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Simple Ways to Practice Sustainable Living

It is simple to overlook the fact that we all share this planet in the twenty-first century. Together, we can keep Earth habitable for generations to come. There are lots of easy things you can do to help the environment at home and at school.

The term "sustainable living" refers to a way of life that minimises human impact on the planet's limited resources. Reducing our negative effects on the planet and maximising our financial and health benefits while improving the lives of future generations are all reasons to adopt a more sustainable way of life. Here are some easy ways to incorporate eco-friendliness into your daily routine.

Environmental issues are becoming a major global issue as the world becomes smaller and more interconnected. Sustainable lifestyles focus on minimising negative impacts on the planet so that present and future generations can enjoy it in good health. Recycling and cutting down on your carbon footprint are just two examples of the many easy ways to live more sustainably. Get some inspiration from what you'll read below!

Do you wish to adopt a greener way of life? In that case, there are a number of easy ways to enhance your day-to-day experience. If you are interested in learning more about sustainable living, this post will outline some of the most useful strategies.

The choices we make every day have real-world consequences for the planet. But how often do we actually consider the ripple effect of our actions? In this article, we'll look at some basic ways to start living more sustainably and lessen your impact on the planet.

The first step is to decide what it is you want out of life, and then to take the necessary measures to make that a reality. For instance, if you are unsure of what you want your life to look like in five years, it may be helpful to visualise what that life would be like if all of your wishes came true, including your ideal job, ideal lifestyle, ideal living situation, etc.

To live sustainably is to adopt a lifestyle that makes less use of nonrenewable resources and generates less waste. This can include anything from opting for organic produce to carrying all of your purchases in reusable tote bags.

You can live more sustainably, save money, and lessen your impact on the planet by making some simple adjustments to your daily habits. Here are some easy steps you can take towards a greener lifestyle.

Reducing waste and using less energy are just the beginning of eco-friendly practises. Reducing your carbon footprint can be as easy as reusing water bottles instead of buying new plastic ones every week or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

Even though you're only making minor adjustments, they'll have a significant impact in the long run. Small changes in lifestyle can have a big impact on the environment and the health of our planet.

Making choices that are good for people, animals, and the planet is what we mean when we talk about sustainable living. Making good decisions now can improve the future for all life on Earth.

It's not about finding the perfect solution or spending a lot of money to live a more sustainably. Here are some simple approaches you can take to incorporate sustainable practises into your daily life. Okay, so let's get going!

FAQs

The well managed use of forest is an example of a sustainable practice. The rate at which trees are cut down is regulated to equal the rate at which trees can be replanted and grown. The fishing of salmon is another sustainable practice.

From Our Blog: 6 Sustainability Activities for Kids

  • Make recycling a game.
  • Compost.
  • Use recycled materials for art projects.
  • Make your own cleaning products at home.
  • Decorate your own tote bags.
  • Challenge your family to walk instead of drive.

Sustainable living describes a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resources, and one's personal resources. It is often called "earth harmony living" or "net zero living".

Sustainability means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In addition to natural resources, we also need social and economic resources.

However, it actually refers to four distinct areas: human, social, economic and environmental known as the four pillars of sustainability.

What Is Sustainable Living?

The goal of sustainable living is to minimise impact on the environment by replacing consumables as efficiently as possible. That can mean changing your habits to become a more active participant in the cycle of life, or it can mean choosing not to buy a product made with methods that don't support sustainability.

We are all aware that the effects of climate change, global warming, ozone depletion, and resource depletion on human and animal life can be devastating. It's a chance to make changes to one's lifestyle that will have a positive effect on the environment and one's carbon footprint.

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It should be limited in production or phased out altogether if it can't be recycled, composted, reused, or repurposed in some way. Peter Seege. Taking small steps like taking the bus or train more often, lowering your energy usage, and adopting a greener lifestyle can have a significant impact on the health of the planet. The term "Sustainable Living" is defined by Wikipedia as,

"For individuals and communities alike, sustainable living entails making conscious efforts to lessen consumption of both the planet's and its inhabitants' limited natural and human-made resources. Sustainable lifestyle advocates, for instance, frequently make adjustments to their modes of transportation, energy usage, and dietary habits in an effort to lessen their environmental impact. Supporters of sustainable lifestyles strive to act in ways that are in harmony with nature and acknowledge humanity's interdependence with the Earth's biosphere. Therefore, the principles of sustainable development are deeply intertwined with the practise and general philosophy of ecological living."

