Sustainable living is a way of life when you limit your demand on natural resources by ensuring that you replace what you use. In some cases it means not choosing to consume a product that is made using practices that are not sustainable; and sometimes it means changing how you act. To live sustainably people must reduce their ecological footprint. It is easier than it seems and it can actually increase people’s well-being because our happiness is not based on how much we produce and buy, rather it is based on things like caring relationships, health, giving and self-development.
Here are 9 Basic Sustainability Practices
1. Buy less
Producing stuff uses a lot of resources and that affects the earth. Purchase products that are well-made and good quality. Try renting or borrowing things. If you’re handy, make your own stuff. Minimalistic lifestyle doesn’t mean living without anything, it means that you are making sure that everything you own and use is put to its maximum purpose.
2. Decrease your energy use
Reduce power use by having good insulation, using high efficiency appliances, installing solar or heat pump water heating and using compact fluorescent bulbs. Use renewable energy where possible, e.g. an efficient wood-burner for heat. By changing the lighting in your home from regular light bulbs to CFL, using skylights and more natural light you will lessen your demand on energy resources significantly.
3. Use sustainable transportation
Sustainable transportation includes cycling, walking, using transit, car sharing, and green vehicles. It is ‘green’ and has a low impact on the earth. It is also about balancing our current and future needs. The less personal use of your car you do, the more you and the environment will benefit. You’ll help slow climate change and help stave off our date with peak oil.
4. Buy fresh local food
Buying local supports your community and reduces the cost of transportation. Also, plenty of local food is produced according to the highest sustainability standards. Buying seasonal fresh food decreases processing and packaging. Consuming organic promotes sustainable soil and land use. Try to eat less meat, because it has a bigger footprint than plants.
5. Go natural
Avoid products that contain harmful synthetic chemicals and use natural instead. Choose things made from eco-friendly materials, like bamboo, cork, corn starch biocompostables, organic cotton, wheat straw, etc. Use homemade or organic options for natural home cleaners. Vinegar and baking soda can clean most surfaces. By using natural cleaners you are reducing the amount of plastic packages and the amount of chemicals that will go into the water system.
6. Be water conscious
Clean water is one of the most precious, non-renewable earth’s resources. 844 millions of people live without access to it. In the Western world we wash everything too much. The very important thing is to change our washing habits. Scientists discovered that our desire to be clean has diminished our immune protection from diseases. People waste enormous amounts of water when they shower, cleaning, wash dishes or do laundry. Practice taking short showers, washing dishes in a sink of water and then rinsing them and reduce the amount of laundry that you do.
7. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Every year, North American people discard 65 million plastic and metal jar and can lids, a 50 billion food and drink cans, and 27 billion glass jars bottles and. 85% of our garbage is sent to a dump or landfill and we are quickly coming up short on space.
Reduce your need to purchase new items. Less waste means less to recycle or reuse. Learn how to reuse items, or repurpose them for different use. Recycle aluminium cans and glass bottles. Keep a recycle bin in your home and try to go to the recycling station than to put the waste to the landfill.
8. Avoid plastic products
Around 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide every year. More than one million bags are used every minute.
It takes millions of years for a regular plastic bag to decompose. Accumulating in landfills and oceans, plastic badly affects ecosystems. Every year large number of species dies after getting tangled up in plastic or ingesting it. It's time for every one of us to change to reusable or biodegradable bags when we shop and stop to drink water in plastic bottles.
9. Use less packaging
Some items come with unnecessary paper or plastic packaging for marketing purposes. As Daniel Imhoff, the author of Paper or Plastic says, “Producers could misinterpret consumer acceptance of increasing levels of packaging as evidence of a desire for even more.” All this packaging is mostly not degradable and it keeps affects wellbeing of the animals and people. Make a conscious decision to choose products with less or no packaging.
You may also choose natural products made from renewable materials. Bio-Origins is an eco-friendly company that offers high quality, sustainable dinnerware that doesn’t cost the earth.