducing your carbon footprint by making changes in what you buy, what you eat, what you use to do things around the house, and what kinds of transportation you choose.
Many people think that sustainable living is a goal only for environmentalists or those who are trying to fight climate change. However, there are many benefits of sustainable living that everyone can enjoy and future generations will thank us.
Here we will explore what “sustainable” really means and the environmental impact it has as well as discussing ways to start a more sustainable life!
What Is Sustainable Living?
Sustainable living is defined as reducing your carbon footprint by making changes in what you buy, what you eat, what you use to do things around the house, and what kinds of transportation you choose.
There are lots of ways to live more sustainably and we’ll look at some below. But the overall aim is to reduce waste and the impact your life plays on the environment and your part in climate change. All of these issues become more important each day as we see the impact of a changing environment on our lives.
Sustainable Living Vs. Zero Waste What’s the Difference?
Sustainable living is a lifestyle that focuses on what can be produced without compromising our environment. Zero-waste, also known as the zero-waste movement or zero waste life, means what it says: there’s no trash to throw away because nothing was thrown out in the first place!
In simple terms, sustainable living could be described as living with what you already have and reducing what goes to waste. It’s about consuming less, producing less garbage, wasting less water, using natural resources sustainably, or renewing what can’t be renewed.
The two terms are not mutually exclusive but sustainable living is more encompassing as it includes the idea of a circular economy where nothing is wasted, and everything is recycled to what it was before.
The zero-waste movement has been gaining momentum in recent years with more people attempting to lead a zero-waste lifestyle by reducing the amount of trash they produce each day. This can be accomplished by buying products that are reusable or recyclable, dividing bulk items into single-serving containers, and using reusable bags, water bottles, coffee cups, etc.
Why Is Sustainable Living Important?
Sustainable living is very important because it can have a huge impact on climate change. Our society has developed an economy that depends on the use of natural resources and what we produce with those resources, but this is unsustainable in terms of what it does to our environment due to wastefulness and overconsumption.
In addition, sustainable living can also reduce your carbon footprint which will help prevent global warming. By eliminating what is wasted and what goes to waste, we can reduce the number of greenhouse gases emitted into our atmosphere.
Sustainable living doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming! It just requires a conscious effort on your part – that starts with what you buy at the grocery store! You could start by switching to a reusable grocery bag, getting your own coffee mug and water bottle for the office, or calling in an order from home instead of going out to eat. There are lots of small things that you can do to live more sustainably!
How Can Sustainable Living Stop Climate Change?
Sustainable living can help stop climate change by reducing what you waste and what goes to waste. By being conscious about what we buy, consume, produce or throw away each day, we’re all making a difference in the fight against global warming!
This is how sustainable living breaks down:
Reduce what you use (buy less stuff, produce less, consume what you have)
Don’t waste what is used (buy products that are reusable or recyclable instead of disposable)
Recycle what can be recycled (plastic water bottles, aluminum cans etc.) and compost what’s not able to be recycled.
When we use these three steps in our life, we create a sustainable lifestyle and are not contributing to what is known as climate change. By reducing what you buy, what goes into the trash, or what’s wasted in general, you’re helping reduce what contributes to greenhouse gases in our atmosphere!
How to Start Sustainable Living
That’s all the theory but let’s take a look at some practical ways that you can live a more sustainable life by making small but important alterations.
Composting is a great way to start living more sustainably because it doesn’t require any extra time or money. You can use this for your garden, to make compost tea, and even fertilize flowers with it! It’s a great way of keeping waste out of landfills because what you are throwing away is food scraps that are being put to good use.
Waste Reduction and Reuse
Try to get into a habit of reducing what you waste in your home by giving away what you don’t need or reusing what can be used for other things. If something is broken, try fixing it up instead of throwing it out so that there will be less waste going into landfill.
Use what you have before buying something new. If the time comes where an item has worn out or broken, it’s a good idea to look for secondhand options instead of throwing away what is no longer being used.
Switching your light bulbs into energy-efficient ones can make a big difference when it comes to your electricity bill. LED lights are what you should be looking for. They are more efficient and last longer so they will save you money in the long-term.
Become more efficient with your errands
Being smarter with errands can help cut down the fossil fuels you use in your car and the carbon emissions it creates. For example, if you need to get a few groceries, it’s better to wait until the next day when there is less traffic. Give yourself as much time as possible so that what needs doing can be done more efficiently and in one trip!