Green Eco Tips For Sustainable Living

First: Reduce

The first and most important step of waste management, prevention, has been overlooked in favour of recycling. Please assist in raising more attention to the "Reduce" portion of the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle adage. Watching the documentary The Story of Stuff will give you a fantastic overview of the globalisation of both raw materials and finished goods.

Simplify: Attempt to reduce the complexity of your daily routine. Keep only the things you truly value and use on a regular basis. If you make an effort to downsize your possessions, you'll end up buying less and producing less trash in the future.

Determine Your Impact: You can figure out your impact on the environment with the help of calculators like the Eco Footprint, Carbon Footprint, and Water Footprint.

Reduce Purchases: Always ask yourself if you really need something before making a purchase. What effects did its manufacture have on the environment, and what effects will its eventual disposal (along with its packaging) have?

When you are thinking about buying something, try the 30-Day Rule -- wait 30 days after the first time you decide you want a product to really make your decision. This will eliminate impulse buying. 

The Center for the New American Dream's Wallet Buddy, available for free download, serves as a helpful constant reminder to make environmentally responsible purchases (including avoiding unessential).

Observe an Eco-Sabbath: For one day, afternoon or hour a week, don't buy anything, don't use machines, don't switch on anything electric, don't cook, don't answer your phone, and, in general, don't use any resources.

Replace Disposables: Use reusable alternatives to single-use items whenever possible. This includes things like razors, food storage containers, batteries, ink cartridges (invest in refill ink), coffee filters, furnace/air conditioner filters, and so on.

Buy Used: Try to get your hands on pre-owned items whenever possible.

Some sources:

  • local thrift stores
  • eBay
  • Amazon (search on refurbished, then click on links in the left sidebar or search for a specific refurbished product)
  • local newspaper listings
  • local material exchange sites (search in your area)
  • garage sales (search in your area in the 'for sale' > 'garage sales' section
  • used refurbished computers (check your computer manufacturer's website or Amazon.
  • local used furniture stores
  • local consignment shops

Make Your Own: Make things on your own whenever you can so that you can control the quality and quantity of the ingredients and the amount of waste produced. You can get some great ideas from Pinterest DIY projects, Apartment Therapy household cleaning recipes, and a great homemade toothpaste recipe.

Borrow From Friends: If you only need something temporarily, ask if a friend or neighbour would loan it to you.

Share With Friends: Share things like books, magazines, movies, games, and newspapers between friends and neighbours.

Tree-Free Home

  • replace paper towels with a special set of cloth towels/napkins (or cut up old t-shirts for great towels) - store the used ones in a small container or drawer in your kitchen and just wash and reuse
  • install a tree-saving bidet and supplement with bleach-free, 100% post-consumer recycled toilet paper
  • if you print documents, print on once-used paper and bleach-free, recycled paper with the highest post-consumer waste content available
  • switch to a digital organiser for tracking your to do's and grocery lists. A few free suggestions: Wunderlist, Remember the Milk, todoist
  • read books, magazines, and newspapers from your local library or online (many have email newsletters)
  • leave messages for family members/roommates on a reusable message board

Bulk Purchases:

Don't buy anything that comes in a disposable package (i.e., drinks, school lunches, candy, cat and dog food, salad mixings, etc.). Consider making large purchases and repackaging the goods into more manageable quantities for later use.

Bulk bins are a common sight in health food stores, and they often sell more than just grains and cereal. For more "precycling" inspiration, check out this handy guide to finding international bulk item stores.

Buy Only What You Need: Buy only as much as you know you'll use for items such as food, cleaning supplies, and paint.

Avoid Creating Trash: To reduce waste, try using reusable cutlery and straws when dining out, purchasing ice cream in a cone rather than a cup, declining "free" promotional items, purchasing products with minimal packaging, etc. Reducing waste, no matter how small, has an effect.

