Sustainability is an ever growing popular topic. You are living under a rock if you are not aware of the massive amount of damage being done to the world with climate change.
Greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and climate change affect us all. We are seeing record numbers of damage from flooding, wildlife is losing natural habitats due to record high heat, and hurricanes are becoming stronger and more frequent.
Adopting a more sustainable lifestyle is not as hard as you may think. Not everyone will have time to plant a tree. Nor do we all need to become a vegan to make an environmental impact. It starts with everyday small actions that make the biggest impact to reduce your carbon footprint.
What are 10 ways to be more sustainable?
Reduce Food Waste
One quick way to live more sustainably is to reduce food waste. If you cook for a family, be sure to save the leftovers for the next day. Leftovers are great for a quick lunch. It also saves plenty of cash when you are not buying take out.
Only purchase enough produce that you can consume within a few days. We have all made a trip to the grocery store and stocked up on more fruits or veggies than we needed because it was on sale. Then, within a few days, your vegetables have wilted and your fruit is rotten. Buying in moderation will help eliminate this food waste.
Shop at your local farmers’ market
Shopping at your local farmers’ market is a great way to support the local economy. Not only does it help support local farmers and their families, but it is also a great boost to your local community. Fruits and vegetables at local farmers’ markets are usually organically grown without harmful pesticides. The fewer pesticides in the environment, the better.
It is also safe to say that fresher food bought locally in smaller quantities will lead to less food waste. In addition, buying locally reduces the need for food to be transported miles to your stores. This will help to cut down on the pollution that is created from daily transportation and reduce carbon emissions.
Grow your own food
Growing your own food is very rewarding, and it is great to help the kids learn to love their vegetables. When kids are engaged with the process of growing their food, it teaches them to respect the earth, nature, and how to have a more sustainable life in general. Grab the family and start a veggie garden this weekend.
Reduce Carbon Emissions
Carbon emissions from transportation are a big contributor to air pollution. Reducing your carbon footprint can be as easy as carpooling or taking public transportation. If you work close by, using a bicycle is also a great option. Many cities are adding bike lanes to make bicycle traveling safer for pedestrians. This is another great way to minimize your carbon footprint and live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Use reusable shopping bags
The amount of plastic bags being used is a tremendous problem for the environment. Using a reusable shopping bag is something very simple we all can do. Many of your local stores are selling them now. In addition, there are plenty of online sources to find quality reusable shopping bags.
Look for bags with a sturdy bottom to support heavier items. Longer handles and roomy bags are another great feature to look for when purchasing reusable shopping bags. The more we all use reusable shopping bags, they will need less plastic waste there will be.
Thankfully, recycled materials are gaining popularity. Not only are we becoming more aware of the unneeded amount of plastic bags, we are taking it a few steps further. Now you can find reusable bags, paper towels, napkins, and water bottles easily.
Ditch plastic for reusable drinking straws.
There are many reusable drinking straws on the market now. Plastic drinking straws are a huge contributor to plastic. With all the takeout and restaurants offering plastic drinking straws with your drink, there are millions of plastic straws produced.
However, a great alternative is metal drinking straws. Metal straws can be reused and can eliminate tons of plastic waste that will either end up in a landfill or, unfortunately, in our oceans. This is a tiny step we can take that can lead to meaningful benefits for the environment in the future.
I try to recycle whenever I can. I say when possible because I know there are cities that still do not offer recycling services. Recycling can lead to environmental sustainability, because it helps to reduce the amount of waste introduced into the environment, which leads to higher pollution levels and other environmental concerns.
There are many things that you use which can be recycled, such as newspaper, boxes, cans, glass, and plastic bottles and containers. Reach out to your local officials if recycling is not available in your area.
Recycled materials are being used more today. Plastic bottles are recycled and turned into fabric. This inturn is manufactured into clothing. A sustainable lifestyle is really an ongoing cycle.
Another form of recycling is upcycling. Upcycling has been around for years, however, with the rise in slow fashion and sustainability, it is becoming easier to find. It is as simple as using older clothes to make dust rags instead of throwing the clothes away. Using empty spaghetti sauce jars to plant smaller size plants. Replace older appliances.
One of the easiest ways to reduce your energy consumption is by replacing your older appliances with energy star rated ones. Older washing machines use gallons of water, were as the new models will use a fraction of the amount. Tankless water heaters are more efficient, use less energy, and can save you almost one hundred dollars on your bill.
Reduce energy consumption
Replacing older light bulbs with energy rated bulbs will not only reduce your energy bill, they last years longer than their older counterparts. Solar panels are another big energy saver. If you can afford it, electric vehicles are another option to consider when trying to reduce your consumption of energy.
Adopt a sustainable lifestyle
Reducing your consumption is much easier than you may think. Simple things like turning off all the lights when you are not in the room. Unplugging small appliances that are not being used. Take shorter showers when you can and reduce the amount of water when brushing your teeth or washing your hair.
Catch rainwater to water your plants. Open your curtains and let natural sunlight into your home during the day instead of turning on lights. If you do not have window treatments, add some. Properly fitting window dressing will have a significant impact on your energy bill, but your house will feel more comfortable in the hotter and colder seasons.
I hope to show you that a more sustainable lifestyle is accessible to everyone. There are so many simple things we can all do that together will make a great impact on the planet. Not only will we benefit from living a more eco friendly lifestyle and less climate change and we are setting a great example for future generations to live more sustainably. It may seem overwhelming at first, but these simple sustainable living tips are just the start.