Sustainable living: 7 effective tips to live a sustainable lifestyle

Adopting a sustainable lifestyle can help us curb environmental issues such as pollution, climate change and also help protect wildlife.
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The past year and a half haven’t been easy. We’ve been living under various lockdowns and curbs and have been kept away from nature. However, we have also watched it blossom in our absence. This period has taught us an important lesson of valuing natural resources more than ever. They are limited and should be conserved so all living things can benefit from them through the present and onto the future. Everything we do—from the food we eat to the car we drive—has an impact on the planet. However, this doesn’t mean we ride a bicycle to work every day (many agree it’s a great idea).

It is important to know that small changes in our daily habits can make a big difference when it comes to protecting our planet. This is where adopting a sustainable lifestyle comes into the picture. According to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), “Sustainable living means understanding how our lifestyle choices impact the world around us and finding ways for everyone to live better and lighter.”

It all comes down to understanding how we can reduce and replenish our usage of natural resources. Doing so will help us curb environmental issues such as pollution, climate change and also help protect wildlife. Here are some tips that can help you adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Reduce, reuse and recycle

Adopting a sustainable lifestyle starts with cultivating habits that can help you get the most benefits from products while generating minimum waste. The first step towards this is to reduce the waste at the source. For instance, stop buying food items that you don’t need. This way, you won’t waste it.

Secondly, reuse a product more than once as not everything that is broken or old should be disposed of immediately. Painting instead of buying a new cupboard will not only save money but also lessen the environmental impact.

Thirdly, start recycling. Using things in different ways instead of disposing of them will prevent waste from being sent to landfills.

Bid adieu to plastic

Using plastic in our daily lives is very convenient. Just about everything is made of plastic. But this non-biodegradable material does more damage to the environment than one can imagine. Every year, thousands of marine mammals and turtles and one million sea birds are killed by marine plastic pollution. So, if you want to live sustainably, cut down on your plastic usage.

Start by ditching single-use water bottles, bags and straws. Avoid using products made from or packaged in plastic whenever possible. This is one of the most important steps toward creating a sustainable lifestyle.

Buy locally

Locally-owned businesses usually have a smaller carbon footprint than larger companies. When you shop locally, you buy goods that are produced nearby reducing your food mile significantly. Simply put, the food mile is the distance your item has to travel to get to your plate.

On the other hand, when you purchase items from established grocery store chains, many of the products travel thousands of miles to reach you. Buying locally allows you to cut down on these miles reducing the overall environmental impact.

Moreover, supporting local vendors strengthens the whole community as the money you invest stays within the circle.

Purchase eco-friendly products

An eco-friendly lifestyle depends on eco-friendly products or goods that are not harmful to the environment. They are made from organic and recycled materials and can range from rechargeable batteries to natural cleaning products. Most eco-friendly products even come in biodegradable packaging. These items make a positive impact on the environment and improve your wellbeing since they contain minimal to no toxic ingredients.

An added advantage is that you can recycle the jars and packaging materials once their purpose is fulfilled. Remember, every step taken in the direction of sustainable living is one that helps the world.

Cut down on meat consumption

The Guardian states in an article, “avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet.“

Non-vegetarians may find this fact tough to swallow but it is an effective way to reduce one’s carbon footprint. To live sustainably, it is important to cut down on meat consumption and switch to a plant-based diet. Consuming locally-grown vegetarian food has many advantages – not only are they good for health and the environment but you support the local economy too.

Save energy at home

If you are aiming for a sustainable lifestyle, being aware of how you consume energy is important. There are numerous things you can do to conserve energy in your home. From turning off lights when leaving your room, unplugging devices when not in use to hanging clothes to dry instead of using a drier, there are innumerable small things you can do that reduce your energy consumption.

When you use less energy, you do your bit to reduce carbon emissions.

Travel sustainably

Not just a buzzword, sustainable travel is about appreciating the environment and protecting natural resources. It means you need to be aware of the pollution levels caused by your travelling back and forth and how it affects the environment and wildlife.

Before you travel, consider the most sustainable form of transport to get to your destination. If you are travelling with a group, it makes sense to share a car. On the other hand, if you are travelling on your own, it might be better to take a train or a bus. If you have to take a flight, look for the shortest flight path to your location.

A sustainable lifestyle is adapting to a world that is kinder and more abundant for future generations. Learn to be a part of the tribe that loves Mother Nature.

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