Shopping Bags: Don't bother with a shopping bag if you're only going to fill it with a few small items. Don't forget your reusable shopping bags for bigger purchases! (such as EcoRight bags). Find out more about the environmental damage that plastics cause.

Mug-to-Go: Carry a mug with you wherever you go to take out beverages.

Address Early Consumption Habits: New American Dream offers tips for protecting your children from intrusive and harmful advertising that promotes mindless consumption.

Encourage Hotels to Reduce Waste: When staying at a hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast, let the management know that you like to support businesses that adopt environmentally responsible practices (including reducing waste). 

Provide a connection to Environmental Solutions for Green Hotels for hotels to use. Visit TripAdvisor (when searching, select 'Green' from the 'Style' menu option) and the Green Hotels Association to find eco-friendly hotels in your area.

Second: Reuse

The media has done a wonderful job of selling us the attractiveness and benefits of buying "new", "improved", "special", etc., products. However, we already collectively own so much that we could all survive for quite a while on the existing products - if we just reused them a few times.

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Donations:

  • household items - clothes, furniture, dishes, books, sports equipment, magazines, appliances, electronics, business attire, wedding attire, etc. (to charity)
  • women's business attire (to Dress for Success)
  • computer equipment
  • cell phones, cameras, iPod/MP3 Players, laptops, PDAs (to Recycling for Charities) and five organisations that use your cell phone to help others
  • building material (to companies who specialise in selling used material). One organisation: Habitat for Humanity
  • hearing aids, eyeglasses and mobility equipment
  • extra hangers (to your local dry cleaners)
  • art materials (to a school or cultural organisation)
  • unwanted boxed/bagged/canned food (to homeless shelters, food banks, or soup kitchens)
  • etc.

Buy/Sell Used Items

  • local thrift stores
  • Craigslist
  • Amazon (search on refurbished, then click on links in the left sidebar or search for a specific refurbished product)
  • local newspaper listings
  • local material exchange sites (search in your area)
  • garage sales (search in your area in the 'for sale' > 'garage sales' section
  • used refurbished computers (check your computer manufacturer's website or Amazon
  • local used furniture stores
  • local consignment shops

Collaborative Communities: learn about the collaborative movement in communities around the world.

Share: thing loop facilitates sharing our belongings.

Community Swap: Organise a community swap program (i.e., designate a place where people can leave unwanted items for others to use).

Fixers Collective: Create or join a fixers collective in your community to get together once a month or so to help each other repair broken appliances and other household items.

Packing Peanuts: Drop off at a local packing, shipping or moving store.

Buy Durables: Buy products that will last and take care of them.

Frugal Printing: Use both sides of each piece of paper -- for note-taking or printing documents from your computer (at home or work). Create notepads by stapling together once-used paper.

Kitchen Reusables: Instead of buying these items new, save and reuse all: paper bags, rubber bands, twisties, boxes, and packaging material. Switch from plastic bags to reusable ceramic, glass or metal containers.

The library is also many times a great place for finding magazines, CDs, books-on-tape, and videos. Also, look for little free libraries in your neighbourhood - or be the first to add one!

Share with Neighbors: Join in with neighbours to purchase infrequently used products such as lawnmowers, ladders, etc.

Third: Recycle

Recycle Bins: Create designated holding "bins" for each type of recycled product and place them in convenient locations in your home/garage.

Recycling Fact Sheet: If one isn't available on your local recycling centre's website, create a local recycling sheet that includes hard to recycle items. Post it on your frig and share it with your neighbours/on social media/in little free libraries. 

Recycling Rechargeable Batteries and Cell Phones: It's easy to recycle rechargeable batteries and cell phones in the US and Canada- just go to call2recyle and find a nearby free drop off-centre.

Recycling CDs and DVDs: Several CD, DVD (and Hard Drive) recycling centres are now available.

Recycled Content: Ask your local retailers to stock more products made from recycled materials and buy products made from the highest recycled content whenever possible.

Green Paper: In general, try to buy products/containers made from recycled material as often as possible to support the recycled product market. 