Try to make one big shop a week rather than lots of smaller ones. Combine trips to different areas of shopping into one trip rather than going to one area one day and another the next. Use public transport where possible too.
Start using natural cleaners
Switch what you use to clean around the house. You might be surprised what a difference it can make! Examples of natural cleaners include citrus peels, vinegar, and baking soda. These are great for a number of things such as cleaning the kitchen sink or silverware to make dishes sparkle!
Try to get on a more natural sleep schedule
Your sleep schedule might not seem relevant but the more you can sleep during the dark hours and the less you sleep during the day, the less energy you use for lighting. You can even cut down on your heating bills!
Unplug device when not in use
Plugging in electronics when not being used can lead to what is known as a phantom load. This might be small but it adds up and could account for between five to fifteen percent of the total electricity you use! It’s best to plug in your devices only when they’re going to be used during that day or night, otherwise, make sure they’re unplugged.
Recycle what you can’t compost
Don’t forget what’s not able to be recycled! For example, the plastic in your cereal box is unable to go into a recycling plant so it should have its own separate bin for plastics or cans and bottles. You could even try purchasing items that are recyclable like water bottles.
Use daylight as much as possible
Similar to amending your sleep schedule, by making use of daylight as much as possible, you can cut down on your electricity usage. That can mean things like reading outside in the daylight rather than using a reading lamp inside. Or using natural light to brighten the room rather than overhead electric lights to help reduce energy consumption.
Change your washing habits
This is important to understand what sustainable living means and how it can impact the environment. Sustainable lifestyles include reducing our water usage, recycling, and more.
Adopting a more sustainable lifestyle can start from updating strategies and habits for cleaning your house, which makes both you and the environment healthier.
Practice taking short and times showers, washing dishes in a sink of water, and then rinsing them and cutting down on the amount of laundry that you do.
Choose renewable energy
It’s what you are using to power your home, and what is better for the environment? One way to make a difference in this area is by choosing renewable energy such as solar or hydroelectric. You might even think about adding solar panels to your roof to help generate your own power and contribute excess power to the grid for others.
Buy products with less packaging
One way to help with what is sustainable living and impacting the environment can be by what we buy. Try buying products that have less packaging which will mean there’s more waste in landfills! And if the packaging is needed, opt for products that have recyclable packing and are even made from recycled materials in the first place.
Replace all possible disposables with reusable items
It can add up what is sustainable living and what impacts the environment when we don’t use disposable products. Things such as using a glass or mug for your drinks rather than plastic cups, bringing in containers from home to store food at work instead of buying new ones all the time – these are just some ways you could make a difference.
Use what you have before buying new items
This could be anything from using what’s in your house to make a meal instead of ordering takeout, or even making use of what is already at work rather than relying on the office supply closet for supplies that are made cheaply and not recycled! It might seem silly but it can really make what is sustainable living and what it impacts the environment!
Carry your own reusable shopping bags
If you don’t already, what better way to practice sustainable living is than by carrying your reusable shopping bag. This will allow you to buy groceries without needing a plastic or paper bag that can be reused instead! Plus you can save on those carrier bag fees that many countries now include.
Remodeling with some green building choices
Remodeling your home with what is sustainable living in mind can be as simple as adding energy-efficient windows, choosing more green materials for inside the house such as bamboo flooring or a stone countertop. There are also exterior choices that you could make to increase sustainability like installing solar panels on your roof!
Don’t forget what’s in your pantry
If what you have in the pantry is old and doesn’t need to be there, what better way to practice sustainable living means than by donating it? Many charities can take food donations so don’t let anything go to waste! Cutting down on food waste helps your pocket as well as the environment and is one of the simplest sustainable living tips.
Choose recycled materials for home renovations
It might not seem like a big deal what is sustainable living and what it impacts the environment, but you’ll be amazed what some recycled materials can do for your home renovation! If you’re looking to remodel or build a new house, why not opt for eco-friendly choices like bamboo flooring?
Choose reusable utensils over single-use plastic ones
It’s what we use what is sustainable living and what it impacts the environment, so what better way to start than by choosing reusable utensils over single-use plastic ones! This doesn’t only help in your own home either – you could offer these to people at work or when you’re out with friends too.
Living the sustainable life
What is sustainable living and what impacts the environment can be a complicated topic. But, with these simple tips, you’ll get started on what your future may hold! What are some ways that you have practiced what sustainable living means in your life? Do any of these ideas seem interesting to you? Embrace the changing world and we can all do our bit to help.
Check out this blog post on why sustainable living is important!