We have heard the term sustainability several times in our day to day lives. But what exactly is sustainability? Sustainability is a complex concept to understand as it has multi-disciplinary uses. In simple terms, sustainability is the ability to meet your present needs without depleting the resources for future generations.
It is the capability of a system to maintain and endure itself. Being aware of your current resource consumption and reducing unnecessary waste to leave finite and precious resources for future generations, sustainability is the way ahead. Recently, more and more people are taking the pledge of sustainability and switching to a greener lifestyle to fulfil their commitment of protecting the earth.
Remember that every little action counts. Even the smallest of gestures to promote sustainability and protecting the environment and Earth, matters.
Here are 10 simple changes that you can make to start living an environmentally conscious life.
1. Use public transport
Public transport not only reduces air pollution but also is a great way of commuting. According to research, 8837 grams of carbon dioxide is produced on every gallon of gasoline burned. Imagine the percentage of carbon emissions you would be cutting back on by avoiding to use your vehicle for commuting.
Another great option if one doesn’t wish to take public transportation is to carpool. Taking public transportation or carpooling can significantly make a difference in reducing your emissions than solo driving. It may not look like a lot, but sharing your fuel can also make a big impact.
You could also try walking and cycling wherever possible, and it also doubles as a workout regime.
2. Conscious eating habits
It’s not necessary for you to immediately go vegan to start a sustainable life. Start by cutting meat out of your diet, even if it is for a few days in a week. This little change will greatly reduce your carbon footprint.
According to research, production and distribution of red meat can lead to 10 to 40 times more carbon emissions than any other agricultural products.
Contrary to certain beliefs, a sustainable lifestyle does not essentially have to be completely meat-free. Meat from local, grass-fed animals is often the more sustainable choice.
3. Sustainable fashion
Make your closet more sustainable by buying clothes Made from sustainably sourced materials like bamboo and hemp and avoid synthetic materials, like polyester, a carbon-intensive textile. Some people may find it hard to believe that production of polyester in a year alone can produce the same amount of carbon emissions as 185 coal-fired power plants and it takes over 700 gallons of water to make just one cotton shirt.
Another thing to make you more sustainable is to never buy from fast fashion brands. Long lasting clothes may be expensive as compared to fast fashion clothes, but buying items that can last for about 20 to 30 years will save you more money in the long run. Do your research and spring for longer-lasting clothing brands if you can afford it. Also, never throw out your old clothes. You can donate or upcycle them so that they don’t end up in landfills.
4. Renewable source of energy
We live in an era where we are emotionally attached to our gadgets and heavily dependent on electricity. You can bring about a sustainable change by using solar energy chargers. Not only is solar energy a cost-effective way to generate electricity but also a clean source. CFL bulbs and LED lights have proven to be environmentally friendly and also last longer.
Never forget to turn off lights and other electronics when they’re not in use. This may seem like a small step but it is all about taking baby steps than not doing anything at all.
5. Avoid plastic
This goes without saying. It can be difficult to lead a plastic-free life, living in modern society, but not impossible. You can start by taking your bag while going for grocery shopping or avoid using disposable plastic bottles, plastic containers and dispensers.
Calculate your plastic footprint and take small steps to eliminate plastic from your life.
6. Only buy what you need
Throwing away food is not just wastage but also disrespectful considering the number of people who lose their lives to starvation. One super-easy way to help the environment and save money is to plan and shop. This way you will only be shopping for the stuff you need.
To minimize wasting your money and throwing items in the trash, commit to finishing what you purchase within a week, before going to shop again. Also, only cook as much as you can eat in one or two sittings.
7. Donate unwanted or old items
We all have a bunch of clutter in our homes of things that are waiting to be used, but that day never comes. The greenway to get rid of old or unwanted items to donate them to people who need them rather than tossing them in the trash can.
By donating the things lying unused in your house will not only help someone in need but also reduce the demand, even if by a fraction. You can donate anything ranging from clothing and shoes to food and household items.
8. Turn off the running tap water
Water is one of the most precious resources available to us, and we must use it wisely. Do not keep the tap water running unnecessarily. Turn off the faucet, shower, water filters that wastewater by dripping and get your plumbing checked. Save water, save the planet!
9. Eco-friendly cleaning products
Cleaning products usually contain chemicals that are hazardous to the environment. You can switch to eco-friendly and green cleaning products, which are just as effective on dirt and grime and prevent these chemicals from harming the planet.
10. Reduce, reuse, and recycle
I know this is something you learned in middle school, but that’s the mantra you should be chanting and living by if you want to switch to a sustainable lifestyle. Reduce the amount of waste you produce, reuse whatever items you can before replacing them, and recycle items wherever and whenever possible.