When purchasing paper products (toilet paper, etc.), look for paper that has been recycled using a minimum of 50% post-consumer waste. Also, purchase from companies that do not use chlorine to bleach their paper products (which creates dioxin waste).

Pack-it-Out: If you are travelling and no recycle bins are available, pack your recyclables home with you whenever possible.

Compostable Produce Labels: Encourage your local health food store to switch to laser tattoos, dissolvable labels or compostable labels.

Eco-Jewelry: If you are shopping for wedding rings or other jewellery, consider buying used jewellery, synthetic diamonds, gemstones, or eco-gold jewellery.

Fourth: Refuse

Refuse Products that Create Waste: If available, instead of buying processed food, bring your own bags and containers and buy from the bulk and produce sections of the grocery store. 

Reduce or eliminate your spending on other wasteful items. The Johnsons are a zero-waste family who share their story to help others achieve a more fulfilling and cost-effective way of life.

Refuse Giveaways: Politely refuse when a business or individual offers you a free giveaway that you don't need. This can be anything from a straw in a restaurant to promotional gifts to paper handouts. 

This not only saves the company or individual money, but it keeps resources from being consumed unnecessarily (even if it is recyclable).

Fifth: Rot

Composting: Start a compost pile with yard trimmings and food scraps. Learn more at Wikipedia's Compost page.

Grasscycling: Leave grass clippings on the lawn as fertiliser and reduce the amount of yard trimmings disposed of in landfills.

Sustainable Living Around The House

  • Put on an extra layer of clothing instead of turning on the heating. Seriously, doubling up on your socks does wonders!
  • Open up your blinds and use as much natural light as possible before switching on your light bulbs. You all get to enjoy some more sunshine. 
  • Turn off your lights when you leave a room.
  • Put up a no junk mail sign on your letterbox to limit the amount of paper waste.
  • Hang your wet clothes on a drying line or rack instead of using a powered dryer.
  • Hand wash your clothes, particularly if you only have a few items to clean.
  • Grow your own herbs, fruit and vegetables even if it's just a few pots around the house; it all helps!
  • Turn off your devices at night, including your wifi box.
  • Get a water-saving showerhead.
  • Purchase recycled toilet paper with plastic-free packaging.
  • On the topic of toilets, use scrap paper, newspaper, or toilet paper to collect pet poo.

Sustainable Commuting

  • Take the stairs over the elevator. This also doubles up as a leg workout.
  • If available, use rent-a-bike services in your city.
  • Ditch your car and embrace car-free living.
  • But, if you’re in the market for a new car, invest in electric-powered vehicles.

Sustainable Grocery Shopping

  • Buy your produce in bulk from your local farmer’s markets.
  • Stop buying bottled water!
  • Shop at bulk food stores for any goods. Better yet, take in your own jars.
  • Bring your own containers to the deli.
  • If you drink beer, take a growler to your local brewery.

Sustainable Fashion

  • Become a minimalist and take the 333-time capsule challenge.
  • Invest in better quality items that last longer. Slow fashion trumps fast fashion.
  • Learn how to find sustainable materials when shopping.
  • Reduce how frequently you wash your clothes.
  • Acquire basic sewing skills to patch holes and sew buttons back on. Or if you have a bigger job, take to an alterations shop.
  • Transform old clothes into new garments. For example, a dress you don’t wear can be turned into a top and skirt.

Go Paperless

  • Opt to receive digital letters and notices.
  • Read this article on how to use an app to scan and organise all of your paperwork.
  • Ask suppliers to email you a receipt instead of printing one out for you.
  • Use your phone, tablet or computer for note-taking.

Sustainable Office

  • Turn off your computer before leaving work.
  • Unplug the workstation from ports overnight to reduce phantom power.
  • Add small pot plants to your workspace.
  • Always use double-sided printing where possible.

Sustainable Baby Items

  • Use stainless steel drink bottles (or at least plastic-free).
  • Get a wooden baby teether.
  • Look for wooden baby rattles.
  • Use eco-friendly (plastic-free) bibs.
  • If you are buying toys, find toys made from natural fibres.
  • Use dummies/pacifiers made from natural rubber.
  • Use coconut oil as a diaper balm.
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